What will Stage 3 in Hamilton look like?


Published July 21, 2020 at 12:56 pm

On Monday (July 20), Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced that Hamilton has the all-clear to transition to Stage 3 of reopening by the end of the but the community should perhaps check their expecta

On Monday (July 20), Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced that Hamilton has the all-clear to transition to Stage 3 of reopening by the end of the but the community should perhaps check their expectations.

Hamilton’s approach to reopening so far has shown us that our city’s approach is more cautious than some of the other regions in the province.

“While the Province of Ontario has signalled that Hamilton may move toward Stage 3 of reopening provincially in the coming weeks, this does not mean that the City will immediately announce Phase 3 of Hamilton Reopens,” the City says on their Hamilton Reopens website.

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

Take, for example, the reopening of child care centres, which were cleared to open June 12 by the province. At the time, Hamilton’s Public Health Service and Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) announced that with new protocols and sanitization standards in place, in order to reopen, centres would have to train staff and pass a public health inspection.

As of Monday last week, 85 child care programs were up and running with the expectation that by the end of this month, 103 will be back online, according to a report in front of the city’s Emergency and Community Services Committee.

There are 233 licensed child care sites and just over 14,400 child care spaces (pre-pandemic) in the City of Hamilton. Currently, programs in operation are running at approximately 50 per cent capacity.

In a statement issued Monday, Mayor Fred Eisenberger hinted that Hamilton’s approach will be similar to previous phases, perhaps not as cumbersome as reopening child care centres but cautious nonetheless.

“As we work on reopening additional services and amenities in line with Provincial guidelines, I will once again ask our community to have patience as we work to make sure our reopening remains safe and successful as we do not want to undo the great progress we have made so far,” Eisenberger said.

“Entering into Stage 3 does not mean our fight against this virus is over.”

So what will Stage 3 look like in Hamilton?

Regions in Stage 3 can hold indoor gatherings of up to 50 people, while outdoor gatherings can include as many as 100 as long as physical distancing measures are in place.

The Stage 3 rules clear the way for restaurants to resume indoor service, as well as for businesses such as gyms, bars and theatres to begin welcoming customers, but with safety measures in place.

According to the province’s Stage 3 framework, the following places and activities are considered high-risk and will not resume on Friday:

  • Amusement parks and water parks
  • Buffet-style food services
  • Dancing at restaurants and bars, other than by performers hired by the establishment following specific requirements
  • Overnight stays at camps for children
  • Private karaoke rooms
  • Prolonged or deliberate contact while playing sports
  • Saunas, steam rooms, bath houses and oxygen bars
  • Table games at casinos and gaming establishments

The mayors of some of the Greater Toronto and Hamilton area’s largest municipalities released a joint statement Monday asking the province to consider adopting additional public health measures for bars, restaurants and fitness facilities.

In light of this development, It would be reasonable to assume that these kinds of amenities may need more time to reopen.

Hamiltonians can likely expect an official announcement from the City this week to provide more clarity on how the community and its businesses will move forward. To keep up to date, check in with Hamilton Reopens.

— with a file from The Canadian Press

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