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50 new COVID-19 cases in Hamilton Thursday, as recreation centre limits frustrate council

Canlan Ice Sports steps up game to help protect against COVID-19
The city is cutting in half, which Hamilton is in the red control category of the province's COVID-19 framework, the fees that is charges to recreation user groups at arenas and recreation centres. File / Global News

Frustration over new red zone restrictions within recreation facilities is dominating the agenda at Hamilton City Hall.

The emergency and community services committee has approved a motion to cut fees in half that the city charges to minor hockey organizations, skating clubs and other user groups.

Read more: City clarifies 10-person limit inside Hamilton arenas, recreation centres

Ward 6 Coun. Tom Jackson notes that a maximum indoor capacity of 10 patrons, regardless the size of an arena or recreation centre, will mean “financial hardship” for recreation groups.

His motion, approved by committee members, says the halving of fees will last as long as the city remains in the red control category of province’s COVID-19 framework.

Jackson says he’s “miffed, puzzled and peeved” at how Hamilton, which is averaging about 50 new cases of COVID-19 each day over the past week, “got lumped in with York, Toronto and Peel.”

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Read more: Hamilton’s COVID-19 death toll rises to 72, as city seeks to clarify ‘red’ zone rules

Jackson is particularly frustrated that the indoor capacity limit of 10 patrons applies, “whether it’s a quad-pad arena of four pads inside the one big building, or it would be a simple, single pad.”

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“It’s hard times for sure, added Ward 7 Coun. Esther Pauls, who says she “understands the frustration of all the constituents that are calling me, all the people that have kids in any sport.”

Fifty more cases of COVID-19 were reported on Thursday in Hamilton.

That’s according to public health’s daily update which shows no new deaths related to the virus in the city for the first time in almost a week.

Read more: How Hamilton entered Ontario’s COVID-19 red level and what to expect

There are also no new outbreaks included in Thursday’s tally, which shows 342 active cases of coronavirus in Hamilton.

Many of the city’s current outbreaks are within long-term care facilities and the four most widespread involve a total of 175 resident and staff cases at Chartwell Willowgrove, Hamilton Continuing Care, St. Joseph’s Villa, Baywoods Place.

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