COVID-19: Hamilton avoids lockdown but public health introduces new local measures


Published December 4, 2020 at 4:09 pm

Hamilton has avoided a lockdown just as it reports 42 newly confirmed cases on Friday (Dec. 4).

Even as the province has decided to keep Hamilton in the ‘red control’ category, Hamilton’s Chief Medical Officer of Health announced a number of additional public health measures.

“Hamilton is seeing our hospitals overcapacity, we are seeing residents not being able to acquire necessary healthcare and we are seeing outbreaks impacting the community in high numbers,” Dr. Elizabeth Richardson said in a press release.

“I understand that implementing additional measures adds pressure to our local business owners and residents, I hope that during this critical time the proper public measures are followed in order to gain better control of the rise in cases of COVID-19 locally.”

The additional measures will come into effect Saturday morning (Dec. 5) at 12:01 a.m.

Some of the new measures include:

  • reducing capacity and limits at shopping malls and retail establishments
  • active screening at workplaces, shopping malls and retail businesses
  • posting capacity limits based on physical distancing requirements
  • appointing a manager to develop, implement and actively monitor a Safety Plan in workplaces, shopping malls and retail businesses

More details on restrictions within the City of Hamilton can be found on the city’s website.

Categories in the Provincial COVID-19 Framework and changes for the city of Hamilton can be found in the Keeping Ontario Safe and Open Framework.

As of Friday, Hamilton’s total number of COVID-19 cases is up to 3,402 with 2,750 having been resolved. To date, 94 people have died locally as a result of the virus.

There are currently 22 active outbreaks in the community at the moment and it is believed there are 537 active cases of the virus.

In Hamilton, the latest weekly rate of new cases per 100,000 population reported is 79.7. The average number of cases (seven-day moving average) reported per day is 67. The positivity rate among tests is 3.2 per cent.

Hamilton hospitals are treating 27 people with the virus currently.

According to data shared on the province of Ontario’s website, there are 51 COVID-19 cases among staff and students in 33 schools across Hamilton.

Meanwhile, Ontario is reporting 1,780 new cases and 25 deaths on Friday, bringing the provincial total to 123,526 and 3,737 deaths associated with the virus.

Health Minister Christine Elliott said spread had “hit a critical point” in the province where there are 633 new cases in Toronto, 433 in Peel and 152 in York Region.

— with a file and photo from the Canadian Press

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