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COVID-19: Hamilton reports 50 new cases as Ontario ICUs hit critical capacity

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COVID-19: Hamilton reports 50 new cases as Ontario ICUs hit critical capacity

Hamilton is reporting an increase of 50 newly confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Thursday (Nov. 19) and no new fatalities associated with the virus.

For the first time in two weeks, Hamilton’s death toll remains unchanged from the day before. Twenty-four people — 23 of whom were residents of long term care homes — have died in recent weeks, bring the total number of COVID-19-related fatalities to 72 locally.

With Thursday’s 50 new cases, the total number of COVID-19 cases to have been reported in the city since the start of the pandemic is up to 2,553 with 2,135 (84 per cent) cases having been resolved.

There are currently 17 active outbreaks across the city at the moment and 342 active cases and local hospitals are treating 15 people with the virus presently.

Hamilton’s assessment centres have completed 122,994 COVID-19 tests and an additional 24,206 COVID-19 tests have been completed at other facilities.

According to data compiled by the province of Ontario, there are 40 COVID-19 cases among staff and students in both boards at 27 schools across Hamilton.

Meanwhile, Ontario reported 1,210 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday and 28 new deaths due to the virus.

Health Minister Christine Elliott said 361 cases are in Peel Region, 346 are in Toronto, and 143 are in York Region.

Ontario ICUs hit critical capacity

Ontario now has 150 COVID-19 patients in its intensive care units – a key threshold that government projections have indicated could lead to cancelled surgeries.

The head of the Ontario Hospital Association said Thursday that the province hit that figure as all regions were reporting a rise in admissions.

“As of this morning there are now 150 patients in ICU with COVID-19 related conditions,” Anthony Dale tweeted.

Dr. Michael Warner, the medical director of critical care at Michael Garron Hospital in Toronto, said the province’s ICUs hit the number five days earlier than the government had projected earlier this month.

“This means we’re going to have to limit access to non-COVID-related care, cancel cancer surgeries, cancel hip replacements, knee replacements,” he said. “We don’t want to do this. We can’t do this, people will die if we do this.”

The news comes as Premier Doug Ford and his cabinet are poised to consider new measures, including lockdowns, for the province’s COVID-19 hot spots.

— with file and photo from The Canadian Press

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