Hamilton cancels all city-run programs until April 5

News Mar 13, 2020 by Kevin Werner Stoney Creek News

Hamilton is joining other communities and institutions by cancelling programs and encouraging private groups to halt their own events to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

“These are necessary steps to prevent any additional contact,” said Mayor Fred Eisenberger during a news conference on March 13 at city hall. “Actions are being taken today to protect the public.”

General Manager of Emergency and Community Services Paul Johnson said all city-operated programs will end March 14 and won't restart until April 5, the same period as the public school closings. He encouraged the public to check out the city’s website to learn which programs are affected.

However, he said all city facilities will still remain open, including city hall.

Johnson said no employees will lose their jobs over the program cancellations, and people who had signed up for the activities — whether they are recreational or child-centred — will receive refunds.

The Hamilton Public Library has also stopped holding any preplanned programs, and after initially saying all branches were open library officials announced it would close its branches starting March 14 until April 5. The library has also cancelled its bookmobile and visiting library services.

The city and library’s March break activities are directly impacted, as are drop-in centres for parents and children, such as the EarlyON centres and non-essential programs, such as prenatal and parenting groups, said Johnson.

Eisenberger acknowledged the difficulties residents will face with the closures, but he said the actions are needed.

The mayor said he hasn’t received any criticism from the public over the city’s decisions.

“So far, people have been accepting,” he said. “What they see is happening around the world. I think people are going to be reasonable. They may not be happy, but reasonable that these are necessary steps.”

Johnson said discussions will take place with third-party operators who provide events at city facilities, such as the Hamilton Convention Centre and FirstOntario Place, to encourage them to halt any activities

Johnson, who joined the mayor at the afternoon news conference, said organizers “should really consider whether they need to have these types of activities.”

The city has also established a moratorium of all group bookings at its facilities, including the Hamilton Convention Centre.

Earlier in the day, Ontario’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. David Williams, recommended the immediate suspension of all large events and public gatherings of over 250 people. Williams stated in a memo that was issued March 13 that organizers of small gatherings should consult with their local public health unit.

He said residents should practice social distancing as much as possible to manage the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The city’s actions, taken after discussions were held among the 38-member emergency operations centre, which increased its activation to the highest level since amalgamation, March 13, follows other organizations' decisions to either cancel or postpone events.

Organizers of the Around the Bay road race, the oldest long-distance race in North America and scheduled for March 29 were persuaded by public health officials not to proceed. Organizers are still deciding whether the event has to be postponed or outright cancelled.

The Hamilton Chamber of Commerce’s outstanding Business Achievement Awards have been rescheduled to June 9 at Carmen’s Banquet Centre while the Mayor’s Breakfast on April 15 is still tentatively scheduled to continue.

The Stoney Creek Chamber has also cancelled its scheduled events in April.

Hamilton’s Philharmonic Orchestra cancelled its March 14 production of Haydn’s London at FirstOntario Concert Hall, but so far, its future Mainstage events will continue as scheduled.

Mohawk announced it is suspending all classes starting March 13. Classes will restart online or with alternative delivery methods beginning March 23. All in-person exams are cancelled and both campuses will be closed to students and the community starting March 14.

As well, the province’s largest universities, including McMaster, announced the cancellation of in-person classes over the COVID-19 concern. Schools are implementing online courses and many have cancelled all discretionary events.

Johnson said the city’s actions will be monitored over the days indicating further recommendations could be taken. He said, so far, there is no change to Hamilton’s transit service.

As of March 13, Hamilton has reported one confirmed case of a person testing positive for COVID-19, with 22 under investigation and 76 people testing negative.

A Burlington doctor working at Juravinski Cancer Centre tested positive for the virus after returning from a trip to Hawaii on March 10. She was in close contact with 34 people, including 14 patients.

Hamilton’s Medical Officer of Health Dr. Elizabeth Richardson said the city has been discussing with provincial officials about an assessment centre for the city. A facility was implemented during the 2009 H1N1 outbreak in Hamilton.

“It is in the works,” she said.

Assessment centres have been created in various parts of Toronto and one in Ottawa.

For information related to COVID-19, visit Hamilton.ca/coronavirus or contact the city’s COVID-19 hotline at 905-546-2424, ext. 7970. You can also email questions at phscovid19@hamilton.ca.

