Yesterday afternoon Mayor Fred Eisenberger joined Dr. Elizabeth Richardson, Medical Officer of Health, and the City’s Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) Director, Paul Johnson, to update media and the community on the City’s response to COVID-19.

As of noon yesterday, there are 91 confirmed cases and one death from COVID-19 in Hamilton.

Provincial and Federal government supports:
The federal government announced it is providing $7.5M in funding to Kids Help Phone to support counselling services to children and youth. As a result of school closures and reduced access to community resources, Kids Help Phone is experiencing increased demand for its 24/7 confidential online, telephone, and text counselling services across Canada. Kids Help Phone is available 24/7 at 1-800-668-6868, text CONNECT to 686868 or https://kidshelpphone.ca/.

The federal government is also contributing $9M through the New Horizons for Seniors Program at United Way Canada for local organizations to support practical services to Canadian seniors. These services could include the delivery of groceries, medications, or other needed items, or personal outreach to assess individuals’ needs and connect them to community supports.

The Ontario government announced today it is putting $10M toward increasing subsidized deliveries of meals, medicines and other necessities to seniors and is working with grocers and pharmacists to prioritize seniors’ delivery orders and establish senior-only shopping hours.

Provincial Order: enforcement re gatherings:
On Saturday March 28, the province took additional action to further stop the spread of COVID-19. Based on the advice of Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, the Ontario government issued a new emergency order under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act to prohibit organized public events and social gatherings of more than five (5) people, effective immediately. It does not apply to households of more than five and child care centres supporting frontline health care workers and first responders. Funerals are permitted to proceed with up to 10 people at one time.

The role of the MLE and the Police will be to focus in on compliance. They will be encouraging everyone to follow the Provincial Orders relative to essential services including not having people gathering in groups larger than five (5) as now directed by order under the provincial Emergency Measures Civil Protection Act. The MLE will use a progressive enforcement approach if they do not obtain compliance or there is a repeated offence, and charges may be laid. Fines of up to $750 per individual may be applied, while corporations could face fines up to $500,000.

To report concerns around adherence to the provincial order:
o If you have a concern about a local business or public gatherings of 5+ people, without physical distancing: 905-546-2489 (546-CITY)
o Business not following proper hygiene: 905-974-9848
o Inquiring if a business is essential: 1-888-444-3659
o Price-gouging reporting: 1-800-889-9768

Emergency child care for essential frontline workers:
Eligible essential frontline workers have started to access emergency child care offered to them free of charge as a result of the City’s coordination with some local licensed home child care providers and funding from the province. Inquiries have been received from over 200 workers since late last week. The three agencies offering the child care are Today’s Family, Wee Watch Golfwood and Wee Watch Galbraith. All agencies have providers who will provide child care in their homes to accommodate 12 hour shifts for children of staff aged 12 months to 12 years of age.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) donations:
The City will be looking for donations of PPE. For more information, contact 905-546-2424 ext. 2257 or ppe@hamilton.ca. More information to come on this in the next few days.

Standing Committees, General Issues Committee and Council meetings:
All Committee and City Council meetings are cancelled through the week of April 6, however a virtual City Council meeting is being scheduled for Wednesday, April 8. During this Council meeting, we will be using Committee of the Whole to present reports to Council. Details and agenda to come.

Virtual Town Hall – Wed April 1 at 7 P.M:
Another virtual Town Hall will be held this week on Wednesday at 7 P.M. in collaboration with Cable 14. It will also be aired live on CHML. Residents can submit their questions by tagging @CityofHamilton on Twitter or submitting questions via the City’s website web form at www.hamilton.ca/askcovidquestions.

Additional Resources
• For regular City of Hamilton COVID-19 updates, please visit www.hamilton.ca/coronavirus and www.hamilton.ca/covidclosures
• Visit www.ontario.ca/coronavirus to learn more about how the province continues to protect Ontarians from COVID-19
• Public Health Services’ COVID-19 Hotline: 905-974-9848 or phscovid19@hamilton.ca

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