Hamilton public health reported 11 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday and another week over week decline in the city’s test positivity rate.
The city’s per cent positivity – representing tests returning from Ontario labs as positive for COVID – checked in at 3.5 per cent as of June 17, a drop from the 5.3 per cent reported last Thursday. Despite the drop, the number is still higher than the province’s average which moved day over day to 1.3 from 1.5 per cent on Wednesday.
The last time Ontario’s positivity rate was this low was Oct. 2.
Earlier this week, Hamilton’s medical officer of health Dr. Elizabeth Richardson said Hamilton’s positivity rate was the third-highest among the province’s 34 health units behind Peel Region and the Porcupine health unit in Timmins as of June 5.
The MOH said she didn’t have an immediate answer to the reason why the numbers were high but said declining volumes of tests and a larger number people being identified as cases in recent months are likely connected.
“So it may just be that the group of people that are going forward now for testing are particularly those who are having symptoms and then we’re identifying a larger number of cases at this point in time,” said Richardson.
Richardson said the number is just one of many indicators to track the spread of the virus and that most key indicators are pointing in the right way.
“So we can’t just look at one indicator, but look at many indicators, and the rest of the indicators are quite supportive in terms of drops,” Richardson said.
“We will continue to look at it, continue to make sure people have access to testing, because that’s of course, a critical thing.”
The city’s active cases were also down again (by 10) for the 28th straight day to check-in at 170 as of June 17.
More than 69 per cent of the city’s 170 active cases are among people under the age of 50, with about 21 per cent of cases with those aged 19 and under.
There was just a single outbreak reported in the city on Wednesday at the Bistro Vie restaurant in Dundas. The surge involves just two cases among workers.
Public health is reporting nine outbreaks across the city as of Thursday involving 36 total cases. Five of the outbreaks are in workplaces tied to 13 cases.
Hamilton’s two hospitals are reporting a combined 38 patients in their facilities with COVID-19, 23 in intensive care units (ICU).
Hamilton Health Sciences has 22 patients currently admitted for COVID-19 with six in ICUs.
St. Joe’s has 18 COVID patients with 15 in ICUs.
The city’s reproductive rate — the average number of people an infected person is passing COVID-19 on to — has not changed since checking in at 0.7 last week.
Hamilton’s current seven-day average of COVID-19 cases dropped day over day to 20 from 21.
Hamilton added to the list of COVID-19 Delta hot spots, accelerates 2nd dose vaccine bookings
Hamilton was one of three health units designated as a COVID-19 hotspot for the Delta variant is of concern by the province on Thursday.
The move will mean the schedule for second doses, for those who got a COVID-19 shot in May, can book an earlier second shot starting Wednesday, June 23.
All Ontarians, regardless of being in a hot spot, who got a vaccination on or before May 9, can rebook for a second dose appointment starting Monday.
There are now 10 regions considered Delta hotspots as of June 17 – Hamilton, Simcoe-Muskoka, Durham Region, Toronto, Halton, Peel, Porcupine, Waterloo, Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph and York.
As of Tuesday, 71.5 per cent of adults in Hamilton have had at least a single shot of a COVID-19 vaccine with at least 430,000 doses administered to date.
Around 50 per cent of youths aged 12 to 17 years have received at least one dose as of June 15.
More than 30.6 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered across Canada with 11.9 million in Ontario, as of Wednesday.
Just over 75 per cent of adult Ontarians have received at least one dose with more than 19 per cent of adults who are fully vaccinated with two shots.View link »