Hamilton takes 'necessary' steps to cancel programs to prevent spread of coronavirus

News Mar 13, 2020 by Kevin Werner Stoney Creek News

Hamilton is joining other communities and institutions by cancelling programs and encouraging private groups to halt their own events to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

“These are necessary steps to prevent any additional contact,” said Mayor Fred Eisenberger during a news conference on March 13 at city hall. “Actions are being taken today to protect the public.”

General Manager of Emergency and Community Services Paul Johnson said all city-operated programs will end March 14 and won't restart until April 5, the same period as the public school closings. He encouraged the public to check out the city’s website to learn which programs are affected.

However, he said all city facilities will still remain open, including city hall.

Johnson said no employees will lose their jobs over the program cancellations, and people who had signed up for the activities — whether they are recreational or child-centred — will receive refunds.

The Hamilton Public Library has also stopped holding any preplanned programs, and after initially saying all branches were open library officials announced it would close its branches starting March 14 until April 5. The library has also cancelled its bookmobile and visiting library services.

The city and library’s March break activities are directly impacted, as are drop-in centres for parents and children, such as the EarlyON centres and non-essential programs, such as prenatal and parenting groups, said Johnson.

Eisenberger acknowledged the difficulties residents will face with the closures, but he said the actions are needed.

The mayor said he hasn’t received any criticism from the public over the city’s decisions.

“So far, people have been accepting,” he said. “What they see is happening around the world. I think people are going to be reasonable. They may not be happy, but reasonable that these are necessary steps.”

Johnson said discussions will take place with third-party operators who provide events at city facilities, such as the Hamilton Convention Centre and FirstOntario Place, to encourage them to halt any activities

Johnson, who joined the mayor at the afternoon news conference, said organizers “should really consider whether they need to have these types of activities.”

The city has also established a moratorium of all group bookings at its facilities, including the Hamilton Convention Centre.

Earlier in the day, Ontario’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. David Williams, recommended the immediate suspension of all large events and public gatherings of over 250 people. Williams stated in a memo that was issued March 13 that organizers of small gatherings should consult with their local public health unit.

He said residents should practice social distancing as much as possible to manage the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The city’s actions, taken after discussions were held among the 38-member emergency operations centre, which increased its activation to the highest level since amalgamation, March 13, follows other organizations' decisions to either cancel or postpone events.

Organizers of the Around the Bay road race, the oldest long-distance race in North America and scheduled for March 29 were persuaded by public health officials not to proceed. Organizers are still deciding whether the event has to be postponed or outright cancelled.

The Hamilton Chamber of Commerce’s outstanding Business Achievement Awards have been rescheduled to June 9 at Carmen’s Banquet Centre while the Mayor’s Breakfast on April 15 is still tentatively scheduled to continue.

The Stoney Creek Chamber has also cancelled its scheduled events in April.

Hamilton’s Philharmonic Orchestra cancelled its March 14 production of Haydn’s London at FirstOntario Concert Hall, but so far, its future Mainstage events will continue as scheduled.

Mohawk announced it is suspending all classes starting March 13. Classes will restart online or with alternative delivery methods beginning March 23. All in-person exams are cancelled and both campuses will be closed to students and the community starting March 14.

As well, the province’s largest universities, including McMaster, announced the cancellation of in-person classes over the COVID-19 concern. Schools are implementing online courses and many have cancelled all discretionary events.

Johnson said the city’s actions will be monitored over the days indicating further recommendations could be taken. He said, so far, there is no change to Hamilton’s transit service.

As of March 13, Hamilton has reported one confirmed case of a person testing positive for COVID-19, with 22 under investigation and 76 people testing negative.

A Burlington doctor working at Juravinski Cancer Centre tested positive for the virus after returning from a trip to Hawaii on March 10. She was in close contact with 34 people, including 14 patients.

Hamilton’s Medical Officer of Health Dr. Elizabeth Richardson said the city has been discussing with provincial officials about an assessment centre for the city. A facility was implemented during the 2009 H1N1 outbreak in Hamilton.

“It is in the works,” she said.

Assessment centres have been created in various parts of Toronto and one in Ottawa.

For information related to COVID-19, visit Hamilton.ca/coronavirus or contact the city’s COVID-19 hotline at 905-546-2424, ext. 7970. You can also email questions at phscovid19@hamilton.ca.

