Hamilton's return to provincial framework 'feels rather quick,' health official says
City's weekly rate of new cases per 100,000 people continues to fall and is at 61
Hamilton's medical officer of health, Dr. Elizabeth Richardson, has expressed some level of unease with the city's return to the provincial framework later this week, even though the number of new cases of COVID-19 have dropped significantly.
Ontario has been in a provincewide "lockdown" since Dec. 26, and a stay-at-home order was added four weeks ago.
On Monday, the provincial government said non-essential retailers in Ontario will be allowed to reopen at limited capacity when stay-at-home orders are lifted.
Premier Doug Ford announced the changes as part of his government's plan to gradually move all of Ontario's 34 public health units back to a colour-coded reopening framework.
"I will say it does feel rather quick to move back into the framework," Richardson said at a news conference Tuesday afternoon.
"For us here in Hamilton, yes, our numbers have been declining, we have come down from a peak of 164 weekly incidence, and for us here, that has been a slow and steady decline.
"So, we're going to be watching those numbers very closely over the week," Richardson said.
Hamilton Public Health Services is reporting 13 new cases of COVID-19 and one death linked to the virus.
There are currently 442 active cases, while the total number of resolved cases now stands at 8,752.
Hamilton's weekly rate of new cases per 100,000 people continues to fall and is at 61.
The new death — a man over the age of 80 — takes to 269 the number of people who have died since March, after contracting COVID-19.
There are currently 25 COVID-19 outbreaks after those at Grace Villa Nursing Home and Victoria Manor were declared over on Feb. 8.
"I know it might seem quite remarkable. It's very important though that you keep an eye on the seven-day average of cases … to see where we're sitting at," Richardson said of the 13 new cases.
"Our seven-day rolling average of cases per day is 53 ... So, these are some of the metrics that will be used to determine where we fall when we move to the provincial COVID-19 framework on Feb. 16.
"We do not know where we will fall in that framework at this point. We will be following the numbers. We will participate in the discussions with the province, and the decision ultimately, as we know, is in the hands of the province," she said.
Status of vaccine distribution
As of the end of day Feb. 9, a total of 20,658 vaccines had been administered — 6,256 at mobile clinics and 14,402 at the fixed clinic at Hamilton Health Sciences.
The fixed-site vaccination clinic is currently vaccinating staff from long-term care and high-risk retirement homes, essential caregivers, and health-care workers from high-risk areas.
Brant and Brantford have 27 active cases according to data online. There were two new cases in the last 24 hours.
There have been 1,382 cases since March and 12 deaths. There's no one currently hospitalized with COVID-19.
A total of 1,343 cases have been marked as resolved.
Haldimand and Norfolk counties are reporting two new cases of COVID-19, with a total of 50 active.
There have been 1,372 cases throughout the pandemic. Of those, 1,279 have recovered.
The local public health unit has linked the virus to 38 deaths.
The number of COVID-19 cases in Halton rose by 53, for a total of 8,844 so far.
Data indicates 393 of those cases are active.
Thirteen of the new cases were in Burlington, which has seen 2,315 cases of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic. There are 79 active cases in the city.
A total of 177 people across the region have died after being infected with the virus, 45 of them in Burlington.
Niagara is reporting 13 new cases of COVID-19. The region has seen 8,227 cases over the course of the pandemic, including 577 that are active.
A total of 353 deaths have been linked to the virus over the course of the pandemic.
Meanwhile, 7,297 cases are now marked as resolved.
Six Nations of the Grand River has 53 active COVID-19 cases, according to Ohsweken Public Health.
There have been 210 cases reported over the course of the pandemic and two deaths.
A total of 155 cases have been marked as resolved.
Ontario reports 1,022 new cases of COVID-19
Ontario reported another 1,022 cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, the fewest on a single day (without data problems) since early November.
Officially, the province logged just 745 additional infections on Feb. 2 — but that figure included no cases from Toronto Public Health due to a major data migration.
The seven-day average of new daily cases rose slightly to 1,367.
There are now about 13,948 confirmed, active cases of COVID-19 provincewide. The number of active cases has steadily declined since its peak at more than 30,500 in mid-January.
The trends come as Ontario's network of labs completed 30,798 tests for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, and logged a test positivity rate of 3.3 per cent. Another 33,273 test samples were added to the queue to be processed.