A state of emergency in Innisfil has been declared by Mayor Lynn Dollin in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“While I thank those who are heeding the Ministry of Health’s advice, we have noticed that too many people just aren’t understanding the gravity of this threat,” Dollin explains. “Declaring a state of emergency is our way of sending the strongest possible message to our community to stay home.”
Dollin took the action after receiving advice from Dr. Charles Gardner, Medical Officer of Health for the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit, on conjunction with Innisfil Town Council and the Town’s emergency control group, with representatives from South Simcoe Police, Innisfil Fire and Rescue and senior Town staff.
In a statement, the Town said the declaration comes on the heels of the provincial announcement that all non-essential businesses must close tonight, and as cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Barrie and Bradford-West Gwillimbury.
“By declaring a state of emergency, we are using all tools available to us to help protect our citizens,” says Dollin. “Innisfil is situated between two municipalities with confirmed cases. It’s only a matter of time before there are cases of COVID-19 in Innisfil too. We are ensuring that our community has access to the tools and resources it needs, including enhanced Innisfil Transit, delivery service, and small business support.”
Arenas and libraries were closed by the Town last week in an effort to reduce the risk of transmission.
The statement said the Town continues to receive reports of groups of people finding places to congregate.
“This is the appropriate next step to take as we work diligently to protect public health in Innisfil,” explains Dollin.
Essential services including Fire and Rescue, South Simcoe Police and Water and Wastewater services will continue as normal.
Town Council’s first digital meeting will be held Wednesday night with live streaming at 6:30 p.m.
“Declaring a state of emergency is not meant to cause panic. Please don’t rush out to the grocery store and hoard supplies,” Mayor Dollin urges. “But do look at your actions. Do you need to leave the house? If it’s not urgent, the answer is no. Stay home, stay safe, and please do your part to flatten the curve of COVID-19. Lives literally depend on your help.”