On May 10, 2021, Hamilton Public Health Services (HPHS) notified us of a cluster of COVID-19 positive individuals who reside in one of our buildings at 151 Queen Street North in Hamilton, ON. As a result, HPHS declared the building a COVID-19 outbreak.
151 Queen St. North is a 25-storey high rise apartment building in downtown Hamilton. When the outbreak was declared, there was a cluster of 27 cases in 17 units and over the course of the two and a half weeks, we had a total of 73 residential cases.
On May 28, 2021 HPHS declared the COVID-19 outbreak over.
Working Closely with HPHS
From the start of the outbreak, we worked transparently with HPHS assisting them in reviewing our COVID-19 measures in the building. We engaged an engineer to assess the ventilation of the building, and HPHS acknowledged that the ventilation system was in working order and capable of preventing cross-contamination between suites. We assisted Emergency Medical Services (EMS) to test over 530 residents in the first week for asymptomatic cases (residents who are positive but not showing symptoms) of the outbreak.
Resident Wellness and Outreach
In the second week of the outbreak, we reached out to nearly 150 residential units by telephone. We did this to see if there were anything that we could do to assist them, and to notify them of a special vaccination clinic being held by the HPHS on May 19, 2021.
During the one-night clinic, 94 residents were vaccinated with their first dose, and within that week EMS performed approximately 18 homebound vaccinations as well.
Perishable Food Donation from Wesley
In the second week of the outbreak, we also mobilized non-perishable & perishable food donations from Wesley, and provided direct assistance to families who could not support themselves while in isolation. We provided food, home essentials, and books for kids from our Little Library program.
Over the course of the pandemic we communicated with HPHS daily and issued 7 residential updates to each unit to keep our residents informed. We also worked with our partner, Circle of Friends at reaching out to residents with language and cultural barriers.