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COVID-19 Update: Updates from the City of Hamilton

HAMILTON, ON - Today, the City of Hamilton is providing another update to the community on the City’s response to COVID-19.

As of 9 a.m. this morning, there are 495 confirmed positive cases, five probable cases, and 25 deaths from COVID-19 in Hamilton. More details about cases are available on the City’s website including demographics, risk factors, exposure, etc.

“Hamilton Reopens” – NEW for May 13

Parking Enforcement
This week, the Ontario government began to allow retail stores with a street entrance to provide curbside pickup and delivery. To ensure that on-street parking and parking in municipal lots is available for businesses and employees, starting this Saturday, May 16 payment will once again be required and enforced at all parking meters and lots. Monthly permits from March or April that were not renewed will be honoured in municipal lots through May, but permits for June 1 will need to be renewed.    

To support local businesses and restaurants participating in curbside pickup and delivery, the first 30 minutes at parking meters will be free until further notice.

On March 25, the enforcement of payment at meters and lots was suspended so that staffing resources could be redeployed to support the City’s emergency response efforts including safety related matters, enforcement at highly visited public sites and concerns from the community. Enforcement of some parking violations will continue to be suspended, such as time limits on residential streets, to support the high number of residents still working from home.

Mayor’s Economic Recovery Task Force
Today, Hamilton City Council approved the terms of reference for the Mayor’s Economic Recovery Task Force. The Task Force will provide multi-sectoral leadership and direction to guide Hamilton’s economic recovery in the immediate aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Task Force will:

  • Establish defined outcomes with specific deliverables to address the priority economic impacts of the pandemic confronting Hamilton-based industry/businesses, employers and employees
  • Provide advice and suggestions to the Mayor, Council and senior staff for specific City of Hamilton actions and responses
  • Identify issues and opportunities to convey to other levels of government

The Task Force will be made up of representatives from local business, labour, industry and the academic community along with three representatives from Hamilton City Council, plus the Mayor.

Culinary Scene Support Council Meeting motion
Today, Hamilton City Council passed a motion to support outdoor dining districts as an early step aimed at economic recovery for one of the city’s hard-hit sectors. Council has created the opportunity for business improvement associations and the restaurant industry to use some areas of city streets and parking areas or their own parking lots as temporary outdoor dining spaces to provide additional seating capacity in anticipation of public health restrictions with respect to indoor dining.

HSR Travel
To help reduce the spread of COVID-19, HSR is asking customers to consider wearing a face covering/face mask on public transit. It is not mandatory, but can help protect others in spaces where physical distancing can be hard to maintain. The City wants to remind customers that transit continues to be for essential travel only. Operators are committed to providing a safe, reliable and professional service and will do their best to limit instances of over-crowding by monitoring the boardings of 10 or 15 customers the best they can, while safely operating buses. The public is reminded to adhere to the public health measures that have been put in place.

“Hamilton Reopens” – REMINDERS

1. Waterfront Trail - The Waterfront Trail between Confederation Park and the Burlington Lift Bridge has reopened.

2. City Parks - Examples of activities that are permitted in Hamilton’s parks in groups of up to five people or members from the same household include:

  •          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 (the use of park benches and picnic tables is not permitted)
  •          Personal yoga practice (not a group class)
  •          Kite flying
  •          Personal fitness (push ups, sprinting, lunges, etc.)

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.

3. Hamilton Conservation Authority (HCA) – As of today, Hamilton Conservation Authority conservation areas are accessible for passive recreation only, such as hiking, biking and bird-watching. All on-site facilities (including washroom buildings, pavilions, Trail Centre and gatehouses, etc.) will remain closed. For a complete listing of the conservation areas that have reopened, please visit: https://conservationhamilton.ca/hca-reopens-areas-for-passive-use/. The HCA has also reopened the 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. All amenities will remain closed. There is no vehicle access to conservation areas at this time. For more information, visit www.conservationhamilton.ca.

Other Announcements

Wild Waterworks
To safeguard the health and safety of our visitors and staff, the City of Hamilton endorsed the joint HCA and City staff recommendation to suspend operations for the 2020 season. A safe environment for visitors and community is a top priority for HCA who operates the facility and the City of Hamilton, who owns Wild Waterworks. Physical distancing would not be possible for swimmers in a wave pool or other water attractions.

Wild Waterworks also requires a six-week preparation period to open and with no date set for the lifting of emergency orders as they apply to the limiting of gatherings, training staff and preparing to open would have been extremely delayed, with a very short possible operation period.

Staff will be available beginning Thursday May 14, 2020 to answer questions about season passes and day tickets. Please contact Wild Waterworks at 905-547-6141 to speak with a staff member.

This was not an easy decision, however it is in the best interest of the health and safety of visitors to Wild Waterworks and staff. During the closure, Wild Waterworks will be undertaking some maintenance, including to the Eazy River and Little Squirt Works to refresh their look for the 2021 season.

Fireworks ban in the city to July 4, 2020
Today, Hamilton City Council voted to amend the City's Fireworks and Administrative Penalties By-law (By-law 02-285) and invoke a temporary fireworks ban.

To help prevent large gatherings and the spread of COVID-19, to reduce the potential for fires at a time when emergency response teams are required to handle issues directly related to the COVID-19 emergency, and to protect emergency response and Municipal Law Enforcement staff from having to inspect more businesses or respond to more situations than necessary during the pandemic, effective immediately, the sale and discharge of all fireworks in the City of Hamilton is prohibited until July 4, 2020.

The temporary ban includes the use of sparklers, which the government of Canada classifies as consumer fireworks. Residents found to be acting not in accordance with the temporary ban will be subject to a penalty of $500. Penalties apply to residents, businesses and non-residents. After July 4, the ban is slated to be lifted, but the former regulations would apply. 

“With the province allowing retail stores with a street entrance to provide curbside pickup and delivery, this long weekend is the perfect opportunity to support local. While doing so, I ask for our community to continue to adhere to physical distancing measures. Thank you to all of you for doing your part.”

- Mayor Fred Eisenberger


Additional Resources

MEDIA CONTACTS:
Allison Jones
Senior Communications Officer
City of Hamilton
905-517-5786
[email protected]

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