COVID-19 activity in Hamilton trends toward ‘high and stable’


Published August 4, 2022 at 5:10 pm

For this first time in several weeks, the arrows indicating COVID-19 activity in Hamilton are green and yellow — rather than the more ominous red.

The public health unit dashboard was updated Thursday, showing an overall assessment that transmission status is “high and stable.” Hamilton Public Health bases that on a number of metrics.

The numbers released on Thursday were the first since a pair  of expansions of vaccine eligibility. In mid-July, Ontario approved fourth doses for all adults (lagging neighbouring Quebec by 10 weeks). On July 28, the province began giving pediatric doses to babies and small children between six months and five years old.

Hamilton Public Health unit also strongly recommends wearing a well-fitting mask indoors, especially when it is crowded, while also limiting social contacts.

“Things have changed, and they’ve charged largely because people got vaccinated,” Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger said on Thursday, during a city council general issues committee meeting where Ward 9 Coun. Brad Clark had to clear a gallery of unvaccinated City of Hamilton employees and their supporters.

“And I will continue to speak on behalf of the vast majority of our population that did the right thing for the greater benefit of everyone.

“No one wants to go back to shutdowns, having to close down parks, the way things were earlier (in the pandemic),” the mayor added.

Three indicators on the city COVID-19 dashboard are marked green, indicating a decrease. Those are:

  • New Cases: 7 Day Average. The rolling average was 76 on Monday, which represents a 23.7-per-cent descrease from seven days earlier (94 on July 25). That is slightly higher than the rolling average of 65 recorded a few weeks ago.
  • New Cases: Weekly Incidence per 100,000. Essentially the same figure, but expressed with a different denominator. On Monday, Hamilton had an average of 89 new cases per 100,000 people across the past week. It was 109 on July 25, and 112 on
  • Percent Test Positivity: 7 Day Average. That was at an even 16 per cent for the week ending last Saturday (July 29), after topping 17% in each of the previous two weeks.

Four other indicators are marked yellow, for neutral.

  • Hospital Admissions: 7 Day Average. The average for the past week was 0.7, or four people. It was over two per day during each of the two previous reporting periods.
  • ICU Admissions: 7 Day Average. There have been no new intensive care patients with COVID-19 during the last three reporting periods.
  • Wastewater samples with COVID-19 detected. As of July 24, the viral signal for detecting COVID-19 in wastewater samples has “stabilized.”
  • Active Outbreaks. There were 30 in the city as of Wednesday. That is one fewer than seven days earlier and three fewer than two weeks ago.

The public health unit indicated that Health Canada may soon approve a new vaccine that is intended to offer more targeted protection against the Omicron variants of the virus. That could arrive in the fall.

In both 2020 and ’21, COVID-19 activity increased during the cold-weather months, when the general population was outdoors much less.

Schoolchildren will also be returning to class in about one month. Ontario schools are not required to monitor indoor air quality with the intent of improving ventilation and curbing COVID-19 spread. Some U.S. cities, including Boston and Denver, have begun doing so in their public schools.

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