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COVID-19: Guelph plans to end state of emergency on March 1

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Guelph, Ont., mayor Cam Guthrie has once again announced plans to end the city’s state of emergency put in place at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a news release on Tuesday, the city said the decision to end the state of emergency on March 1 has been made in consultation with the medical officer of health and the city’s emergency operations control group.

Read more: Guelph facilities moving to next phase of reopening

“This is one more milestone in our journey to recovery from the pandemic,” Guthrie said.

“But our recovery is only possible if we continue to follow public health guidelines: keep wearing a mask, continue social distancing, and get vaccinated. I am urging everyone to stay vigilant so that we can maintain the progress we have made,”

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The state of emergency, first declared on March 26, 2020, almost ended on Dec. 31, 2021, but the rise of the Omicron variant forced the mayor to reconsider.

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The declaration gave Guthrie the ability to take actions and make orders that would be considered necessary to protect the property, health, safety and welfare of the city’s residents.

It also delegated some authority to the Chief Administrative Officer in the city and allowed for some employees to be transferred to different roles, worksites and union groups to fill pandemic-related needs.

The end of Guelph’s state of emergency means those aspects of the city’s operations will return to normal, the news release stated.

Read more: COVID-19 restrictions to end in the UK, Boris Johnson announces

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The County of Wellington will end its state of emergency on March 1 as well.

“After nearly two years of a global pandemic, it is time to start returning to normal life,” said Warden Kelly Linton.

“As key public health system indicators are continuing to improve, there is no longer a need for our local state of emergency. This positive progress is the direct result of the majority of our residents acting responsibly by getting vaccinated and following basic public health guidelines.”

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