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Masks on buses mandatory, other HSR changes

Masks on buses mandatory, other HSR changes

At their regular COVID briefing, Mayor Fred Eisenberger, Medical Officer of Health Dr. Elizabeth Richardson, and Head of health and safety Paul Johnson announced some changes in City services:

– 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 9 a.m. this morning, there are 738 confirmed positive cases, 7 probable cases, and 41 deaths from COVID-19 in Hamilton. More details about cases are available on the City’s website including demographics, risk factors, exposure, etc.

“HAMILTON REOPENS” – NEW FOR JUNE 9

Provincial Reopening Update

The provincial government announced Monday that some parts of the province would be moving into Stage 2 of the province’s reopening plan this Friday, with communities in the Golden Horseshoe remaining in Stage 1 at this time.

As of Friday, changes in Hamilton include:

  • Groups of 10 people or less may gather, preferably outdoors and consistently with the same 10 people
  • Places of worship can use up to 30% of their capacity for religious services

The City will continue to monitor provincial reopening announcements and provide public updates for Hamilton.

Face Masks Required on Public Transit

As part of the health measures in place to help reduce the spread of COVID-19, and to ensure there is a reliable and sustainable plan for transit service to continue, effective Monday June 22, 2020 there will be several changes to HSR service:

  • 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.
  • HSR will begin to increase bus capacity to two-thirds and will continue to add supplemental service on busier routes to help minimize crowding and potential customer pass-bys.
  • HSR is also installing polycarbonate driver compartment shields as an additional measure to protect operators and customers.
  • The date for resuming fare collection on the HSR will be communicated in the coming week.


Child Care Update

Earlier today, the province announced that licensed child care centres may begin to reopen on Friday, June 12. All centres will be required to meet additional requirements to safely reopen including enhanced cleaning, mandatory screening of staff and children, limitations on visitors, and ensuring they have a COVID-19 response plan in place.

The City will work closely with our child care operators to:

  • gradually reopen child care centres across the city
  • assess and monitor the demand for child care during this time, and
  • keep families updated on the reopening plan as more information becomes available

Emergency child care that has been available to frontline essential workers since late March will wind down effective June 26. Families served through emergency child care will be supported by service system managers to return to their previous arrangement, or finding new space during the transition back to regular child care.

Heat Warning during COVID-19

The City’s Medical Officer of Health issued a heat warning for Hamilton for today. The City has added new sites to the list of “cool places” that will be open in the city during a heat event, including:

  • Huntington Park Recreation Centre
  • Sackville Hill Seniors’ Recreation Centre
  • Westmount Recreation Centre
  • Flamborough Seniors Centre
  • Valley Park Library

The public is reminded that these locations continue to be open only as cool places during heat events, not for any programming.

For a full list of locations and addresses, more information about the City’s heat response, and tips for coping with the heat, visit www.hamilton.ca/heat.

Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) resuming exterior property inspections

Starting June 15, MPAC will be resuming exterior property inspections in some communities, including Hamilton. MPAC paused all property inspections in March due to COVID-19. Employees will complete mandatory PPE training and a daily COVID-19 self-assessment, and observe health and safety guidelines around physical distancing when conducting inspections. Staff will not be interacting with property owners by requesting to enter a property, knocking on doors, measuring structures or entering buildings. If they encounter a property owner, they will identify themselves and interact if needed from a safe distance.  

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