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Hamilton’s board of health adds protection for residents of high-rise buildings

Rebecca Towers, a 164 unit 17-storey apartment building, was the scene of a major COVID-19 outbreak this spring. Google Maps

Hamilton’s board of health has voted to send a letter of instructions to anyone responsible for apartment buildings and condominiums that are at least 12 storeys in height.

The instructions stem from a trio of recent COVID-19 outbreaks in residential high-rises, and they require certain infection, prevention and control measures.

Ward 2 Coun. Jason Farr says the outbreaks were one of his “worst fears realized” during the pandemic.

Read more: Tenants’ committee says incomplete repairs contributed to COVID-19 outbreak at Hamilton highrise

Managers of affected high-rise buildings are required to promote physical distancing and masking in common areas, provide hand sanitizer and PPE for staff, maintain HVAC systems and disinfect high contact surfaces twice a day.

Farr says he hopes the instructions will bring “a lot of peace of mind” for people who live in higher density buildings.

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Representatives at Hamilton ACORN, a local tenants rights group, welcome the measures but wish they had been enacted more quickly.

Outbreaks at residential high-rise buildings on Queen, Wellington, and Rebecca streets, accounted for a total of 225 cases of COVID-19 earlier this year.

Click to play video: 'Over 150 cases linked to COVID-19 outbreaks at 3 Hamilton apartments' Over 150 cases linked to COVID-19 outbreaks at 3 Hamilton apartments
Over 150 cases linked to COVID-19 outbreaks at 3 Hamilton apartments – May 11, 2021

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