Number of COVID-19 cases in Hamilton back at 488 after false positives
Ontario reported 294 new cases on Sunday, the lowest daily number since March 31
Ten new cases of COVID-19 were tallied in Hamilton over the weekend but, due to a number of false positives included in the city's statistics on Friday morning, the total number of cases remains at 488.
The coincidence is a result of 10 tests that came back "weakly positive" during mass testing of staff at Macassa Lodge, according to Dr. Bart Harvey, associate medical officer of health.
"Having 10 positives in a single batch is not unheard of, but it's unusual," he explained.
Staff at the lab in Hamilton contacted their provincial counterparts who tested the samples using two different methods and reported they came back negative.
However, despite being negative, those cases weren't immediately removed from the city's website, leading to an increase in cases Saturday that later appeared to drop when the issue was identified and they were taken out of the total, Harvey explained.
"We didn't actually correctly remove those 10 until today's posting," he said Sunday evening.
Of the 488 cases reported on Sunday morning 483 are confirmed and five are considered probable.
Twenty-three people in Hamilton have died.
The number of outbreaks in the city has dropped to six — five of which are at long-term care or retirement homes and one at a Mission Services women's shelter. Public health declares an outbreak even if a single resident or staff member tests positive.
There was good news at the provincial level, too. Ontario reported 294 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday, the lowest daily number of new cases since March 31.
Over the weekend some area trails started to open up, with residents getting active outdoors while keeping their distance.
Sunday also saw the Canadian Forces Snowbirds soar over Hamilton and the surrounding area as part of "Operation Inspiration," aimed at boosting morale during the pandemic
A total of 558 COVID-19 cases were recorded in the Niagara Region Sunday.
Fifty-three people have died, 114 cases are considered active and 391 are resolved, according to statistics share by public health.
There are six outbreaks of COVID-19 in the region, including at the Niagara Health sites in St. Catharines and the Greater Niagara General Hospital Niagara Falls.
The Halton Region saw six new cases of COVID-19 Sunday, bringing its total to 538 cases.
Five new recoveries were also tallied, adding up to 440 so far.
The number of deaths connected to the virus remained the same at 23.
Seven of the people who have died are from Burlington where there are 111 total cases and 87 recoveries.
There are 199 lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Haldimand and Norfolk counties as of Sunday.
That means one more person has tested positive for the virus since Friday, when the area added two new cases following four days without any change.
Thirty people have died, while 75 have recovered.
The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Brant County rose to 102 Sunday.
Eighty-five of those cases are considered resolved, while six people are currently in hospital and three have died.
Statistics shared by the health unit show 60 per cent of cases are female, with the other 40 per cent male.
Three outbreaks are still listed as ongoing. One resident at Telfer Place Long Term Care Home has tested positive, as has one staff member at Briarwood Gardens Retirement Home.
Two staff members at St. Joseph's Lifecare Centre also have the virus, marking the second outbreak at the home in Brantford, according to health officials.
- This story has been amended to include the correct number of COVID-19 cases in Hamilton and accurately reflect the changes in the number of cases since Friday. This was done to address confusion as result of 10 false positive tests that were included by the city in its total and remained listed on its website through a portion of the weekend.May 10, 2020 7:57 PM ET