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Message From Your Mayor: Burlington, You Must Do More to Slow COVID-19 Spread

COVID19_STAYhomeSTOPspreadSAVElives

Despite the daily messages from me, our expert medical professionals, the City of Burlington and other levels of government, we are not effectively flattening the curve and slowing down the spread of COVID-19.

On Tuesday, March 31, the City of Burlington had 16 confirmed cases; on Wednesday, April 1, that number jumped to 24 — that’s more than a 50% increase in daily cases over the span of a single day. Today, we are at 28 confirmed cases in Burlington.

I thank those of you in our community who are staying at home and only going out to access healthcare or medication, to shop for groceries once per week, to walk your dog, or to get your daily exercise (and staying in your own neighbourhood) while maintaining a physical gap of at least 2 metres between you and others.

Unfortuantely, we are still seeing and hearing reports from community members of people congregating in our parks, using playground equipment, stopping in the street for a chat, and playing pick-up games of basketball.

To be clear — THIS MUST STOP NOW.

Some people have also been ignoring the closed signs or locked facilities by jumping fences or removing posted signs/caution tape — THIS TOO MUST STOP NOW.

Other than using a park or trail near your home for some exercise, residents should not be using parks and trails to socialize.

The waterfront particularly at Spencer Smith Park and the Beachway continue to have far greater use than what is appropriate to maintain physical (social) distancing of at least 2 metres from everyone else.

When you are approaching others, move to single file on pathways or step off to allow others a safe distance to pass. If you need some fresh air and activity, it’s okay to walk, cycle or jog through our parks, but WALK, DON’T STOP.

There are 81 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Halton Region, as of today, and 67 of those cases are of individuals aged 20-64. This proves that anyone — of any age group — is susceptible to this virus.

This is no longer something that is happening somewhere else, it is here, right now, at our doorstep. Too many of you are still not taking this seriously. A surge in cases is hitting our shores and it won’t be long until every one of us knows someone with COVID-19.

Joseph Brant Hospital is building a temporary Pandemic Response Unit to expand the hospital’s capacity in preparation for the anticipated surge of COVID-19 patients.

With the weather getting warmer, I know many of you will want to go outside and enjoy the sunshine doing the things you normally would, and connect with friends. Please fight this urge. We need to be vigilant, now more than ever, if we want things to go back to how they were.

Your bubble consists of those who are living with. Please don’t get out of your bubble.

Halton Police announced that a ministerial order under the Provincial Offences Act temporarily allows for bylaw enforcement officers to assist police officers with enforcing the emergency orders being made by the province. That means Halton police officers, bylaw enforcement officers with the Town of Oakville, City of Burlington, Town of Halton Hills and Town of Milton, and Conservation Halton officers are now collaborating to respond to calls for service related to non-compliance with emergency orders within our collective boundaries.

The local enforceable orders to date include:

  • closure of places that are non-essential businesses
  • prohibiting events and gatherings of more than 5 people
  • closure of public places and establishments
  • closure of all outdoor recreational amenities and parks.

If anyone, during this pandemic, wishes to report an incident of non-compliance with any of the above emergency orders, they are asked to call the Halton Regional Police Service COVID-19 Hotline at 905-825-4722. It is critical that 911 only be used for emergencies.

I cannot stress this enough — the more we stay apart now, the sooner we can come together. Let’s all do our part voluntarily to keep each other safe and healthy, to limit the need for enforcement.

STAY home. STOP the spread. SAVE lives.

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

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

HELPFUL RESOURCES & RELATED LINKS:

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

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