City of London declares state of emergency due to COVID-19

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A state of emergency has been declared for the City of London.

London’s acting mayor Jesse Helmer and London Mayor Ed Holder have declared a state of emergency for the City of London due to growing 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) concerns.

A press release from the city announced the state of emergency declaration under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, meaning all options will be available to protect Londoners, including access to provincial funding when made available.

“Recognizing we are in extraordinary times, we need to ensure we have access to any and all resources that may be available to us. We are making this declaration to reinforce with residents the urgency of this situation and the continued threat that COVID-19 poses to London,” Helmer said in the press release. “We implore each and every Londoner to exercise precautions and take every measure possible to help slow the spread of this virus.”

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Holder said in the press release it was “the right call, at the right time,” to declare the emergency. He commended Helmer in doing so and was pleased with several Londoners for following social distancing guidelines like avoiding large crowds.

“At the same time, this is an emergency and we need to make sure that message is fully understood by all Londoners,” Holder said in the press release.

All local emergency services —police, paramedics, and fire crews — continue to operate.

The Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) said that there have been 11 COVID-19 cases in the London-Middlesex area, with six new cases confirmed on March 20. A Western University student who returned to Canada from Wuhan, China, who had the first COVID-19 case for London-Middlesex, has recovered after self-isolating upon her return.

Holder has been self-isolating as a precaution after returning from a trip to the U.S. and will continue to do so until at least March 31.