Mayor Lowry declared a State of Emergency for the Municipality of Mississippi Mills effective Tuesday, March 31, 2020, at 1:00 pm.
The declaration follows the Government of Ontario’s declaration of emergency on March 17 and is part of the Municipality’s continued efforts to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mayor Lowry stressed that “by declaring a state of emergency, I am insisting that residents take the spread of this virus seriously. We need everyone choosing to do the right thing and stay home. If you must be out for essential purposes, practice physical distancing.” She continued by stating that “this is an unprecedented time and we as a municipal government will do all we can in our power to protect the health and wellbeing of residents and help control the spread of COVID-19 in our community.”
Municipal declarations of emergency give greater authority to municipal officers to make emergency decisions in a timely manner allowing the municipality to respond to the ever-evolving situation. Fire Chief Brown who is also the Municipality’s Community Emergency Management Coordinator (CEMC) advises staff and Council on matters relating to emergency preparedness and response. During the next few weeks “our priority will be to keep our focus on public education, showing leadership in our community and supporting other agencies as we transition through the various stages of combating this virus” stated Chief Brown.
The Municipality has been in regular contact with the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit who is leading the local response for COVID-19. The Health Unit continues to share important information and provides support to the hospital, long term care facilities and other front-line service providers. Dr. Paula Stewart, Medical Officer of Health, indicated that “it is essential that we all contribute to decreasing the risk of COVID-19 in our communities and Mayor Lowry and Councillors are making a commitment to help their community.” Additionally the CEO of the Almonte General Hospital, Mary Wilson Trider has stated that “we have put safety measures in place at Almonte General Hospital and Fairview Manor to help protect patients, residents, staff and physicians against COVID-19 and will continue to communicate with community leaders and partners to ensure that we are all working together to protect the community and front-line workers.”
At this time, no requests have been made by the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit or the Almonte General Hospital to the municipality to provide services or facilities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Municipality is ready to respond if and when that request is made.
Municipal staff continue to provide essential services to the public while following appropriate safety measures. Council will continue to oversee all core municipal matters which are not related to emergency measures to the COVID-19 response. The Municipal Emergency Control Group will continue to meet regularly and are prepared to make important decisions for the safety and well-being of residents. Mayor Lowry stated that “during this time each of us needs to do all we can to protect ourselves, our loved ones and our neighbours. We are a strong municipality and I along with my fellow Council members and municipal staff will continue to put the safety and wellbeing of our community at the forefront of all our decisions. Be safe and be well.”