Coronavirus: Hamilton Public Health confirms 5 more positive tests for COVID-19

Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger is vacating his position on the city's police services board, in a move aimed at increasing the board's diversity. Lisa Polweski / Global News

Hamilton Public Health has confirmed five new positive tests for the novel coronavirus disease, known as COVID-19, in the city.

In an update at city hall on Monday afternoon, Mayor Fred Eisenberger revealed the new number and that as of Monday, Hamilton Health Sciences had tested 244 people for COVID-19, with 10 positive cases.

No details of the five new cases were disclosed, except that the infections were all related to travel and that the infected are in self-isolation.

On Saturday, Hamilton’s Medical Officer of Health Dr. Elizabeth Richardson revealed that four of the 10 cases were still in the early stages of an investigation but it’s believed they were all travel-related with no community transmission.

Among the infected were a three-month-old child and a couple in their 60s who travelled to the Caribbean, according to Richardson.

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No information was revealed about the fourth new case.

“The fourth case I don’t have a specific age for in terms of where they have been,” said Richardson. “We know that to the two, the couple is associated with a cruise in the Caribbean. The other travel details I don’t have at this point.”

All four are at home in self-isolation, according to Hamilton Public Health.

Richardson went on to say that an investigation into whether the infected were in public areas potentially exposing others to the virus is still on-going. She also gave no timelines for when such information may be released publically.

“In terms of those, if there was something exceptional about that, then we would put forward those details, but in general, we don’t give details on the content management.”

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On Monday a pair of COVID-19 assessment centres were opened at Hamilton Health Sciences urgent care clinic at 690 Main St. W. and at the east-end clinic at 2757 King St. E. that is operated by St. Joseph’s Healthcare.

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The assessment centres are by appointment only for those who have a referral from their doctor or Hamilton Public Health Services, based on symptoms (cough or fever), travel history and exposure to known cases.

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Halton Region Public Health (HRPH) is dealing with its fourth positive test for the new coronavirus — a male in his 30s from Burlington who is at home self-isolating.

In a release, the agency said the man became symptomatic the same day he returned to Toronto after an Air Canada Flight (Flight AC1645) from Miami on March 10.

“He became symptomatic on March 10, and presented himself for testing at Joseph Brant Hospital on March 14,” HRPH said in its release.

Halton region’s three other cases, discovered last week, are also all travel related. They include two women from Burlington, one in her 30s and the other in her 50s, and another woman from Oakville in her 40s.

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Meanwhile, Niagara confirmed its third case of COVID-19 on Monday connected to a 47-year-old man with a travel history to Europe.

No further details were given except that the patient is recovering at home in self-isolation and that he appears to have not made significant contact with the community during his infection.

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“The patient has interacted only with his immediate family during the time he may have been contagious and has not exposed anyone in the community,” according to a release from Niagara Region Public Health.

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Brant County Health Unit (BCHU) says there are no known cases of the new coronavirus in Brantford.

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Confused about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Health officials say the risk is low for Canadians but warn that this could change quickly. They caution against all international travel. Returning travellers are asked to self-isolate for 14 days in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others.

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. And if you get sick, stay at home.

For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.

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