Hamilton takes 'necessary' steps to cancel programs to prevent spread of coronavirus

News Mar 13, 2020 by Kevin Werner Stoney Creek News

Hamilton is joining other communities and institutions by cancelling programs and encouraging private groups to halt their own events to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

“These are necessary steps to prevent any additional contact,” said Mayor Fred Eisenberger during a news conference on March 13 at city hall. “Actions are being taken today to protect the public.”

General Manager of Emergency and Community Services Paul Johnson said all city-operated programs will end March 14 and won't restart until April 5, the same period as the public school closings. He encouraged the public to check out the city’s website to learn which programs are affected.

However, he said all city facilities will still remain open, including city hall.

Johnson said no employees will lose their jobs over the program cancellations, and people who had signed up for the activities — whether they are recreational or child-centred — will receive refunds.

The Hamilton Public Library has also stopped holding any preplanned programs, and after initially saying all branches were open library officials announced it would close its branches starting March 14 until April 5. The library has also cancelled its bookmobile and visiting library services.

The city and library’s March break activities are directly impacted, as are drop-in centres for parents and children, such as the EarlyON centres and non-essential programs, such as prenatal and parenting groups, said Johnson.

Eisenberger acknowledged the difficulties residents will face with the closures, but he said the actions are needed.

The mayor said he hasn’t received any criticism from the public over the city’s decisions.

“So far, people have been accepting,” he said. “What they see is happening around the world. I think people are going to be reasonable. They may not be happy, but reasonable that these are necessary steps.”

Johnson said discussions will take place with third-party operators who provide events at city facilities, such as the Hamilton Convention Centre and FirstOntario Place, to encourage them to halt any activities

Johnson, who joined the mayor at the afternoon news conference, said organizers “should really consider whether they need to have these types of activities.”

The city has also established a moratorium of all group bookings at its facilities, including the Hamilton Convention Centre.

Earlier in the day, Ontario’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. David Williams, recommended the immediate suspension of all large events and public gatherings of over 250 people. Williams stated in a memo that was issued March 13 that organizers of small gatherings should consult with their local public health unit.

He said residents should practice social distancing as much as possible to manage the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The city’s actions, taken after discussions were held among the 38-member emergency operations centre, which increased its activation to the highest level since amalgamation, March 13, follows other organizations' decisions to either cancel or postpone events.

Organizers of the Around the Bay road race, the oldest long-distance race in North America and scheduled for March 29 were persuaded by public health officials not to proceed. Organizers are still deciding whether the event has to be postponed or outright cancelled.

The Hamilton Chamber of Commerce’s outstanding Business Achievement Awards have been rescheduled to June 9 at Carmen’s Banquet Centre while the Mayor’s Breakfast on April 15 is still tentatively scheduled to continue.

The Stoney Creek Chamber has also cancelled its scheduled events in April.

Hamilton’s Philharmonic Orchestra cancelled its March 14 production of Haydn’s London at FirstOntario Concert Hall, but so far, its future Mainstage events will continue as scheduled.

Mohawk announced it is suspending all classes starting March 13. Classes will restart online or with alternative delivery methods beginning March 23. All in-person exams are cancelled and both campuses will be closed to students and the community starting March 14.

As well, the province’s largest universities, including McMaster, announced the cancellation of in-person classes over the COVID-19 concern. Schools are implementing online courses and many have cancelled all discretionary events.

Johnson said the city’s actions will be monitored over the days indicating further recommendations could be taken. He said, so far, there is no change to Hamilton’s transit service.

As of March 13, Hamilton has reported one confirmed case of a person testing positive for COVID-19, with 22 under investigation and 76 people testing negative.

A Burlington doctor working at Juravinski Cancer Centre tested positive for the virus after returning from a trip to Hawaii on March 10. She was in close contact with 34 people, including 14 patients.

Hamilton’s Medical Officer of Health Dr. Elizabeth Richardson said the city has been discussing with provincial officials about an assessment centre for the city. A facility was implemented during the 2009 H1N1 outbreak in Hamilton.

“It is in the works,” she said.

Assessment centres have been created in various parts of Toronto and one in Ottawa.

For information related to COVID-19, visit Hamilton.ca/coronavirus or contact the city’s COVID-19 hotline at 905-546-2424, ext. 7970. You can also email questions at phscovid19@hamilton.ca.