COVID-19 outbreaks at two Hamilton high rises declared over

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Published May 28, 2021 at 2:50 pm

Outbreaks at two downtown Hamilton high rises have been declared over as of Thursday (May 27).

The outbreak at Rebecca Towers, which was declared on May 3, saw 110 people from the building test positive for COVID-19 and one person died as a result.

An outbreak at Wellington Place Apartments was declared one week later on May 10 and in total saw 45 people from the building test positive for the virus.

Hamilton’s Public Health Services declared the outbreaks over on Thursday, 14 days since the last case symptom onset and no additional inter-unit exposures to COVID-19 have been identified.

An outbreak at another highrise in the city’s core, at The Village Apartments on Queen St. N, is still ongoing and has seen 74 people from the building test positive for the virus.

Tenants of the beleaguered building on Rebecca Street celebrated the occasion of the end of the outbreak by announcing it on Twitter and taking a moment to thank the residents of the tight-knit building for their tireless efforts in raising awareness of residents’ plight.

“We have survived one of the scariest things most of us have ever faced. We have emerged from this crisis as a strong, connected community of tenants who will continue to care for each other and fight together to win the things we deserve: safe, affordable, secure homes,” the Rebecca Towers Tenants Twitter thread posted Friday (May 28) said.

“Many thanks to our neighbours who pulled together to support each other in this difficult time, including organizing together to win an on-site vaccine clinic as well as coordinating a foodshare & PPE drive for neighbours in isolation.”

The Twitter thread also takes aim at the City of Hamilton and PHS managers for their response to the crisis in the building and calls out Toronto-based Medallion Inc., the property management firm that owns the building.

When the outbreak was declared, tenants of the 17-story, 164-unit high rise reported that just one elevator had been servicing the entire building for months and that there were serious concerns about the building’s ventilation and cleanliness.

“No thanks to the landlord who still refuses to acknowledge the tenant committee and has not granted any of our reasonable requests re: cleaning, elevator, ventilation,” Friday’s thread said.

“The only thing Medallion has done is post Public Health signage & install hand sanitizer stations.”

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