Coronavirus: Barrie Mayor declares state of emergency over COVID-19

Barrie Mayor Jeff Lehman has declared a state of emergency in the city due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“By declaring an emergency, we are sending the strongest possible message to our residents to stay home and to change their behaviour,” Lehman said in a statement Monday.

“While our staffing remains solid at this point, we believe the time is now to ensure the entire city and all of our combined resources are focused on flattening the curve.”

The declaration of an emergency is supported by Barrie’s emergency control group.

Local officials say declaring an emergency provides the city with additional power and resources to protect residents and streamlines Barrie’s emergency control group’s decision-making process.

Last week, Ontario Premier Doug Ford declared a state of emergency in the province due to COVID-19.

On Monday, a 10th case of COVID-19 was confirmed in the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit’s jurisdiction — a woman in her 60s who had recently travelled internationally.

So far, there have been four confirmed positive coronavirus cases in Barrie, two of whom have died. Both the deceased are men in their 70s who had close contact with one another, although the source of infection for one of them has been identified as travel-related from Alberta.

As of Monday, there are 489 active cases of COVID-19 in Ontario. In Canada, there have been 1,558 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus.

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