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State of Emergency declared for Essex County, Town of Essex

by Sylene Argent “Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures,” Warden Gary McNamara said, as he declared a State of Emergency for the County of Essex during a special presentation held at the Essex Civic and Education Centre on Sunday afternoon.   Later that afternoon, the Town of Essex also Declared a State of Emergency.   “This will enable us to marshal all of our resources in the battle against COVID-19. And, it will ensure collective and coordinated regional response to protect the residents and business of Essex County,” McNamara said.   “This declaration is a proactive and precautionary measure that aligns our chain of command and our resources to most effectively confront this rapidly evolving health crisis,” McNamara said. He added it also provides the County with tools to protect the health and wellbeing of residents, and places everyone in a constant state of preparedness, focused on essential services and ready to react to COVID-19 and issues relating to flooding and rising lake levels.   “The County has made this declaration with the full support of our mayors of our seven local municipalities,” he added, thanking the local councils and municipal staff for their diligent response to the pandemic.   He noted the County needs to keep essential services going, such as keeping water flowing and sewers going.   “There is no doubt, we are stronger together, than we are apart,” McNamara said. “A coordinated regional response is the optimal way to respond to an indiscriminate and deadly virus that knows no boarders. We will work together, all of us here in Essex County, to flatten the curve to keep our frontline workers safe.”   McNamara thanked area residents for staying home, avoiding crowds, and doing what they can to avoid the spread of the virus. “Your social distancing efforts, particularly over the next two-weeks, as Canadians return home from vacation, will make a difference. I cannot stress enough the importance for those coming back home to self-isolate [for 14-days]. This is critical. It is in our best interest to do that. I know it is frustrating, maybe a little unnerving, but make no mistakes, your efforts will save lives.”     He also urged those coming back from abroad not to go to work or go to the store during their self-isolation period. “Get in your house, get your groceries delivered, and stay there for 14-days. Stay at home when you are sick, everyone,” he said.   McNamara thanked CAO Rob Maisonville and County staff for their work under stressful circumstances. He also expressed gratitude to paramedics with Essex-Windsor EMS, and nurses, PSWs, and support staff at Sun Parlour Home. “You are doing heroic work on the frontlines of the crisis, and our community thanks you for it.”   He also recognized the essential workers who are keeping shelves at grocery stores stocked, and who are preparing takeout and delivery food for residents across the County.   “Above all, be kind, be compassionate to one another,” he urged.   The Town of Essex Declared a State of Emergency later Sunday afternoon.   “The state of emergency declaration is the next step in what is truly a regional response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Mayor Larry Snively stated in a news release. “The declaration ensures we can act quickly together and deploy resources where they’re needed most.”   The declaration opens the Town’s Emergency Operations Centre (EOC), made up of Town administration and Essex Fire & Rescue Services, which will continue to monitor the situation with information from the Windsor Essex County Health Unit, as well as the federal and provincial ministries of health.

© 2020 The Essex Free Press ltd.

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