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COVID-19 Update: Updates from the City of Hamilton

HAMILTON - Earlier today, Mayor Fred Eisenberger joined Dr. Bart Harvey, Associate 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 noon today, there are 35 confirmed cases and one death from COVID-19 in Hamilton.

Mandatory closure of all non-essential workplaces
Following the announcement from the Province of Ontario late yesterday, the City of Hamilton will be suspending non-essential services effective today. The City is currently compiling a list of all services that will be impacted by this announcement. These decisions were made to ensure the continued health and safety of the community and in keeping with direction from the Province.

The full list of all essential and non-essential city work will be available on the City’s website soon. However, residents can be assured that all essential services such as the following, will continue:

  • Emergency response by Hamilton Police, Hamilton Fire Department, Hamilton Paramedic services will continue.
  • HSR service will continue to operate but on a Saturday level of service from Monday to Friday, across most routes. Essential Travel Only.
  • Hamilton Water operations continue, including drinking water, wastewater collection and treatment, and stormwater management. 
  • Garbage, recycling and organics collection continues. 
  • Shelters, respites, and drop-in centres continue to operate with measures already established
  • Road, sidewalk, and bikeway operations and maintenance, including snow removal, continues
  • Major construction project delivery (Woodward Avenue Wastewater Treatment Plant Upgrades, Waterfront Development Capital project, etc.)

Emergency child care for essential frontline workers
The City of Hamilton has partnered with our three licensed home child care agencies to offer emergency licensed home child care to health care and other essential frontline workers during the pandemic, free of charge. Eligible workers include those working in health care, police, fire, paramedics, Public Health, long-term care, HSR and correctional officers. 

The three agencies are Todays Family, Wee Watch Golfwood, and Wee Watch Galbraith. All agencies have providers who will provide child care in their homes to accommodate 12 hour shifts for children of staff aged 12 months to 12 years of age.

All three agencies are required to have pandemic plans in place and are working closely with Public Health to mitigate possible exposure to COVID-19. These agencies have implemented the following strategies;

  • Children and staff who are ill with fever and/or infectious respiratory symptoms are required to stay home
  • The consistent practice of good respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene
  • Enhanced environmental cleaning of the facility
  • Families who have recently traveled out of province are required to stay home from child care for 14 days to ensure they are not ill

Spaces are limited and the enrollment process is streamlined to ease access for these essential workers. Eligible families are to identify themselves as essential health care or frontline staff when they contact the agencies. For more information on how to access this service please contact:

Escarpment stairs, dog parks and trails
Residents are encouraged to stay home at this time. It is strongly recommended to avoid the use of the escarpment stairs for all non-essential travel. As well, if choosing to use dog parks and trails, residents are strongly encouraged to keep at least 2m or 6ft of physical distance between themselves and others. Physical distancing is important, even outdoors.

Albion Falls
Beginning tomorrow, Albion Falls will be closed to visitors. Parking lots in the area will also be closed. Residents are requested not to congregate at Albion Falls.

Waste Impacts - Delays to collection
Yesterday, there were some delays to waste collection across several parts of Hamilton. Crews will be catching up on the collection delays over the coming week. All residents should continue to put their waste at the curb on their regular collection day. Any resident who did not have their waste collected on their regular collection day should leave it at the curb for one extra day. Many residents will be unaffected by the delays to waste collection.

Leaf and Yard waste suspended
Beginning today, the City has suspend curbside pick up of leaf and yard waste until further notice. Residents are directed to either hold on to their leaf and yard waste, or take it to one of the Community Recycling Centres.

Development Approvals
While our municipal facilities, including City Hall are closed to protect the health and safety of our staff and visitors, the Building Division remains open for business. There are many options to ensure we can continue to receive your building permit applications (for unoccupied areas only at this time) and requests for Zoning Verifications (regular service only) including mail/courier delivery or online.

Online building permit applications can be completed at www.hamilton.ca/eplans and Zoning Verifications at zoningverification.hamilton.ca.  Staff are also working to provide a drop box outside of City Hall at the rear of the building as well as investigating other innovative solutions to support our inspectors in the field. Residents should consider postponing non-essential renovations to a later date where possible. Under these unprecedented service delivery constraints, the Building Division will continue to maintain timeframes as much as possible for building permit applications, responding to information requests, building inspections, Zoning Verifications, etc.

Transit Update
Customers are being reminded to only use transit if absolutely necessary for groceries, medical appointments or to go to work if you can’t work from home. If you’re experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or going to an assessment centre for testing, please do not use public transit. Until further notice, the HSR is following a Saturday-level of service from Monday to Friday on most routes, with some exceptions. Weekend service remains the same.  Visit www.Hamilton.ca/HSR for more information.

PRESTO
In order to give customers more time to cancel their auto-renew, Metrolinx has delayed the billing cycles for these agreements until this Friday.  PRESTO auto-renew customers have until March 27 to cancel their contract to avoid being charged for April monthly pass.  To cancel your auto-renew, visit www.prestocard.ca or call the phone number on your PRESTO card.

DARTS
DARTS has restricted service to essential trips only and has implemented a three-step screening process by their reservationists. Essential Trips include

  • Going to work
  • Going to the doctor or to other medical treatment
  • Going to a lab for any medical testing
  • Pick up prescribed medication
  • Shop for groceries or any other necessities
  • If the answer is no to all the above, they will not book the trip.
  • If yes to any of the above, the reservationist will proceed to the following steps to determine if the trip can be booked.

DARTS vehicles are being treated with the same AEGIS Microbe Shield treatment as all HSR buses.

Parking
Starting tomorrow, the City will be further modifying its parking services. The City will no longer be enforcing payment at parking meters or in the City’s surface parking lots. As a security measure, payment will still be required for vehicles parking in the Convention Centre Garage and the York Parkade.

Enforcement of some parking violations continues to be suspended, such as time limits on residential streets. However, parking offences will still be enforced in circumstances where a significant traffic safety and/or community concern exists. This includes No Stopping and No Parking Offences.

Importantly, officers will continue to enforce parking regulations at highly visited public sites, such as waterfalls.

Hamilton Conservation Authority
All Hamilton Conservation Authority areas are closed to the public, including membership pass holders, effective Wednesday March 25, 2020. No day use is permitted in HCA areas until further notice and those who enter will be trespassing. For updates and more information, please visit conservationhamilton.ca

Additional Resources

Quote

“This virus spreads from person to person. That’s why it is important to stop its spread by maintaining a physical distance of two metres from one another. Everyone must stay home, only go out for essential services, self-isolate for 14 days after travelling abroad and continue to practice good hygiene. We all have to do our part as a community to stop the spread of this virus and flatten the curve of COVID-19 in Hamilton.”

Mayor Fred Eisenberger, City of Hamilton

 

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Jasmine Graham
Senior Communications Officer
City of Hamilton
905-546-2424, ext. 1430
[email protected]

Michelle Shantz
Communications and Media Advisor
Office of Mayor Fred Eisenberger
905-546-4225
[email protected]