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When Ontario Announces Orders for Re-opening, Burlington will be Ready

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We know residents are looking forward to a gradual reopening of services, programs and businesses. The Province of Ontario (guided by Public Health officials and medical experts) determines when certain businesses can reopen. That’s not a decision the City of Burlington can make — and we had some good news earlier this week.

On May 6, the provincial government announced it is beginning to ease restrictions amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Between May 8-11, a range of stores will be able to open for business, under health restrictions.

Garden centres and nurseries will be allowed to open as early as today (Friday, May 8) and hardware stores and safety supply stores will be allowed as early as Saturday, May 9 for in-store payment and purchases. They will be required to follow the same safety guidelines and precautions as grocery storesand pharmacies.

On Monday, May 11, retail stores with a street entrance can begin offering curbside pickup and delivery, in accordance with the Ministry of Health’s Guidance Document for Essential Workplaces and occupational health and safety requirements.

In addition to easing restrictions on retail, the provincial government is also allowing below-grade multi-unit residential construction projects like apartments and condominiums to begin and existing above-grade projects to continue.

All businesses must follow public health measures and should review the workplace safety guidelines, such as promoting physical distancing and frequent hand-washing, sanitizing surfaces, installing physical barriers, staggering shifts, and using contactless payment options to stop the spread of COVID-19.

For the full media releases issued by the Province, please click the link.

As summer is on the horizon, we continue to get questions of when City facilities will reopen. There are two main criteria that have to be met. First, Provincial emergency orders cover not only businesses, but also many city operations. So, the Province has to announce orders allowing reopening. A recent example would be the permission for the City to open our community gardens.

Second, we need to have clear guidelines from our Halton Regional Medical Officer of Health to ensure we can protect public health while delivering services or opening facilities.

We are already having discussions now about which services and facilities can begin when, so that we’ll be ready to respond when the Province and Ontario Public Health give us the greenlight and appropriate health measures.

City council, staff, the Burlington Leadership Team and Emergency Control Group are looking at a refreshed community services plan that will encourage all of us to rediscover our new normal together. Things will be different. We will need to rediscover our city, our services, and our facilities in a new and positive way. We know there’s no going back to business as usual.

There will be some good permanent changes that come out of this experience, as we redesign how we do business and deliver services to our community, such as increased use of digital technologies to deliver services more quickly and efficiently.

Our top priority remains the health and safety of our community and containing the spread of COVID-19 as we plan for a long period of living with this virus.

Every decision we make about reopening and refreshed delivery of services will focus first on protecting our community and city staff. We’ll take a gradual, common-sense, reasonable and measured approach based on health advice and clear evidence the virus is contained.

There will be more good news in the coming days as we continue to face this pandemic together.

— 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.

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:

 

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Marianne Meed Ward

Marianne Meed Ward

A Better Burlington began in 2006 after my neighbours said they felt left out of city decisions, learning about them only after they’d been made. As journalist for 22 years, I thought “I can do something about that” and a website and newsletter were born. They’ve taken various forms and names over the years, but the intent remains: To let you know what’s happening at City Hall before decisions are made, so you can influence outcomes for A Better Burlington. The best decisions are made when elected representatives tap the wisdom of our community members, and welcome many different perspectives.This site allows residents to comment and debate with each other; our Commenting Guidelines established in 2016 aim to keep debate respectful. Got an idea or comment you want to share privately? Please, get in touch:

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