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COVID-19: Montreal state of emergency extended

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Montreal state of emergency extended – On Sunday March 29th, Mayor Valerie Plante announced that the city’s state of emergency put in place last Friday, will be renewed for another five days – and with that comes more powers for police. The new measures are aimed at Montrealers who are not respecting the rules for ‘physical distancing’ in the fight to control the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Sylvain Caron, the SPVM’s chief said at a news conference, that police officer patrols will be increased and individuals and businesses not respecting directives could be fined or issued violation reports – including those who are not respecting the lockdown in place in facilities for seniors.

Montreal state of emergency extended

Police now have the authority to write up offence reports that ‘could be used to prosecute people who refuse to comply with regulations put forth by the province, including ‘people refusing to leave large gatherings after being warned’. This also applies in instances where a person, ‘who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 or whose case is being investigated’ refuses to comply with the isolation measures. Although the amount will be up to a judge to decide, fines could be between $1,000 and $6,000. Caron encouraged Montrealers to ‘report unusual situations and gatherings’, with Mayor Plante saying, “We don’t want citizens to become patrollers, but if you see a situation that goes against the regulations put forth… don’t think of it as tattling, let the police know.” She also added that ‘the options of closing the city’s bridges or quarantining boroughs is not currently being considered, but she did not rule out imposing more severe measures if it becomes necessary. Dr. Mylene Drouin, Montreal’s public health director said ‘as of Sunday, there were 1,361 reported cases of COVID-19 in Montreal, including 146 new cases. Eighty-three people were in hospital, with 13 in intensive care. There have been six deaths and 82 health care workers have been affected – but the number of new cases per day seems to have stabilized over the past three or four days’.

By: Bonnie Wurst – info@mtltimes.ca

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