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COVID-19 Update: Updates from the City of Hamilton

HAMILTON, ON - 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 9 a.m. this morning, there are 331 confirmed cases, 7 probable cases, and 16 deaths from COVID-19 in Hamilton. More details about cases are available on the City’s website including demographics, risk factors, exposure, etc.

The public is reminded to stay home as much as possible. If you must go out, please practice physical distancing and maintain 2m or 6ft between yourself and others at all times.

Drive-Through COVID-19 Testing Centre

Over the weekend, there were nearly 70 visits to the new drive-through COVID-19 testing centre at the Dave Andreychuk Mountain Arena located at 25 Hester Street. Starting tomorrow, the hours will be 10:00am to 3:00pm.   

Reminder: a referral from your doctor or Hamilton Public Health Services is required for screening and an appointment at the drive-through COVID-19 testing centre or assessment centres. The centres are adequately equipped with supplies to test more people for the disease. 

Reminder: Temporary Leaf and Yard Collection Program

The City of Hamilton started a temporary leaf and yard waste curbside collection program today. It will collect leaf and yard waste bi-weekly, in alternating parts of the City.

Collection starts today in the communities of Ancaster, Dundas, Flamborough, Glanbrook and Stoney Creek, and next week, collection will start at homes on the Hamilton mountain and across the lower city.

The bi-weekly rotation will continue until late June, or longer if required.

Residents should ensure their leaf and yard waste is at the curb by 7 a.m. on Monday morning during the week of their pick up. City crews will pick up the bags or containers by the weekend.

This program change will help the City to manage reduced staffing levels resulting from the COVID-19 emergency. Residents are asked to please be patient with crews as we work to ensure leaf and yard waste collection can continue.

The City is continuing to pursue options for more waste collections staff, including training staff from other divisions.

There is no change to the collection of garbage, recycling, green cart or bulk pick up.

Ongoing enforcement of physical distancing and gatherings

City of Hamilton By-law Officers continue to use a progressive and education enforcement approach to help residents understand the City’s Physical Distancing by-law enacted last week that prohibits certain activities and regulates physical distancing during the COVID-19 emergency. While no charges have been laid under this by-law to date, it continues to be in effect and the fine for individuals is $500, which could increase to $10,000 for a serious offence and up to $25,000 for repeat offences. Corporations may receive a fine of up to $50,000 for a first serious offence and up to $100,000 for repeat offences.

Residents are also reminded that gatherings of more than five (5) people are currently illegal in Ontario. This is true for private social family or religious gatherings, parades, weddings and other social gatherings and communal services within places of worship. Residents organizing or attending gatherings of more than five (5) people may be charged under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA), which carries a fine starting at $750. Hamilton Police and Hamilton Municipal Law Enforcement will be charging residents who do not abide by this law. This law does not apply to private households with five of more people living in them.  

At this time, Municipal Law Enforcement (MLE) has laid 59 charges under the EMCPA to date. Seven of those were issued against businesses (four for being non-essential businesses still operating, and three for other reasons including five or more people gathering). A further breakdown of charges issued against individuals will be published tomorrow.                                                                                                   

Supports for community agencies and our vulnerable residents

The City will be allocating provincial funding to local social service providers and community organizations for COVID-19 services that support the ultimate goal of reducing community spread. The funding need has to have been generated by COVID-19 and would be needed by the requesting organization to continue to deliver critical services, hire additional staff and find ways to promote physical distancing and self-isolation to keep people safe and healthy. For more information about criteria and to access the application, visit www.hamilton.ca/CovidFinancialSupports and click on Learn more about Funding for Social Service Providers and Community Organizations.

The First Ontario Centre continues to operate as an emergency overflow shelter. Currently, 50 residents are staying at the shelter.

Reminder: City accepting Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) donations

The City continues to accept donations of personal protective equipment (PPE). The equipment will be provided to essential service workers. The City is accepting surgical masks, N95 masks, impervious gowns, gloves, face shields, swabs and sanitizer. We are requesting these items from local healthcare providers, pest control, hospitality providers, nail salons and construction companies. Homemade equipment will not be accepted. To donate, please email [email protected] or call 905-546-2424 ext. 2257 and make an appointment for drop-off at a location in downtown Hamilton.

Transit reminders

The City is reminding residents that public transit is for essential travel only. The public is asked to please not take public transit to pass some time during the day, transit is for essential trips only, such as going to work or a medical appointment. The public is also reminded to adhere to physical distancing measures and not sit in seats that have been blocked off to promote physical distancing.

Any residents experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or going to an assessment centre for testing should not use public transit. They are asked to contact the Public Health hotline for more information on appropriate transportation to the testing sites: 905-974-9848 or [email protected].

Cancellation of Victoria Day fireworks display

Each year the City of Hamilton and Dundas Valley Rotary Club Sunrise co-produce a Victoria Day celebration and fireworks display in the Dundas Driving Park. The City has made the decision to cancel the event this year, originally scheduled for Sunday, May 17, 2020, due to the COVID-19 emergency.

COVID-19-related supports/updates from other levels of government

The Ontario government today released updated COVID-19 modelling, which shows that the enhanced public health measures, including staying home and physically distancing from each other, are working to contain the spread of the virus and flatten the curve. However, the Chief Medical Officer of Health says emergency measures must remain in place to continue reducing the number of cases and deaths.

In an effort to protect business and jobs, the federal government made some more announcements about increased funding and improved access for small and medium-businesses, rural businesses and communities, Cultural, Heritage and Sport Organizations, innovative, early-stage companies, young entrepreneurs across Canada and Indigenous businesses who are facing challenges due to COVID-19 and who may not have been previously able to access existing COVID-19 business supports.

The Ontario government announced Saturday that it is investing $20 million to advance medical research and develop tools and resources to combat COVID-19 and other infectious diseases through the Ontario COVID-19 Rapid Research Fund. The investment is part of Ontario's Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19.

The federal and provincial governments announced Friday they are investing up to $1M in new funding to connect workers with in-demand jobs in the agri-food sector to keep the nation's supply chains strong and store shelves stocked during the COVID-19 pandemic. Through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, the federal and provincial governments will provide support that will help people connect with job opportunities in the sector quickly. This program would help primary agriculture, food processing companies and grocery retail to recruit and train workers who are important to keeping the essential food supply chain functioning.

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“Although the province’s COVID-19 modelling numbers are positive, it is not the time to let up on physical distancing. We must stay the course and continue our mission of flattening the curve in Hamilton. Please stay home as much as possible and only go out for essentials. We are the first line of defence against this virus and we will get through this together.”

Mayor Fred Eisenberger

 

Additional Resources

 

MEDIA CONTACTS
Jasmine Graham
Senior Communications Officer
City of Hamilton
Phone 905-973-2829
Email [email protected]