July 22: Updates from the City of Hamilton

Sample image of the bruce park play equipment

Hello Ward 8 Neighbours,

The City of Hamilton held a virtual scrum today, detailing the number of cases throughout the City and updates regarding the reopening of play structures, information regarding MPAC, details about S.E.A.T. applications and details about the mandatory mask by-law.

For more details, please continue reading below…

COVID-19 Update: Updates from the City of Hamilton

The full City of Hamilton press release can be found here.

HAMILTON, ON – Earlier this afternoon, the City of Hamilton held its first virtual media scrum regarding the COVID-19 response in Hamilton. Media were invited to the scrum to hear brief remarks from Paul Johnson, the City’s Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) Director, and were able to ask questions to Dr. Ninh Tran, Associate Medical Officer of Health and Ken Leendertse, Director, Licensing & By-law Services.

As of 9 am this morning, there are a total of 881 cases, an increase of 1 positive case from yesterday (872 confirmed positive cases, 9 probable cases), and 44 deaths from COVID-19 in Hamilton.  We are also reporting that of the 881 cases, 821 or 93% are resolved. More details about cases are available on the City’s website including demographics, risk factors, exposure, etc.

Play Structures Reopening on Friday
With the Province’s announcement that Hamilton can move into Stage 3 of provincial reopening on Friday, the City of Hamilton has announced the reopening of all play structures on Friday as well. All signage and caution tape will be removed and residents will be able to use the play structures. However, users are reminded to maintain at least six feet of physical distance from others and wash your hands with soap and water or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer when finished.

Gage Park Tropical Greenhouse Reopening
Beginning this Friday, the Gage Park Tropical Greenhouse will reopen to the public. Residents are welcome to visit the tropical greenhouse on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays between 10 am and 4 pm  Masks or face coverings are required and visitors should continue to maintain a physical distance of at least two metres from others. All guests to the Gage Park Tropical Greenhouse should enter the building through the south side doors off Lawrence Road.

Bottle Filling Stations Reopening
Later this week, the City will reopen drinking fountains across Hamilton to be used as bottle filling stations. Residents are asked to obey the signage, not to drink directly from the fountains and to make sure you wash your hands with soap and water or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer when finished.

City Hall Reopening: Update
Earlier this week on Monday, the City reopened the first and second floors of City Hall. City Hall will be open between the hours of 8:30 am and 4:30 pm., Monday to Friday. Several changes are place, including enhanced cleaning, measures to ensure physical distancing, efforts to encourage good hand hygiene and limit the spread of the virus, health screening for those working or visiting City Hall, and more. The public must enter through any of the doors on the first floor. Councillors, their staff and those City staff who have been approved to return to work may enter through the second floor doors. Ample signage and floor markings are in place to ensure it is clear where everyone should enter the building, stand in line, or access City services. Masks are required in the public areas on the first and second floor of City Hall.

More than 100 people visited City Hall on Monday to access municipal services like getting a marriage license or picking up a new blue box. Approximately 90 people visited on Tuesday and as of earlier this afternoon, approximately 50 people had visited so far today. More about the reopening of City Hall: https://www.hamilton.ca/reopens/what-expect-city-hall

Restart of Park and SEAT Permit Applications
Beginning in August, the City will once again accept applications for permits to hold events in municipal parks (such as family picnics), and Special Event Advisory Team (SEAT) applications for events with 100 people or less. More information to come on this.

Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) resuming interactions with property owners
In mid-June, MPAC resumed exterior property inspections in some communities, including Hamilton, after pausing the service for three months due to COVID-19. At that time, staff were not interacting with property owners, knocking on doors or entering buildings. Starting July 6, MPAC employees are now conducting property inspections in all communities that have reached Stage 2 of the province’s reopening plan and will be proactively interacting with property owners and seeking permission to walk around the exterior of the property and measure structures. They have undertaken mandatory PPE training, conduct a daily COVID-19 self-assessment and will be observing health and safety guidelines around physical distancing when conducting inspections.

Mandatory Mask By-Law
Beginning July 20, 2020 at 12:01 am, with some exceptions, all persons entering an enclosed public premise are required to wear a mask or face covering. As more establishments and businesses begin to re-open, wearing a mask or face covering is an additional measure that can be taken to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 and keep one another safe.

Business owners and establishment operators are required to take reasonable steps to ensure that no member of the public is permitted entry to, or otherwise remain within, the establishment without a face covering.  The mask or face covering should cover the nose, mouth and chin, without gapping. The City of Hamilton would like to urge the public to be respectful as businesses seek to comply with the new by-law to protect all of us from COVID-19.

A number of exemptions have been considered and included in the by-law, since not every person can participate in wearing a mask or face covering.  A self-declaration of exemption is acceptable and sufficient. It’s vital that no member of the public be denied entry or stigmatized if they are unable to wear a mask or face covering due to a listed exemption.  We ask for patience and kindness as everyone adjusts and navigates through these uncertain times.

Wearing a mask is not an alternative to physical distancing. Every effort should be made to keep a 2-metre distance even when wearing a face covering or mask, as well as following other public health measures such as frequent hand washing and staying home if sick.

Learn more about mandatory face coverings in the City of Hamilton by visiting www.hamilton.ca/masks.