June 19: Updates from the City of Hamilton

This article, from June 19, includes information about pools, parks, HSR, the HPL, outdoor dining and numerous other City services as Hamilton continues at Stage 2 of the province’s re-opening.

John-Paul Danko Ward 8 Hamilton City Councillor

Hello Ward 8 Neighbours,

The City of Hamilton released a lengthy update this afternoon, including information related to many City services which will start to operate over the next few weeks as Hamilton enters its first full week in Stage 2 re-opening.

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 today, Mayor Fred Eisenberger joined Dr. Elizabeth Richardson, Medical Officer of Health, and the City’s Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) Director, Paul Johnson, and Paul Takala, Chief Librarian and CEO at the Hamilton Public Library to update media and the community on the City’s response to COVID-19.

As of 9 a.m. this morning, there are a total of 789 cases, an increase of 1 positive case from yesterday (781 confirmed positive cases, 8 probable cases), and 42 deaths from COVID-19 in Hamilton.  We are also reporting that of the 789 cases, 686, or 87% are resolved. More details about cases are available on the City’s website including demographics, risk factors, exposure, etc.

“HAMILTON REOPENS” – New for June 19

Phase Two Announcement
Today, the City of Hamilton announced that we are entering Phase Two of the Hamilton Reopens COVID-19 recovery plan. Phase Two is about gradual recovery. The City will begin to expand services and begin to return some staff to work. Some of our facilities and offices – primarily recreation facilities – will being reopening to the public in Phase Two, with measures to enable physical distancing and health screening upon entry. Where required, staff will return to the workplace and do so under enhanced health and safety guidelines with strict adherence to physical distancing, with health screening upon entry, and restrictions on gatherings.

Library begins take-out library service on Tuesday
Hamilton Public Library will offer takeout (curbside) service of on-hold books, music and movies, starting June 23, 2020 at four branches.

An HPL library card and personal identification number (PIN) are needed to reserve and pick up items. Library members then reserve a takeout appointment at hpl.ca/takeout to pick up items on hold. Library members are also able to schedule and pick up holds for two family members/friends during their appointment.

HPL will open more branches in the next steps of reopening and eventually all locations will be open for this service when enhanced cleaning and other safety protocols are in place. For more information, call 905.546.3200, email AskHPL@hpl.ca, or chat and learn more at hpl.ca.

Marking National Indigenous Peoples Day
This Sunday June 21, the city will honour National Indigenous Peoples Day in celebration of the rich heritage, diverse cultures and outstanding achievements of First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples. While we are unable to celebrate National Indigenous History Month events together in-person this year due COVID-19 there are still many ways to celebrate virtually. To learn more about the virtual events happening to honour this historic day, visit www.hamilton.ca/indigenous

“HAMILTON REOPENS”  – Reminders

Spray Pads
Most of the City’s 68 spray pads were turned on today, Friday, June 19. Find out the location of the nearest spray pad and if it has been turned on here: https://www.hamilton.ca/parks-recreation/recreation/spray-pads 

All of the typical COVID-19 precautions remain in place while using spray pads. Users of spray pads should:

  • Keep two metres of physical distance between yourself and others who aren’t in your “social circle”.
  • Don’t gather in large crowds or groups.
  • Wash your hands: Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer or wash your hands with soap and warm water as soon as possible.
  • Don’t use spray pads if you are sick or showing signs of being sick.

Due to maintenance requirements, not all spray pads have opened today but the City is working quickly to repair and get remaining spray pads on line as quickly as possible.

Indoor and Outdoor Pools
The City is also providing information about the reopening of indoor and outdoor swimming pools.

During the week of July 6, the City will open the following pools:

  • Ancaster Lions Outdoor
  • Coronation Outdoor Pool
  • Dundas Driving Park
  • H.G. Brewster Pool
  • Huntington Park Recreation Centre
  • Pool Jimmy Thompson Pool
  • Ryerson Recreation Centre
  • Sir Winston Churchill Recreation Centre
  • Stoney Creek Recreation Centre
  • Westmount Recreation Centre

During the week of July 13, the City will open the following pools:

  • Birge Outdoor Pool
  • Green Acres Outdoor Pool
  • Inch Park Outdoor Pool
  • Walker Outdoor Pool

Change rooms and showers will be available and will be regularly cleaned.

