Hamilton focuses on long-term care and residential care facilities for enhanced testing

News Apr 17, 2020 by Kevin Werner Stoney Creek News

Hamilton is ramping up novel coronavirus testing for health-care workers, first responders, and staff and residents at long-term care facilities in the city.

“We now have enhanced capacity to do that testing,” said Dr. Elizabeth Richardson, Hamilton’s medical officer of health. “We know testing is a fundamental part of controlling outbreaks like this one.”

COVID-19 has invaded long-term care and residential care facilities, resulting in high numbers of deaths and severely sick people in Hamilton and other parts of the country.

During an April 15 town hall event, Richardson said the city is increasing testing for staff and residents in these facilities as part of Hamilton’s efforts to curb the COVID-19 outbreak.

She said the coronavirus testing will be conducted on a “much broader” scale “to see what is going on in these facilities.

“We are still coming to understand this virus and how it works, how long people are pre-asymptomatic. We are working hard to increase testing in those settings,” Richardson said. 

Ontario expanded its priority coronavirus testing April 16 to include essential workers, residents and staff of homeless shelters and group homes, and people living with health-care workers.

Hamilton has seen five of its six outbreaks occurring at long-term care facilities, including Heritage Green Nursing Home, Cardinal Retirement Residence and Wentworth Lodge. Richardson said as of April 15, public health announced the outbreak at Wentworth Lodge was over after one person tested positive.

As of April 17, Hamilton has 302 positive tests cases for the virus and there have been 11 deaths, the majority in residential care facilities.

Ontario health officials have said the peak of the coronavirus is expected this week.

Hamilton is also opening another assessment centre at the Dave Andreychuk Mountain Arena at 25 Hester St., starting April 17. The drive-thru testing centre will be the third one, operating with the others at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton at 2757 King St. E. and the West End Clinic at 690 Main St. W., which were opened on March 16. Richardson said the two assessment centres had 2,850 visits and there have been 2,270 tests conducted.

Richardson said the test result wait times have dropped significantly. Previously, a test result would take up to 11 days, now it is down to two to three days.

Premier Doug Ford has expressed frustration that Ontario has been processing a daily number of tests below its 16,000 capacity. On April 16, the province reported completing 9,001 tests.

Meanwhile, the city’s efforts to enforce physical distancing and introducing other measures has resulted in its coronavirus cases dropping.

“The numbers are staying fairly low and are fairly consistent,” she said. “They are not climbing sharply.”

Hamilton’s cases are doubling about every 20 days, an improvement she said, from doubling every two to three days, if there were no physical distancing measures in place.

Earlier this month, Hamilton’s cases were doubling every five days, prompting public health officials to encourage people to stay home for the Easter holiday weekend.

“This is really good news,” she said.

Hamilton starts enhanced coronavirus testing in long-term care and retirement facilities

Assessment centre opens at Dave Andreychuk Mountain Arena

News Apr 17, 2020 by Kevin Werner Stoney Creek News

Hamilton is ramping up novel coronavirus testing for health-care workers, first responders, and staff and residents at long-term care facilities in the city.

“We now have enhanced capacity to do that testing,” said Dr. Elizabeth Richardson, Hamilton’s medical officer of health. “We know testing is a fundamental part of controlling outbreaks like this one.”

COVID-19 has invaded long-term care and residential care facilities, resulting in high numbers of deaths and severely sick people in Hamilton and other parts of the country.

During an April 15 town hall event, Richardson said the city is increasing testing for staff and residents in these facilities as part of Hamilton’s efforts to curb the COVID-19 outbreak.

She said the coronavirus testing will be conducted on a “much broader” scale “to see what is going on in these facilities.

“We are still coming to understand this virus and how it works, how long people are pre-asymptomatic. We are working hard to increase testing in those settings,” Richardson said. 

Ontario expanded its priority coronavirus testing April 16 to include essential workers, residents and staff of homeless shelters and group homes, and people living with health-care workers.

Hamilton has seen five of its six outbreaks occurring at long-term care facilities, including Heritage Green Nursing Home, Cardinal Retirement Residence and Wentworth Lodge. Richardson said as of April 15, public health announced the outbreak at Wentworth Lodge was over after one person tested positive.

