November 13 2020
HAMILTON, ON - After carefully reviewing the local COVID-19 data and trends over the past week, today, following discussions with Dr. Elizabeth Richardson, the Medical Officer of Health for the City of Hamilton, Premier Doug Ford has made the decision to move Hamilton into the “control” – red category within the Provincial COVID-19 Framework. This change will come into effect on Monday, November 16, 2020 at 12 am.
Earlier today, the Provincial Government lowered the thresholds for the categories in each level of the Provincial COVID-19 Framework. The updates are meant to help limit the spread of COVID-19 while keeping schools open, maintaining health system capacity, protecting the province's most vulnerable, and avoiding broader lockdowns.
The objective of the “control” – red category in the framework is to implement broader-scale measures and restrictions, across multiple sectors, to control transmission.
Locally, the Reopening Ontario Act will continue to be assertively enforced by the City’s Municipal Law Enforcement, COVID Enforcement Team. As the city enters the “control” - red category, 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 impacting local public places will be updated on our website shortly at www.hamilton.ca/publicplaces.
In addition to the Framework guidance, members of the public are advised of the following:
- Restrict close contacts to your household members only and essential supports. Those that live alone may join with another household for support.
- All in-person activities should be limited outside of the home to essential activities only, this includes work, school, fitness and exercise, access to healthcare, and the purchase of food or drink, gasoline, and automobile maintenance.
- Restrict all social gatherings to only immediate household members.
- 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.
- This 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.
- 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.
“This is an absolutely necessary measure in order to protect the health and well-being of everyone in our community. Now is the time for everyone to double-down on safety precautions such as maintaining physical distancing, wearing a face mask when physical distancing is not possible, frequent washing of hands and staying within your own household only. We must all be diligent with these precautions in order to avoid a lockdown. What happens next is completely up to all of us.”
– Mayor Fred Eisenberger
“Moving into a category with greater restrictions is necessary in order to protect the health and wellness of the residents of Hamilton. Within recent weeks, we have seen an alarming increase in positive cases, and outbreaks throughout our community, and are currently sitting at the highest active daily case count that we have seen during the pandemic. Without question, this is one necessary step in order to protect public health.”
– Dr. Elizabeth Richardson, Medical Officer of Health