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“I am directly aware of one case in particular where the person had severe symptoms, tested at first negative for COVID and the hospital billed him. The second test was positive.”
She said these kinds of errors caused misinformation in communities and discouraged some people from being tested.
She notes it took Montreal Public Health too long — until mid-May — to start publishing information on their website in languages other than French and English.
She noted that many children of recent immigrants were heavily affected by school closures because language challenges prevented their parents from helping with homework or because they did not have home computers, for example.
“What is striking is how there is intersection of all of these different factors that make for a pretty significant segment of the Montreal population that is at risk in a way that is quite severe. The fact that there is such a close co-relation between ethnicity and socioeconomic status and levels of infection is very disturbing, but it is a pattern that is being seen in the U.S., Great Britain and other countries.”