As of April 17, Hamilton has 302 positive tests cases for the virus and there have been 11 deaths, the majority in residential care facilities.

Ontario health officials have said the peak of the coronavirus is expected this week.

Hamilton is also opening another assessment centre at the Dave Andreychuk Mountain Arena at 25 Hester St., starting April 17. The drive-thru testing centre will be the third one, operating with the others at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton at 2757 King St. E. and the West End Clinic at 690 Main St. W., which were opened on March 16. Richardson said the two assessment centres had 2,850 visits and there have been 2,270 tests conducted.

Richardson said the test result wait times have dropped significantly. Previously, a test result would take up to 11 days, now it is down to two to three days.

Premier Doug Ford has expressed frustration that Ontario has been processing a daily number of tests below its 16,000 capacity. On April 16, the province reported completing 9,001 tests.

Meanwhile, the city’s efforts to enforce physical distancing and introducing other measures has resulted in its coronavirus cases dropping.

“The numbers are staying fairly low and are fairly consistent,” she said. “They are not climbing sharply.”

Hamilton’s cases are doubling about every 20 days, an improvement she said, from doubling every two to three days, if there were no physical distancing measures in place.

Earlier this month, Hamilton’s cases were doubling every five days, prompting public health officials to encourage people to stay home for the Easter holiday weekend.

“This is really good news,” she said.

Hamilton starts enhanced coronavirus testing in long-term care and retirement facilities

Assessment centre opens at Dave Andreychuk Mountain Arena

News Apr 17, 2020 by Kevin Werner Stoney Creek News

Hamilton is ramping up novel coronavirus testing for health-care workers, first responders, and staff and residents at long-term care facilities in the city.

“We now have enhanced capacity to do that testing,” said Dr. Elizabeth Richardson, Hamilton’s medical officer of health. “We know testing is a fundamental part of controlling outbreaks like this one.”

COVID-19 has invaded long-term care and residential care facilities, resulting in high numbers of deaths and severely sick people in Hamilton and other parts of the country.

During an April 15 town hall event, Richardson said the city is increasing testing for staff and residents in these facilities as part of Hamilton’s efforts to curb the COVID-19 outbreak.

She said the coronavirus testing will be conducted on a “much broader” scale “to see what is going on in these facilities.

“We are still coming to understand this virus and how it works, how long people are pre-asymptomatic. We are working hard to increase testing in those settings,” Richardson said. 

Ontario expanded its priority coronavirus testing April 16 to include essential workers, residents and staff of homeless shelters and group homes, and people living with health-care workers.

Hamilton has seen five of its six outbreaks occurring at long-term care facilities, including Heritage Green Nursing Home, Cardinal Retirement Residence and Wentworth Lodge. Richardson said as of April 15, public health announced the outbreak at Wentworth Lodge was over after one person tested positive.

As of April 17, Hamilton has 302 positive tests cases for the virus and there have been 11 deaths, the majority in residential care facilities.

Ontario health officials have said the peak of the coronavirus is expected this week.

Hamilton is also opening another assessment centre at the Dave Andreychuk Mountain Arena at 25 Hester St., starting April 17. The drive-thru testing centre will be the third one, operating with the others at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton at 2757 King St. E. and the West End Clinic at 690 Main St. W., which were opened on March 16. Richardson said the two assessment centres had 2,850 visits and there have been 2,270 tests conducted.

Richardson said the test result wait times have dropped significantly. Previously, a test result would take up to 11 days, now it is down to two to three days.

Premier Doug Ford has expressed frustration that Ontario has been processing a daily number of tests below its 16,000 capacity. On April 16, the province reported completing 9,001 tests.

Meanwhile, the city’s efforts to enforce physical distancing and introducing other measures has resulted in its coronavirus cases dropping.

“The numbers are staying fairly low and are fairly consistent,” she said. “They are not climbing sharply.”

Hamilton’s cases are doubling about every 20 days, an improvement she said, from doubling every two to three days, if there were no physical distancing measures in place.

Earlier this month, Hamilton’s cases were doubling every five days, prompting public health officials to encourage people to stay home for the Easter holiday weekend.

“This is really good news,” she said.