York Region declares a state of emergency under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act in response to the evolving COVID-19 pandemic.
“During these times of uncertainty and rapid change, our number one priority remains protecting the health and safety of residents and all of our communities,” said York Region Chairman and CEO Wayne Emmerson. “While we have many important tools at our disposal, including our strong financial position, robust and flexible emergency spending powers and a highly responsive Regional Emergency Plan, this declaration underscores the seriousness of this pandemic and the urgent need for our residents to diligently follow the directions of our public health officials leading this fight.
“At the same time, we will continue to advance meaningful measures to protect residents, including those most vulnerable, and support the business community,” Emmerson said. “This is an extraordinary situation and requires sustained action from all levels of government and all of our residents so we can break the chain of transmission. We will get through this, together.”
The emergency declaration follows an increase in positive cases over the weekend, the region’s confirmation of its first positive case of local transmission, an outbreak in a long-term care centre and, sadly, the first reported death of a York Region resident due to COVID-19.
“Local transmission signals we need to do more to mitigate the spread and protect our most vulnerable,” said Dr. Karim Kurji, York Region’s Medical Officer of Health. “More than ever, residents must follow the advice of public health professionals to stay at home as much as possible, practice social distancing and maintain good hand hygiene. Everyone must do their part to protect themselves and our community.”
York Regional Council, which is also the York Region Board of Health, supports the efforts put forward by Dr. Kurji, public health professionals and everyone working together on many fronts to protect residents. This includes the efforts of our federal and provincial partners, including the cancellation of all organized events, closures of facilities and businesses and the announced provincial shutdown of non-essential services.
York Region provides vital services to 1.2 million residents. To help mitigate COVID-19 spread and ensure residents continue to receive critical public services, York Region administrative facilities have been closed to the public until further notice and all non-essential regional employees have been directed to work from home. This includes temporary disruption to some York Region programs and services.
Residents are encouraged to stay informed by regularly reviewing credible sources of information, including york.ca/covid19 and ontario.ca/coronavirus
Photo: “During these times of uncertainty and rapid change, our number one priority remains protecting the health and safety of residents and all of our communities,” said York Region Chairman and CEO Wayne Emmerson.