COVID-19 Update: Updates from the City of Hamilton

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Last week, Mayor Fred Eisenberger joined Dr. Elizabeth Richardson, Medical Officer of Health, and the City’s Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) Director, Paul Johnson to update media and the community on the City’s response to COVID-19.

As of 9 am on July 3rd,  there are a total of 843 cases, an increase of one positive case from yesterday (835 confirmed positive cases, 8 probable cases), and 44 deaths from COVID-19 in Hamilton. We are also reporting that of the 843 cases, 752, or 89% are resolved. More details about cases are available on the City’s website including demographics, risk factors, exposure, etc.

"HAMILTON REOPENS" – New for July 3

City waterfalls reopening
Beginning July 15, most waterfalls in Hamilton will reopen, including their associated parking lots. At this time, Tews Falls, Websters Falls and Dundas Peak will remain closed. 

Residents are reminded to maintain a physical distance of two metres or six feet between yourself and those outside your social circle. As well,

All of the typical COVID-19 precautions remain in place while visiting waterfalls. Including:

  • Keep two metres of physical distance between yourself and others who aren’t in your “social circle”.
  • Don’t join large crowds or groups.
  • Wash your hands: Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer or wash your hands with soap and warm water as soon as possible.
  • Don’t visit waterfalls if you are sick or showing signs of being sick. 

At this time, Tews Falls, Websters Falls and Dundas Peak will remain closed because the use of shuttle services are not available due to COVID-19.

Provincial Funding for Municipalities and Urban Indigenous Community Partners to Support Vulnerable Residents
The Ontario government announced this week that it will be providing additional funding to help municipalities and urban Indigenous community partners fund long-term, innovative housing solutions resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak. The funding can be used to renovate shelters or purchase new facilities that will help with physical distancing in the short term and support longer-term, more sustainable solutions to homelessness. In addition, this funding could also be used to provide vulnerable people with food, shelter and supplies.

Library Take Out Service
The Hamilton Public Library is opening six more branches for Takeout service: Ancaster, Kenilworth, Sherwood, Saltfleet, Turner Park and Waterdown, in addition to Central, Dundas, Terryberry and Red Hill that reopened earlier in June.

When your holds are ready, the library will email or call you. Then you can make an appointment to pick up your holds starting at www.hpl.ca/takeout or by calling 905-546-3200. Pick-up dates begin July 14.

Child Care Update
There are 233 licensed child care sites and just over 14,400 child care spaces in the City of Hamilton. There are 130 programs that normally operate full year, and had planned to operate this summer.

As of July 13, a total of 90 child care centres in Hamilton are expected to reopen, with additional centres reopening each week. Trends show that all centres are operating at approximately 50% capacity (due to the Ministry limits of cohorts of 10). Child care centres are reaching out to families to confirm their interest in returning, starting with the families who had children enrolled at the time of the provincial order to close in March.  The City continues working closely with the child care community to ensure a safe reopening for everyone.

Pool Reopenings
Beginning Monday, the City will reopen nine swimming pools and one wading pool. The pools will hold open swims between 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. daily until September. Schedules and guidelines for visiting pools are available at: www.hamilton.ca/swimming

Residents should be advised that pool capacity is limited to ensure physical distancing, so there may be waiting times.

Indoor pools reopening on Monday include: Brewster, Huntington Park Recreation Centre, Jimmy Thompson, Ryerson Recreation Centre, Sir Winston Churchill, Stoney Creek Recreation Centre, Westmount Recreation Centre. Outdoor pools include: Ancaster Lions and Coronation Outdoor Pool. As well, the Dundas Driving Park Wading Pool is reopening.

"HAMILTON REOPENS" Reminders


Play structures closed
All play structures and playground equipment remain closed at this time, as per the provincial emergency orders. Residents are asked to please not remove caution tape or signage indicating the closures.

City to distribute non-medical masks for transit users
As we increase the capacity on HSR buses and now that we have returned to loading customers in through the front door for fare collection as of July 1, the City is reminding customers that they are required to wear a non-medical mask while riding the bus, taking DARTS and using TRANSCAB.

Beginning Monday, July 6, HSR will begin a temporary program to distribute non-medical masks to customers who cannot acquire one through another means. As well, staff are working with both DARTS and local social service organizations to distribute the masks to transit users.

The masks are one-time use only, and will be available while supplies last. HSR is committed to the safety of our operators and customers, and is distributing these masks to help provide customers with a temporary solution until they can acquire their own personal mask to use consistently on future travel.

HSR is seeing a compliance rate of approximately 75% since June 22, when it became mandatory to wear a non-medical mask while using public transit.

Garage Sales
The City is strongly discouraging the public from organizing or attending garage sales and yard sales at this time. Garage sales and yard sales will not be allowed on City property including sidewalks, parking lots and vacant lands. This includes the annual Beach Strip Garage Sale on July 11 and 12. In accordance with the current provincial orders, the public is not permitted to gather in groups of more than 10 at this time.

Keeping a two-metre (six-foot) physical distance from others is difficult at garage sales, and often cash transactions are required. As well, the number of people who stop at the sale can grow unexpectedly. It is also not possible to know the health or travel history of people coming to the garage sale. Further, COVID-19 can survive on different surfaces for varying lengths of time. This means if someone touches or picks up items at a sale, they could be exposing themselves to illness.

The City will be proactively inspecting the Beach Strip area beginning Friday July 10 to Sunday July 12 and will take the necessary enforcement actions for by-law violations. Signage will also be going up in the area and staff will be going door-to-door in early July to ensure beach residents are aware of this cancellation.

“As we move through the phases of our reopening, I want to remind everyone to continue to adhere to all of the Public Health measures we have in place. These measures will help us ensure that we can keep moving forward, continuing to enjoy the many amenities, restaurants and businesses that are now open, and those that will eventually come back online, as well as visits with family and friends in our established social circles. Mitigating the spread of the virus is everyone’s responsibility and we need to stay the course.”

- Mayor Fred Eisenberger

 

SOURCE: CITY OF HAMILTON