December 4 2020
HAMILTON, ON - Today, the Medical Officer of Health announced a number of additional public health measures to be introduced in the City of Hamilton as we remain in the “Red – Control” category in the Provincial COVID-19 Framework. These additional enhanced restrictions come as the city sees its COVID-19 numbers and outbreaks continue to rise at a concerning rate and are targeted towards helping to reduce the transmission of the virus in our community.
In Hamilton, the latest weekly rate of new cases per 100,000 population reported is 79.7. The average number of cases (7-day moving average) reported per day is 67. The percent positivity among tests is 3.2%.
The enhancements would come into effect at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, December 5, 2020 for retail outlets and 12:01 a.m. on Monday, December 7, 2020 for shopping malls, retail businesses and workplaces. Some of the implemented measures will include:
- reducing capacity and limits at shopping malls and retail establishments
- active screening at workplaces, shopping malls and retail businesses
- posting capacity limits based on physical distancing requirements
- appointing a manager to develop, implement and actively monitor a Safety Plan in workplaces, shopping malls and retail businesses
The measures would be enforced under the Province’s Reopening Ontario Act.
In addition to the Framework and above requirements, members of the public are advised of the following:
- Trips outside of the home should only be for essential reasons (work, school, groceries/pharmacy, health care, assisting vulnerable individuals or exercise and physical activity).
- Restrict close contacts to your household members only and essential supports. Those that live alone may join with another household for support.
- Indoor organized public events and social gatherings should only be with members of the same household.
- Virtual gatherings or events are the safest way to visit or recognize occasions with people outside your household.
- Work remotely, where possible.
- Wear a mask or face covering when around others from another household, out in public places, or outdoors when unable to stay physically distant.
- Wash your hands often.
- If you have any COVID-19 symptoms or are not feeling well, stay isolated at home and get tested for COVID-19.
Locally, the Reopening Ontario Act will continue to be assertively enforced by the City’s Municipal Law Enforcement, COVID Enforcement Team. The COVID Enforcement team will be responding to complaints as well as proactively enforcing all of the applicable regulations throughout the City.
Categories in the Provincial COVID-19 Framework and changes for the city of Hamilton can be found in the Keeping Ontario Safe and Open Framework. Changes will be updated on our website at www.hamilton.ca/publicplaces.
“Hamilton’s move to an enhanced red stage is a necessary measure in order to protect the health and well-being of everyone in our community. We are experiencing a surge in COVID-19 cases and additional restrictions need to be implemented to help lower the spread of this virus. This was a tough decision as a majority of residents have been following all public health recommendations, but we must take the steps required to protect our hospitals, long-term care and retirement homes, and every person in this city.”
– Mayor Fred Eisenberger
- The City continues to advocate for business supports from all levels of government and provide help for businesses such as paid sick days, income supports, better worker and agency worker protections, rent supplements / eviction protection, an increase in workplace safety blitzes, especially high-risk sectors, and culturally-tailored communications especially to new/racialized Canadians to understand their rights as workers.
- The objective of the “Red – Control” category in the framework is to implement broader-scale measures and restrictions, across multiple sectors, to control transmission.
- The Provincial Reopening Framework has been implemented across the Province in order to help avoid broader closures and allow for additional public health and workplace safety measures to be introduced or removed incrementally.
- Local Medical Officers of Health have been encouraged to add additional measures that address specific issues that are occurring within their jurisdiction.
- It categorizes public health unit regions into five levels and outlines the types of public health and workplace safety measures for businesses and organizations for each level. These include targeted measures for specific businesses, institutions and other settings.
- Each public health unit will remain in its level for 28 days, unless indicators worsen at which point it may move to the next highest level.
- Adjustments to the category each public health unit is in under the Framework will be decided by the Provincial government using indicators to assess the previous two weeks of information, or sooner if there is a rapidly worsening trend and by looking at local context and conditions. Thresholds within a region may not all be met at the same time; decisions about moving to new measures are based on overall risk assessment by government with input from local medical officers of health.
“Hamilton is seeing our hospitals overcapacity, we are seeing residents not being able to acquire necessary healthcare and we are seeing outbreaks impacting the community in high numbers. I understand that implementing additional measures adds pressure to our local business owners and residents, I hope that during this critical time the proper public measures are followed in order to gain better control of the rise in cases of COVID-19 locally.”
– Dr. Elizabeth Richardson, Medical Officer of Health