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Statement from Burlington Mayor Meed Ward: City Working Closely with Joseph Brant Hospital to be Prepared, Mayor Expresses Gratitude for all Front-line Workers

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*Please see below a Statement from Mayor Meed Ward.

Burlington, Ont. – March 31, 2020 – Yesterday, Joseph Brant Hospital in Burlington announced that as part of its pandemic response plan, it will be building a temporary Pandemic Response Unit to expand the hospital’s capacity in preparation for the anticipated surge of COVID-19 patients.

As the hospital indicated in its release, this modular structure will be built on the hospital grounds and connect to the existing South Tower, providing an additional 93 beds for patients who require hospitalization and treatment for COVID-19. The City of Burlington is working very closely to expedite building permits to make this happen, and I thank staff for working so swiftly.

I applaud Joseph Brant Hospital for choosing to build this structure and take a proactive approach that ensures they can meet the demand we are likely to see in the coming weeks. This addition is a valuable part of the many steps they are taking to enable their dedicated staff to care for our community through this unprecedented challenge.

I am in touch daily with Joseph Brant Hospital CEO and President Eric Vandewall to co-ordinate our emergency response efforts and be prepared for every eventuality. His leadership and decisive action has been an essential part of our city’s ability to deal with COVID-19. His participation in our public telephone town hall last week, along with colleague Dr. Dale Kalina, Medical Director of Infection, Prevention and Control, provided valuable health information to thousands of local residents on the line.

I want to thank all our healthcare and front-line professionals for their remarkable work in this crisis, from doctors and nurses to janitorial and operational staff at our hospitals and doctors’ offices, to bus drivers and grocery store workers and the entire logistics chain that manufactures, delivers and sells the essential food and supplies we all depend on. I know they are working long hours, spending time away from their families and loved ones, and faced with new challenges and difficult decisions like never before. Our entire city owes them a debt of gratitude for their skills and service. They come to work every day for us, and they are the reason the rest of us need to stay home and help stop the spread of COVID-19.

This Friday (April 3), please join me in showing your appreciation for all these heroes through the FrontLine Clap at 7 p.m. Stand on your front porch, front step, or balcony to clap for 2 minutes so they can hear our gratitude.

STAY home, STOP the spread, SAVE lives.


Mayor Marianne Meed Ward

City of Burlington

PLEASE NOTE: To stay updated on what the City of Burlington is doing regarding COVID-19, please visit the dedicated pages (and subscribe) and, and our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page — that are updated as new information becomes available.


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

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