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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 a.m. this morning, there are a total of 861 cases, an increase of 4 positive cases from yesterday (853 confirmed positive cases, 8 probable cases), and 44 deaths from COVID-19 in Hamilton.  We are also reporting that of the 861 cases, 790 or 92% are resolved. More details about cases are available on the City’s website including demographics, risk factors, exposure, etc.

HAMILTON REOPENS – New for July 10

Mandatory Face Covering By-Law
Earlier today, the City’s Board of Health considered a by-law related to mandatory face coverings in most indoor public spaces. The by-law was created to protect the public from potentially spreading the virus to each other while in indoor public spaces, including commercial areas, places of worship, community services, public transit and HSR.

The by-law references face coverings, which includes bandanas and scarfs that cover the nose, mouth and chin and other non-gapping covers. It would not include those with underlying conditions or those conditions or those who cannot put on or remove a mask without assistance.

This proposed by-law will be voted on at the Hamilton City Council meeting next Friday, July 17.  Once a decision is made, it will be communicated to the public and establishment owners.  All residents can livestream Council and Committee meetings by visiting www.hamilton.ca/Council-Committee.

Pool Reopenings
Earlier this week, the City of Hamilton reopened nine swimming pools and one wading pool. There have been more than 3,500 visits to the pools since they opened on Monday.

Beginning July 13, we will reopen an additional four outdoor pools, including:

  • Birge Outdoor Pool
  • Green Acres Outdoor Pool
  • Inch Park Outdoor Pool
  • Walker Outdoor Pool

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.

HAMILTON REOPENS - Reminders

Event Bookings in City Facilities
Earlier this week, the City 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.

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.

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.

“I want to thank our media partners and community members who have tuned in to our virtual media briefings since this pandemic began in March. As we gradually reopen our City and economy, we will continue to keep the community informed about the City’s COVID-19 response via social media, individual interviews and on the City’s website. Let’s all continue to stay the course and do our part to limit the spread of the virus and keep our community safe.”

Mayor Fred Eisenberger

 

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