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Coronavirus: Hamilton’s medical officer of health concerned as COVID-19 indicators rise

Thirty-eight new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed on Tuesday in Hamilton.

Hamilton Public Health says growing outbreaks at the Barton Street Jail and Salvation Army booth centre now involve 28 cases each, while an outbreak at The Meadows long-term care home in Ancaster is now over.

The outbreak at the Meadows was declared on Dec. 16, 2020, infecting 51 residents and staff members and claiming the lives of nine residents.

Hamilton’s daily COVID-19 statistics also show one more death, as of Tuesday, among residents who contracted the novel coronavirus, raising the city’s total since the start of the pandemic to 279.

There are 356 active cases in the city and one new outbreak involving a single staff member at St. Elizabeth Retirement Residence.

Medical Officer of Health Dr. Elizabeth Richardson says she is “increasingly concerned” that we’ve hit the bottom of the curve and may be creeping back up.

Dr. Richardson points to certain data trends in recent days as the reproductive rate increases, the number of outbreaks increases and the average daily number of new cases moves higher.

She says public health will be watching for “patterns” in the days ahead that would justify new control measures, such as were put in place earlier in the pandemic.

Back in December, for example, Dr. Richardson notes that “people we’re going to work when they were sick, and so we implemented active screening in workplaces.”

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