4 new cases of COVID-19 confirmed in Hamilton, 1 new case in Burlington
Hamilton's new coronavirus cases include a three-month-old baby, a couple in their 60s and one other person
Five new cases of COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in the Hamilton area as of Saturday evening.
Four of the new cases are in Hamilton and one is in the Halton region.
A three-month-old child, a couple in their 60s and one other person account for the new coronavirus cases in Hamilton, according to Dr. Elizabeth Richardson, the city's medical officer of health.
"Early indications are, as we're investigating these cases, is that they are travel-related, however we're still underway in terms of our investigation and getting more details on these cases," she said.
Richardson can confirm the elderly couple went on a cruise in the Caribbean, but cannot confirm any travel details for the other cases.
She adds they all live in their own homes and are self-isolating in their own residences.
There is still no information on one of these positive cases.
Hamilton Public Health still doesn't know if the baby's parents are infected — that is being investigated, and they don't know if any of the other people with the novel coronavirus were in contact with others.
"With all of our investigations, we go through an exhaustive list of contact tracing to determine those things," Richardson said.
With this, there are now five cases of COVID-19 in Hamilton.
A 52-year-old man who had attended a business meeting in New York City, then developed symptoms of the novel coronavirus was confirmed as the city's first case earlier this week.
Hamilton is also investigating at least 22 people to see if they have the virus.
New case of COVID-19 in Halton
In Halton, a Burlington woman in her 50s has also tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
A statement from Halton Region Public Health notes the woman is the third case for Halton.
It adds she returned from a trip to Los Angeles on March 8, before starting to develop symptoms the next day.
The health unit says the woman was tested at Joseph Brant Hospital on March 12 in an isolated room.
"Our care team continues to follow all necessary infection prevention protocols and procedures," said hospital CEO Eric Vandewall. "We are taking all necessary precautions as we screen and care for residents of Halton, and keep our patients, our visitors, our physicians and staff safe."
The woman's test came back positive on the 13th. She's currently at home in self-isolation.
Health officials say they are "actively engaged" in tracing the woman's movements and that she was not symptomatic on her flight.
"While the risk is low, we can expect to see more cases in our community and we are prepared for that," said Medical Officer of Health Dr. Hamidah Meghani in a media release. "We are closely monitoring the situation and continue to take thoughtful action where appropriate."
Risk of general public contracting COVID-19 is 'unlikely'
Dr. Elizabeth Richardson says it remains unlikely anyone in Hamilton will be exposed to the novel coronavirus or be infected by it.
"Residents do need to be mindful that the situation is evolving rapidly and to keep in touch with updates on a daily basis in terms of what is happening."
Emergency Services General Manager Paul Johnson also said a number of city facilities will also be closed starting Sunday including all Hamilton Public Library branches.
The spaces will re-open on April 6.
"We encourage people to continue to be patient and vigilant. Look after one another, certainly help the most vulnerable in our community, the seniors and those marginalized individuals out there who are probably most challenged by all of this and we'll continue to update as required when changes occur," Hamilton mayor Fred Eisenberg said.
Tips to prevent contracting the virus include:
- Avoid physical contact with others.
- Avoid unnecessary gatherings.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Cover your cough with a sleeve or tissue.