The City of Hamilton held its weekly COVID media briefing this afternoon, the full video is online here.
A couple of notes from the press conference.
Vaccinations of Those Over the Age of 85
- The City is planning to vaccine 250 people over the age of 85 each day this week at the St. Joe’s Hospital Mountain vaccination clinic.
- There are an estimated 11,000 people over the age of 85 who are living in the community, said Hamilton Medical Officer of Health Dr. Elizabeth Richardson.
- Eventually, the City will have mobile vaccination clinics at sites in various parts of Hamilton. they will add 200 vaccinations per day.
- The phone booking system remains overwhelmed, it can only have 150 people on the line at any given time. The City has 11 staff (yes, you are reading that correctly 11 staff) handling phone calls on the booking line.
- The City says to keep calling until you get thought, while asking people to be patient at the need to repeatedly call the hotline.
- The Province’s long overdue online vaccine booking portal is expected on March 15, those in the next phase of vaccination (those 80 to 85 living in the community) will use this portal.
City Closing Municipal Service Centres
- Hamilton Director of Emergency Operations Paul Johnson states the City will close municipal service centres in the Ancaster, Dundas, Flamborough, and Glanbrook town halls as staff are moved to supporting vaccination clinics. Dates of closure and details will be provided in the future. For transactions requiring in-person activity, the City Hall municipal service counter will remain open by appointment only.
Forestry Pausing Routine and Preventative Tree Work
- Similarly, forestry staff are being moved to supporting the vaccination clinics. Emergency and public safety work will continue.
COVID in Homeless Shelters
- City is now using Central Memorial School as a temporary homeless shelters for those with COVID needing to isolate. The centre at Bennetto is at capacity. People staying at the Downtown Hamilton Salvation Army shelter with COVID are being moved to Central Memorial. The City expects Central Memorial to operate for two to three weeks.
- 250 vaccinations were administered in the homeless shelter system over the weekend. 90 appointments were scheduled for Monday. The City did not specify a breakdown between staff and residents.
The next City press conference should be on Monday, March 8, 2021.