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Halton’s Mayors and Regional Chair Reiterate Call to Safely Reopen Outdoor Activities

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*Please see below a joint news release issued by Halton’s Mayors and Regional Chair.

May 11, 2021

As the Province of Ontario considers extending the Stay-at-Home emergency order beyond May 20, today, Halton’s Mayors and Regional Chair are reiterating our call to safely reopen outdoor activities.

Outdoor activities done safely with physical distancing and masking are a necessary support to physical and mental health, especially during this prolonged period of lockdown.

Guidance provided by the COVID-19 Science Advisory Table for Ontario, that has also been endorsed by the Ontario Medical Association, encourages safe outdoor activities.

  • Keeping people safely connected: Maintaining social connections and outdoor activity are important to our overall physical and mental health. This means allowing small groups of people from different households to meet outside with masking and two-metre distancing. It means keeping playgrounds open and clearly encouraging safe outdoor activities.

As noted by the Science Table:

“Policies that discourage safe outdoor activity will not control COVID-19 and will

disproportionately harm children and those who do not have access to their own

greenspace, especially those living in crowded conditions.”

While the Halton Mayors and Regional Chair continue to discourage large gatherings in any setting, small groups can be at the same amenity at the same time as long as they are following the health guidelines.

We also stand with our Halton students who are calling for a safe return to sports when health guidance and evidence suggests it is safe to do so. The Halton District School Board’s (HDSB) Student Senate recently passed a motion declaring sports essential in students’ lives and created a Safe Sports sub-committee, co-chaired by two Halton students. The committee seeks to work with the Province to develop a plan for the safe return of sports, beginning with low-contact sports such as track and field, tennis, badminton, and swimming.

Given that many sporting activities occur in city facilities, the four Halton municipalities stand ready to partner with the Province, school boards and our local fitness providers in planning for a safe restart of sports.

In light of the evidence and advice from the Science Table, we renew our call to the Province to review and reconsider the list of currently prohibited outdoor activities. We further call on the provincial government to consult with school boards and our youth to design a safe return to sports plan, so that low-contact sports can resume as soon as it is safe to do so.

Sincerely,

Halton Regional Chair, Gary Carr                                              

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward, City of Burlington

Mayor Rick Bonnette, Town of Halton Hills

Mayor Gordon Krantz, Town of Milton

Mayor Rob Burton, Town of Oakville                                     

 

Additional information:

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 consolidated page for information and updates on the work of the provincial Ministers’ COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Task Force is available at bit.ly/COVIDVaccineUpdates.

Halton Region has also created a dedicated COVID-19 Vaccine webpage at halton.ca/covidvaccines for up to date information on the status of our COVID19 vaccination program.

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

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