*Please see the media release below issued by the City of Burlington.
Burlington, Ont. — March 16, 2020 — To protect the public and City staff and to help minimize the spread of COVID-19 virus, all City facilities including City Hall continue to be closed to public until Monday, April 6.
City operations, services and responses are focused on protecting the community from COVID-19 and urgent matters.
While Mayor Meed Ward has not yet declared an official emergency on COVID-19, the City of Burlington activated its Crisis Management Team (CMT) on Friday, March 13 to coordinate City efforts to protect public and staff from the spread of COVID-19, while maintaining essential City services to the community.
The activation of the CMT is a phased approach as part of the City’s Emergency Management Program. The City of Burlington has four (4) levels of emergency activation, which mirrors that of Halton Region and the Province.
Alert Level – Very Low – Manageable – has no immediate impact on service operations or resources.
Level 1 – Enhanced Monitoring – Low – Disruptive Impacts a small subset of essential services or a broad range of essential services for a short period of time or has no immediate impact but impacts will grow if not addressed in a timely manner.
Level 2 Partial Activation – Medium – Issue/Crisis Management and/or Disaster Management An event, procedure, practice or action that may trigger a crisis community centric (public facing) and / or a corporate /department impact disaster that occurs (internal facing with service line impact(s).
Level 3 Full Activation – High – Crisis – Mission Critical – Impacts the ability for the Corporation and/or Department or other service areas to deliver essential services and/or impacts the community on a large scale.
Currently, the City is at Level 2. A Level 3 activation would mean the activation of the City’s Emergency Control Group (ECG).
During the onset of this pandemic, the City started tracking outbreaks geographically. As the numbers of the infected population started to spread, we increased our level to an enhanced monitoring state and proactively pulled together our Rapid Response Team which was comprised of executive representatives across the corporation to collaborate and strategize means of preventing the spread of CoVID19 across our corporation and in the community. Upon receiving information of infected residents of Burlington and monitoring staff returning from declared countries in self-isolation, the City of Burlington decided to activate its Crisis Management Team under a Level 2 – Partial Emergency Activation.
In alignment with the approach from the federal government, the best thing residents can do to protect themselves and the community is stay home, except for essential trips.
City buildings closed to general public access effective March 16 include:
- NEW – Burlington Performing Arts Centre
- NEW – Provincial Offences Courtrooms will be closed from March 16th through April 3rd; however, the Courthouse remains open for business.
- City Hall (phone/online/drop box still available)
- Roads, Parks and Forestry
- Burlington Transit – Transit Operations Centre
- Animal Shelter
- City offices in SIMs Square office building (390 Brant Street)
- 414 Locust Street offices
- Burlington Fire Headquarters and all stations
In addition to all Parks and Recreation services and programs being cancelled and facilities being closed, residents are asked to avoid using City playgrounds until further notice.
Essential services including Burlington Fire, Burlington Transit including Handi-Van, Halton Court Services, Traffic Services, Roads, Parks and Forestry Operations and Animal Control Services will continue to operate as needed to support urgent needs in our community.
Burlington Transit continues to have its buses sprayed with disinfectant to sanitize all buses.
Service Burlington will continue to operate via phone 905-335-7600 and email email@example.com and we encourage residents reach out if they have questions about COVID-19. Residents can also access services using the City of Burlington mobile app. A drop box outside of City Hall is available to drop off documents. Residents are encouraged to delay any non-essential business.
All Burlington Citizen Advisory Committee meetings have been cancelled until April 5, 2020. It is possible that meetings scheduled later into April may also be cancelled or delayed as needed.
The following meetings are cancelled:
- March 18 – Agricultural and Rural Affairs Advisory Committee
- March 18 – Sustainable Development Advisory Committee
- March 23 – Seniors Advisory Committee
- March 23 – Committee of Adjustment
- March 23 – Integrated Transportation Advisory Committee
- March 27 – Inclusivity Advisory Committee
- March 31 – Council Workshop
- March 31 – Cycling Advisory Committee
- April 1 – Mayor’s Millennial Committee
- April 1 – Mundialization Committee
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.
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:
COVID-19 is a very real threat to our city and the world, and we know it is understandably causing a great deal of fear and anxiety. The city has activated our emergency planning at a level 2, which allows us to respond appropriately right now. However, we are monitoring the situation hourly and prepared to escalate if needed, working closely with our federal, provincial and regional and municipal partners. We at the City of Burlington are focused on the health and well-being of our residents as our number one priority. I encourage everyone to stay engaged with our communications to ensure you are updated and informed.
Similar to the announcement made today by Toronto’s Medical Office of Health, I would also encourage Burlington’s bars and restaurants to close to seated patrons. Businesses offering takeout food options could remain open to offer that option to the public. As our public health officials have maintained, these steps help to flatten the growth curve of COVID-19.
We will also be watching for announcements from the federal government later this week regarding supports for business and individuals whose livelihood has been impacted by this crisis.
- Contact Halton Region Public Health by calling 311, 905-825-6000 or toll free at 1-866-442-5866 if you have a fever OR cough OR breathing difficulty AND any of the following:
- travelled outside of Canada in the 14 days before onset of illness; or
- close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19; or
- close contact with a person with acute respiratory illness who travelled to affected areas within 14 days prior to their illness onset.
LINKS AND RESOURCES:
- For further COVID-19 information, including where to get tested, please visit Halton Region Public Health halton.ca/coronavirus
- Residents can stay informed at burlington.ca/coronavirus as well as on our social media channels: @cityburlington on twitter and facebook.com/cityburlington
- Questions about the cancellation of Recreation programs can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com or 905-335-7738
- Government of Ontario: ontario.ca/coronavirus
- Government of Canada: canada.ca/coronavirus
- World Health Organization: who.int
*Posted by John Bkila, Mayor’s Media and Digital Communications Specialist