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Coronavirus: Non-residents banned from St. Catharines beaches: city

St. Catharines beaches off limits to non-Niagara residents
The city of St. Catharines has taken several measures in the fight against COVID-19. One of them includes restricting access to city beaches to Niagara residents only. Shallima Maharaj reports.

After a spike in COVID-19 cases in Niagara Region on Tuesday and more “problematic behaviour” at city beaches, St. Catharines has decided to restrict access to some of its waterfront to Niagara residents only.

In a release on Tuesday, the city says its enacting temporary restrictions that take effect immediately and coincide with an increase in fines for illegal parking in areas surrounding beaches and Morningstar Mill. The fines will now increase from $30 to $100.

Read more: Weekend GO train service between Toronto and Niagara resuming after break due to COVID-19

“Since we opened our beaches earlier this summer we have faced a situation where they are overcrowded and under pressure,” St. Catharines Mayor Walter Sendzik said in a statement. “As we continue under emergency orders, by temporarily limiting access to Niagara residents only we can help limit the risk of spreading COVID-19 in our community.”

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The city cites littering, alcohol and drug use, crime, and trespassing as some of the major infractions that have appeared since reopening last month.

Coronavirus: Niagara Region wineries prepare to reopen
Coronavirus: Niagara Region wineries prepare to reopen

Last weekend, over 60 parking tickets were issued in the area of Sunset Beach by officers alone.

Security will be on-site checking bags and proof of residence as of Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Hamilton’s waterfront and attractions will not be doing any ID checking in the near future, according to the city’s emergency operations director.

Read more: Coronavirus: On-site staff to ‘educate’ and offer face masks in response to Niagara Falls video

Last week, Paul Johnson told Global News that it’s challenging to set up a system that would catch people in advance of visiting the falls and certain other parks in the city.

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“We’re not going to take an approach of stopping people from out of town from coming,” said Johnson. “I think it’s important that they come.”

The message the city and the Hamilton Conservation Authority — which manages many of the area’s waterfalls — is that if parking lots are full, leave and come back another time.

“Go somewhere else. Those types of messages are the best that we can do.”

Niagara Region reports 21 new COVID-19 cases

Niagara public health officials reported a spike of 21 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday. It’s the biggest single-day increase since early June.

The region now has 854 total cases, with 81 of them active.

The region has no new deaths. To date, 64 people have died in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic.

The region has also added to its institutional outbreaks reporting eight on Tuesday including three Long-term care homes in St. Catherines (Garden City Manor, Linhaven and Tabor Manor) and at the Hotel Dieu-Shaver Health and Rehabilitation Centre also in St. Catharines.

There’s an outbreak at the Eventide Home on Jepson Street in Niagara Falls.

Hamilton reports one new COVID-19 case

On Tuesday, Hamilton public health reported one new COVID-19 case. The city’s overall case count since the pandemic began stands at 888, with 879 confirmed and nine probable.

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Hamilton has 45 total coronavirus-related deaths with 34 connected to an institutional outbreak.

The city says there have been 11 positive cases in the last 10 days with eight new cases under the age of 30.

The city has no institutional outbreaks.

Halton Region with one new COVID-19 case, 30 active cases

Halton Region reported one new case in Burlington on Tuesday and says it has 30 active COVID-19 cases. The region has 910 total cases with 83 probable.

The region still has 25 deaths tied to COVID-19 as of July 28, with 12 the result of an outbreak at an institution.

The region has no institutional outbreaks.

Haldimand-Norfolk reports three new COVID-19 cases

Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit (HNHU) added three new COVID-19 cases to its overall total of 458 lab-confirmed, positive cases as of Tuesday.

Officials say 397 of those patients have since recovered, and there are 29 active cases as of July 28.

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

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Brant County reports two new COVID-19 cases

Brant County’s health unit (BCHU) reported no new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday. The region has 141 total confirmed cases as of July 28.

The county still has four deaths, with 131 total resolved cases. There is one COVID-19 patient currently in hospital among the five remaining active cases.

The region has no institutional outbreaks.