COVID-19: Hamilton reports 124 new cases, drop in positive test results

Public health reported a drop in the percentage of Hamilton tests returning from Ontario labs as positive for COVID-19 on Thursday.

After more than 10 days of hovering over 10 per cent, the positivity rate dropped day over day from 11.9 per cent on Wednesday to 8.8 per cent as of Thursday afternoon.

The rate is still above the last reported daily number from the province on May 12, which was at 5.7 per cent.

Read more: Ontario reports more than 2,300 new COVID-19 cases, 32 deaths

Ontario’s medical officer of health, Dr. David Williams, said at a press conference on Thursday the number coming down from 6 per cent was encouraging, since a number under 6 has not been seen since April 2.

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Overall cases in Ontario have also slid since late April, with cases dropping from over 4,000 a day to under 3,000 as of Thursday.

Despite the positive signs, the province opted to extend its stay-at-home order until June 2.

Ontario’s medical officer of health Dr. David Williams said Ontario is still seeing numbers similar to what was seen at the peak of the second wave of the pandemic.

“These are very important times,” Williams said.

“We’re in this transition time and hopefully by the time we are at the 2nd of June we will be in a much better position if we stay steadfast and follow what we are doing now.”

Earlier in the week, Williams said he’d like for cases to be under at least 1,000 a day to see an easing of restrictions.

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Read more: COVID-19: Doug Ford extends Ontario’s stay-at-home order until June 2

On Thursday, he said multiple metrics will precipitate a “steady and slow motion” as the MOH wants to avoid what happened between the second and third wave when cases did not come down far enough.

“We do not want to repeat that again,” Williams said.

“We want to open things, if we are going to open things up with the dimmer switch, we want to open and stay open.”

Hamilton reports 124 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death

Hamilton reported 124 new COVID-19 infections on Thursday and the 373rd virus-related death.

Public health recorded another death at the Juravinski Hospital’s Unit F4, the hospital’s third in an outbreak that’s seen 17 infections since April 30.

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The deceased was a person in their 80s.

There were three new outbreaks revealed on Thursday, which include a pair of workplaces.

All three of the surges each involve three cases among workers at Adlers Tile & Carpet, ArcelorMittal Dofasco’s Batch Anneal and Image Honda.

As of May 13, the city has 20 outbreaks in workplaces involving more than 145 total cases.

A pair of outbreaks at workplaces were also closed as of Wednesday at Stack Pole International in Ancaster and the Himalaya Restaurant in East Hamilton. Both outbreaks lasted 12 days.

Public health says three outbreaks at apartment buildings in the downtown area only went up slightly day over day by two cases to 165 between Rebecca Towers, The Village and Wellington Place.

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

Hamilton has 40 total outbreaks as of May 13 involving at least 450 people.

There are 129 patients with COVID-19 in Hamilton hospitals as of May 13. Hamilton Health Sciences says they have 91 patients, with 34 in intensive care units (ICU) and St. Joe’s has 38 patients, with 27 of those in an ICU.

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The city’s last recorded reproductive number from Friday is at 1.12, which indicates there is still spread of the virus within the community.

The seven-day moving average of cases was at 111 as of Thursday.

The last update from public health on Hamilton’s cases per 100,000 was at 146 as of Tuesday.

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