Hamilton

Paramedics to begin COVID-19 testing at Hamilton apartment building in outbreak

Sixty-seven people have tested positive at Rebecca Towers since mid-March. One person has died. There were 38 active cases in the building as of Wednesday, according to public health.

'Safety is paramount ... this is an important process and wont be rushed,' says superintendent

Hamilton paramedics are set to begin testing residents of Rebecca Towers for COVID-19 on Thursday morning. (Dan Taekema/CBC)

Hamilton paramedics are set to begin testing residents at Rebecca Towers for COVID-19 after an outbreak that's infected dozens.

The downtown apartment building is the site of the first outbreak to be declared at a residential tower in the city.

Sixty-seven people have tested positive since mid-March. One person has died.

There were 38 active cases in the building at 235 Rebecca St. as of Wednesday, according to public health.

Testing is scheduled to begin Thursday morning.

The goal is to get residents swabbed as quickly as possible, but it may not be completed in one day, said paramedic service superintendent David Thompson.

"Safety is paramount in any outbreak setting and appropriate precautions will be taken — this is an important process and won't be rushed," he wrote in an email.

Paramedics are used to working in challenging conditions, Thompson said, so they're well equipped to take on a multi-storey apartment building.

"Our goal is to moved safely and methodically through the testing activities," he said. "Our top priority is to keep the residents and paramedics safe as we take on this important task."

A flag and sign advertise rental units at 235 Rebecca St. There were 38 active cases of the virus at the building as of Wednesday. (Dan Taekema/CBC)

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