Status of Cases in Hamilton

COVID-19 Transmission Status in Hamilton

August 10, 2022
This assessment will be updated on Wednesdays

Overall Assessment

Transmission Status High & Stable
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What you need to know about COVID-19 transmission in Hamilton

  • COVID-19 transmission in Hamilton is high and stable.
  • The number of reported cases, test positivity, wastewater signal, new COVID-19 hospitalizations and ICU admissions have all stabilized over the past 2 weeks.
  • The number of active outbreaks has decreased over the past 2 weeks.
  • 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.
  • The Scarsin forecast has now been updated for August 10 - December 31, 2022 and is viewable here. View Latest Scarsin Forecast (PDF, 188 KB)

How to protect yourself

  • Vaccination remains the most important way to protect against COVID-19 and its health effects.Get vaccinated and stay up-to-date with your COVID-19 vaccinations, including the doses that are recommended for you.
  • Hamilton Public Health Services strongly recommends wearing a well-fitting mask indoors, especially when it’s crowded. As much as possible, people should limit their social contacts. Be kind & respectful to others, regardless of their personal choices & circumstances.
  • Stay home if you’re feeling unwell
  • If you get infected, you may be eligible to receive antiviral treatment. Talk to your healthcare provider to find out if you would be eligible and, if you are, where, you can access antivirals if you become infected.
  • You can visit to assess your own risk level, considering your age, health status & the setting.
Status COVID-19 Monitoring Indicators Data Interpretation
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New Cases: 7 Day Average

Over the past 2 weeks, the 7-day average of new cases has stabilized (97 on July 24, 74 on July 31, and 96 on August 7).

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New Cases: Weekly Incidence per 100,000

Over the past 2 weeks, the weekly incidence per 100,000 of new cases has  stabilized (113 on July 24, 87 on July 31, and 112 on August 7).

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Hospital Admissions: 7 Day Average2

Over the past 2 weeks, the 7-day average of new hospitalizations has stabilized (1.9 on July 22, 1.7 on July 29, and 2.0 on August 5).

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ICU Admissions: 7 Day Average2

Over the past 2 weeks, the 7-day average of new ICU admissions has remained stable (0.0 on July 22, 0.0 on July 29, and 0.0 on August 5).

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Wastewater samples with COVID-19 detected

The 3-point average of viral signal for detecting COVID-19 in wastewater samples has stabilized most recently (data available up to August 2).

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Percent Test Positivity: 7 Day Average

Over the past 2 weeks, test positivity has  stabilized (17.8% on July 21, 15.0% on July 28, and 19.1% on August 4).

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Number of Active Outbreaks

Over the past 2 weeks, the number of active outbreaks has  decreased (33 on July 26, 30 on August 3, and 27 on August 9).

Data interpretation provided in the COVID-19 Transmission Status Table uses the most recent data available to Hamilton Public Health from various data sources.

2 Due to some issues in receiving data from hospitals, the most recent hospitalization data should be interpreted with caution. The most up to date and complete information is included in this update. Hamilton Public Health Services is working with our hospital partners to resolve the issue.

As of December 31, 2021, testing for COVID-19 has been limited to the most vulnerable individuals and individuals associated with the highest risk settings. As a result, the community dashboard now only reports high risk cases and is an under representation of COVID-19 activity in the community. Case data from before December 31, 2021 should not be compared to data after these testing criteria changes.

Data Notes for the map:

  • Map includes cumulative count of all confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases with a permanent address in the City of Hamilton by Census Tract. Count captures all active, resolved, and fatal cases beginning March 2020, that are counted within the geographical Census Tract they intersect. Census Tract populations were estimated from the 2021 Canadian Census (please note that prior to June 6, 2022, Census Tract populations were estimated for 2021 using growth projections).

Looking for open data? Visit Open Hamiton for COVID-19 Data in an open format.

Social Determinants of Health Data Collection (SDOH) in Hamilton during COVID-19

Health is influenced by a number of factors, including biology, access to health services, health behaviours, and the conditions in which people are born, grow, work, live, and age. These conditions are known as the social determinants of health, and include factors such as income, race, education/literacy, and gender. The social determinants of health can positively and negatively impact one’s ability to achieve good health. When health outcomes are patterned, unfair, and preventable, these are known as health inequities.

Hamilton is a diverse city and has a growing racialized population and a high proportion of people living with lower income. Evidence shows that racialized community members and lower income community members are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 due to pre-existing health inequities. As a result, Hamilton Public Health Services (HPHS) began collecting social determinants of health data from COVID-19 cases to better understand COVID-19 disease prevalence in the community. HPHS also uses Public Health Ontario data to help understand differences in vaccine uptake by race and income. Understanding if there are inequities in COVID-19 cases and vaccination rates helps create focused interventions to reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection and support vaccine uptake.

  • Hamilton Public Health Services (HPHS) has collected SDOH data on COVID-19 cases since May 26, 2020. HPHS retrospectively collected SDOH data on cases occurring prior to May 26, 2020.
    • SDOH data collection was temporarily paused in Wave 2 (January – February 2021) and during the Omicron wave (starting December 2021) in order to ensure all cases and high-risk contacts were reached quickly enough to slow virus spread.
  • Data collected includes race, language, household income, household size and Indigenous identity.
  • HPHS has analysed SDOH data for Hamilton’s COVID-19 cases at two time points (October 2020 and June 2021). The trends presented below have been stable since October 2020.
  • Trends in Hamilton’s SDOH case data are consistent with trends described by other regions and in provincial reports.

