Hamilton reports 981 active COVID cases as four week shutdown begins

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Hamilton public health reported 148 new COVID-19 cases and two new outbreaks Saturday.

Public health reported 981 active cases in the city as of April 2 at 3 p.m., surpassing the recent high of 913 cases on Monday. Hamilton hasn’t topped 1,000 active cases since Jan. 13.

The city now has 15 lab-confirmed and 1,070 suspected variant cases, up 50 from the previous report.

A workplace outbreak was declared at the Royal Bank of Canada Winona branch in Stoney Creek, which has two staff cases. The outbreak is linked to a variant of concern.

An April 1 outbreak at Hatts Off Girls’ Country Home in Dundas, which has one staff case not linked to a variant, was added to public health’s list of outbreaks on Saturday.

There are 46 ongoing outbreaks in Hamilton.

Fourteen Hamilton schools — six public, six Catholic and two French schools — are currently in outbreak. About half of the outbreaks are linked to variants of concern.

Outbreak at a DHL Service Point at 9270 Airport Rd., which had 32 staff cases, and The Nesting Nook child care centre were declared over on April 2.

In total, Hamilton has had about 13,200 cases and 321 deaths. No new deaths were reported Saturday, but five deaths — three people in their 80s and two in their 70s — were reported by public health on Friday.

As of April 2, Hamilton’s reproductive number is 1.2, which is no change from Thursday. The city’s per cent positivity is 3.8 per cent — down from 4.1 per cent the previous day.

Saturday marks the first day of a provincewide shutdown announced on Wednesday by Ontario Premier Doug Ford. The shutdown is expected to last four weeks.

Kate McCullough, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Hamilton Spectator