May 8 2020
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 am this morning, there are 483 confirmed cases, five probable cases, and 23 deaths from COVID-19 in Hamilton. More details about cases are available on the City’s website including demographics, risk factors, exposure, etc.
Small Re-opening Updates for Friday May 8
Some small changes were announced today related to initial reopenings in Hamilton. The public is reminded that even with these initial reopening announcements, Hamilton Public Health Services continues to recommend limiting activities to members of your own household to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, and maintaining a physical distance of two metres from those outside of your household. As well, under the Provincial Emergency Order, residents are not permitted to gather in groups of more than five.
Other public health recommendations also still remain in place:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, mouth and nose.
- Avoid contact with people who are ill and their items.
- Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue. If you don't have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow, not your hands. Wash hands after coughing and sneezing.
At this time, the City’s Emergency Operations Centre is continuing to plan for more reopening announcements to come over the coming weeks and months.
Today’s announcements include:
1. Waterfront Trail – The Waterfront Trail between Confederation Park and the Burlington Lift Bridge has reopened. For clarity, the Waterfront Trail between Princess Point and the bridge at the Desjardins Canal is currently closed between 7 am and 7 pm Monday to Friday to accommodate construction. This work will continue for approximately the next two weeks. During construction, there is no through access between Bayfront Park and Princess Point. The trail is open between Bayfront Park and the bridge at the Desjardins Canal.
2. City Parks – The City of Hamilton, in close consultation with the Medical Officer of Health, is providing more opportunities for individuals and families to get outside while still complying with public health guidance and Provincial Emergency Orders. Playground equipment, picnic benches, sports fields and other park equipment remain closed under the Provincial Emergency Orders. Escarpment stairs remain closed, as well as Albion Falls. Examples of activities that are permitted in Hamilton’s parks in groups of up to five people or members from the same household include:
- Playing catch, kicking a ball,
- Letting young kids run around
- Walking or running on a track within a park
- Having a picnic or playing on the grass, your own lawn chair or a blanket
- Personal yoga practice (not a group class)
- Kite flying
- Personal fitness (push ups, sprinting, lunges, etc.)
3. Hamilton Conservation Authority (HCA) rail trails
Effective Saturday May 9, HCA will begin the process of reopening starting with its rail trails. Rail trails include: Hamilton to Brantford Rail Trail (Dundas), Dofasco 2000 Trail (Stoney Creek), Lafarge 2000 Trail (Flamborough), Chippewa Trail (Hamilton) and Canal Park Trails (Dundas).
All visitors must follow emergency measures and guidelines. These measures will be posted onsite and include practicing physical distancing by staying two metres (6 feet) apart from other trail users, stepping off the trail to allow others to pass, not gathering or arranging to meet friends or other groups, keeping pets leashed at all times, and pack out what you pack in.
All amenities will remain closed. There is no vehicle access to conservation areas at this time.
Please note the Rail Trail is the ONLY part of the Dundas Valley Conservation Area that is open. Please do not enter the conservation area or use any other trails.
For more information, visit www.conservationhamilton.ca.
4. Provincial Announcements Easing Restrictions on Retail Stores
Earlier this week, the Provincial Government announced that restrictions on some retail stores would be eased starting today. This includes:
- As of today, garden centres and nurseries were able to open for in-store payment and purchases, operating under the same guidelines as grocery stores and pharmacies.
- As of Saturday, May 9, hardware stores and safety supply stores are permitted to open for in-store payment and purchases.
- As of Monday, May 11, retail stores with street entrances can begin offering curbside pickup and delivery, in accordance with the Ministry’s Guidance Document for Essential Workplaces and occupational health and safety requirements.
The City continues to accept and process planning applications wherever possible. Committee of Adjustment applications are being accepted but will not be processed until a decision has been made about future meetings of the Committee. Applications that require public participation prior to a decision are also being received and processed and will be brought forward to Planning Committee when the City’s standing committee meetings resume.
Planning inquiries can be directed to [email protected] or 905-546-2424 x1355. Callers are asked to leave a detailed message including the address of the property being inquired about. For more information, visit: www.hamilton.ca/coronavirus/faq-development-approvals.
In the first three weeks of the COVID-19 emergency, the City approved, or conditionally approved, 472 new residential units and almost 100,000 square metres of non-residential development. In April, the City approved over $86 million worth of construction activity in the city, an increase over April activity from last year.
National Provider Day
Today is National Provider Day recognizing child care providers, teachers and other educators. The City would like to acknowledge the support of Today’s Family, Wee Watch Golfwood and Wee Watch Galbraith and their respective locations providing vital child care to Hamilton’s frontline essential workers seven days a week and sometimes 24 hours a day during the COVID-19 emergency.
Announcements from other levels of government
The Federal government announced that all provinces and territories have finalized plans to cost share wage top-ups for essential workers. The Federal government is covering 75 percent of the cost of the program, or $3 billion, and the provinces and territories are covering the remaining $1 billion. Each province will determine which workers will qualify for the top-up, and how much they will receive.
The Federal government announced that the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy for business owners will be extended beyond June. More than half a million businesses across Canada have received the emergency loan.
The provincial government has issued a framework for resuming scheduled and elective surgeries. Hospitals will be determining which surgeries can be rescheduled.
“Maintaining an active lifestyle is an important part of keeping both physically and mentally healthy. That’s why the reopening of our Waterfront Trail and rail trails is welcomed news. I ask for our community to continue to adhere to physical distancing measures when enjoying these reopened spaces. Thank you again to the residents of Hamilton for all their efforts to flatten the curve of COVID-19.”
- Mayor Fred Eisenberger
- For regular City of Hamilton COVID-19 updates, please visit www.hamilton.ca/coronavirus and www.hamilton.ca/covidclosures
- Visit covid-19.ontario.ca to learn more about how the province continues to protect Ontarians from COVID-19
- Public Health Services’ COVID-19 Hotline: 905-974-9848 or [email protected]
- Information about financial supports available from other levels of government to help individuals and families experiencing challenges due to COVID-19: www.hamilton.ca/coronavirus/financial-support-individuals
- Caring for our mental health during the COVID-19 emergency:
- Kids Help Phone: 1-800-668-6868 (24/7)
- COAST: 905-972-8338
Senior Communications Officer
City of Hamilton
Communications and Media Advisor
Office of Mayor Fred Eisenberger