Hamilton COVID-19 Update

March 31, 2020

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, to update media and the community on the City’s response to COVID-19.

As of noon today, there are 101 confirmed cases and one death from COVID-19 in Hamilton. More details about cases are available on the City’s website including demographics, risk factors, exposure, etc.

Timeline for Municipal closures/cancellations – May 25, 2020: The City has decided to suspend all City-run programming and extend the closure of all City facilities, parks, playgrounds, sports fields and City administration facilities until May 25, 2020. The City remains prepared to respond to emergencies. Emergency response by Hamilton Police, Hamilton Fire Department, and Hamilton Paramedic Services is not impacted. The public can still conduct some online business with the City during this time. We will continue to monitor federal and provincial orders between now and May 25. Residents are encouraged to monitor the City’s website and social media channels for ongoing updates.

Additional closures of municipal areas: Following provincial direction issued on March 30, the City has immediately implemented some additional closures of dog parks, skate parks, the Bayfront Park boat launch and several parking lots in high traffic areas in Hamilton. As well, while the escarpment stairs and trails in Hamilton remain open, residents are advised these are for essential use, or “walkthrough access” only. If using these spaces, Hamilton Public Health strongly recommends keeping 2m or 6ft between yourself and others at all times.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) donations: The City is now accepting 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 frontline workers, emergency responders and other healthcare professionals. 

The types of equipment that will be accepted include:

  • Surgical masks
  • N95 masks
  • Impervious gowns
  • Gloves
  • Face shields
  • Swabs
  • Hand sanitizer

The City is 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 ppe@hamilton.ca or call 905-546-2424 ext. 2257and make an appointment for drop-off at a location in downtown Hamilton.

Self-isolation for those over 70 years of age: Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health announced yesterday that he strongly urges those over the age of 70 or those with compromised immune systems or underlying medical conditions to stay at home. This means only leaving home or seeing other people for essential reasons, seeking services over the phone or internet and asking for help from friends, family or neighbours with essential errands.

Gatherings enforcement: On the weekend, the province took additional action to further stop the spread of COVID-19. Based on the advice of Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, the Ontario government issued a new emergency order under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act to prohibit organized public events and social gatherings of more than five (5) people, effective immediately. It does not apply to households of more than five and child care centres supporting frontline health care workers and first responders. Funerals are permitted to proceed with up to 10 people at one time.

The role of the MLE and the Police will be to focus in on compliance. They will be encouraging everyone to follow the Provincial Orders relative to essential services including not having people gathering in groups larger than five (5) as now directed by order under the provincial Emergency Measures Civil Protection Act. The MLE will use a progressive enforcement approach if they do not obtain compliance or there is a repeated offence, and charges may be laid. Fines of up to $750 per individual may be applied, while corporations could face fines up to $500,000.

To report concerns around adherence to the provincial order:

  • If you have a 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

Public Transit: The City is asking the public to please take public transit for essential trips ONLY. In the interest of the health and safety of our operators and customers, customers should only be taking public transit because they need to get to work or a medical appointment. The public is asked to please NOT take transit if they do not absolutely need to and are not making an essential trip.

HSR is experiencing higher than normal call volumes on its customer service and ATS customer service lines. If you do not get through to a representative right away, please leave a detailed message and your call will be returned as quickly as possible.

HSR is currently reviewing their physical distancing procedures and will provide an update on that as soon as possible.

Additional Resources:

Public Health Services’ COVID-19 Hotline: 905-974-9848 or phscovid19@hamilton.ca