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City of Burlington Monitoring COVID-19 and Taking Action to Help Protect Staff and Residents

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*Please see below a media release issued by the City of Burlington. Please click this link for a Statement from Mayor Meed Ward.

Burlington, Ont. — March 11, 2020 — Further to Halton Region Public Health’s update today on the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in Halton region, the City of Burlington continues to monitor our own operations daily.  This is the 41st COVID-19 case confirmed in Ontario. The City is actively increasing the cleaning and disinfecting of common contact points in City facilities and vehicles.

Upcoming decisions about City programs and meetings as well as events at our facilities and public spaces will be made based on the most up-to-date information and advice from our healthcare partners.  The health and well-being of our staff and community is the top priority for everyone at the City of Burlington.

“The Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation is rapidly evolving and the City continues to closely monitor the situation to ensure we are prepared to help protect the health and safety of our staff and residents that use our facilities.  We continue to collaborate with the Region of Halton and assess best measures to implement in our city as a response to emerging scientific evidence of COVID-19.  Our top priority is looking after the best interests of our City staff and the people of our city.  To that end, the City has taken steps to increase cleaning and disinfecting across our facilities, increase Healthy Hands stations in our facilities, pause non-essential staff travel, encourage staff to stay home if they’re ill and continue to communicate with the public ways everyone can help prevent spread of respiratory viruses including COVID-19.  City updates will continue to be shared out with the public.” — Tim Commisso, Burlington City Manager

Actions taken to date by the City of Burlington

  • City resources are being allocated to increase cleaning and disinfecting, with specific focus on high-traffic touch points.  This will include increasing the cleaning and disinfection of common contact points such as door handles, customer service counters, elevator buttons and handrails, water filling stations, meeting rooms, lunchrooms, POS machines, vehicle steering wheels, door handles, etc.
  • The City is increasing Healthy Hands stations (alcohol-based hand sanitizers) in our facilities.
  • As is normal practice, disinfectant wipes are available for Transit operators to clean the driver’s area on the bus they are assigned to. Additional cleaning and disinfecting strategies are being considered.
  • The City continues to investigate technology and best practices for cleaning and disinfecting.
  • City staff have been directed that all travel for conferences and other work-related trips for out of country that have already been booked should be cancelled.
  • City staff have been directed to hold on booking any out of province travel for work.
  • City staff continue to be advised to stay home if feeling sick.
  • Information posters will be up in City facilities to inform both the public and our staff about steps to take to reduce the likelihood of virus transmission.
  • A rapid response team has been created at the City that includes staff from across the organization.  The Team’s purpose is to review the latest information received from provincial, regional and public health sources and advise on appropriate actions needed related to City activities.
  • After careful consideration, Burlington’s Teen Tour Band nine-day trip to Myrtle Beach for the Can-Am Days parades and concerts has been cancelled. The bus trip to Myrtle Beach would have taken the band through at least 2 states that have currently declared states of emergencies in order to deal with COVID-19. The decision was made out of the abundance of caution to ensure the safety of band members, volunteers and staff based on the information we have at this time.

The best way residents can prevent the spread of respiratory viruses including COVID-19:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. If you don’t have a tissue, cough into upper sleeve, not hand.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Residents can stay informed at Burlington.ca as well as on our social media channels: @cityburlington on Twitter and facebook.com/cityburlington.

PLEASE NOTE: To read the Mayor’s statement on what the city is doing regarding COVID-19, please visit this dedicated page, which will be updated daily as new information becomes available.

MAYOR MEED WARD’S TAKE:

I know our residents will be very concerned and have a lot questions over today’s news from Halton Region of a confirmed case of COVID-19 in our Region, specifically a Burlington resident. The health and well-being of our community is the top priority for Burlington Council and everyone at City Hall. We are taking a series of immediate steps to stay on top of this rapidly evolving situation, including daily internal briefings, daily monitoring of announcements and advice from our healthcare professionals, cancelling non-essential travel, and updates on a dedicated webpage linked directly from the City of Burlington’s homepage providing the most up to date information and links to healthcare information.

We encourage everyone to stay up to date with the medical information being released by our healthcare professionals. It is important that we all act responsibly and support one another. If you are symptomatic, please contact Halton Region immediately and self-isolate. We all have a role to play to create an environment in our city where people feel comfortable seeking treatment and asking for help. Take care of yourself and each other.

LINKS & RESOURCES:

**PLEASE NOTE: Commenting is turned off during a public emergency to avoid the spread of misinformation. If you have any additional questions about actions you can take and how this might affect you, please reach out to Halton Region by calling 311 or 905-825-6000. Also, please continually check the websites we have listed for updates.

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

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

Constituent Assistant: Hannelie van Niekerk
905-335-7600, ext. 7689