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Hamilton reducing number of COVID-19 testing centres as positive cases steadily decline

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Hamilton reducing number of COVID-19 testing centres as positive cases steadily decline

Hamilton Public Health says the number of COVID-19 testing centres will be scaled back in the city.

“With a continued decline in daily COVID-19 cases and outbreaks, the need for testing has also declined,” public health said Monday (June 5).

“Following a decreasing demand for testing, and direction from the Ontario Health West to consolidate symptomatic testing, Hamilton will be scaling back the number of testing and assessment centres in the city in the coming weeks, ensuring the continued ability to increase testing if required in future.”

On July 10, 2021, the East End Assessment Centre at 2757 King St. East will be permanently closed. The West End Assessment Centre at 690 Main St. West will permanently close on July 15.

Hamilton’s primary testing centre will be St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton’s Mountain COVID-19 Testing Centre located at Mohawk College until December 31, 2021. The site will make 400 appointments available daily, with the ability to ramp up to 1,000 daily tests as needed.

Public health added that symptomatic testing will continue to take place to assist vulnerable populations such as those in long-term care facilities and retirement homes, homebound individuals, homeless individuals through the Shelter Health Network and mobile testing teams operated by Hamilton Paramedic Service.

Asymptomatic testing will also continue at select pharmacies.

Resources will be adjusted if circumstances change within the community, according to public health.

For the first time since Sept. 26, 2020, there are zero active COVID-19 outbreaks in Hamilton.

Dr. Elizabeth Richardson, Hamilton’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, noted the milestone during a verbal update on the City’s COVID-19 response to the General Issues Committee (GIC) on Monday.

Also, as of Monday, there are just 92 active cases of the virus in the community currently — the first time in months that number has dipped into the double digits.

Just eight newly confirmed COVID-19 cases are being reported in Hamilton on Monday and no new deaths.

During her update to GIC, Dr. Richardson touted the continued rollout of vaccines in Hamilton, with one walk-in clinic, which welcomed Hamilton youth and their family members, vaccinating more than 200 people this weekend.

Of that more than 200, Richardson said 85 people received their first dose, getting the city closer to its goal of seeing 75 per cent of residents vaccinated.

As of Monday, 579,360 vaccine doses have been administered in Hamilton. In those residents 18 years of age and older, 74.1 per cent have received at least one dose and 42.9 per cent have been fully vaccinated.

Meanwhile, Ontario is reporting 170 new COVID-19 cases on Monday — the lowest daily increase in the number of cases in almost 10 months.

According to Monday’s report, which confirmed one more COVID-19 related death in the province, 34 cases were recorded in Waterloo Region, 27 in Toronto, 18 in Grey Bruce and 13 in Haliburton, Kawartha Pine Ridge District.

All other local public health units reported fewer than 10 new cases.

As of Sunday, more than 15.7 million total COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered across the province.

There are more than 4.8 million Ontarians fully immunized with two doses which is 46.3 per cent of the adult (18+) population. First dose adult coverage stands at 78.3 per cent.

–with files from Amy Kouniakis

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