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COVID-19 - Declaring an Emergency


COVID 19 Update Header Photo, Blue with images of microorganisims and icons of hand washing, social distancing and staying home.

Town of Fort Erie declares State of Emergency

On April 3, 2020, along with all 12 area municipalities and Niagara Region, Fort Erie has declared a state of emergency.

Declaring an emergency under s 7.0.1 (1) of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act provides Fort Erie with all options available to protect the health and safety of Fort Erie residents.

  • Niagara’s municipalities declare State of Emergency in response to COVID-19 (MEDIA RELEASE)
  • Message from Mayor Wayne Redekop (VIDEO and TRANSCRIPT)
  • Signed Declaration of State of Emergency (PDF)
  • State of Emergency Poster (PDF)

What is a declaration of emergency?

  • Under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, the Mayor (or his or her designate) and the Lieutenant Governor in Council or the Premier have the authority to declare an emergency
  • An emergency declaration may extend to all or any part of the geographical area under the jurisdiction of the municipality
  • An emergency is defined under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act as “a situation or an impending situation that constitutes a danger of major proportions that could result in serious harm to persons or substantial damage to property and that is caused by the forces of nature, a disease or other health risk, an accident or an act whether intentional or otherwise”

 

What does declaring an emergency allow a municipality to do?

  • It can demonstrate to their residents that the municipality is taking the current situation seriously, and is taking every step that they can to protect them from the threat.

 

Why would Fort Erie declare an emergency?

  • The Town recognizes the spread of Coronavirus may have the potential to affect the delivery of services and have the potential to affect our citizens’ and staff health
  • The Town believes it’s time to prepare for an increase in COVID-19 cases and deaths in Niagara, even Fort Erie for the next couple weeks or possibility months
  • The Town is working hard to help protect the health care workers and hospitals from being overwhelmed
  • The appropriate level of concern must be exercised by our citizens to abide by the self-isolation regulations, physical distancing, & taking only essential outings to reduce the spread
  • Further support of the Provincial Declaration on March 17, 2020, and the two-week extension

 

What does this mean?

  • Allows for real-time decision making to occur, within the Act’s restrictions, to ensure continuity of operations
  • The Town wants residents to have the appropriate level of concern to ensure they take the necessary precautions to reduce the spread of Coronavirus
  • Creates a further awareness among the entire community of the importance of self-isolation restrictions, physical distancing & essential outings is critical to reduce the spread
  • Asking all residents to stay home as much as possible over the coming weeks and practice physical distancing if you do have to leave the house
  • The current public health recommendations are:

o   Wash your hands

o   Stay home if you’re sick & monitor your health

o   Don’t share personal items (e.g., toothbrushes & eating utensils)

o   Clean & disinfect high touch surfaces

o   If you’re returning to Canada, you must self-isolate for 14 days

  • No visitors
  • Get someone to get essential items for you and leave at door
  • Monitor your health
  • Continue physical distancing
  • Avoid non-essential trips in the community
  • Limit, postpone, or cancel gatherings
  • Work from home, where possible
  • Conduct meetings virtually
  • Keep kids away from group settings
  • Avoid visits to long-term care homes & other care settings
  • Stay 6 feet away from others when going for walks, or shopping for groceries

 

Are we at more risk now that an emergency has been declared?

  • No, the declaration in this particular case does not mean the risk is any greater
  • With the travelers returning to Canada, and community spread, there is a likelihood of more cases in the coming weeks, so a potential immediate risk, meeting the criteria to declare an emergency

 

What does this mean to our how we are currently delivering our services?

  • At this time, there is no change to how we are currently operating in terms of following provincial directives on core service delivery
  • As indicated, the declaration is in place in the event the current landscape changes & immediate measures need to be taken in the workplace or in the community