Hamilton City Hall will be one of the first municipal buildings to reopen to the public with a number of specific safeguards and controls.. Beginning the week of July 20, 2020, the first two floors of City Hall will reopen to members of City Council, their staff, and City staff who have been approved to return to work between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
A number of changes will be in place when the building reopens – 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.
Not all City services will be immediately available, and many will continue to be offered virtually – the document has a full listing of what will become available during the week of July 20. http://www.hamilton.ca/phase-two
Ample signage and floor markings will be in place to ensure it is clear where everyone should enter the building, stand in line, or access City services.
Reopening plans for the remaining Municipal Service Centres
At this time, all other Municipal Service Centres will remain closed until mid-August 2020. The health and safety guidelines used within the Municipal Service Centres will be very similar to those used at City Hall.
Information about the administrative offices for the Mayor and Councillors
The Phase Two Operational Updates document includes details for our Councillors’ offices related to their specific operations.
While face-to-face meetings continue to be discouraged, reopening the administrative offices for our elected officials allows residents to connect in-person on key community issues where it is required, under the established health and safety guidelines. For meetings that must occur, the number of attendees must be limited to adhere to restrictions under the Provincial Orders, and be appropriate for the size of the meeting space (maximum capacity is posted on the door).
In consultation with the Emergency Operations Centre, the Senior Leadership Team has decided that, wherever possible, many staff will continue working from home until at least September 30, 2020. As noted in the hierarchy of controls, physical distancing is the best way to eliminate the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Continuing to work from home and using technology to replace face-to-face interactions is one of the best ways to allow physical distancing.
Some staff will return to the office, if they support the delivery of a public facing service that is now available and have been approved to return to work.
Mandatory Face Covering By-Law
Last Friday, the City’s Board of Health considered a by-law related to mandatory face coverings in most indoor public spaces. The by-law was created to protect the public from potentially spreading the virus to each other while in indoor public spaces, including commercial areas, places of worship, community services, public transit and HSR.
The by-law references face coverings, which includes bandanas and scarfs that cover the nose, mouth and chin and other non-gapping covers. It would not include those with underlying conditions or those conditions or those who cannot put on or remove a mask without assistance.
This proposed by-law will be voted on at the Hamilton City Council meeting next Friday, July 17. Once a decision is made, it will be communicated to the public and establishment owners. All residents can livestream Council and Committee meetings by visiting www.hamilton.ca/Council-Committee.