Hamilton libraries, rec centres, arenas shutting down to slow spread of COVID-19
During the closures city staff will be carrying out 'deep cleaning and disinfecting.'
Hamilton's public libraries and recreation centres are officially closing in order to slow the spread of COVID-19, along with the city's senior centres and arenas.
The decision to shutter city services follows consultation with Hamilton's Medical Officer of Health Elizabeth Richardson and is meant to protect vulnerable populations including the elderly and those with compromised immune systems, according to a media release.
"Yesterday it was about ensuring we're curtailing activities," said Paul Johnson, Hamilton's manager of healthy and safe communities during a media update Saturday.
"Today we're extending that to announce ... full closures of some of our next facilities in order to ensure that we continue to protect the public and also ensure we have the resources as the city of Hamilton to deploy our staff where it makes sense."
All library branches are shut down as of 5 p.m. Saturday and will not reopen until April 5, according to a media release.
The library says no materials will be due during that time. Online resources will still be available around the clock.
Despite the shut down, staff will still be available to answer questions by phone or online.
The following city services will also be completely closed as of Sunday, March 15:
Ancaster Aquatic, Bennetto, Bernie Morelli, Brewster Pool, Central Memorial, Dalewood, Dundas Pool, Dundas Recreation, Hill Park, Huntington, Jimmy Thompson Pool, Pinky Lewis, Riverdale, Ryerson, Sir Allan McNab, Sir Wilfrid Laurier, Sir Winston Churchill, Stoney Creek, Valley Park, Westmount, Winona.
Sackville, Flamborough, Ancaster Senior Achievement Centre.
Club 60, Dundas, Main Hess, Rosedale, Victoria Park, Warden Park, Winona.
Ancaster Rotary Centre:
But Heron Creek Fitness at the Ancaster Rotary Centre currently remains open.
Beverly, Bill Friday, Carlisle, Chedoke Arena, Coronation, J.L. Grightmire, Eastwood, Glanbrook, Harry Howell, Inch Park, Morgan Firestone, Mountain Arena, Mountain Arena Skating Centre, Olympic, Parkdale, Quad Pad – Mohawk 4 Ice Centre, Rosedale, Saltfleet, Spring Valley, Stoney Creek, Valley Park.
Beasley (Simone Hall), Beverly Township, Binbrook, Carlisle Memorial, Fruitland Hall, Millgrove, Mount Hope, Mountsberg, Sealy Park, Sheffield, Valens, Waterdown Memorial, Woodburn Hall, Eastmount Community Hall.
Ancaster Old Town Hall, Battlefield House Museum, Dundurn National Historic Site, Fieldcote Museum, Hamilton Children's Museum, Hamilton Military Museum, Steam and Technology Museum and Woodshed facility, and Whitehern House and Stables.
Tourism Centre, Gage Park Greenhouse:
- The Tourism Visitor Centre at the Lister Block and the Gage Park Tropical Greenhouse will also be shut down.
- The Red Hill Family Centre will be closed as of 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday, March 17
During the closures, city staff will be carrying out "deep cleaning and disinfecting," according to a media release.
The city says reimbursements for program cancellations will be processed as soon as possible. The facilities are tentatively set to reopen on April 6.
Some facilities still open:
A number of city sites will remain open despite the closures listed above, including all city administrative office buildings. Enhanced cleaning will be taking place at those locations and, whenever possible, residents are asked to carry out transactions online, during off-peak hours or by phone.
"If you do attend city facilities, you may experience delays," explained Johnson. "This could be as result of some of the staff redeployment that's occurring across the city or for other reasons."
The following facilities will continue to operate:
- City Hall.
- Ontario Works Buildings.
- Municipal Service Centres — though the Service Canada counters at the Flamborough and Dundas municipal centres as well as Hamilton City Hall are closed.
- The Mountain Transit Centre.
- Community recycling centres.
- The HSR service counter at the Hunter GO Station.
- City cemeteries.
- The water services counter at 330 Wentworth St. North.
- The housing service counter at 350 King St. East.
- Animal Services.
- The parking system office.
- Provincial offences administration office.
- Municipal licensing and by-law services office.
Emergency services not impacted:
The city also notes that a range of city services, from police, paramedics and fire to the garbage and recycling will not be affected.
The Hamilton Farmers' Market will stay open and HSR service will also continue, along with Hamilton Water operations, road maintenance, shelters and drop in centres.
with files from Bobby Hristova