Summary of findings

  • Nearly half (45%) of Hamilton’s COVID-19 cases were racialized people. This shows racialized people were disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 since racialized people only make up 19% of Hamilton’s population.

  • 25% of COVID-19 cases lived in low-income households. This shows that low-income households were disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 since this population only makes up 19% of Hamilton’s population

  • These results are provided by Hamilton Public Health Services by collecting socio-economic data directly from COVID-19 cases.
  • Local data should be interpreted with caution, as data are not representative of all COVID-19 cases. This is because HPHS can only share responses from those who provided this information, which would exclude those who chose not to participate, those who were not asked because of changes to the HPHS data collection processes, or cases that were not reported to public health. While HPHS used reliable data (the 2016 census) to determine the proportion of residents who are racialized or low income, these data are dated. However, results from HPHS sociodemographic analysis of COVID-19 cases are consistent with other jurisdictions, which similarly have found that racialized and low-income populations are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 infection.

Impact of SDOH Data on COVID Response

The SDOH data findings led to and/or reinforced the importance of many local initiatives for racialized people and those living with low income. Some examples include:

  • Delivery of essential supplies (e.g., groceries, medications) to isolated individuals without adequate social supports.
  • Consultation and support to Indigenous organizations to establish an Indigenous-led COVID-19 call centre and Indigenous-led vaccine clinics.
  • Consultation and support to organizations and leaders to establish community vaccine clinics for Black and racialized people.
  • Enhanced infection control support in congregate settings such as residential care facilities and temporary farm worker housing.
  • Mobile COVID-19 testing and vaccination options in priority neighbourhoods, including homebound options for non-ambulatory residents.
  • Support provided to shelters about public health measures to reduce transmission.
  • Prioritization of shelter populations for COVID-19 vaccination.
  • Designation of two additional “Hot Spot” areas in Hamilton, in addition to the “Hot Spots” defined by the Province.
    • The additional “Hot Spots” were selected based on a high incidence of COVID-19 activity and a high proportion of racialized people, Indigenous people or people living with low income.
  • Prioritization of Black and racialized people for COVID-19 vaccination, starting with those living in designated “Hot Spots”.
  • Launch of a Vaccine Ambassador program to provide tailored and focused outreach to racialized communities in Hamilton.
  • Funding for vaccine outreach granted to community organizations working with priority populations.
  • Hamilton Public Health Services uses Public Health Ontario’s (PHO) ecological analysis of SDOH data for vaccinations. The PHO analysis combines vaccine coverage data with neighbourhood-level measures of diversity and material deprivation collected through the census.

The latest analysis of socio-economic status of vaccinated Hamiltonians (January 2022) found:

  • At the beginning of the vaccine rollout, neighbourhoods with more racialized populations had lower vaccine rates. Over time, this gap closed and currently the neighbourhoods with more racialized populations have a similar vaccination rate (83.5% with at least 1 dose) compared to the least racialized neighbourhoods (83.2% with at least 1 dose).

Date Low Diversity Neighbourhoods High Diversity Neighbourhoods
29-May-21 67.4% 58.2%
19-Jun-21 75.1% 68.2%
31-Jul-21 79.4% 74.6%
28-Aug-21 79.4% 79.1%
26-Sep-21 82.2% 83.4%
24-Oct-21 83.5% 85.9%
21-Nov-21 84.4% 87.3%
02-Jan-22 83.2% 83.5%
  • As of January 2022, neighbourhoods with the highest poverty (material deprivation) rates have lower vaccine rates (75.8% with at least 1 dose) compared to neighbourhoods with the lowest poverty rates (87.1% with at least 1 dose); however, this gap has narrowed since May 2021.

Date Low Material Deprivation Neighbourhoods High Material Deprivation Neighbourhoods
29-May-21 69.4% 50.9%
19-Jun-21 76.8% 61.2%
31-Jul-21 80.4% 68.4%
28-Aug-21 84.0% 70.9%
26-Sep-21 86.9% 75.5%
24-Oct-21 88.4% 78.2%
21-Nov-21 89.1% 79.6%
02-Jan-22 87.1% 75.8%
  • These results are provided by Public Health Ontario by looking at vaccine rates by geographic areas and comparing them to socio-economic data collected in the census. Learn more

Impact of SDOH Vaccination Data on COVID Response

  • Similar to the SDOH data findings on COVID-19 cases, the ecological analysis reinforced the need to provide focused outreach for racialized people and those living with low income through the Vaccine Ambassador program and the vaccine outreach funding provided to community organizations. In addition, these data support selecting locations for both fixed and mobile vaccine clinics by placing clinics in locations that are accessible and in or near priority neighbourhoods.
  • The closing of the vaccination rate gap between neighbourhoods with the lowest and highest levels of diversity provides evidence that the efforts by community organizations, health care partners, and public health to increase uptake have been successful. Continued effort is needed to increase vaccination rates in low-income neighbourhoods.