Hamilton has 12 new COVID-19 cases, almost 8,000 tests completed in long term care homes

Hamilton, Ont., reported 12 more cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, putting the city’s overall number of cases at 512 with 507 confirmed positive and five probable cases.

The city still has 25 deaths connected to COVID-19 as of May 14.

Hamilton hospitals have 22 patients in care units — 12 at Hamilton Health Sciences and 10 at St. Joseph’s hospitals.

The city says 372 of the city’s 512 COVID-19 cases — or 73 per cent — have been resolved.

As of Thursday, the city has 11 outbreaks at nine long-term care homes (Arbour Creek, Blackadar Continuing Care, Dundurn Place Care Centre, Extendicare Hamilton, Grace Villa, Heritage Green, Idlewyld Manor, Regina Gardens, and Wentworth Lodge) and two retirement residences (The Rosslyn, and The Village of Wentworth Heights).

The city’s medical officer of health told Global News that public health has completed almost 8,000 tests of asymptomatic people from long term care homes as of Thursday.

Dr. Elizabeth Richardson revealed that it was one of two labs the city works with that reached out to public health about 18 potential false-positive tests last week, with 10 of the questionable results tied to individuals at Macassa Lodge long-term care home.

“They got a string of positives, which is quite unusual,” said Richardson.

“They pulled them and took a look at them and went back over things, then called us and said, ‘I know we told you those were positive, but we’re a little concerned.’”

Richardson says she was told by the lab that a batch of the reagents used in the testing had gotten contaminated. After several more tests, eight more false positives were discovered for Hamilton including three people at Heritage Green, three at Wentworth Lodge, one at St. Elizabeth’s Village and one at First Place Retirement Living on King Street East.

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“So when you think about this, the many, many thousands of tests that we’ve done, and particularly just over that 10-day period, it’s a very low rate at which that happens.

Niagara Region reports 12 new COVID-19 cases

Niagara Region reported 12 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday. The region has a total of 575, with almost three-quarters of their total cases — 412 — resolved, according to public health.

Seventy-five of the region’s cases have been connected to residents or patients in an institutional outbreak.

No new cases of COVID-19 in Brant County

Brant County’s health unit reported no new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday.  The region holds at 102 confirmed cases with six people hospitalized as of May 14.

The county has no outbreaks as of Thursday with the latest at Briarwood Gardens retirement home declared over on Wednesday.

The region has had three deaths and 90 resolved cases.

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.

For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.

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