Coronavirus: Hamilton, Ont., mayor to present mandatory mask bylaw at board of health meeting

A decision on mandatory mask wearing amid the COVID-19 pandemic in Hamilton, Ont. is still being discussed by the city's public health unit as of July 7, 2020. Wil Erskine / Global News

Hamilton’s mayor says a draft of a bylaw requiring mandatory face coverings in all commercial and indoor public spaces, to slow the spread of COVID-19, will be presented before the city’s board of health at a scheduled meeting on Friday.

At a city council meeting on Tuesday, Fred Eisenberger said the draft was something that “many are anticipating and asking for.”

The mask discussion has been going on for more than a week now in Hamilton, spurred by actions from other municipalities in Ontario which either recently passed bylaws requiring masks, such as Toronto and Peel Region, or had medical officers of health issue orders, like in Guelph and Kingston.

Read more: Discussions underway in Hamilton, Ont., to make masks mandatory at enclosed public spaces

Last week, Hamilton’s medical officer of health revealed that public health had been having discussions on the matter, but said it was not inevitable since the city’s number of cases remains low.

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However, in the same update on July 2, Eisenberger hinted that a bylaw was likely coming as about 100 residents contacted the mayor’s office in recent weeks asking for mandatory face coverings in public spaces.

“So I think there is broad community support for this,” Eisenberger said, “and I think we’ll hear what the doctor and her team actually put on the table. I think the bylaw approach is definitely the approach that we’re heading towards in terms of if and when we do this.”

Richardson says outcomes in other regions of the province will likely influence a decision which could be decided when the board of health meets on Friday.

Hamilton reports 2 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday

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Hamilton, Ont., reported two new coronavirus cases Tuesday, which puts the city’s overall number of cases as of July 7 at 856, with 848 confirmed and eight probable, according to public health.

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The city has no current institutional outbreaks, and for the first time in 112 days St. Joseph’s is reporting no COVID-19 patients in their hospitals. The first patient was admitted on March 16th, according to St. Joe’s president Melissa Farrell.

“While this is a great milestone for our hospital teams, the pandemic is not over. We want to thank our staff, physicians, volunteers and community partners for their continued support and vigilance,” Farrell said.

Hamilton Health Sciences is also reporting no coronavirus patients as of July 7.

To date, 776 of the city’s known COVID-19 cases — 91 per cent — have been resolved.

There were no new reported deaths on Tuesday, holding the total coronavirus-related deaths at 44. Thirty-four of the city’s deaths are connected to an institutional outbreak.

Niagara Region reports 5 new COVID-19 cases

Niagara public health officials reported five new coronavirus cases on Tuesday. The region has 769 total cases, with 28 of them active.

The region reported no new deaths, leaving the overall total at 61, with 50 tied to long-term care or retirement homes.

The region has two institutional outbreaks including the Garden City Manor long-term care home in St. Catharines.

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Eighty-eight per cent (680) of Niagara’s cases have been resolved.

Haldimand-Norfolk reports no new COVID-19 cases 

Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit (HNHU) reported no new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday and the region sits at 444 lab-confirmed, positive cases.

Officials say 381 of those patients have since recovered.

Read more: Coronavirus: St. Catharines to draft mandatory indoor mask bylaw

The region has 32 COVID-19-connected deaths with 27 tied to residents at Anson Place Care Centre, a nursing home, in Hagersville.

Halton Region reports 9 new COVID-19 cases

Halton Region reported nine new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday. The region now has 866 cases, including 783 confirmed positive and 83 probable cases.

The region still has 25 deaths tied to COVID-19 as of July 7, with 12 the result of an outbreak at an institution.

Public health says 778 cases, or more than 89 per cent, have been resolved.

The region has no institutional outbreaks as of Tuesday with the last outbreak declared over on Sunday at the Waterford long-term care home in Oakville.

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Read more: Ontario introduces bill to extend some pandemic emergency measures over the next year

Seventy-nine of Halton’s total cases are connected to residents or patients in an institution.

Brant County reports no new COVID-19 cases

Brant County’s health unit (BCHU) reported no new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday. The region has 124 total confirmed cases as of July 7.

The county still has four deaths, with 118 total resolved cases. There are two COVID-19 patients currently in county hospitals.

There are no institutional outbreaks.

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