Four more COVID deaths in Hamilton and a new outbreak at Canada Bread

·2 min read

Hamilton reported four new COVID-19 deaths and a large new workplace outbreak on Friday.

Two of the deaths appear to be in people 80 and over, and two in the 70 to 79 age group. A total of 248 people have died with COVID in the city — 178 were at least 80 years old, according to public health.

Five new deaths appeared in the city’s outbreak table. The outbreak in the F4 surgical unit at Juravinski Hospital reported its first three deaths. Maxwell’s Retirement Home also had its first death, and Macassa Lodge reported its eighth.

A new outbreak was declared at Canada Bread Company in Mount Hope with 11 staff cases.

The city reported 61 new cases overall, with the largest percentage of recent new cases appearing in the 20 to 29 age group. That group represents 19 per cent of new cases in the last 10 days.

The numbers came amid news of the coronavirus variant first reported in the U.K. appearing in Haldimand-Norfolk Friday, although it’s unclear how many cases are in the region. Public health was not aware of any cases of the variant in Hamilton Friday.

Meanwhile, the COVID-19 reproduction rate grew for the first time in two weeks.

The reproduction number, which represents the average number of secondary cases caused by a single case, rose to 0.98, the highest in two weeks. That breaks the city’s downward trend since Jan. 15.

A reproduction number higher than one means the potential for exponential growth. The current rate means every 100 cases will lead to 98 more on average.

There are six new hospitalized cases overall, but both Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) and St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton reported fewer current COVID-19 patients than the previous day. Combined, they have 119 patients compared to 124 yesterday.

There are now 48 active outbreaks in the city. The biggest one is at Shalom Village, with 217 total cases in both its long-term-care and assisted living sections.

Two outbreaks were declared over on Jan. 28. They were Good Shepherd men’s shelter on Mary Street, which had three staff cases, and Capability Support Services with two staff cases.

Maria Iqbal, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Hamilton Spectator