The COVID-19 situation continues to develop rapidly impacting all facets of our daily lives in unprecedented ways.
In these times, we are fortunate Burlington is a city filled with many generous and caring people, which is why we are the best community in Canada. In times of need and uncertainty, we can always count on each other. Your City Council and City staff are working together with your best interests, health and safety as our top priority.
We urge everyone to follow the advice of qualified healthcare professionals, continue to stay home and wash your hands thoroughly.
Several community groups are forming and offering support to those who need it. These are just some of those supports that can help you:
- Good Neighbour Project – GTA: This is a program run by volunteers who have created a volunteer-based task force who are on standby to support the vulnerable in our communities that require delivery assistance for supplies and groceries.
- You can volunteer to pick-up supplies or you can request assistance by visiting www.fb.com/groups/goodneighbourproject or calling 647-873-2230.
- People needing assistance could be seniors, persons with disabilities, someone (or a family) in self-isolation or a single parent.
- Please pass their phone number to anyone you think may need help.
- Burlington Covid Response: Another local Facebook group is CareMongering Burlington for Burlington Covid Response – www.facebook.com/groups/burlingtoncovidresponse. This group was created by residents for locals to post and share information on community updates.
- Please ensure you always follow the advice of healthcare experts while supporting others including social distancing, hand washing, and staying home if you are sick.
- Ontario 211: This is a free helpline that connects you to community and social services in your area 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, in over 150 languages. 211 is answered and updated by highly-trained specialists.
- You can visit 211.ca or call 211 from your phone with questions related to food, family services, employment, community programs and crisis support.
- Local food banks: Please consider donating money online to a foodbank. The Burlington Foodbank is an option and to make a donation or to use the foodbank, visit www.burlingtonfoodbank.ca
- Halton Region is coordinating with key partners (Food4Life, United Way, local municipalities and others) to develop ways to deliver food and other essentials to individuals/households that are isolating, low income or otherwise vulnerable. The Region is also aware of emergent volunteer groups that would like to help ad are connecting with those groups to support and leverage their capacity. We will continue to stay connected with the Region as information is available.
- Giving blood: Maintaining a blood supply is as important as ever during COVID-19. If you are eligible and well, please consider donating blood.
- Visit myaccount.blood.ca or call 1-888-2-Donate
We know many of our residents and businesses are also struggling with finances.
At our next Council meeting, Burlington City Council will be considering a temporary change to late payment charges to provide relief for the April 21 property tax installment to help residents and businesses experiencing financial hardship during the Coronavirus outbreak.
Based on Council’s decision, this temporary change being proposed would mean that for the month of April 2020:
- No penalty or interest charges will be incurred related to the April 21st installment for all property owners; and
- No non-sufficient fund (NSF) fee charged by the City for any returned tax payments.
We encourage taxpayers on a pre-authorized payment plan (10-month plan, due date plan and taxpayer defined plan) to continue on these payment plans where possible.
Team Burlington Supporting Businesses: Burlington’s business support organizations (Team Burlington), which includes Burlington Economic Development, Burlington Chamber of Commerce, Burlington Downtown Business Association, Aldershot Village BIA and Tourism Burlington are taking a coordinated approach in supporting businesses during COVID-19.
A business resource site, found here, has been launched to keep businesses informed about programs, funding opportunities, resources and online services to help ease the stress and uncertainty businesses are currently facing.
Burlington Economic Development has also set-up a business support phone line to provide businesses with a direct line to staff to answer questions and help make sense of new information coming out from higher levels of government. Businesses can reach out to (289) 337-5505 ext. 102, Monday to Friday between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.
BURLINGTON TRANSIT – Free rides until at least April 5:
Burlington Transit will not be collecting ride fares until at least April 5th. 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. The Downtown Transit Terminal building is closed but Customer service can still be reached at email@example.com, 905-639-0550 or on Twitter @BurlONTransit.
COUNCIL MEETING OPTIONS:
We are committed to finding ways to continue essential council business. The Province of Ontario passed legislation March 19th giving municipalities the ability to fully conduct Council, local board and committee meetings electronically when faced with local and province-wide emergencies, empowering us to respond quickly when in-person meetings cannot be held. We are exploring virtual options to help us continue to make the decisions that will keep our communities safe, functioning and informed during these challenging times.
MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORT:
- Distress Centre Halton: This service provides telephone and online support to people in our community to better cope with crisis, loneliness, and emotional stress. Having the support of a friendly person who cares about your feelings and what you’re going through can make all the difference. Distress Centre Halton is still operating all services online and over the phone. Here is the contact info should you want to reach out:
- Reach Out Centre for Kids (ROCK): ROCK is an accredited, multi-service organization providing services to children and youth from birth to 17 years of age and their families. Remote services are being offered for families and children to turn to during this difficult time for help.
- Office Tel: 289 266-0036
- 24/7 ROCK Crisis Line: 905 878-9785
- Please visit their website for more information.
COVID-19 RESOURCE LINKS FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Here are some other links and resources. Please check these frequently. Information is changing quickly so these trusted online sources are the best ways to get the most up-to-date information:
- For more COVID-19 information, including where to get tested, please visit Halton Region Public Health halton.ca/coronavirus
Halton Region Public Health is focusing on those most at risk of COVID-19. The Region’s current priority is to hear from high-risk groups only:
- Health care providers seeking or reporting information;
- Those living or working in a healthcare setting or institution and experiencing symptoms of COVID-19; or
- Those who have been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19.
Not everyone requires testing. Most people with mild symptoms will recover on their own at home. Get rest, drink fluids, eat well and stay home. You do not need to contact Public Health.
If you are high risk, please call 311 to start the assessment process. Residents must have an appointment to attend an Assessment Centre.
If you have SEVERE symptoms, please call 9-1-1 immediately.
- 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
- Joseph Brant Hospital: josephbranthospital.ca/covid-19
- Chamber of Commerce: https://burlingtonchamber.com/team-burl-supporting-burl-business-during-covid-19/
I know working together for the greater good, we will get through this. Please know that I, along with my Burlington City Council Colleagues are working to ensure we come together and function as a cohesive group that is reflective of Canada’s best city. Stay healthy and well.
– Mayor Marianne Meed Ward
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.
*Posted by John Bkila, Mayor’s Media and Digital Communications Specialist