London

London declares state of emergency

London, Ont., has declared a state of emergency, which gives the city access to provincial funding when it becomes available. 

The city has an emergency operations centre in Byron

On Friday, London declared a state of emergency. (Google Maps)

London, Ont., has declared a state of emergency, which gives the city access to provincial funding when it becomes available. 

The city has already activated its emergency operations centre, a centralized location out of the Byron fire hall. 

"Declaring an emergency ... provides London with all options available to protect the health and safety of individuals and families living in the city," a statement from the city said. 

"Recognizing we are in extraordinary times, we need to ensure we have access to any and all resources that may be available to us," said acting mayor Jesse Helmer. 

The state of emergency was declared Friday, the same day when the number of cases in London and Ontario jumped. 

Helmer has taken the helm at the city while Mayor Ed Holder remains in self-isolation after returning from a trip outside of Canada.

"We are making this declaration to reinforce with residents the urgency of this situation and the continued threat that COVID-19 poses to London. We implore each and every Londoner to exercise precautions and take every measure possible to help slow the spread of this virus," said Helmer.

'This is an emergency'

Holder called it "the right call, at the right time."

"The Acting Mayor has my full and unequivocal support in signing this declaration. We've been fortunate in London that many have followed advice to avoid large gatherings, and maintain social distancing. At the same time, this is an emergency and we need to make sure that message is fully understood by all Londoners."

The city continues to operate in a scaled-down fashion, with essential services still running. 

London Police, the fire department, and Middlesex-London paramedics continue to operate. 

Residents are encouraged to continue to look to health officials for information about COVID-19. Locally, this is www.healthunit.com.

As well, Londoners are encouraged to help slow the spread of coronavirus.

  • Avoid non-essential gatherings and stay home as much as possible
  • Practice adequate physical and social distancing
  • Wash your hands for 15-20 seconds with soap and use hand sanitizer
  • Cough or sneeze into your arm
  • If you have any symptoms, self-monitor and self-isolate, and contact a healthcare professional if symptoms persist
  • If you have travelled outside Canada recently, ensure you self-isolate for 14 days
  • If you have, or suspect you have COVID-19, visit an assessment centre located at Carling Heights Optimist Community Centre or Oakridge Arena, or contact healthcare authorities and do all you can to self-isolate and avoid contact with people

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