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Impacts of COVID-19 provincewide emergency brake in Hamilton

HAMILTON, ON – Earlier this afternoon, the province announced that it would be implementing a provincewide emergency brake as of Saturday, April 3, 2021 at 12:01 am. The current COVID-19 Response Framework: Keeping Ontario Safe and Open pauses when the provincewide emergency brake comes into effect.

The emergency brake measures include:

  • Restricting indoor organized public events and social gatherings, except with members of the same household (the people you live with) and limiting the capacity for outdoor events to a 5-person maximum. Individuals who live alone may consider having exclusive close contact with one other household;
  • Restricting in-person shopping in all retail settings, including a 50 per cent capacity limit for supermarkets, grocery stores, convenience stores, indoor farmers’ markets, other stores that primarily sell food and pharmacies, and 25 per cent for all other retail including big box stores, along with other public health and workplace safety measures;
  • Prohibiting personal care services;
  • Prohibiting indoor and outdoor dining. Restaurants, bars and other food or drink; establishments will be permitted to operate by take out, drive-through, and delivery only;
  • Prohibiting the use of facilities for indoor or outdoor sports and recreational fitness (ie. gyms and fitness centres); and
  • Limiting capacity at weddings, funerals, and religious services, rites or ceremonies to 15 per cent total occupancy indoors, and to the number of individuals that can maintain two metres of physical distance outdoors. This does not include social gatherings associated with these services like receptions, which are not permitted indoors and are limited to five people outdoors.

Everyone is asked to limit trips outside the home to necessities such as food, medication, medical appointments, supporting vulnerable community members, or exercising outdoors with members of their household.

The province advised that the impact of the emergency brake will be evaluated throughout the next four weeks to determine if it is safe to lift any restrictions or if they need to be extended.

The City of Hamilton’s Emergency Operations Centre and Hamilton Public Health Services are reviewing the emergency brake measures in detail to ensure local clarity and compliance while the emergency brake is in place.

Locally, the Reopening Ontario Act will continue to be assertively enforced by the City’s COVID Enforcement Team. The COVID Enforcement Team will be responding to complaints as well as proactively enforcing all the applicable regulations throughout the city.

Hamilton COVID Concierge for Businesses

  • Support continues to be available to our local businesses through the Hamilton COVID Concierge for Business program
  • COVID Concierge can help them navigate the impacts of the pandemic on their business  
  • For more information, visit https://hamiltoncovidconcierge.ca/

Community gardens

  • Community gardens are permitted to continue to operate under appropriate health and safety guidelines
  • Residents can find guidelines for safely operating community gardens here: https://www.hamilton.ca/coronavirus/operating-community-gardens-safely
  • Residents must maintain the appropriate physical distancing from others in the garden, avoid the use of shared tools and only attend the gardens if they are feeling well. Masks should be worn if physical distancing cannot be maintained
  • Any organized “events” such as training sessions etc. held by operators of community gardens would need to be limited to five people

Neighbourhood cleanups

  • Organized neighbourhood and park cleanups may take place, but must include no more than five people conducting the cleanup per site
  • Participants must maintain the appropriate physical distancing from others and only attend the cleanup if they are feeling well. Masks should be worn if physical distancing cannot be maintained
  • For more information, visit https://www.hamilton.ca/parks-recreation/community-environmental-initiatives/team-clean

It is important for residents to stay diligent and continue to practice public health management measures in order to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 in our community. These measures include:

  • stay home if you are feeling unwell
  • get tested for COVID-19 if you have symptoms or have been in close contact with a confirmed positive case of COVID-19
  • limit gatherings to only members of your immediate household
  • maintain a physical distance of at least 6 feet or 2 meters from others outside of your immediate household
  • wear a mask or face covering indoors and outdoors when not able to maintain physical distancing
  • wash hands frequently

“The provincewide emergency brake is an unfortunate but necessary measure in order to protect the health and well-being of everyone in our province. There is light at the end of the tunnel with additional COVID-19 vaccine supply arriving, but right now we are experiencing a third wave surge in COVID-19 cases and additional restrictions need to be put in place to help stop the spread. I appreciate the majority of residents have been following all public health recommendations, but we must all adhere to these necessary lockdown measures in order to protect our hospitals, frontline workers and every person in this city.”

Mayor Fred Eisenberger

 

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