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Hamilton reports 140 new COVID-19 cases, over 900 active cases

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A physician who’s on the Ontario COVID-19 advisory board says residents should “stay tuned” for a potential spike in coronavirus cases tied to the Easter long weekend.

Infectious diseases specialist Isaac Bogoch told Global News cases connected with last weekend should begin to come to the surface next week, and he expects them to be high.

“We’re not going to see the benefits of the current (stay-at-home) measures that are in place for about another 10 to 12 or so days,” said Bogoch. “So, I think people should get ready because you’re going to see some pretty ugly numbers soon.”

Read more: Ontario reports more than 4,200 COVID-19 cases, second highest case count on record

Ontario reported more than 4,200 new cases on Friday, the second-highest on record, with active cases at 29,627.

Bogoch says regardless of the recent holiday, the decision by the province to ease restrictions in recent months coupled with the spread of the new variants was already having a negative impact on cases.

However, the specialist says the good news is vaccines appear to be having a positive effect, particularly with the most vulnerable populations in long-term care and retirement homes.

He points to mortality rates in the first and second wave compared to the current wave which show a significant decrease.

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“That area has been quiet. Same with community-dwelling seniors over the age of 80,” Bogoch said.

“We don’t have 100 per cent of them vaccinated, but there’s a lot of them that are, and we just don’t see them coming into hospital.”

As of Friday morning, Ontario had administered close to three million doses of COVID-19 vaccines with about 330,000 people fully vaccinated with both required doses.

Hamilton is reporting 124,123 vaccine doses have been put into residents’ arms as of April 8.

Read more: Ontario hospitals told to ‘ramp down’ all elective, non-emergency surgeries due to COVID-19

The clinic at Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) has administered the bulk of the shots, having jabbed about 56,000.

Around 28,000 shots have been given at the St. Joe’s site, about 20,000 through the mobile clinics, close to 12,000 at the large site at First Ontario, close to 5,000 in primary care settings and close to 3,000 at pharmacies.

Hamilton reports 140 new COVID-19 cases

Hamilton public health reported 140 new COVID-19 cases on Friday and another bump in active cases day over day.

The city says active cases are up by 80 from Thursday to 929 as of April 9.

Four new outbreaks were declared on Thursday at three workplaces and another public school.

The outbreak at Prince of Wales Elementary in Central Hamilton involves four students.

Read more: Hamilton reports 2 new COVID-19 deaths, new outbreak at school on the Mountain

There are now 14 outbreaks in city schools tied to 58 cases as of Friday. Four of the surges are with the Hamilton Wentworth District School Board (HWDSB) while five are with the Catholic board (HWCDSB) and another five with other schools not in the public system.

Outbreaks were also declared at ArcelorMittal Dofasco, the Grandview Animal Hospital in Stoney Creek and Nova Steel.

Two senior homes — Westmount Terrace retirement and Macassa Lodge — saw outbreaks end as of Thursday. Each had just single cases with staffers.

Paddock Transportation’s outbreak ended after recording nine cases over 14 days.

The city’s two hospital systems have a combined 100 patients being treated for COVID-19: 65 at Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) facilities and 35 at St. Joe’s.

Read more: Hamilton school boards alert students, staff of possible shift to remote leaning after spring break

St. Joe’s hospitals are reporting acute care occupancy at 92 per cent as of Friday with HHS reporting 94 per cent occupancy.

Three area hospitals are experiencing outbreaks, which account for 44 cases since mid-March and six virus-related deaths.

There have now been 13,827 total coronavirus cases locally since the pandemic began last year. Public health has recorded 332 virus-related deaths.