Number of COVID-19-related deaths at Hamilton's Chartwell Willowgrove rises to 14

Another 36 cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in Hamilton Friday, as well as a new death.

Hamilton Public health figures show the 73rd fatality connected to the pandemic in the city was a woman in her 90s living at Chartwell Willowgrove who passed away on Thursday.

She is the 14th resident of the Ancaster long term care home to succumb to an outbreak that has infected 69 residents and staff.

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During an update from the city on Friday afternoon, the city’s medical officer of health said they have also issued a Section 22 order to Chartwell Willowgrove due to some infection prevention and control measures not being consistently followed.

“Just to re-emphasize the importance of all of those measures, and to make sure they’re very clearly done across the board,” said Dr. Elizabeth Richardson.

“There may have been a small break in terms of PPE, donning and doffing, or a small break in terms of screening in one instance. And so, I want to emphasize that these were not major concerns that were observed, but they were happening from time to time, and unfortunately, we continued to see transmission within Chartwell.”

There are also two new outbreaks in the city.

One involves four staff members at Advanced Motor Solutions, a repair shop in the Burlington Street and Sherman Avenue area.

The other is a single staff case at First Place, a seniors retirement building at King and Wellington.

There are 331 curently active cases of coronavirus in Hamilton.

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Ontario’s health minister announced on Friday that there are also some changes to the restrictions within its COVID-19 response framework for areas that are in the red ‘control’ zone, which includes Hamilton.

One of those changes is reducing the limit on the number of people allowed indoors for social gatherings, organized public events, and religious services to five people – down from the previous limit of 10 people.

The outdoor limit is still capped at 25 people.

The other change is a requirement that retail outlets must maintain two metres of distance between customers that are standing in line.

Paul Johnson, director of Hamilton’s emergency operations centre, said that addition from the province suggests businesses need to follow public health measures closely to ensure they stay open as the holiday season approaches.

“It’s really important that business owners and the retail sector take ownership for what’s happening as people want to enter into their business, as much as they are taking care of what’s happening within their business.”

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Johnson also said these two tweaks to the red ‘control’ category emphasize how Hamiltonians need to limit their interactions with anyone outside of their household in order to prevent the city from following Toronto and Peel Region into lockdown.

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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