Wellington County and all seven of its member municipalities each declared a state of emergency on Monday in response to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The emergency declaration gives Warden Kelly Linton the ability to make certain decisions that normally require full council approval.
It also gives each mayor in Wellington County the same power over their own municipalities.
The declaration comes a day after a 66-year-old man tested positive for COVID-19 in a Mount Forest hospital.
Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health said the man did not have a travel history or contact with another known COVID-19 case.
“With the recent confirmation of a COVID-19 case in the county and evidence that the virus is circulating unknowingly within our community, we are taking this public health situation seriously,” Linton said.
“We need to make some difficult decisions moving forward to continue to effectively and efficiently respond to the situation in all of our municipalities. The health and safety of all of our residents is our top priority.”
READ MORE: Live updates — Coronavirus in Canada
More information can be found on the county’s website.
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Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:
Health officials caution against all international travel. Returning travellers are asked to self-isolate for 14 days in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others.
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. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.
To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.
For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.