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COVID-19 Update: Updates from the City of Hamilton

HAMILTON, ON - Earlier today, Mayor Fred Eisenberger joined Dr. Ninh Tran, 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 a total of 807 cases, an increase of 6 positive cases from yesterday (798 confirmed positive cases, 9 probable cases), and 43 deaths from COVID-19 in Hamilton.  We are also reporting that of the 807 cases, 719, or 89% are resolved. More details about cases are available on the City’s website including demographics, risk factors, exposure, etc.

"HAMILTON REOPENS" – New for June 23

Attractions and Heritage Institutions
The City of Hamilton will begin reopening some attractions and heritage institutions on Wednesday, July 15. This includes Dundurn Castle and Kitchen Garden, Hamilton Military Museum and the Hamilton Museum of Steam & Technology. Modified services and programming will be available and visitors and staff will be required to follow all public health advice including physical distancing. All other museums will remain closed until further notice.

Field Permits
The City will begin to update all field permit requests with the goal of permits allowing for groups to begin training on July 3, 2020. As a reminder, under the current provincial orders as part of the province's Stage 2 of its reopening plan, outdoor team sports may resume for training purposes only, with no scrimmages or games. Games will resume once the Province provides approval to do so. Field permits will be issued for practices/training during daylight hours at this time there will be no permits that include lights.

Rec at Home “Take Home Kits”
After closing all municipal recreation facilities to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Hamilton, the City launched a creative virtual program called Rec at Home to encourage residents to stay active and engaged from home.

Beginning the week of July 6, the City will start distributing “take home kits” in the community. Staff will distribute the kits in select parks for seven weeks, except for the week of August 3 for the Civic holiday. The kits will include games and activities that children can take and do at home. There will also be related content, including videos on the website prior to the launch each week. Visit  www.hamilton.ca/recathome

Municipal Swimming Pool Reopenings
Last week, the City announced we would be reopening 14 indoor and outdoor swimming pools during the weeks of July 6 and 13. As part of our plan to gradually and safely reopen City facilities, these locations were specifically chosen for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Ability to meet public health requirements
  • Size of the pool to accommodate physical distancing and maximize the number of bathers 
  • No significant maintenance required before reopening
  • Size of the lobby, change room, decks and swimming pool to accommodate physical distancing
  • Facilities with limited high touch surfaces
  • No major or minor capital maintenance planned at the facility
  • Staff resources required to bring the facility online
  • Locations to cover all parts of the city

At this time, we are not planning to reopen any additional swimming pools this summer. A number of factors are impacting this decision, including limited staff resources in both the aquatics and facilities groups, ensuring staff are trained on the new public health guidelines, ensuring the facilities are prepared for reopening, and ensyring we are able to follow the guidelines set out by the province and public health related to water recreational facilities (i.e. additional cleaning and sanitization of washrooms, changerooms, showers, etc., ensuring the layout of the facility allows for residents to maintain physical distance, limiting pool capacity, resting areas, seating areas, etc.)

"HAMILTON REOPENS" – Reminders

Phase Two Announcement
On Friday, the City of Hamilton announced that we are entering Phase Two of the Hamilton Reopens COVID-19 recovery plan. Phase Two is about gradual recovery. The City will begin to expand services and begin to return some staff to work. Some of our facilities and offices – primarily recreation facilities – will being reopening to the public in Phase Two, with measures to enable physical distancing and health screening upon entry. Where required, staff will return to the workplace and do so under enhanced health and safety guidelines with strict adherence to physical distancing, with health screening upon entry, and restrictions on gatherings.

Physically Distance Hamilton Style
Yesterday the City of Hamilton’s Public Health Services division began a campaign focused on engaging with those aged 20 to 29.

The campaign is called: Physically Distance Hamilton Style and is largely based on physical distancing. This campaign engages young adults to share their unit of measurement for keeping 2 meters/six feet apart using Hamilton-specific icons (e.g. x coffee cups). The also includes a website with more detailed messaging on keeping yourself and others safe during the pandemic.

Learn more about the importance of physical distancing by visiting www.hamilton.ca/physicaldistancing.

Guidance for Businesses and Workplaces
As more businesses and workplaces continue to reopen, the Provincial Government and the City of Hamilton have released guidelines for businesses and workplaces to reopen safely.

The Workplaces and Public Places webpage includes guidance documents, posters and signage, as well as focused information for:

  • Child care centres
  • Community gardens
  • Faith-based gatherings and funerals
  • Harm reduction settings
  • Residential buildings – laundry and elevators
  • Restaurants and other food premises
  • Summer day camps
  • Taxis and ride sharing
  • Water safety
  • Personal service settings

Find these guidance documents and more at: https://www.hamilton.ca/coronavirus/workplaces-and-public-places

Transit Reminders

Fare Collection
As a reminder, beginning July 1, 2020, HSR, TransCab and DARTS will resume fare collection and return to front door loading on HSR for all customers, including customers requiring the use of a wheelchair, scooter or other personal mobility device (PMD).

HSR has increased bus capacity to two-thirds the usual load, and will continue to add supplemental service on busier routes to help minimize crowding and potential customer pass-bys.

Customer Service Counters
Starting this past Wed, the Customer Service ticket counter at 36 Hunter St. Go Station resumed normal business hours of 8:30 am to 4:30 pm in order to allow customers. renew monthly passes, purchase and reload PRESTO cards, purchase tickets and taxi scrips, and accessible transportation application pick up and drop off.

The ticket counter will also open on June 27 from 10 am to 2 pm to assist customers with these transactions. We will not be processing credits for monthly passes at this time. More details to follow in the coming weeks. Seniors will have priority front-of-line access between 9 and 10 am daily.

Please note: the customer service desk at 2200 Upper James, and all other City of Hamilton facilities remain closed. Customers can continue to purchase their passes and tickets at Participating Vendors.

Mandatory Non-Medical Masks
A reminder that effective June 22, 2020, 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.

Additional Resources