Hamilton reports 27 new COVID-19 cases, records 3 more virus-related deaths

A University of Saskatchewan community health professor believes the provincial government could be pulling away from masking regulations to soon given how people with compromised immune systems could be impacted by its plan to remove public health measures as early as July 11. Global News

Hamilton reported 27 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday and three more virus-related deaths.

All of the deceased were in their 70s, according to public health. Hamilton has now recorded 395 virus-related death since the pandemic began.

The death toll in the province rose to 8,920 as 33 more deaths were recorded. However, the Ministry of Health noted 11 deaths in Wednesday’s count were from April and May.

One of the city’s new deaths has been connected to an ongoing outbreak at the Hamilton General Hospital on 7 South – a stroke inpatient unit.

Read more: Ontario reports 411 new COVID-19 cases, daily case count lowest since late September

The surge at the hospital is now six days old as of June 9 and involves six workers, according to city data.

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There were no new outbreaks revealed on Wednesday, however, four were declared over on Tuesday at a pair of workplaces, a supportive housing unit and a city housing workshop.

The largest was at the Sweet Paradise Bakery & Deli on the west Mountain tied to four cases among workers.

Hamilton has nine active outbreaks as of Wednesday involving 53 total cases.

Five of the surges are at workplaces tied to 16 cases and two at supportive housing operations connected with 13 cases.

Active cases also dropped by 38 day over day to check in at 336 as of June 9. Over 73 per cent of the city’s active cases are among people under 50. Just over 20 per cent involve teens.

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The city’s percent positivity rate dropped on Wednesday to 5.3 per cent from the 6.1 reported on Tuesday.

The number is still more than double the province’s average, which checked in at 2.0 percent as of June 9 – the same percentage as in late February but the lowest it’s been since Oct. 7, 2020, when it hit 1.9 per cent.

As of the end of May, Hamilton’s health unit recorded the third-highest weekly per cent positivity rate behind units in Peel and the Timmins area, according to data from ICES Western.

Read more: Canada to get 7M Moderna COVID-19 vaccine doses in June, some coming from U.S.

As of Tuesday, there are 390 patients in the province’s intensive care units.

The number of ICU patients in Hamilton’s hospitals remained at 28 on Wednesday with a drop in overall COVID patients in city hospitals from 54 to 45 as of Wednesday.

Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) facilities have 10 out of 27 COVID-19 patients in ICUs, St. Joe’s 14 out of 18 total patients.

Over 10 million vaccines administered in Ontario; specialist says even one dose can prevent severe illness

More than 10.4 million total COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered in the province as of Tuesday. That’s an increase of over 177,000 vaccines since the last update, with about 69,000 getting a first shot and 108,000 a second.

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An estimated 1.2 million have now been fully vaccinated with two doses.

Medical director of infection prevention and control with Trillium Health Partners Dr. Lorne Small says although the second shots are important and give the full benefit of a “booster effect,” just one dose can still help in the fight against the coronavirus.

“Even one shot of the vaccine is incredibly effective at preventing people from getting severely ill or ending up in the hospital if they do get infected,” Small said.

“Most likely, if a person is infected and they have had one shot, they are going to be less likely to be able to transmit that virus because the viral load will be lower.”

Over 381,000 Hamiltonians have had at least one shot as of Tuesday, which equates to around 56.3 per cent of the entire population and 67.7 per cent over 18 having had a dose.

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Over 80 per cent of people 70 and up have had a COVID-19 vaccine, while just 35 per cent of youth aged 12 to 17 have had a shot.

Smalls says the magic number for Canada is 70 per cent of the entire population to allow for a “critical mass of immunity,” which would allow for more freedoms like travelling and joining capacity crowds at large venues.

Read more: Fully vaccinated Canadian travellers can skip hotel quarantine come July: feds

“Here in Canada and in Ontario, we’ve kind of gone a little bit more measured and kind of put the onus of reopening on the population rather than on the individual. And I do think that’s the right message,” said Small.

Another positive sign on Wednesday came from the federal government, which will revoked its mandatory COVID-19 hotel quarantine for Canadians returning to the country come July.

As of June 9, Public Health Canada reported over 62 per cent of those over 12 have had a vaccine dose, while over 70 per cent of Ontarians in the same age range have had at least one dose.

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