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COVID-19 Update: Updates from the City of Hamilton

HAMILTON, ON – Today the City is sharing some further updates on its response to COVID-19.

As of 9 am yesterday, there were 183 confirmed cases and five deaths from COVID-19 in Hamilton. More details about cases are available on the City’s website including demographics, risk factors, exposure, etc.

The public is reminded to stay home as much as possible. If you must go out, please practice physical distancing and maintain 2m or 6ft between yourself and others at all times.

Announcements from other levels of government

Yesterday, the province announced an online portal to match available health care workers with employers to increase the frontline capacity of hospitals, clinics, and assessment centres. The new Health Workforce Matching Portal will enable health care providers with a range of experience to join the province's response to COVID-19. Those providers include retired or non-active health care professionals, internationally educated health care professionals, students, and volunteers with health care experience. The portal will efficiently match the availability and skillsets of frontline health care workers to the employers in need of assistance to perform a variety of public health functions, such as case and contact management. Employers and interested health care professionals can visit the portal here and create a profile. Once registered, professionals can add their availability and employers can enter their request for support. Registrants will receive an email notification if matched.

Holiday Weekend Reminders / Enforcement of Gatherings

Residents are reminded that gatherings of more than five people are currently illegal in Ontario. This holds true for private social family gatherings or religious celebrations for Easter, Passover or other faith-based holidays in April.

Under the provincial State of Emergency declaration, in order to help contain the spread of COVID-19 and protect the public, events of more than five people are prohibited, including parades, weddings, social gatherings and communal services within places of worship.

Residents organizing or attending gatherings of more than 5 people may be charged under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, which carries a fine starting at $750. Hamilton Police and Hamilton Municipal Law Enforcement will be charging residents who do not abide by this law.

This law does not apply to private households with five of more people living in them.  

To report concerns:

  • Concern about a local business or public gatherings of 5+ people, without physical distancing: 905-546-2489 (546-CITY)
  • Business not following proper hygiene: 905-974-9848
  • Inquiring if a business is essential: 1-888-444-3659
  • Price-gouging reporting: 1-800-889-9768

Virtual Town Hall Tonight

Tonight, in collaboration with Cable 14 and 900 CHML, the City of Hamilton will host its third weekly Virtual Town Hall. Residents are invited to submit questions by tagging @cityofhamilton on Twitter or at www.hamilton.ca/askcovidquestions. The Virtual Town Hall will be carried live on The City’s YouTube Channel at www.youtube.com/insidecityofhamilton, on Cable 14 and on 900 CHML.

Transit Reminders

The City is reminding residents that public transit is for essential travel only. Please adhere to physical distancing and do not sit in seats that have been blocked off to promote physical distancing.

This past weekend, DARTS began providing bus-stop to bus-stop service for HSR customers using wheelchairs, scooters and CNIB card holders, allowing those with personal mobility devices such as wheelchairs and scooters, and CNIB cardholders to travel without a companion.

Customers can call DARTS at 905-529-1717 at least one hour before the desired departure time, or up to two days in advance.

Launch of “Rec at Home”

The City of Hamilton Recreation Division has put together a list of activities for residents to try at home with family. While we are all doing our part to stay home and practice physical distancing, the Recreation Division wants to remind families of the role that active and creative play have in helping to keep us all healthy. We encourage you to check in regularly to see what activities/challenges are posted. New activities/challenges will continue to be added to this page on a regular basis so keep checking back for additional programming ideas and opportunities. Visit www.hamilton.ca/RecAtHome to access the activities.

Virtual City Council Meeting Today

Today, Wednesday, April 8, 2020, Hamilton City Council is holding a virtual City Council meeting starting at 9:30 a.m. View the agenda.

Residents can watch the meeting on City’s live stream, broadcast on Cable 14 and on the City of Hamilton’s YouTube channel http://www.youtube.com/insidecityofhamilton. Attendance in person is not permitted.

In the event of a technical issue, the meeting will be recorded and posted on the City’s website after the meeting. If the meeting is interrupted by technical issues and it is deemed that it cannot continue, it will resume on Thursday, April 10 at 9:30 am.

Parks Open; Equipment and Amenities Closed

Parks, including Gage Park and Bayfront Park, are currently open for residents to walk through. Parking lots, play structures, playing fields, field houses, park benches, and other park amenities are closed. Residents can use greenspace in parks to get fresh air, however please stay at least 2m or 6ft from other park users. Do not gather in groups of more than five.

Golf Courses

Residents are reminded that golf courses are closed, even for walking.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) donations

The City is continuing to accept donations of personal protective equipment (PPE) to provide much-needed resources for the city-wide response to COVID-19. The equipment will be provided to essential service workers. The City is accepting surgical masks, N95 masks, impervious gowns, gloves, face shields, swabs and sanitizer. Requesting these items from local healthcare providers, pest control, hospitality providers, nail salons and construction companies. Homemade equipment will not be accepted. To donate, please email [email protected] or call 905-546-2424 ext. 2257 and make an appointment for drop-off at a location in downtown Hamilton.

Open Air Burning

Residents are advised that, while the province recently announced restrictions to open air burning in Ontario, Hamilton is not located within the restricted zone. Open-air burning is still permitted in Hamilton in areas designated as rural, with the purchase of an open-air burning permit.

Recognizing that many residents, while staying at home as much as possible during the COVID-19 pandemic, are undertaking spring cleanup of their property, everyone is reminded that only the burning of clean wood and brush is permitted. The burning of leaves is not allowed with or without a burn permit. Residents can keep leaf and yard waste until yard waste collection resumes or take it to one of the Community Recycling Centres free of charge.

The Hamilton Fire Department has implemented a temporary mail-in application process to assist residents in acquiring burn permits while municipal offices remain closed to the public due to the COVID-19 emergency. For the most up to date information on how to apply for a permit residents should refer to https://www.hamilton.ca/emergency-services/fire/open-air-burning-permit.

Please note:

  • Permits are required for all open-air burning.
  • An open-air burning permit costs $25 and is valid for the calendar year only.
  • Open-air burning must follow established regulations. 
  • Recreational campfires require a permit, must be kept to a maximum size of 0.6m in diameter, and must be confined.
  • Chimenea or outdoor fireplace use is deemed open-air burning and requires a permit.

Leaf and Yard Waste Reminder

The City has suspended curbside pick up of leaf and yard waste until further notice. Residents are directed to either hold on to their leaf and yard waste, or take it to one of the Community Recycling Centres.

Please note there are currently long wait times at our Community Recycling Centre due to seasonal volumes, reduced staffing levels, and because we are only allowing so many people in at a time to ensure physical distancing.

Donation Boxes

While we know this is a popular time for spring cleaning, for health and safety reasons related to the COVID-19 emergency, please do not drop items off at outdoor donation boxes in the city (ie at Canadian Diabetes donation boxes). To maintain the health and wellbeing of everyone involved, these organizations cannot pick these donated items up at this time. Please keep them at home until these pick-ups can resume.

Shareable Graphics

Residents are encouraged to help the City reinforce key messages about COVID-19 by sharing any of the graphics available at https://www.hamilton.ca/coronavirus/media-room

“Together, we are helping our community flatten the curve of COVID-19 by staying home and only going out for essentials. Hamiltonians are taking their role seriously. We are the first line of defense against this virus and we will get through this together. I am proud of the response from our community.” - Mayor Fred Eisenberger

Additional Resources