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Burlington Offers Free Transit, Closes City Hall, Discourages Group Gatherings in Parks and More Steps to Slow COVID-19 Spread

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*Please see below a media release issued by the City of Burlington.

Burlington, Ont.—March 18, 2020 — The City of Burlington is continuing to support the efforts to slow the COVID-19 virus. We continue to deal with a number of items tied directly to the City’s overriding goal of keeping our staff and the public safe and minimizing the spread of the COVID-19 virus by following the advice of our public health officials to increase social distancing.

Effective immediately City hall will be closing facilities and asking staff to work from home with the exception of services that need to be delivered under one of the following categories:

  • Are required to meet certain legislative requirements;
  • Support employee and public health, safety and security;
  • Enable critical community services and supports, including COVID-19 mitigation and recovery;
  • Support services necessary to keep essential services operating;
  • Protect and operate vital infrastructure; and
  • Fulfill contractual, legal and financial obligations.

“We have the ability to offer many of our services online so working remotely is a vital step towards protecting staff and limiting face-to-face exposure to slow the virus’ progression. I would like to commend staff for being flexible and dedicated to continuing to provide excellent services to the best of their abilities.” — Tim Commisso, Burlington City Manager

Going forward, responding to emergency situations across all City service areas will be a priority.

Additionally, the following updates are also in place, effective immediately:

  • Burlington Transit will not be charging ride fares. Free rides will be in place until at least until April 5;
  • Downtown Transit Terminal building will be closed;
  • Customer service can still be reached at contactbt@burlington.ca, 905-639-0550 or on Twitter @BurlONTransit;
  • Transit users can now only board and exit the bus from the rear doors. This is to help social distancing between transit riders and transit drivers. Customers with mobility devices can still board and exit through the front doors;
  • All Burlington transit vehicles will be sprayed with a long-term disinfectant;
  • Halton Provincial Offences Act Courthouse is closed to the public, this closure includes access for stakeholders, defendants, public and enforcement agencies. Essential services will continue to be carried out and an Intake Court Protocol has been put in place;
  • Building inspections will be limited and will focus on emergency inspections (vehicle impacts, fire damage, unsafe buildings), footings/foundations, site servicing, exterior (garages, decks, sheds, etc.) so as to ensure social distancing;
  • For inquiries related to active applications, please reconnect via email with the Building & Bylaw representative who is handling your file;
  • All sports field permits are suspended until further notice. Pick up games are highly discouraged in keeping with public health messaging about social distancing; and
  • Garbage pickup in parks is suspended. Residents are asked to take whatever you carry into a park; you also carry out including taking pet waste home for disposal with regular household waste.

The best thing residents can do to protect themselves and the community, is stay home.

This situation is evolving every hour and we are continually monitoring. The City of Burlington will continue to keep you informed. For further information and updates, the City has launched the webpage burlington.ca/coronavirus.

LINKS AND RESOURCES:

Halton Regional Police Service also announced today it would be closing all of its locations for non-emergencies until further notice to also assist in slowing down the transmission of COVID-19. Please click the link to view the full release.

PLEASE NOTE: To stay updated on what the City of Burlington is doing regarding COVID-19, please visit the dedicated pages burlington.ca/coronavirus (and subscribe) and bit.ly/mayormeedwardCOVID19updates that will be updated as new information becomes available.

MAYOR MEED WARD’S TAKE:

The health and safety of our entire community is a top priority and that includes our city staff delivering front line services. The City of Burlington’s decision to scale back to providing essential services helps slow down the spread of COVID-19 and helps increase the safety of the public and our staff working from home, as well as those staff who continue to provide our critical services. The Mayor’s Office is working remotely and we’ll be focusing our attention on COVID-19 related matters, so there may be a delay in our response to any non-urgent communications. I thank you for being patient. The situation is changing daily, and sometimes even hourly, and we’re prepared and flexible to respond. I’ve been getting a lot of messages of support from the community directly and on social media, so please continue to look out for one another and follow the expert medical advice. Burlingtonians are strong and we will get through this.

*Posted by John Bkila, Mayor’s Media and Digital Communications Specialist

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Phone: 905-335-7607
Email:  mayor@burlington.ca

Media Specialist: John Bkila
john.bkila@burlington.ca
905-335-7600