COVID-19: All City of Hamilton-run programs suspended until April

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Published March 13, 2020 at 7:14 pm

The City of Hamilton announced Friday afternoon (March 13) that all city-run programs will be suspended until April.

The City of Hamilton announced Friday afternoon (March 13) that all city-run programs will be suspended until April.

Mayor Fred Eisenberger, alongside the city’s Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) director Paul Johnson and Hamilton’s Medical Officer of Health, Elizabeth Richardson, told reporters at City Hall that these measures are undertaken in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19 on the advice of international, federal and provincial health agencies.

“We understand the challenges families face with March Break coming up,” he said. “But these are necessary to prevent the spread of this dangerous virus.”

Johnson, who is also the General Manager of Healthy and Safe Communities, said this is the first time that the City’s EOC has been activated to this level (Level II).

As it stands, the direction from higher levels of government is to curtail gatherings of 250 people or more.

Johnson said that while city facilities will not be closed, they’re trying to limit the number of gatherings and potential points of contact.

“The Hamilton Public Library is moving in the same direction,” Johnson said. “No programs where there are groups of people gathering but the libraries will remain open for individuals who want to use them.”

Johnson said there are no changes to HSR service at this point in time.

He also said they will be working to keep an up-to-date list of all city-run programming and events cancellations and impacts here.

Residents should assume that all City-run programming and events have been cancelled, even if they are not listed, Johnson said.

He cautioned that all of these measures are in place for now and are subject to change abruptly and at any time.

Full refunds will be available to residents who’ve paid for March Break camps but Johnson did point out that refunds were not the “top priority” but people who want their money back will get it, they just might have to be patient.

Richardson told reporters that this continues to be a “rapidly evolving situation” and Hamilton residents should do their best to keep informed of travel advisories and cancellations.

“Avoid non-essential travel outside of Canada,” she said, saying that public health is in constant contact with the other health agencies in Canada and they are all working together to navigate the situation.

“These are uncertain times,” said Mayor Fred Eisenberger. “We need to support one another.”

He assured residents that there was no need for hoarding and that there is enough for everyone if we all take “a reasonable amount.”

Hamiltonians are asked to keep an eye on the City’s social media accounts or to continually check their website for updates about the COVID-19 response.

Additional resources:

  • Public Health Services’ COVID-19 Hotline (905) 546-2424 ext. 7970 or [email protected]
  • Visit Ontario’s website to learn more about how the province continues to protect Ontarians from COVID-19
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