Valérie Plante declares a state of health emergency in Montreal

Montreal is falling back into a state of local health emergency in order to give the city free rein to react quickly to the rapid rise in COVID-19 cases and to meet the growing needs of people experiencing homelessness during the winter period.

The mayoress of Montreal, who is in isolation because she has contracted COVID-19, made the announcement on Tuesday, as the health toll continues to increase with 5,043 new cases reported in the last 24 hours in Quebec as well as 18 new hospitalizations related to COVID-19 and 8 more deaths. Montreal is also particularly affected by this new wave of cases.

“The epidemiological situation quickly changed”, underlined Ms. Plante. in his virtual press conference, by confirming that Montreal was returning to a local state of emergency.

On August 23, Ms. Plante lifted the local health emergency in the metropolis due in particular to the high vaccination rate and the implementation of the vaccination passport, a decision which then received mixed reception.

The rapid rise in cases, which is now breaking records, is however forcing the City to return to a state of local health emergency. Last year, this exceptional measure had enabled the city administration to adopt contracts more quickly, without having to follow all the usual protocols. This is how it was able, among other things, to requisition hotels for people experiencing homelessness, quickly buy sanitary equipment from the start of the pandemic and set up screening clinics as well as sanitary corridors near shops. .

In the last few days, the official opposition at City Hall urged the City to return to a state of emergency, in particular to protect the elderly and those experiencing homelessness. Questioned at a city council meeting by the head of Ensemble Montreal, Aref Salem, Ms. Plante had also mentioned Monday the possibility of having recourse to this exceptional measure. “Nothing is excluded at this time,” she said at the time.

More details to come.

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