COVID-19 prevention and control instructions to be sent to Hamilton high-rise managers


Published July 8, 2021 at 5:52 pm


A series of recommendations for infection, protection and control measures will soon land in the hands of those responsible for high-rises across Hamilton.

At a Hamilton Board of Health meeting on Wednesday (July 7), councillors voted in favour of sending a letter containing instructions on how to protect residents, employees, and visitors of residential buildings that are 12-storeys or more from contracting and/or spreading COVID-19.

The directive comes in the wake of COVID-19 outbreaks this past spring at three residential high-rises in the city’s downtown.

The outbreaks — at buildings located on Queen, Wellington, and Rebecca streets — accounted for a total of 225 cases of COVID-19 at the peak of the third wave.

Managers of affected high-rise buildings will now be required to develop a COVID-19 safety plan, which is a detailed outline for how building owners will protect against COVID-19 transmission and how they will ensure its implementation.

In addition to a safety plan, those responsible for high-rise buildings will have to implement the following infection prevention and control (IPAC) measures:

  • promoting physical distancing in building common areas;
  • promoting the use of masks or face coverings in building common areas;
  • providing appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) for employees;
  • cleaning and disinfecting high touch surfaces and shared objects;
  • providing hand hygiene stations;
  • ensuring the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system is functioning and maintained as per manufacturer’s instructions; and
  • keeping residents informed of COVID-19 public health measures

“I said at the time that as far as the pandemic goes, this is my worst fear realized,” said Councillor Jason Farr, in whose ward two of the affected buildings are located.

“I’m sure it will bring a lot of peace of mind to residents of these [higher density buildings].”

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