For general COVID-19 Vaccine information:
- Call Provincial Vaccine Info Line at 1-888-999-6488 (TTY 1-866-797-0007)
- Ask your health care provider
- Book appointment with SHN to speak with a doctor online or call 416-438-2911 ext. 5738
- Book appointment with Sick Kids Hospital to speak with a pediatric nurse about COVID-19 vaccines for youth.
For COVID-19 Vaccine booking information:
Call 905-974-9848, option 7
Respiratory Virus Transmission Status in Hamilton
May 25, 2023
This assessment will be updated on Wednesdays (delayed by one day if holiday Monday)
Data interpretation provided in the Respiratory Virus Transmission Status Table uses the most recent and up to date data available to Hamilton Public Health from various data sources. All data are preliminary and subject to change.
The data provided in this assessment can be found in the City of Hamilton’s COVID-19 Status of Cases dashboard, Influenza & RSV dashboard and Outbreak Open Data.
|COVID-19 Transmission Status||Influenza Transmission Status|
|Low & Stable||Low & Decreasing|
What you need to know about respiratory virus transmission in Hamilton
- COVID-19 transmission in Hamilton is low & stable. COVID-19 reported cases, hospitalizations, ICU admissions, wastewater signal, test positivity & number of active outbreaks are stable.
- Influenza transmission in Hamilton is low & decreasing. Influenza (A and B combined) reported cases & test positivity have decreased, while wastewater signal remains stable. Influenza A activity peaked in November 2022 in Hamilton, and most of the influenza activity since February 2023 has been due to Influenza B.
- RSV test positivity is stable & wastewater signal is at zero.
How to protect yourself
- Vaccination remains an important way to protect against COVID-19 & influenza. Get your flu shot and stay up to date with your COVID-19 vaccinations.
- Hamilton Public Health Services strongly recommends wearing a well-fitting medical 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.
- Visit www.hamilton.ca/ProtectYourself to assess your own risk level, considering your age, health status & the setting.
|Status||COVID-19 Monitoring Indicators||Data Interpretation|
||New Cases: 7 Day Average||Over the past 3 weeks, the 7-day average of new cases remains stable (7 on May 7, 7 on May 14, and 6 on May 21).|
||New Cases: Weekly Incidence per 100,000||Over the past 3 weeks, the weekly incidence per 100,000 of new cases remains stable (9 on May 7, 8 on May 14, and 8 on May 21).|
||Hospital Admissions: 7 Day Average||Over the past 3 weeks, the 7-day average of new hospitalizations remains stable (0.1 on May 7, 0.0 on May 14, and 0.0 on May 21).|
||ICU Admissions: 7 Day Average||Over the past 3 weeks, the 7-day average of new ICU admissions remains stable (0.0 on May 7, 0.0 on May 14, and 0.0 on May 21).|
||Wastewater samples with COVID-19 detected: 3 Point Average||Over the past 3 weeks, the viral signal for detecting COVID-19 in wastewater samples remains stable (data available up to May 14).|
||Percent Test Positivity: 7 Day Average||Over the past 3 weeks, test positivity has stabilized (7.9% on May 5, 8.6% on May 12, and 7.2% on May 19).|
||Number of Active Outbreaks||Over the past 3 weeks, the number of active outbreaks remains stable (1 on May 9, 1 on May 16, and 2 on May 23).|
|Status||Influenza Monitoring Indicators||Data Interpretation|
|New Influenza Cases: 7 Day Average||Over the past 3 weeks, the 7-day average of new influenza cases has decreased (1.6 on May 7, 0.9 on May 14, and 0.6 on May 21).|
||Influenza Test Positivity||Over the past 3 weeks, influenza test positivity has decreased (4.0% on May 6, 2.8% on May 13, and 1.7% on May 20).|
||Wastewater samples with Influenza A detected: 3 Point Average||Influenza A has not been detected in Hamilton wastewater samples since January 11, 2023 (data available up to May 8).|
||Wastewater samples with Influenza B detected: 3 Point Average||Influenza B has been detected in Hamilton wastewater samples (data available up to May 8).|
|Status||Other Respiratory Monitoring Indicators||Data Interpretation|
||Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) Test Positivity||Over the past 3 weeks, RSV test positivity has stabilized (0.0% on May 6, 0.0% on May 13, and 0.2% on May 20).|
||Wastewater samples with RSV detected: 3 Point Average||RSV has not been detected in Hamilton wastewater samples since February 12, 2023 (data available up to May 8).|
||Number of Respiratory Institutional Outbreaks (non-COVID-19)||Over the past 3 weeks, the number of active respiratory outbreaks (non-COVID-19) remains stable (1 on May 9, 1 on May 16, and 1 on May 23).|
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).
Data Notes for the map:
- Vaccination metrics for Census Tracts are prepared by Hamilton Public Health Services, represent a snapshot in time, and are refreshed monthly. Vaccinated individuals are assigned to Census Tracts using their postal code. Please note that less than 5% of vaccinated Hamiltonians may not be mapped as their postal code is missing or their records are inaccessible. 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).
- School vaccine coverage data are prepared by Hamilton Public Health Services, represent a snapshot in time, and are updated at the end of each month. School vaccine coverage estimates only include students who reside in Hamilton and students who were born in 2016 or earlier. Schools with less than 10 students born in 2016 or earlier have been suppressed to protect student privacy. These schools are not included in the map. School vaccine coverage estimates may be under-reported due to inability to access or link some vaccine records. Instances that might lead to this include: out of province vaccine administration not reported to an Ontario public health unit, students vaccinated outside of Hamilton who recently moved to Hamilton, and students vaccinated outside of Hamilton whose public health unit was incorrectly entered.
- Sociodemographic data are sourced from the 2016 Canadian Census.
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|
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|
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 from Public Health Ontario
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.