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Coronavirus: Burlington mayor declares state of emergency over COVID-19

File photo - City Hall in Burlington.
File photo - City Hall in Burlington. Don Mitchell / Global News

The mayor of Burlington, Ont., has declared a state of emergency in the city due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

“The next few days are critical in our ongoing efforts to slow down the spread of COVID-19 and I encourage our residents to take every precaution in protecting yourselves,” said Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward.

Meed Ward is asking all local malls and non-essential businesses to close for the time being.

Meed Ward pointed to a number of factors in making the declaration in conjunction with council, senior staff, the city’s emergency control group and senior staff at Joseph Brant Hospital.

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“While I thank our many residents who are heeding expert medical advice, we have noticed there is still some complacency in our community around the need to self-isolate, to engage in social distancing and to only go outside for essentials such as food and medical needs or appointments,” said Meed Ward.

The declaration also referenced the death of a 51-year-old Milton man earlier this week from COVID-19 as health officials continue to investigate how he contracted novel coronavirus.

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“By declaring a state of emergency, we want to send the strongest possible message to our community to stay home,” said Meed Ward. “With the end of March break, many people are returning home over the next few days and may need to restock their shelves. I urge these residents to self-isolate in your homes for 14 days and ask family, friends or neighbours to safely drop off supplies for you.”

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READ MORE: Coronavirus outbreak declared at Hamilton nursing home

Meed Ward added “declaring an emergency is a necessary step in the right direction to effectively slow down the spread of this pandemic throughout our community.”

“The steps we take together today can have a positive impact on reducing transmission of COVID-19 in our community,” said Eric Vandewall, president and CEO of Joseph Brant Hospital.

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