Haldimand County is the latest municipality to suspend the local state-of-emergency it declared in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in March.
Mayor Ken Hewitt announced the suspension – with conditions – in a news release on Sept. 3.
“Thanks to our community’s extraordinary efforts to halt the spread of COVID-19, the number of new cases in Haldimand continues to drop,” Hewitt said in a news release.
“I do want to reiterate that — even though the emergency has been terminated — it does not mean the pandemic is over. Staff will continue working closely with the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit to manage the local response, which includes planning for a potential second wave.”
Municipalities in Ontario followed suit after Ford government declared a province-wide state-of-emergency March 17. Norfolk County declared a local state-of-emergency on March 24 while the declaration in Haldimand came on March 25.
The province suspended its emergency declaration July 24.
On July 21, Norfolk council agreed to suspend the local emergency on the same day with the understanding that Mayor Kristal Chopp can re-impose it if circumstances warrant.
Although states-of-emergency are ending, important policy decisions arising from them remain in force. Hewitt reminded residents and visitors to Haldimand that key pandemic measures are in place until further notice.
“Residents and visitors are asked to continue following emergency orders still in effect and follow the advice of public health authorities – including wearing a face-covering, maintaining physical distancing, and regularly washing hands,” he said.
“Haldimand bylaw will continue to enforce public health orders with assistance from the health unit.”
Even though the local state-of-emergency has been lifted, Haldimand’s emergency operations team continues to meet and will monitor the pandemic so long as the COVID-19 virus remains a threat.