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Hamilton daycares won't open for at least another week as city seeks clarity from province

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The city says it needs more details from the Ford government before it can open child-care centres
Author: 
Hristova, Bobby
Publication Date: 
9 Jun 2020
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The Ford government has announced that child-care centres can open as early as Friday, but the city of Hamilton is warning parents they may have to wait a week longer before seeing them open.

Paul Johnson, director of the city's emergency operations centre, said on Tuesday he is still waiting on details from the province on the city's role in approving day cares opening plans.

"Still unclear seems to be a desire to have the local public health unit sign off on each of the plans, so we need to understand whether that's the plan we as a municipality may encourage everybody to follow or whether that's actually each individual plan for a child-care centre," he explained in the virtual media briefing Tuesday.

"It's not that there wasn't work already started, it is the nuances."

He also said they need clarity on details such as visitation rules, screening measures and how many people should be in a room together.

Funding for the roughly 120 child-care providers in Hamilton is another unanswered question.

"It will be more expensive to deliver childcare because there are increased cleaning costs, there could be increased staffing costs for some programs depending on all the guidelines and there will be fewer children accessing childcare," he said.

"The municipality does not have the ability to step in and bridge that gap."

Parents and guardians should also note emergency child care will wind down as of June 26.

Young people still getting infected

The city is still seeing that people in their 20s are accounting for 43 per cent of COVID-19 cases in the last 10 days. Soon, public health will release a campaign focused on changing behaviours and creating new physical distancing measures and norms for the younger generation.

Dr. Elizabeth Richardson, Hamilton's medical officer of health, noted the people in the 20s are getting infected because they are not consistently following public health protocol, whether it be not wearing masks or not physically distancing. Despite the uptick, none of the cases have been severe.

She said it is one of the reasons why Hamilton hasn't yet advanced to Stage 2 of the province's plan to lift COVID-19 restrictions.

"I can understand the thinking behind it in terms of the kinds of issues we're experiencing right now, we do know we've had this increase in cases in a particular age group as an example of that," Richardson explained.

She noted there was constant communication between the city and the province before it decided to hold Hamilton back.

Premier Doug Ford promised to release an update on Monday about whether cities like Hamilton that are being forced to wait can enter the next stage.

Commuters must wear masks on bus

Anyone riding HSR buses will have to wear a mask (non-medical masks are fine) unless they are under the age of two or have a medical condition that prevents them from doing so. No one will be removed from a bus for not wearing a mask and will not be questioned if they do not have one.

The city has also opened more facilities amid a local heat wave that is expected to last until Thursday.

Hamilton reported 121 active cases of COVID-19 as of Tuesday morning. There have been a total of 745 cases, seven of which are probable cases. That means, there are three new cases as of Monday, but four fewer active cases when accounting for the 583 people who have recovered.

There are 37 people in hospital and the virus has killed 41 people. The only remaining outbreak is at Hamilton General Hospital's COVID-19 inpatient unit, which has infected 10 people.

Brant

Brant/Brantford has seven active cases of COVID-19, up one from yesterday. It has reported 115 cases of the virus, but 104 have recovered. The virus has killed four people. None of those infected are in the hospital.

Haldimand-Norfolk

Haldimand-Norfolk reported 226 active cases of COVID-19, up one from Monday.

A total of 397 people have been infected with the virus in the region. Of those, 140 have recovered and 31 have died.

Halton

Halton reported 89 active cases of COVID-19. It has seen 749 cases (677 confirmed, 72 probable). That means there are four new cases as of Monday, but two fewer active cases when you account for the 635 people who recovered. The virus has killed 25 people.

Burlington has 16 active cases of the virus. 143 residents are known to have had COVID-19 (128 confirmed, 15 probable), of which 120 people have recovered and seven have died. That's one more confirmed case since Monday, but the number of active cases also dropped by one since yesterday.

Niagara

Niagara region is reporting 86 active COVID-19 cases, up one from Monday. Of the 719 people confirmed to have the virus, 572 have recovered and 61 have died. There are two institutional outbreaks.

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Entered Date: 
10 Jun 2020
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