The city stepped up testing for COVID-19 this week, which has detected dozens of new cases that went undiagnosed under the old rules, said the Hamilton medical officer of health.
Hamilton public health has followed provincial guidelines by expanding its screening criteria this week, so that healthcare workers, first responders and others with mild symptoms of coronavirus are automatically tested.
The newly enlarged group also includes residents and workers with mild symptoms in long-term care homes, as well as people who live with someone who has immune problems or heart, lung or kidney disease.
Dr. Elizabeth Richardson said Friday that these expanded screening measures had helped detect, for example, 19 residents of Cardinal retirement homes who were largely asymptomatic.
Since March 16, 3,119 people have visited the city’s two assessment centers and a new drive-through service center opened this week. Public health workers tested 2,553 people.
Richardson gave the figures in a biweekly press conference on the pandemic.
During the briefing, Mayor Fred Eisenberger said that he had declared a state of emergency in order to deploy workers to areas outside their usual jobs when the response to the pandemic so requires.
Eisenberger said there was no reason to declare a state of emergency before because the province had already declared one and city council had already given its top management the power to manage staffing and other issues related to COVID-19.
Eisenberger said that about 1,200 part-time workers in the city are not receiving any hours at the moment due to COVID-19 measures.
Overall, Hamilton has 319 cases on Friday, including five probable and 314 confirmed cases. This is up from Thursday, when it was 306 (301 positive, five likely) and 276 the day before.
Out of the city’s 319 cases, 132 people have recovered and 11 have died. Sixty of the city’s COVID-19 cases were residents of long-term care facilities and 40 people have been hospitalized to date.
Richardson said the COVID-19 outbreak at Wentworth Lodge in Dundas is over.
Here are some figures from other areas:
The Brant County Health Unit, which includes Brantford, reported three days with no new cases. Friday, there were 68 cases, like Wednesday and Thursday.
“Over the past week, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Brant has resolved and we have seen a much more gradual increase,” said Dr. Elizabeth Urbantke, Acting Medical Officer of Health.
“It is important to be cautiously optimistic at this point, but we must keep in mind that it is not over yet. Due to the extended clinical course of COVID-19, we are still aware of cases and hospitalizations. “
“This pandemic turns out to be like a marathon and we are just starting the race. “
Another person died from COVID-19 in Haldimand and Norfolk counties. The Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit reports 23 deaths, compared to 22 on Thursday.
Most of his deaths are residents of the Anson Place care center in Hagersville, where 70 residents tested positive.
The number of cases increased to 155 from 152 on Thursday. The number of retrieved remained solid at 16.
Halton has 406 cases of COVID-19, of which 359 are confirmed and 47 probable. Burlington has 77 cases, of which 66 are confirmed and 11 probable. Twelve people died.
Halton had 393 cases of COVID-19 on Thursday and Burlington had 73.
Niagara experienced a jump of 31 cases from Thursday to Friday.
Friday, 351 cases were confirmed, against 320 the day before and 299 on Wednesday. Of these, 119 have recovered and 26 have died.