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COVID-19 Update: Updates from the City of Hamilton

HAMILTON, ON -The City of Hamilton is continuing to respond to the COVID-19 emergency, and today is providing some updates for the community related to the ongoing pandemic situation.

The City’s Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) is still activated and the management team continues to meet regularly to monitor the COVID-19 situation in Hamilton. As the beginning of a second wave of COVID-19 reaches our community, the EOC will take advice from the Province and our local Medical Officer of Health as we go forward over the coming weeks and months. At this time, there are no new closures or restrictions for municipal facilities, programs or events to share.

Importance of following Public Health Advice
As confirmed cases of COVID-19 continue to rise in Hamilton and across the province, it is critical for residents to remember the importance of following good personal practices and public health measures at this time. Our best defense against COVID-19 is still to practice physical distancing, wear face masks and stay home when ill, even with mild symptoms.

At this time, Hamilton Public Health Services is observing trends in COVID-19 spread among those who are not adhering to social circles, not practicing appropriate physical distancing and not wearing masks indoors or in other settings where physical distancing is a challenge.

Residents can help reduce the transmission of COVID-19 in our community by:

  • Washing hands frequently with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds;
  • Staying home if sick, self-isolating from others and getting tested;
  • Keeping a physical distance of at least two metres from others in your group, unless they are household members or in your social circle of 10;
  • Wearing a mask or face covering in an enclosed space, especially in settings where it is difficult to maintain a physical distance from others;
  • Meeting up outside and keeping gathering times short; and
  • Taking extra precautions if people are elderly or have chronic health conditions.

It’s critical that the community remember and practice these fundamental public health management measures in order to stop the spread of COVID-19 in Hamilton. It is up to all of us to help prevent the spread of the disease.

Weekend reporting for COVID-19 case numbers
Earlier this summer, Hamilton Public Health Services shifted away from daily reporting of COVID-19 cases and outbreaks to updating this information on a Monday to Friday operational schedule only. Due to the increased COVID-19 activity in our community, we will be resuming daily reporting of the status of cases in Hamilton effective immediately. The information we report on daily is available here: https://www.hamilton.ca/coronavirus/status-cases-in-hamilton. The page will be updated each day and will include case information reported to Hamilton Public Health as of 3 pm the previous day.

Supporting our vulnerable residents
Tuesday, September 29 was the last day that FirstOntario Centre was used as a temporary emergency men’s shelter. The temporary shelter was operated by Good Shepherd. The 15 individuals who were staying there were transferred to the new temporary shelter located at the former Cathedral Boys High School (378 Main St. E.), which will also be operated by Good Shepherd. Spectra staff, the company that operates FirstOntario Centre, are working to return the facility to its previous function. The City of Hamilton thanks Spectra and Carmen’s, who provided food services, for their partnership, cooperation and support throughout this process.

As part of the City’s pandemic response, FirstOntario Centre was set up as a temporary emergency men’s shelter in early April to support individuals experiencing homelessness, allowing for additional space for surge shelter if needed.

The City, together with homeless-serving agency partners, remain committed to ensuring the health and safety of those who are at-risk and/or experiencing homelessness, and to ultimately help individuals in the shelter system find permanent housing solutions.

Masks & Face Coverings
Yesterday, Hamilton City Council approved an amendment to the masks and face coverings by law to require masks in common areas of hotels, motels, apartment buildings, condominiums and other multi-unit buildings or townhouse complexes (including those that permit short term rentals), such as lobbies, elevators, meeting rooms, or other common use facilities.

As a reminder, masks or face coverings are required in enclosed public spaces. This includes public transit, where our HSR operators continue to take an educational approach and take great care in the safety of customers to ensure they are wearing a mask when entering the bus. HSR is distributing non-medical masks to customers at the HSR ticket counter at the Hunter Go Station during regular business hours: Monday to Friday 8:30 am – 4:30 pm. Distribution is limited to one mask per person, while supplies last.

The mask or face covering should cover your nose, mouth and chin, without gapping. Wearing a mask or face covering is an additional measure we can take to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 and keep each other safe. This means that, with some exceptions, all persons, including customers and/or visitors entering an enclosed premise are required to wear a mask or face covering while in the enclosed space.

Reopening EarlyON Child and Family Centres
Some EarlyON Child and Family Centres have reopened for in-person early years programs. Locations will offer either indoor programming or outdoor programming options. Virtual programming will continue to be available. 

All EarlyON centres are required to follow strict health protocols and meet additional requirements to safely reopen. Families will be required to reserve a space in advance of attending an EarlyON Child and Family Centre. EarlyON Child and Family Centres provide opportunities for children from birth to 6 years of age to participate in play and inquiry-based programs, and support parents and caregivers in their roles.

For more information about which EarlyON centres are reopen and to reserve your spot, visit www.hamilton.ca/earlyoncentres

HSR Update: Presto and Paper Fare Media
HSR is phasing out paper tickets and paper monthly passes. Customers can buy and use a paper monthly pass until October 2020, buy tickets until October 31, 2020 and use them until December 31, 2020. PRESTO E-Tickets are now available for HSR customers. Download the PRESTO E-Tickets app on an iOS or Android phone to buy single-ride adult, senior, child, or youth tickets.

More information: www.hamilton.ca/hsr

HSR Lost & Found
HSR Lost and Found is now open at reduced capacity. Due to COVID-19, pick-up times for items may be delayed. If you have left something on the bus, please call us between 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 905-546-2424 ext. 1882

“We are on the cusp of a potential second wave of spread of the coronavirus. We don’t want to erase of all the sacrifices we made at the beginning of the pandemic. That means we have to double down with renewed vigilance by maintaining physical distancing, wearing masks where physical distancing is not possible, maintaining social circles, continuing frequent handwashing, and staying home when sick. We have achieved a lot together. Now more than ever, we need to stay the course and continue to work together.”

Mayor Fred Eisenberger

 

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