COVID-19: Hamilton officially enters its ‘new reality’

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Published August 26, 2020 at 2:22 pm

Hamilton has officially entered Phase 3 of its COVID-19 recovery plan.

Hamilton has officially entered Phase 3 of its COVID-19 recovery plan.

At a virtual media scrum held on Tuesday (August 25), Mayor Fred Eisenberger shared the news that the city’s municipal services would be moving into the final phase of its reopening plan.

The third phase is considered ‘our new reality.’

While Hamilton was permitted to enter Stage 3 of the province’s reopening plan weeks ago, the city has taken a more measured approach to bring services back online in the interest of public health.

“The provincial plan focuses on businesses and public spaces, while the City’s plan is focused on municipal spaces and services,” the City’s website explains.

“It’s important to note that the City will make our own announcements regarding reopening municipal facilities and restarting city services and programs that were modified or cancelled as a result of the pandemic.”

This COVID-19 recovery stage is expected to be rather lengthy.

“We will be here until a COVID-19 vaccine or other treatments are available and are in widespread use,” a City press release says.

So what does Stage 3 of Hamilton Reopens look like?

Here’s a break down of municipal for the foreseeable future:

  • Most municipal facilities and offices reopen to the public with measures to enable physical distancing and health screening upon entry
  • Most recreation programming and events will return under enhanced health and safety guidelines
  • More staff may return to the workplace under enhanced health and safety guidelines
  • Many staff continue to work from home
  • Staff who were redeployed to support COVID-19 emergency response efforts may continue in their temporary positions
  • Relaxed restrictions on the number of people gathering to follow the Provincial Orders
  • Outdoor municipal amenities are open to the public
  • Many City services are available both online and in-person with health and safety measures in place for staff and residents accessing services at municipal facilities

Also on Tuesday, the City announced that they would be reopening more recreational facilities and will restart some swimming and other recreational programming.

Starting September 14, the City open swims for families and seniors will be offered again, as well as open gym programming.

On October 5, modified swimming lessons will be available, as well as sports and fitness programs, general interest and preschool programs and select rentals of recreation spaces.

On the arena front, public skating will not be back until at least the new year, the press release says, as the city and local sports organizations continue to work on getting those programs up and running. More details on that will come in the weeks and months to come.

“This is a great step forward in our journey to reopen municipal spaces and restart City services,” Eisenberger said in the release.

“Phase Three will see us continue implementing measures to enable physical distancing and health screening of people visiting these spaces.”

For more information on Hamilton’s plans for the COVID-19 recovery, visit their website.

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