COVID-19: Two new outbreaks, 47 cases tied to central Hamilton apartment buildings

Click to play video: 'Over 150 cases linked to COVID-19 outbreaks at 3 Hamilton apartments' Over 150 cases linked to COVID-19 outbreaks at 3 Hamilton apartments
WATCH ABOVE: Hamilton Public Health says since mid-March there have been 107 cases linked to one Hamilton apartment and two other nearby apartments are also reporting an increase in cases. Erica Vella has details – May 11, 2021

Public health is investigating two new COVID-19 outbreaks at a pair of Hamilton apartment complexes in the city centre.

On Monday, medical officer of health Dr. Elizabeth Richardson said the investigations involved a combined 47 cases at both the Village apartments at 151 Queen Street North and Wellington Place at 125 Wellington Street.

“This morning, we were able to contact the landlords and ask them to notify all units and notices were being delivered by the landlords today to those apartment buildings,” said Richardson.

Read more: 1 dead, 55 COVID-19 cases tied to outbreak at central Hamilton apartment complex

The 250-unit complex on Queen Street has seen 29 cases across 15 units between April 20th and May 4th, while the 360-unit Wellington street building has 18 cases through seven units from April 17th to May 18th.

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Richardson said the investigations were due to high case counts and concern over further transmission, pointing to an issues of household spread in the Wellington Place surge.

“That’s particularly where risk is higher when people are living together, of course, and sharing the kitchen, sharing the space there,” Richardson said.

The outbreaks are the third reported in the last seven days at a large living space in the city centre.

On Tuesday, public health declared a outbreak at Rebecca Towers on Rebecca Street and Wellington Street North, which started with 55 cases before ballooning to 103 as of Monday.

Cases spread across 17 different units on 10 separate floors, according to the city. One virus-related death has also been connected to that investigation.

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Richardson said testing will be offered to the two new outbreaks to further isolate cases and minimize spread.

Read more: COVID-19: Tenants of Hamilton high-rise say narrative of ‘socialization’ amid pandemic ‘false’

Rebecca Towers’ testing was fulfilled by city staff and paramedics who made a trip out to the building last Thursday.

A committee representing the tenants at 235 Rebecca Street did request a vaccine clinic, but Richardson said that was not going to happen and that the city was instead directing tenants to nearby vaccinations clinics.

Public health also said a requirement to fix a broken elevator was not in the city’s purview.

Richardson admitted the recent outbreaks have put apartment buildings in the spotlight and that the city will be going back over methods to identify risk.

“We do, as I said, have lots of people who are living in those sorts of situations across our city,” said Richardson.

Hamilton has 44 outbreaks as of May 10 involving 403 people.

Read more: Ontario reports more than 2,700 new COVID-19 cases, 19 deaths

The city revealed two new workplace outbreaks on Sunday, including a second Tim Hortons location in Stoney Creek with a pair of cases among employees.

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Public health says there are now two locations of the iconic restaurant chain with outbreaks, with the other near King Street East and Greenhill Avenue.

The other new outbreak also involves four workers and is at a landscaping company, Green Collar.

Outbreaks at workplaces across Hamilton continue to be an issue as the list of active surges grew to 24 on Monday with over 160 total cases involved.

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