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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 Operations 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 856 cases, an increase of 2 positive cases from yesterday (848 confirmed positive cases, 8 probable cases), and 44 deaths from COVID-19 in Hamilton.  We are also reporting that of the 856 cases, 776 or 91% are resolved. More details about cases are available on the City’s website including demographics, risk factors, exposure, etc.

"HAMILTON REOPENS" – New for July 7

Event Bookings in City Facilities
Today, the City has announced that private events booked at Fieldcote, Griffin House, Ancaster Old Town Hall, Whitehern and the Hamilton Children’s Museum up to September 30 will be cancelled. Dundurn Castle, The Hamilton Military Museum and the Hamilton Museum of Steam & Technology are re-opening as of July 15 to offer modified programming on a Wednesday to Sunday schedule. Private events booked at these three sites can still take place, following all health and safety guidelines.

Beginning July 15, residents can book events at Dundurn Castle, the Hamilton Military Museum and the Hamilton Museum of Steam & Technology. Bookings at the other six museums are also available, for dates in January 2021 and beyond, contingent on the COVID-19 situation in Hamilton.

Pool Reopenings
Yesterday, the City of Hamilton reopened nine swimming pools and one wading pool. More than 700 residents visited one of the newly reopened indoor and outdoor swimming pools yesterday for the first day of swimming since March 2020.

The pools are holding open swims between 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. daily until September. Locations, schedules and guidelines for visiting pools are available at: www.hamilton.ca/swimming

Residents should be advised that pool capacity is limited to ensure physical distancing, so there may be waiting times.

COVID-19 Testing and Assessment Centres
COVID-19 test results are processed by Ontario’s Public Health Laboratory and uploaded onto the online provincial portal.  Hamilton Public Health Services does not have control over the length of time it takes for this process. As well, Public Health does not have any additional access to results over what is on the provincial portal.

Hamilton Public Health Services is discouraging residents from going to a different assessment centre to receive repeat testing instead of waiting for their results, as this may cause an even greater increase in testing backlog, duplicate records, and confusion in the system.

The total number of COVID-19 tests conducted daily in Hamilton continues to be around 400 tests across all three testing centres, this is already exceeding capacity, and we are often seeing upwards of 700 tests being performed per day. 

If residents have been tested for COVID-19, they should continue to check the provincial portal until test results are updated or contact the clinician who ordered the test or their primary care provider. A link to the portal can be found on the City’s website and it’s important to note that it may take up to 10 days to receive test results for COVID-19.

Hamilton Public Health Services will only follow-up with residents if they test positive for COVID-19.

"HAMILTON REOPENS" Reminders

City waterfalls reopening
Beginning July 15, most waterfalls in Hamilton will reopen, including their associated parking lots. At this time, Tews Falls, Websters Falls and Dundas Peak will remain closed. 

Residents are reminded to maintain a physical distance of two metres or six feet between yourself and those outside your social circle. As well,

All of the typical COVID-19 precautions remain in place while visiting waterfalls. Including:

  • Keep two metres of physical distance between yourself and others who aren’t in your “social circle”.
  • Don’t join large crowds or groups.
  • Wash your hands: Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer or wash your hands with soap and warm water as soon as possible.
  • Don’t visit waterfalls if you are sick or showing signs of being sick. 

At this time, Tews Falls, Websters Falls and Dundas Peak will remain closed because the use of shuttle services are not available due to COVID-19.

Play structures closed
All play structures and playground equipment remain closed at this time, as per the provincial emergency orders. Residents are asked to please not remove caution tape or signage indicating the closures.

Pay-by-phone” parking app
Earlier on in the COVID-19 emergency response, parking regulations and enforcement were relaxed to help those working from home or self-isolating as a result of the pandemic. At this time, the temporary 30-minute free on-street parking has ended, enforcement of all meters has returned to normal.

To make things easier for residents, the new “pay-by-phone” parking app allows you to pay, track and extend your parking anytime, on all on-street parking meters and Municipal parking lots in Hamilton right from your smartphone

Simply download the new Passport Parking App from the Apple Store or Google Play Store to create your account. Park anywhere you see the Passport Parking App sign, enter the zone number, track or add time to your parking directly from your smartphone.

Payment by coin at meters and coin/credit card in off-street lots will remain available. Starting Monday, July 6, as approved by Council through the 2020 budget process, parking fees for on-street meter rates will increase from $1.50 per hour to $2.00 per hour.

City to distribute non-medical masks for transit users
As we increase the capacity on HSR buses and now that we have returned to loading customers in through the front door for fare collection as of July 1, the City is reminding customers that they are required to wear a non-medical mask while riding the bus, taking DARTS and using TRANSCAB.

Beginning Monday, July 6, HSR will begin a temporary program to distribute non-medical masks to customers who cannot acquire one through another means. The masks are available at the Hunter St. Go Station. As well, staff are working with both DARTS and local social service organizations to distribute the masks to transit users.

The masks are one-time use only, and will be available while supplies last. HSR is committed to the safety of our operators and customers, and is distributing these masks to help provide customers with a temporary solution until they can acquire their own personal mask to use consistently on future travel.

“It is important we continue to mitigate the spread of the virus by adhering to all of the Public Health measures we have in place. The Board of Health report recommending a mandatory face covering be worn in public indoor spaces will help our efforts in protecting the community from further spread. With Stage 3 of the province’s reopening plan on the horizon, this additional measure will help avoid mass spread of the virus and ensure that we can keep moving forward.”

-Mayor Fred Eisenberger

 

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