Hamilton reports 7 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, masks in public still optional: public health

Hamilton, Ont. reported seven new coronavirus cases on Wednesday June 24, 2020. Hospitals in the city have begun gradually allowing visitors into their facilities.
Hamilton, Ont. reported seven new coronavirus cases on Wednesday June 24, 2020. Hospitals in the city have begun gradually allowing visitors into their facilities. File Photo / Getty Images

Hamilton, Ont. reported seven new coronavirus cases as of June 24, putting the city’s overall number of cases at 814 with 805 confirmed and nine probable, according to public health.

The city has no current institutional outbreaks and 16 COVID-19 patients in hospitals: 14 with Hamilton Health Sciences and two with St. Joseph’s hospital.

To date, 720 of the city’s known COVID-19 cases — 89 per cent — have been resolved.

There were no new reported deaths on Wednesday. The city has 44 coronavirus related deaths.

READ MORE: 163 new coronavirus cases, 12 deaths in Ontario; total cases at 34,016

In a joint release on Wednesday morning, both St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton (SJHH) and Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) outlined changes permitting a limited number of visitors for inpatients as of Wednesday.

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St. Joe’s is allowing one family member or care partner to visit an inpatient area between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. every other day, while HHS says it will allow one family member or caregiver at a bedside at any given time.

Visiting hours at HHS hospitals are between 9 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. with family members/caregivers having to go through coronavirus screenings before entering.

READ MORE: Hamilton targets youth in physical-distancing campaign as COVID-19 cases increase for age group

Despite mandating masks on HSR buses — which went into effect on Monday — the city’s associate medical officer of health says they will not be required when going out in public, even at restaurants, patios or retail during Stage 2 of the province’s reopening plan.

Dr. Ninh Tran suggests the community should wear masks in “situations where physical distancing is problematic” such as transit or in a grocery store, but with cases currently considered low, public health will not order it.

Read more: Coronavirus: Face coverings will be mandatory at all Guelph, Wellington County businesses

“Anecdotally, seeing now an increasing use of masks, we’re hoping that trend continues, and we won’t have to go there,” Tran said during a virtual city council meeting on Wednesday.

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Premier Doug Ford echoed the same message during his Queens Park update on Tuesday when he stated there were “simply not enough police or bylaw officers” to enforce mandatory masking.

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The premier, however, also encouraged mask use, especially when people go into stores.

In early June when Guelph and Wellington County moved to Stage 2 of the Ontario government’s reopening plan, the local public health unit issued an order that required all businesses to prohibit anyone entering the premises if they are not wearing something over their mouth and nose.

READ MORE: Several Toronto Blue Jays team members test positive for coronavirus

Niagara Region reports 2 new COVID-19 cases

Niagara public health officials reported two new coronavirus cases on Wednesday. The region has 745 total cases, with 25 of them active.

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The region reported no new deaths, leaving the overall total at 61, with 50 tied to long-term care or retirement homes.

The region has two institutional outbreaks at long-term care homes (Garden City Manor in St. Catharines and Crescent Park Lodge in Fort Erie).

Eighty-eight per cent (659) of Niagara’s cases have been resolved.

Haldimand-Norfolk reports one new COVID-19 case 

Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit (HNHU) reported one new COVID-19 case on Wednesday and the region sits at 445 lab-confirmed, positive cases.

Officials say 184 of those patients have since recovered.

READ MORE: Toronto, Peel Region move into Stage 2 of province’s reopening plan Wednesday

The region has 32 COVID-19-connected deaths.

Halton Region reports four new COVID-19 cases

Halton Region reported four new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday. The region now has 810 cases, including 731 confirmed positive and 79 probable cases.

The region still has 25 deaths tied to COVID-19 as of June 24, with 12 the result of an outbreak at an institution.

Public health says 722 cases, or more than 89 per cent, have been resolved.

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The region reported a new institutional outbreak as of Tuesday night.  Creek Way Village in Burlington was added to the list of three outbreaks after a resident tested positive for the disease.

The other two outbreaks in Halton are also in Burlington at CAMA Woodlands and Billings Court.

READ MORE: Hamilton loses 46K jobs during COVID-19 pandemic as unemployment rate doubles: FAO

Eighty cases are connected to residents or patients in an institution.

Brant County reports no new COVID-19 cases

For the second day in a row, Brant County’s health unit (BCHU) reported no new COVID-19 cases. The region has 121 total confirmed cases as of June 24.

The county still has only four deaths with 114 total resolved cases.

There is one institutional outbreak at ​Telfer Place retirement residence after two staff members tested positive for the disease in mid-June.


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