Hamilton will still have enough COVID-19 cases to be in lockdown by end of June: data
Public health doctor says majority of Wave 3 infections to hit people aged 9 to 59-years-old
Modelling from Hamilton Public Health shows by the end of June, the city will still have enough new daily cases to be in lockdown or the red-control zone.
Dr. Doug Sider, a Hamilton Public Health physician used projections from Scarsin to highlight the news.
"We could still be in the range of 50 to 70 cases per day. And that translates probably into still remaining in the grey-lockdown zone or hovering between the grey-lockdown zone and the red control zone of the provincial response framework," he said on Monday during a board of health meeting.
Mayor Fred Eisenberger said it will be a challenge to keep people motivated to continue following public health measures.
"It's a bit of an oxymoron to tell people to stay at home and at the same time open up a whole range of different things up there that they can get to. It really doesn't in my view meet the objective eliminating the spread as much as humanly possible," he said during a Monday media briefing, pointing to the stay-at-home measures.
"We're seeing a lot of push back on a lot of the areas that would allow us to constrain that mobility ... people are fatigued."
But he said people can't give up yet.
Sider also said he expects the majority of Wave 3 infections to hit people aged nine to 59-years-old.
The modelling shows that the peak of this wave is expected to come later in April or early May, with 180 to 230 new cases per day.
It also showed this wave is eclipsing the peak of Wave 2 in just half the time.
"This is the highest that our activity levels have been at to date," said Dr. Stephanie Hughes, an epidemiologist at Hamilton Public Health.
214 new cases, 2 new deaths on Monday
It comes as Hamilton recorded its second-highest number of new COVID-19 cases in a single day.
Public health recorded 214 new infections and two new deaths. On Friday, the city saw its highest case count ever at 247 cases.
The city has 1,403 active COVID-19 cases. The city's seven-day average of new cases is at 175, and 7.2 per cent of tests are coming back positive — which are some of the highest levels Hamilton has ever seen.
Hughes said some 65 per cent of recently reported cases have screened positive for variants.
Richardson said during a Monday media briefing public health doesn't know where roughly a third of infections come from.
There have been 15,517 cases since last March and 346 people who had COVID-19 have died.
McMaster preparing to send medical residents into ICUs
McMaster University is preparing to send medical residents into Hamilton intensive care units (ICUs) as COVID-19 cases continue to push local hospitals to their limits. Those are students who have already received their doctorate of medicine.
In a memo from April 12, Dr. Parveen Wasi, associate dean of the Postgraduate Medical Education program for the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine, told students the program was "preparing for requests for learner redeployment to ICU, potentially as of April 19."
"As we continue to see an increase in ICU admissions, we may be at the place already experienced in other countries — triaging prior to critical care interventions. Something we discussed at the beginning of the pandemic but hoped we would never get to."
That means hospitals would have to choose between patients to determine who should get critical care.
WATCH: Ontario doctors prepare to triage care for sickest COVID-19 patients
In an email statement on Monday afternoon, Wasi added Hamilton, Niagara, Brant and Kitchener-Waterloo are working together to get medical residents to "contribute in the most effective way."
Dr. Elizabeth Richardson, the city's medical officer of health, said she wasn't aware of the memo, but called them "intense measures."
"As much as we may be able to get beds, we may be able to get space, we may be able to get ventilators, we don't have the people who are trained and who have been doing this work, we don't have extra numbers of those people waiting to come to work," she said at the afternoon briefing.
"I'm not at all surprised by it."
During the morning board of health meeting, Richardson said the acute medicine and surgical unit occupancy at St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton is 95 per cent while Hamilton Health Sciences is at 92 per cent.
She said the decision to pause elective surgeries is preventing the numbers from being higher.
'Meanwhile, ICU beds are 94 per cent full at St. Joe's and 91 per cent full at HHS. That includes COVID-19 patients, urgent care patients (like someone seriously injured in a car crash).
There are 151 patients with the virus in Hamilton hospitals.
Local hospitals have been shuffling staff and shuttering services to fend off the growing number of patients during the pandemic.
The patients in hospitals are also younger than they were in previous waves.
40 active outbreaks in Hamilton
Hamilton has 40 active outbreaks.
The newest outbreaks are:
- Hamilton General Hospital 5S Unit (Cardiac Surgical Unit) with three patient/student cases.
- Friends of Jesus Christ Ministries of Greater Hamilton & Burlington with four patron cases.
- Hatts Off Inc. in the East Mountain with one staff case.
Outbreaks at Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Elementary School and The Meadowlands Retirement Residence have been declared over.
27 per cent of all eligible Hamiltonians vaccinated
Twenty-seven per cent of all eligible Hamiltonians have been vaccinated.
Public health has administered 153,551 doses as of Sunday evening.
Richardson said people 40 and older can get the AstraZeneca vaccine at pharmacies tomorrow and added people will need to book appointments through the pharmacies.
She added there are some mobile vaccine pop-up clinics scheduled Monday to Wednesday for people who live in neighbourhoods with L9C, L8W, L8L, L8N, L9L postal codes.
- Chedoke Twin Pad arena.
- Salvation Army Mountain Citadel on Stone Church Road East.
- Salvation Army Meadowlands on Stone Church Road West.
She also said there are some 300,000 people in the city meet eligible criteria for Phase 2 of province's framework for vaccine roll out.
The county of Brant and Brantford have 256 active cases, according to data online.
There were 25 new cases over the last 24 hours.
There have been 2,361 cases since March 2020 and 14 deaths. There are 11 people hospitalized with COVID-19.
There are 2,091 cases marked as resolved.
There have been 40,368 doses of the vaccine administered.
Haldimand and Norfolk counties are reporting a total of 291 active cases of COVID-19.
There have been 2,026 cases throughout the pandemic. Of those, 1,690 have recovered.
The local public health unit has linked the virus to 40 deaths.
There have been 30,848 doses of the vaccine administered.
The number of COVID-19 cases in Halton rose by 151 over the past 24 hours, for a total of 13,542 so far.
Data indicates there are currently 1,009 active cases.
Fifty-two of the new cases reported were in Burlington, which has seen 3,179 cases of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic. There are 219 active cases in the city.
A total of 206 people across the region have died after being infected with the virus, 51 of them in Burlington.
The region has seen a total of 2,339 variant cases.
There have been 144,667 doses of the vaccine administered in Halton.
Niagara is reporting 169 new cases of COVID-19. The region has seen 12,141 cases over the course of the pandemic, including 1,739 that are active.
A total of 384 deaths have been linked to the virus over the course of the pandemic.
Meanwhile, 10,018 cases are now marked as resolved.
There have been 134,679 doses of the vaccine administered in Niagara by public health. As of Thursday Niagara Health administered 68,397 doses.
Six Nations of the Grand River is reporting nine active cases of COVID-19. There have been 453 total cases, and 434 are resolved. Ten people have died.
A total of 2,211 people have received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine, while 676 people have received both doses.
With files from Christine Rankin