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COVID-19 Update: Updates from the City of Hamilton

HAMILTON, ON – Earlier today, Mayor Fred Eisenberger joined Dr. Elizabeth Richardson, 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 748 confirmed positive cases, 7 probable cases, and 42 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 June 12

Child Care in Hamilton
The City and Hamilton Public Health Services are working with local licensed child care centre operators to ensure a gradual and safe reopening of these centres in the city.

All centres will be required to follow strict health protocols and meet additional requirements to safely reopen. The new protocols include enhanced cleaning, mandatory screening of staff and children, mandatory staff training, limitations on visitors, and ensuring an updated COVID-19 response plan is in place. Additionally, restrictions on the size of groups will be limited to 10 individuals per room, including both staff and children. The centres must also complete and pass a Public Health inspection prior to reopening.

For more information about required safe reopening measures, visit https://www.hamilton.ca/coronavirus/workplaces-and-public-places.

Transit Update
A reminder that effective Monday June 22, 2020 there will be several changes to HSR service:

  • Customers are required to wear a non-medical mask while riding the bus, taking DARTS and using TRANSCAB.
  • In keeping with recommendations from the province, an exception will be made for:
    • Children under the age of two (2)
    • People who have difficulty breathing
    • Anyone who is unable to remove a non-medical mask without assistance
  • HSR will not deny anyone a ride. Remember, not all disabilities or medical conditions that prevent someone from safely wearing a non-medical mask are visible.
  • HSR will begin to increase bus capacity to two-thirds and will continue to add supplemental service on busier routes to help minimize crowding and potential customer pass-bys.
  • HSR is also installing polycarbonate driver compartment shields as an additional measure to protect operators and customers.

Further, HSR will resume collecting fares starting on July 1, 2020. All details are being finalized and further updates will be shared next week.

COVID-19 Online Mapping Tool
Beginning today, the public can access an interactive COVID-19 online mapping tool on the City’s website. This tool was created to assist interested individuals and groups with easily determining the location of confirmed positive and probable COVID-19 cases displayed by neighbourhood.

The map is colour-coded to represent the rate of positive cases in the City, with the darkest blue areas indicating the highest rate per 100,000 population and the lightest beige-coloured areas indicating those with the lowest rates.

This map illustrates the cases by area, and provides the following information:

  • The reference name of the census tract
  • The incidence rate per 100,000 for that census tract
  • The total number of confirmed or probable cases in that area
  • And the total population for that area

The tool can be found at www.hamilton.ca/coronavirus/status-cases-in-hamilton.

Library begins Phase One of Reopening Plan: Take-out library service starts June 23
The Hamilton Public Library announced it is offering take-out (curbside) service of on-hold books, music and movies, starting June 23, 2020 at four branches.

An HPL library card and personal identification number (PIN) are needed to reserve and pick up items. Library customers are also able to schedule and pick up holds for two family members/friends during their appointment.

The HPL is planning to open more branches in the next phase of reopening and eventually all locations will be open for this service when enhanced cleaning and other safety protocols are in place. For more information visit hpl.ca/takeout.

Federal and Provincial investment in local small businesses
Yesterday, the federal and provincial governments announced a $57 million investment in Canada’s and Ontario’s small businesses through three programs, including shopHERE powered by Google, the Digital Main Street Grant, and Future-Proofing Main Street to help small businesses ‘go digital’. 

This will see the City’s Hamilton Business Centre and the Innovation Factory working together to deliver programming. The number of grants and total funding envelope for Hamilton will be shared with the City in the coming days.

For more information, visit: https://digitalmainstreet.ca/vendor/hamilton-business-centre/

“The establishment of social circles is an important step forward toward reopening. It will only work if everyone follows the rules so that people can remain safe. That means limiting the size of your social circle to a total of 10 people. It means limiting yourself to one social circle and not be part of many. Everyone has their own different circumstances and it’s important to choose what’s best for you and your family. As we go forward, we must ensure we do not throw away all the progress we’ve made in reducing the number of cases in Hamilton by forgetting public health recommendations. The virus is still in our community and we need to remain diligent to stop its spread. At the same time, with this latest development there is a new sense of optimism and opportunity to enjoy ourselves within our newly expanded social circle.” - Mayor Fred Eisenberger

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