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New outbreak at Juravinski Hospital as Hamilton reports two new COVID-19 deaths

Posted: January 26, 2021

(January 25, 2021)

By: Maria Iqbal, Yahoo News

A third Juravinski Hospital unit is in outbreak as the city reported two new COVID-19 deaths and 71 new cases on Friday.

Public health reported two new COVID-19 deaths overall, but also increases to death tolls tied to ongoing outbreaks.

One of the new deaths appears to be a person in their 80s or more, the age group which has more than 70 per cent of the city’s deaths. The other new death appears to be a person in their 70s.

Public health’s outbreak table also showed four more deaths related to outbreaks.

Three more deaths were reported at Macassa Lodge, a seniors’ home operated by the city. The home has had five COVID-19 deaths since Jan. 1.

One new death was reported at Juravinski’s Unit E3, a clinical teaching unit, bringing its total to six since Jan. 1.

At an Ontario Health Coalition news conference Friday, family members of long-term-care residents across the province complained about how staffing shortages led to residents waiting for extended periods to use washrooms or be fed. The group’s executive director called for “immediate action.”

“People are dying at a rate that we have never seen before,” said Natalie Mehra.

The province reported a total of 3,350 resident deaths in long-term care, out of a total 5,701 deaths as of Jan. 21. A Jan. 20 report by the Ontario COVID-19 Science Advisory Table said there have been more cumulative long-term-care home outbreaks in the second wave than the first one, while resident deaths and infection rates were lower.

However, the picture is evolving, with reports of a new strain of the novel coronavirus being identified at a long-term-care home in Barrie. The fast spreading variant infected more than 55 people at the home in 48 hours.

Mehra emphasized the need for “immediate recruitment” of staff.

“That means improvement of wages and working conditions so staff can be recruited and retained,” she said.

Public health did not provide a breakdown of vaccine doses administered through its mobile clinic. About 4,697 doses were given by the end of Jan. 21, “largely” including long-term-care and “high-risk” retirement home residents.

The number “may include some staff and essential caregivers,” said spokesperson Jacqueline Durlov in an email.

New cases were reported in multiple outbreaks. Macassa Lodge had between three and four new cases. The city reported 37 cases in its total, but the breakdown of resident, staff and visitor cases totalled 38.

The outbreaks at Rygiel Supports for Community Living in West Hamilton, Hamilton Downtown Family YWCA, Maxwell’s Retirement Home and the Martino-owned Victoria Manor I each had one new case.

Juravinski Hospital Unit E4 is back in outbreak as of Jan. 21 with three staff cases. This is the third current outbreak at the hospital. Units E3 and F4 each reported one new case.

The satellite site at Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) had one new case on the second floor.

In the outbreaks at the Charlton campus of St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton, there was one new case each in the surgical unit and 5MG unit.

There are currently 109 COVID-19 patients admitted at HHS and St. Joseph’s.

The outbreaks at the Village of Wentworth Heights and St. Joseph’s internal medicine unit at Charlton were declared over on Jan. 21.

Hamilton’s weekly rate of new cases per 100,000 continued to decrease — it’s now 98 compared to 103 on Thursday.

The number of tests coming back positive is 3.9 per cent over the last seven days, down from 4.7 per cent reported on Thursday.

Meanwhile, the number of hospitalized cases throughout the pandemic rose by 11, to 587.

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