Hamilton hits 100 active COVID-19 outbreaks, hospitalizations also soar

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Published January 14, 2022 at 6:57 pm

Active COVID-19 outbreaks in Hamilton have reached the triple digits, and hospitalizations where the patient has the virus are nearly double the peak of previous waves.

The city listed 101 active outbreaks as of Friday afternoon (Jan. 14). Hospitalizations were reported to have reached 302, which is a 37-per-cent increase over the past 10 days. That included 40 patients who are in intensive care units (ICUs).

Public health authorities in Hamilton said three weeks ago that they would no longer count outbreaks in private workplaces toward the tally, since they need to marshal resources in higher-risk settings. Thirty-seven of the outbreaks are in seniors’ homes, a sector that was also hard-hit in 2021. That also includes the city’s largest outbreak — 85 cases at the Heritage Green nursing home in Stoney Creek.

On Friday, the provincial government minister responsible for seniors’ homes, Ontario PC Party MPP Rod Phillips resigned as long-term care minister. Phillips also said he would not seek re-election in June.

Groups homes, communal and assisted living account for 28 of the outbreaks.

St. Joseph’s Healthcare and Hamilton Health Science hospital networks account for 19 of the city’s active outbreaks. The hospital networks have 21 outbreaks on all, with another two outside of the city limits at facilities in West Lincoln.

Between them, the hospital networks have 888 staff members who are self-isolating.

Shelters account for another 12 outbreaks. Hamilton-Wentworth Detention Centre also has the second-largest outbreak in Hamilton with 68 cases, including 25 staff members.

The 300-plus hospitalizations is up from 220 earlier this week. During the earlier waves, the most hospitalizations in Hamilton was 161, during the third wave in April 2021.

On a per-capita basis, Hamilton has the second-highest reported COVID-19 case rate of any public health precinct in Ontario, after Lambton County. While tests are hard to find without sparing personal expense, more than 31 per cent of tests have been coming back positive.

The reproductive number in the city is 1.84. Anything above 1.00 represents exponential growth.

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