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COVID-19 Update: Support Services, Continued Closures and Reminders for Burlington

Spencer Smith Cycling Dismount_03

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

Burlington, Ont. — April 30, 2020 — The City of Burlington is committed to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 to protect its residents and employees. City facilities and park amenities remain closed and staff are focused on providing essential services to the community. The Province of Ontario is solely and directly responsible for lifting or easing their emergency orders under which the City operates to delivery essential City services.

Online and phone supports

On April 28, a new COVID-19 resource webpage launched and can at Burlington.ca/COVID19. The site features links to organizations who are looking for volunteers and donations plus organizations offering support to individuals through the COVID-19 emergency.

On May 1, the City of Burlington is launching TelePALS, a free phone service designed to help adults stay connected as everyone practices physical distancing to help flatten the curve of COVID-19.

Through TelePALS, users can participate in free, over-the-phone programs, including Chat Groups, Listen and Learn, Game Shows, Ask the Expert and Listen for Enjoyment. For more information, visit Burlington.ca/telepals.

Roads and Parks

With the arrival of warmer weather, City of Burlington staff began spring maintenance work in City parks and roads. Staff are only doing essential work to maintain City parks, facilities and assets until further notice.

To help keep everyone safe during the provincial emergency order, Spencer Smith Park is only available for walk-in traffic. The parking lots are closed and only walking is permitted in Spencer Smith Park, including the Promenade and the Brant Street Pier. Visitors must keep a two-metre distance from other walkers. No other activities are permitted until further notice: no running, no rollerblading and no biking through Spencer Smith Park. This is to reduce the volume of people in Spencer Smith Park and to help walkers maintain physical distancing.

Physical distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic is one of the most important steps everyone needs to take. The COVID-19 virus doesn’t move on its own; it needs people to move it. To discourage people from gathering and to help reduce the transmission of the virus, the City of Burlington has closed all vehicular access to our parks. Only walking, jogging, riding a bike or scooter/wheelchair through a park or trail is permitted, except for Spencer Smith Park, where only walking is allowed. Remember to:

  • Keep two metres away from others – about the length of a hockey stick
  • Move to the right on pathways to make room for others to pass safely
  • Carry out your garbage whenever possible

All amenities in our parks have already been closed: please continue to respect the caution tape and keep off playgrounds, sports fields, skateboard areas, tennis and basketball courts. The City has signage and barricades in the entrances of parking lots to block vehicles from parking. Vehicles left in parking lots will be towed at the owner’s expense.

Starting tomorrow (Friday, May 1) at 9 a.m., pedestrian push buttons at intersections along Lakeshore Road will be temporarily disabled and signs will be placed above them. Pedestrians are asked to wait for the walk symbol to appear before crossing at intersections to maintain public safety.

Residents who see groups of five or more people gathering or individuals using outdoor recreational facilities can call the Halton Regional Police Service COVID hotline to file a report at 905-825-4722.

Local enforceable orders include:

  • Closure of places of non-essential businesses
  • Prohibiting events and gatherings of more than five people
  • Closure of public places and establishments
  • Closure of all outdoor recreational amenities and parks

To date City of Burlington Bylaw Enforcement Officers have issued two tickets (provincial offences notices) related to COVID 19. The Building and Bylaw Department has addressed over 1600 complaints/inquiries in the month of April with the primary goal of educating the public in relation to the Provincial Emergency orders and the Burlington Social Distancing Bylaw.  Overall, the community has been receptive and respectful during these interactions but still we ask all residents to adhere to the requirements in place.  As always, the health and safety of staff, the public and front-line healthcare workers is paramount.

Burlington Transit

As an essential service, Burlington Transit continues to operate on a modified schedule for essential trips only. All trips continue to remain free. Essential trips include going to medical appointments and picking up medication or groceries. Extra buses will be added if needed to help protect drivers and allow passengers to practice physical distancing from other riders. Please use the back doors to enter and exit the bus, keep behind the marked area and follow the recommendations of public health professionals. For more information on Burlington Transit, visit www.burlingtontransit.ca

Parking

Parking enforcement is currently limited to safety-related issues such as fire routes, accessible parking, no parking/stopping areas and blocked areas, including parking lots at Spencer Smith Park, Lowville Park and all other City parks. Time limit restrictions have been relaxed to help those working from home or self-isolating. Parking permits and exemptions are not required until further notice. For more information on parking, visit www.burlington.ca/parking.

Service Burlington

Customer Service staff are available by phone and email for residents’ questions. Online forms can also be submitted via our website. Only in-person services, such as marriage licences, are not available during the pandemic. ServiceBurlington may be reached at city@burlington.ca or 905-335-7777.

In-Home Activities

The best thing residents can do to protect themselves and the community, is stay home. The City of Burlington and its partners are offering activities people of any age can do while staying home at burlington.ca/programming. The list includes:

  • Virtual fitness
  • Free music
  • Ebooks, emagazines and online resources from Burlington Public Library at bpl.on.ca
  • Videos for recreation programming such as games, activities and crafts.

MAYOR MEED WARD’S TAKE

The weather forecast for this weekend looks to be summerlike and I know all of us will be itching to get outside to soak up some sun. For the most part, our city has been doing well so far with keeping up with physical distancing, following medical advice and adhering to provincial emergency orders – so let’s keep that going this weekend.

If you do go outside, please remember to stay at least 2 metres/6 feet away from others. Don’t congregate in groups of more than five people. Enjoy our parks, but walk through them; don’t stop – and remember to stick to your own local neighbourhood parks. If you’re cycling, please take note that cycling is currently not allowed in Spencer Smith Park and you are asked to dismount and walk your bike through. Our bylaw enforcement officers will be out reminding everyone of how they can stay safe and healthy.

I know this is tough, particularly with the warmer weather on the horizon, but the more we restrict ourselves and stay apart now, the sooner we will be able to come together.

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, and our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page — bit.ly/COVID19BurlingtonFAQ that are updated as new information becomes available.

A Burlington COVID-19 Task Force has been created to help support our community through this unprecedented emergency — updates will be provided at burlington.ca/COVID19taskforce.

To report an incident of non-compliance with provincial emergency orders, please contact the Halton Regional Police Service COVID-19 Hotline: 905-825-4722.

We’ve also created a dedicated page to feature the local organizations and businesses that have inspired us during the COVID-19 pandemic by taking action to support our community in new and creative ways — head to bit.ly/covidwallofinspiration.

HELPFUL RESOURCES & RELATED LINKS:

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

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