Hamilton’s mayor says the next few days are likely to set the tone for whether the city will go into another lockdown.
On Friday, key COVID-19 epidemiological data grew a little more, according to public health, and could be indicators for a drop from the ‘red – control’ category back to ‘grey – lockdown.’
One of the key numbers, the weekly rate of new cases per 100,000 population, went up again on Friday, moving to 89 per 100,000.
Mayor Fred Eisenberger told Global News that 100 per 100-thousand is really the magic number that’s been used all the way along to determine whether another drop to ‘grey’ will be needed to stem rising cases.
“The average over the week is how that’s going to be determined,” Eisenberger said.
“I suspect on Monday we’ll get a better understanding of whether the medical officer of health believes that there needs to be a change.”
On Thursday Premier Doug Ford said he’ll wait for advice from the province’s medical officer Dr. David Williams and the local medical officer before recommending a downgrade.
Eisenberger says the “concern” over rising variant cases is paying a part in the possibility of further restrictions.
“Dr. Richardson has said on many occasions that the greater concern is that these variant numbers are going up, our case numbers are going up, and certainly it has now reached the threshold that would consider us to be looking at a more of a lockdown situation,” said Eisenberger.
Hamilton reports 124 new COVID-19 cases, two deaths
Hamilton reported 124 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, the second-highest daily case count since Jan. 7 when the city recorded 135.
Public health also reported two new deaths involving a pair of people in their 80s.
The city says the Juravinski’s F3 acute care unit has its first death from an outbreak. It currently has the largest of the hospital surges with a total of 44 cases since the oubreak was declared on March 12.
There are now 103 coronavirus cases in seven current outbreaks at city hospitals.
The latest outbreak declared on Thursday at St. Joe’s Charlton campus in Central Hamilton after three patients tested positive for the virus in its dialysis unit.
The hospital says the outbreak will not affect regularly scheduled treatments for patients.
Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) has five outbreaks as of Friday with three at Hamilton General and a pair at the Juravinski.
Additional outbreaks declared on Thursday include two public elementary schools, Dr. J. E. Davey in Central Hamilton and Greensville in Dundas.
The outbreak at J.E. Davey involves two students and staff member while the surge at Greensville involves one student and one worker.
Three outbreaks were declared over on Thursday — at Good Shepherd Men’s Centre on Mary Street, Electromart, and Supercuts in Waterdown. The largest of the three was the outbreak at Good Shepard which involved 14 cases over 33 days.
Hamilton has 32 outbreaks as of March 19 which also include 68 cases among six shelters and 13 cases at five public schools.
The city saw 35 newly screened-positive variant cases as of Friday which puts the city’s total such cases to 361. Of all cases, nine have been identified as the B.1.1.7 variant first discovered in the U.K.
The city’s two hospitals have a combined 111 patients being treated for COVID-19, 94 at Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) facilities and 17 at St. Joe’s.
Active cases are up by 35 to 621 as of Friday.
Public health says 37 per cent (256) of the city’s 693 new cases in the last 10 days involve people under the age of 29.
Halton reports 49 new COVID-19 cases, hits 200 deaths amid pandemic
Halton Region reported 49 new COVID-19 cases on Friday and its 200th death since the pandemic began a year ago.
The death is the first in three days and was recorded in Halton Hills.
Active cases were up slightly day over day by eight on Friday for a total of 293.
Public health says there are now 299 possible variant cases adding 12 new cases to the list on March 19.
The region has had 10,253 total coronavirus cases since the pandemic began.
Halton has 21 active outbreaks as of Friday but only three tied to health facilities in Oakville and Halton Hills. The outbreaks, at a retirement home and LTCH in Oakville plus the Georgetown hospital, account for a combined 32 coronavirus cases.
The hospital has had five virus-related deaths since the surge began on Feb. 13.
On Friday, people 75 years and older could begin booking appointments to receive one of the approved COVID-19 vaccines at five regional clinics. Indigenous adults 55 and over have also been added to the next round of vaccine eligibility.
Public health says the appointments need to be booked through Halton’s online booking system or calling 311. Bookings through the province’s new online portal are currently only for residents 80 years of age or older.
Public health has administered 52,000 COVID-19 vaccines as of Friday. Close to 12,000 doses have been given out by mobile teams, while at least 40,000 were administered at fixed clinics and community sites as of March 19.
Niagara reports 48 new COVID-19 cases, over 46K vaccine doses handed out
Niagara public health reported 48 new COVID-19 cases on Friday and a bump in vaccinations with the emergence of mass clinics.
The region is reporting that close to 46,000 doses have been given with Niagara Health administering just over 32,000 doses and public health another 14,000 as of Wednesday.
Eleven clinics across the region are operating on a rotating schedule with a different municipality administering doses each day.
The region added 16 new variant cases on Friday and has 192 total variant cases. Four have been identified as the B.1.1.7 variant. There are no confirmed cases for any of the other subtypes of the coronavirus.
Niagara’s active cases are up day over day by 22 to 319, with St. Catharines and Niagara Falls having the most at 60 and 56 cases respectively.
The region has had 9,119 total coronavirus cases and 373 deaths since the pandemic began.
Niagara’s seven-day average number of new cases per 100,000 dropped for a second day in a row from 47.16 to 40.28 as of March 19.
Public health says there are 23 active outbreaks including three at health facilities, a pair of retirement homes and a long-term care home.
Haldimand Norfolk reports 10 new COVID-19 cases, over 15,000 vaccinations
Haldimand Norfolk reported 10 new coronavirus cases on Friday with active cases steady at 48 for the second day in a row.
Both counties have accounted for 1,528 total COVID-19 cases amid the pandemic and 39 deaths.
There are no outbreaks involving health facilities as of March 19.
Public health says more than 15,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in both counties combined as of Friday, which represents about 12 per cent of the region’s population.
More than 1,600 people have completed their required two shots.
A provincial order has put some COVID-19 vaccinations in Haldimand Norfolk on hold for up to four months.
Brant County reports four 10 new COVID-19 cases, new outbreak at Brantford school
The Brant County Health Unit reported 10 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday and a drop in active cases day over day to 81 as of March 19.
Public health revealed another outbreak at a public school – Holy Cross Catholic elementary in Brantford. The surge involves a pair of workers.
The region is now managing six active outbreaks in the community: at four schools, a nursing home, and a workplace.
The county has had 1,656 coronavirus cases and 12 virus-related deaths since the pandemic began last year.
The region added one new variant case on Friday. The county has 31 variant cases with none having their lineage classified.
Public health says close to 19,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in Brant County with more than 2,500 people having completed their vaccinations as of March 19.View link »