All of the typical COVID-19 precautions remain in place while using pools. These include:

  • Keep two metres of physical distance between yourself and others who aren’t in your “social circle”
  • Wash your hands: Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer or wash your hands with soap and warm water as soon as possible.
  • Don’t use pools if you are sick or showing signs of being sick.

There will be no access to high-contact aquatic features such as slides and climbing structures.

Guidance for Businesses and Workplaces
As more businesses and workplaces continue to reopen, the Provincial Government and the City of Hamilton have released guidelines for businesses and workplaces to reopen safely.

The Workplaces and Public Places webpage includes guidance documents, posters and signage, as well as focused information for:

  • Child care centres
  • Community gardens
  • Faith-based gatherings and funerals
  • Harm reduction settings
  • Residential buildings – laundry and elevators
  • Restaurants and other food premises
  • Summer day camps
  • Taxis and ride sharing
  • Water safety
  • Personal service settings

Find these guidance documents and more at: https://www.hamilton.ca/coronavirus/workplaces-and-public-places

Outdoor Dining in Hamilton
As part of the Stage Two announcement, bars and restaurants may now open for dining in outdoor areas only, such as patios, curbside, parking lots and adjacent premises. They must take appropriate measures to ensure physical distancing of at least two metres between patrons from different households, including using reservations, limiting the number of patrons allowed in the outdoor space at one time, and ensuring enough space between tables, including to allow for movement. Access to indoor facilities will be limited to patio/outdoor dining area access, food pickup, payment, washrooms or other health and safety purposes.

In May, Hamilton City Council approved a motion to create or extend temporary outdoor patios until the fall of 2020 to support Hamilton’s culinary scene. This will allow restaurants additional seating capacity outdoors in order to reopen under the new restrictions.

At this time, the City is working with various Business Improvement Area (BIA) groups related to creating or extending temporary outdoor patios. These include: the Ancaster Village BIA, Barton Village BIA, Downtown Hamilton BIA, Locke Street BIA, Stoney Creek BIA, Westdale Village BIA and Waterdown BIA. We have received inquiries and formal applications from a mix of public and private property locations for bars, breweries, restaurants and cafes across Hamilton.

Engage Hamilton
Earlier this week, the City launched a new online tool to help residents connect and engage.

While in-person engagement is on hold, this platform will help residents stay informed about important city initiatives and continue to provide feedback online. As part of Hamilton’s COVID-19 response, we want residents to share how they currently receive – and would prefer to receive – important updates and news about reopening plans and the restart of City services and programs. To join the conversation, residents can register today at www.engage.hamilton.ca

Transit Reminders

Fare Collection
As a reminder, beginning July 1, 2020, HSR, TransCab and DARTS will resume fare collection and return to front door loading on HSR for all customers, including customers requiring the use of a wheelchair, scooter or other personal mobility device (PMD).

HSR will also be increasing bus capacity to two-thirds the usual load, and will continue to add supplemental service on busier routes to help minimize crowding and potential customer pass-bys.

Customer Service Counters
Starting this past Wed, the Customer Service ticket counter at 36 Hunter St. Go Station resumed normal business hours of 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in order to allow customers. renew monthly passes, purchase and reload PRESTO cards, purchase tickets and taxi scrips, and accessible transportation application pick up and drop off.

The ticket counter will also open on June 20 and June 27 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to assist customers with these transactions. We will not be processing credits for monthly passes at this time. More details to follow in the coming weeks. Seniors will have priority front-of-line access between 9 am and 10 am daily.

Please note: the customer service desk at 2200 Upper James, and all other City of Hamilton facilities remain closed. Customers can continue to purchase their passes and tickets at Participating Vendors.

Mandatory Non-Medical Masks
A reminder that effective June 22, 2020, customers are required to wear a non-medical mask while riding the bus, taking DARTS and using TRANSCAB.

In keeping with recommendations from the province, an exception will be made for:

  • Children under the age of two (2)
  • People who have difficulty breathing
  • Anyone who is unable to remove a non-medical mask without assistance
  • HSR will not deny anyone a ride. Remember, not all disabilities or medical conditions that prevent someone from safely wearing a non-medical mask are visible.

Questions or Concerns?

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact our office here.