Dance and non-wearing of a mask at the Bell Center: the risk of an outbreak is considered very low

Even if several people did not respect health measures during the concert of stars Ricky Martin and Enrique Iglesias, which brought together 15,000 spectators at the Bell Center, on Saturday, the risks of a COVID-19 outbreak are low, say some researchers consulted by The newspaper.

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“I’m not afraid of an outbreak for two reasons. First, the Bell Center is extremely large, it’s like an outdoor site. The ceiling is very high and there is a good ventilation system. Then everyone was vaccinated, ”says Nimâ Machouf, epidemiologist and lecturer at the University of Montreal.


Several spectators stood up and danced during the Ricky Martin and Enrique Iglesias show.

Photo QMI Agency, Mario Beauregard

Several spectators stood up and danced during the Ricky Martin and Enrique Iglesias show.

Retired virology expert Jacques Lapierre indicates that the possibilities of transmission exist, “but theoretically, they are quite weak and with symptoms which are not important because people are vaccinated. “

The minister understands

The images of spectators singing and dancing, most of them without wearing the mask, have nevertheless caused a reaction since Saturday.

Visiting the Outaouais, the Minister of Health was conciliatory towards the spectators who had dropped the mask. “It is sure that when we have been under the yoke of the pandemic 18-19 months and we find ourselves in a show […], it’s difficult to hold back, ”commented Christian Dubé.

Bar owners for their part shouted double standards because their customers must wear masks and dancing is prohibited in their establishments.

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We accept or we close the door

In an interview with LCN, the hospitality vice-president of Groupe CH, Patrick Bigras, acknowledged that several things could be improved in order to better communicate the rules to customers. Stickers will be affixed to the seats, he said.

Virologist Jacques Lapierre, however, believes that it is utopian to think, whether during a show or a hockey game, that people are not going to get up or take off their masks.

“If we agree to bring together so many people in an arena, we accept that they do that. Otherwise, we close the door, ”he said.

Minister Dubé however recalled that the next steps in deconfinement will depend on the impact of the first reductions on the number of hospitalizations linked to COVID-19. “I hope that those to whom we have given flexibility, like the Bell Center, will make sure to follow the measures,” he warned.

With Patrick Bellerose and TVA Nouvelles

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