At a time when Hamilton hospitals are dealing with staff shortages and postponed surgeries, COVID-19 transmission in Hamilton is high and continuing to increase. In the latest release by Hamilton Public Health, the number of reported cases, test positivity, wastewater signal, active outbreaks and new COVID-19 hospitalizations have all increased over the past 2 weeks. Over the past 2 weeks, the 7-day average of new cases has increased from 62 on July 3, to 93 on July 17. Hospitalizations are starting to ramp up again but so far, ICU admissions for COVID remain stable. Over the past 2 weeks, test positivity has doubled from 8.8% on June 30, to17.4% on July 14. Active outbreaks are also on the rise with 18 reported on July 5 and 31 on July 19.
Omicron continues to be the dominant variant in Hamilton and amongst Ontario public health units. The BA.5 subvariant is now the most prevalent lineage, followed by BA.2.12.1.