Yesterday afternoon Mayor Fred Eisenberger joined Dr. Elizabeth Richardson, Medical Officer of Health, and the City’s Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) Director, Paul Johnson, virtually, to update media and the community on the City’s response to COVID-19.
As of 9 a.m. yesterday, there are 256 confirmed cases and nine 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.
COVID-19-related supports/updates from other levels of government
This past weekend, the Federal government introduced the $73 billion Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) legislation, which represents a subsidy covering up to 75 per cent of employee wages for businesses that have lost income amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Saturday, Federal health officials released new interim infection prevention and control guidance for long-term care homes nationwide.
The provincial government extended all emergency orders that have been put in place to date under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act until April 23, 2020, including the closure of outdoor amenities in parks and recreational areas, non-essential workplaces, public places and bars and restaurants, along with restrictions on social gatherings and the prohibition of price gouging. In addition, new measures have been introduced to address surge capacity in retirement homes, restrict recreational camping on Crown land and allow the repurposing of existing buildings and temporary structures.
Ongoing enforcement of physical distancing and gatherings
City of Hamilton By-law Officers continue to use a progressive enforcement approach to help residents understand the City’s new Physical Distancing by-law enacted last week that prohibits certain activities and regulates physical distancing during the COVID-19 emergency. While no charges were laid related to this by-law over the long weekend, it continues to be in effect and the fine for individuals is $500, which could increase to $10,000 for a serious offence and up to $25,000 for repeat offences. Corporations may receive a fine of up to $50,000 for a first serious offence and up to $100,000 for repeat offences.
Residents are reminded that gatherings of more than five (5) people are currently illegal in Ontario. This is true for private social family or religious gatherings, parades, weddings and other social gatherings and communal services within places of worship. Residents organizing or attending gatherings of more than five (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: o Concern about a local business or public gatherings of 5+ people, without physical distancing: 905-546-2489 (546-CITY) o Business not following proper hygiene: 905-974-9848 o Inquiring if a business is essential: 1-888-444-3659 o Price-gouging reporting: 1-800-889-9768
Supporting vulnerable residents
To help ensure the health and safety of those who are at-risk and/or experiencing homelessness during the COVID-19 pandemic, the City, along with the Good Shepherd Centre and other shelter partners including Mission Services and the Salvation Army, with support from the Shelter Health Network, opened a surge shelter at First Ontario Centre over the weekend. The temporary shelter offers additional emergency shelter space to help accommodate increased physical distancing measures at existing shelters. The First Ontario Centre shelter provides an additional 50 beds/spaces in the city.
The City will be allocating provincial funding to local social service providers and community organizations for COVID-19 services that support the ultimate goal of reducing community spread. The funding need has to have been generated by COVID-19 and would be needed by the requesting organization to continue to deliver critical services, hire additional staff and find ways to promote physical distancing and self-isolation to keep people safe and healthy. There will be eligibility criteria and an application process. More information about the process will be shared in the coming days.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) donations
The City continues to accept donations of personal protective equipment (PPE). 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. We are 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call 905-546-2424 ext. 2257 and make an appointment for drop-off at a location in downtown Hamilton.
The City is reminding residents that public transit is for essential travel only. Please do not take public transit to pass some time during the day, transit is for essential trips only, such as going to work or a medical appointment. The public is reminded to adhere to physical distancing measures, please do not sit in seats that have been blocked off to promote physical distancing.
We are also reminding customers that DARTS is now providing bus-stop to bus-stop service for HSR customers using wheelchairs, scooters and CNIB cardholders. • Call DARTS at 905-529-1717 at least one hour before the desired departure time, or up to two days in advance • Identify yourself as an HSR customer • Provide DARTS with a departure bus stop number and the desired time of pick-up • Provide DARTS with a final destination bus stop number (i.e.: exclude usual transfers) • Wait at the bus stop for a DARTS vehicle to arrive and provide your name, and show your CNIB card, if applicable, to the DARTS driver before you board
Resident reminder: parks open, equipment, amenities and golf courses closed
Parks, including Gage Park and Bayfront Park, are currently open. Parking lots, play structures, playing fields, field houses, park benches, other park amenities and golf courses are closed. Residents can use greenspace in parks to get fresh air, however everyone must stay at least 2m or 6ft from other park users. Do not gather in groups of more than five including mixing with people from other households.
• For regular City of Hamilton COVID-19 updates, please visit www.hamilton.ca/coronavirus and www.hamilton.ca/covidclosures • Visit https://covid-19.ontario.ca to learn more about how the province continues to protect Ontarians from COVID-19 • Public Health Services’ COVID-19 Hotline: 905-974-9848 or email@example.com •Information about financial supports available from other levels of government to help individuals and families experiencing challenges due to COVID-19: https://www.hamilton.ca/coronavirus/financial-support-individuals •Caring for our mental health during the COVID-19 emergency: • http://ontario.cmha.ca/news/tips-to-manage-mental-health-during-covid-19/ • https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/publications/diseases-conditions/taking-care-mental-health.html • Kids Help Phone: 1-800-668-6868 (24/7) • COAST: 905-972-8338