Park Extension ranked hot spot for Covid-19

In the last 14 days, over 200 cases have been reported by news outlets all over the city for Villeray / Park Extension / St-Michel—one of the worst regions in Montréal

It was essentially in the last 14 days or so, that over 200 cases have been reported by news outlets all over the city for Villeray / Park Extension / St-Michel, making it one of the worst regions in Montréal.

Reports leading up to press time

As of Monday, November 2nd, the most recent data on the evolution of COVID-19 in Québec showed 1,037 new cases, bringing the total number of people infected to 108,018. The data also report 12 new deaths, but the total of deaths amount to 6,283 due to the withdrawal of 1 death that the investigation has shown not to be attributable to COVID-19. Among these 12 deaths, 1 death has occurred in the last 24 hours, 8 have occurred between October 26 and October 31 and 3 have occurred before October 26. The number of hospitalizations increased by 3 compared to the previous day, for a cumulative total of 499. Among these, the number of people in intensive care decreased by 3, for a total of 81. The samples conducted on October 31 amount to 22,767 for a total of 3,153,926. This is a daily press release by the Government that we have referenced many times on our website and it shows the exact number of cases and clearly shows the cases rising considerably.

It was in recent reports that Park Extension is being considered as one of the hottest spots for this spike in activity and these reports have many wondering why.

As things stand in Park Ex in recent studies

3,707 new cases of Covid-19 were recorded in the city of Montréal the period of October 6th and the 19th. Astonishingly, 125 of those cases were found in park Extension alone. That was a growth of 70 cases since the last recording of cases.

Too many people under one roof

And perhaps this is one of the main reasons for the spread … essentially too many people living under the same roof, mostly students sharing apartments, which isn’t at all their fault, only a possibility for the spike in the spreading here in Park Extension.

Christine Touchette, a service director with the CIUSSS du Centre-Ouest-de-l’Île-de-Montréal stated: “That’s creating a situation where, you know, if there’s a virus, it can spread more easily than in an area where people have more space in between each other.”

A study conducted

I decided to observe people in Park Extension as I collected data and information on other stories I’m working on for the paper, as well as photos, and I noticed that most—if not all—are respecting the rules. In restaurants, I watched patrons and owners of many establishments respecting the rules in full … sanitizers, masks, distancing.

I also observed people at banks, schools … all following the protocol. So where was the problem?

Well, I did notice that it is in parks where people don’t wear their masks; even when meeting up with people from different households. It was in these situations that I saw most people a little less vigilant, feeling free to take off masks, sit together on benches, some even sharing beverages.

Also a point of note would be public transportation. Yes, people are wearing their masks on the bus, but many passengers are packed like sardines in a can, and this can certainly be seen on many of the busses that run through the borough.

Vigilance by one and all

In the end it is our leaders that stress vigilance, and as Premiere Legault stated in his press conference last week … his goal is to keep the schools open and the essential businesses running, and the people seem to have understood this. We saw this as many gym owners backed down from their threats to re-open regardless of his decision. But many wonder if keeping the schools open isn’t the problem overall. Many citizens have been saying this from the start, and as cases rise, cases as can be seen at the start of this article, many are left to wonder if keeping the schools open isn’t a problem and the biggest problem of all.