Positive novel coronavirus tests in the Hamilton, Burlington and Niagara regions have persuaded many local organizations to cancel services and events that involve gatherings to avoid the potential spread of COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus.
Public health officers from all three regions say it is unlikely that many will become infected with COVID-19, but that residents should be mindful that the situation is rapidly evolving, particularly with travel-related cases from abroad.
However, members from a number of organizations have opted to cancel or postpone events, classes and gatherings in light of the virus outbreak.
Check out our list below to help you plan the coming weeks.
What’s cancelled, suspended and postponed in Hamilton:
Afro Canadian Caribbean Association Hamilton’s “We Are Planted Here” events for March 13 and 14 have been postponed until further notice.
The AIDS Network has suspended all group programs, workshops and training.
Allan Cup Canadian Men’s AAA Hockey Championships, which were to happen in Dundas, have now been cancelled.
The Around the Bay Road Race will not happen on March 29. No new date has been scheduled.
Collective Arts Brewing has suspended growler filling at its brewery.
Disney on Ice at FirstOntario Centre has been cancelled. Refunds for all shows between March 18 through 22 can be requested through Ticketmaster.
First Unitarian Church in Hamilton is closed until April 4.
Hamilton Bulldogs games at First Ontario Centre have been cancelled until April.
Hamilton city-run programs and events, including public engagement events, are cancelled through April 5, 2020. The city is not accepting new group bookings for private events in city facilities.
Hamilton Civic Museums — including Dundurn National Historic Site, Hamilton Museum of Steam & Technology, Battlefield House Museum & Park, Whitehern Historic House & Garden, Fieldcote Memorial Park & Museum, Griffin House, Hamilton Children’s Museum — are open for March break with limited access. Special events and programming are cancelled until further notice.
Hamilton Centre for Civic Inclusion (HCCI) Anti Racism Conference scheduled for March 27 and 28 has been postponed.
The Hamilton Chamber of Commerce has rescheduled a pair of events. The Outstanding Business Achievement Awards will now take place on June 9, while the Business After Business event will be rescheduled for November.
Hamilton Downtown Mosque has suspended Friday sermons until further notice.
Hamilton Police Service’s Cop Camp event for March is cancelled.
Hamilton Public Library branches will remain open, however, bookmobile service and visiting library service is cancelled effective Saturday until April 6.
The Royal Botanical Garden will be closed until April 6. The closures include all private functions, gardens and natural areas.
Westfield Heritage Village’s Maple Syrup Festival has been cancelled.
Sikh Heritage Month Hamilton which was set for April has been cancelled.
On Friday, the City of Burlington activated its Crisis Management Team (CMT) to protect against the spread of COVID-19 and has closed all city recreation facilities for a minimum of three weeks.
March break programming, arenas, pools and community centres, including the seniors centre are now all on hiatus, according to the city.
City Hall will remain open for business. All city organized large public meetings and gatherings are also cancelled, with the exception of Committee and Council meetings at City Hall.
Burlington Public Library is closed to the public and will reopen on April 6, 2020.
Conservation Halton has closed some park operations and its offices until April 6. Mountsberg, Maple Town, Glen Eden, and Sweat Water Season, have been closed until next season. However, Rattlesnake Point, Hilton Falls, Mount Nemo, Crawford Lake and Robert Edmondson will remain open.
Fallsview Casino Resort has paused entertainment effective immediately. Tickets for original performances will be honoured. Patrons are encouraged to hold on to their tickets until new dates are announced. Refunds are available at the point of purchase.
All publicly-funded schools — including all catholic and non-catholic elementary and high schools — have been shut down for two weeks after March break.
McMaster University has cancelled all classes and non-core events with no in-person exams at the end of the term. As well as all fundraisers, intramurals, performances, tournaments, conferences, public speakers, March break camps, public lectures and non-academic presentations.
Mohawk College has also cancelled classes. Classes are expected to restart online or with an alternative delivery method beginning Monday, March 23.
“Mohawk will be contacting students on Thursday, March 19 to let them know how the remainder of their semester will be managed and grades evaluated. All in-person exams are cancelled,” said Steinberg.
In addition, Mohawk is restricting domestic and international travel for employees and encouraging staff to move content online.
Redeemer University has cancelled classes and is also turning to e-learning. The school also cancelled all sponsored and student-sponsored events.
All campuses will be closed to students and the community as of March 14. The school is also encouraging students in residence to return home, if possible.
Brock University also said it’s suspending “face-to-face classes going forward,” on Friday.
The school will also nix exams for the rest of this academic term and is working on a plan to move to alternative forms of class and exam delivery, including online.
The school said the academic term is not at risk and hopes to run exams during the regularly scheduled exam period from April 6 to April 23.
On Thursday, Brock said it was prohibiting all students, faculty and staff travel outside Canada, except for work placements and exchanges.
Travel to academic conferences and professional development events have been nixed, as well as March break tours, the spring open house and on-campus events.
In a release, Redeemer University says it’s cancelling all school-sponsored international travel until further notice. They are also encouraging staff and students to cancel plans to attend large gatherings including academic conferences and workshops. However, classes will continue on schedule.
Haldimand County is also closing all museums, libraries & arenas for the next three weeks. March break camps have also been cancelled and a number of public workshops and meetings have been postponed including the Business Excellence Awards Breakfast and Official Plan Update workshop.
Oakville recreation and culture facilities are closed until April 5. All recreation and culture registered programs, drop-in programs, services, events and rentals are cancelled. All community use of school rentals is also cancelled, as are community centres, museums and other town facilities.
Concerned about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:
Health officials say the risk is very low for Canadians, but they caution against travel to affected areas (a list can be found here). If you do travel to these places, they recommend you self-monitor to see whether you develop symptoms and if you do, to contact public health authorities.
Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing – very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease.
To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. And if you get sick, stay at home.
For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.
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