Four new deaths, 230 new COVID cases in Hamilton

·2 min read

More than one in 10 COVID-19 tests are coming back positive in Hamilton — the most it’s ever been.

The city’s per cent positivity — a rate that shows how many tests return positive out of the total tests completed — soared at 11.3 per cent on Wednesday.

Public health discussed what the rising percentage means at a city briefing on Monday.

“With respect to per cent positivity ... it does continue to sit at high levels,” said Michelle Baird, director of operations. It could mean that the city has a high incidence of COVID-19, Baird said. It could also mean that people who have symptoms and are COVID-positive are the ones being tested — and perhaps there isn’t enough testing of asymptomatic people.

It could also mean there aren’t other viruses going around, so when people show “mild” symptoms, they are in fact COVID cases, Baird added.

“We do continue to encourage people that, if you are symptomatic, absolutely go and get tested,” Baird said. “COVID-19 is certainly a possibility even if you do have mild symptoms.”

Hamilton reported four new COVID deaths Wednesday, while the number of hospitalized cases returned to the record 161 patients reported Monday.

The city’s new cases shot to 230, the first time in almost a week that the number is in the 200s.

Public health said they’ve been aware since Friday of an issue delaying some lab reports being entered into the province’s system. In the interim, staff in Hamilton have resorted to manual input for new cases, which “has resulted in some delays and under-reporting of cases over the past several days.”

The city’s seven-day average of new cases is now 155, up from 146 reported Tuesday.

Three of the city’s four deaths appear to be people age 80 or older. The fourth appears to be a person in their 60s.

A total of 359 people in Hamilton have now died with COVID during the pandemic.

Two new outbreaks were declared on April 27 — one at CHCH TV and another at MÖBEL Cabinetry, each with two staff cases.

The outbreaks at McDonald’s on Upper Wentworth Street, Hamilton General’s customer service and Unified Engineering were declared over on April 27.

Maria Iqbal, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Hamilton Spectator