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Virus outbreak at hospital, Guthrie declares state of emergency

Web posted on March 27, 2020

Guelph Mayor Cam Guthrie has declared a state of emergency for the city of Guelph in response to COVID-19. The Mayor made this decision afterDr. Nicola Mercer, the Medical Officer of Health,declared an outbreak in a ward at Guelph General Hospitalearlier today.The state of emergency is effective immediately, and will remain in effect until further notice.

"As Medical Officer of Health I want to thank Mayor Guthrie, Council and everyone at the City of Guelph for their efforts during the COVID-19 outbreak," said Dr. Nicola Mercer, Medical Officer of Health for Guelph.

The declaration is part of the City's ongoing efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19 and will ensure the City can continue to act and respond quickly to the COVID-19 pandemic and any other events hat arise in the weeks ahead.

Four of five people who contracted Covid-19 at Guelph General are front-line orkers in Ward 4E.

"We certainly support this declaration", said Marianne Walker, CEO of Guelph General Hospital. "The most important way the community can support us right now is by practicingrelentlesssocial distancing."

The City's emergency management team is working closely with Wellington Dufferin Guelph Public Health, Guelph General Hospital and the Guelph Police Service to put measures in place to protect the health and safety of the community.

The City closed all public facilities including recreation centres, libraries, museums, theatres, City Hall, play structures, tennis courts, and fenced dog park and skate park. The City also cancelled all events and regular Council meetings until April 30.

"Over the last week and a half, you have often heard me saying that things are changing on an hour by hour basis," Mayor Guthrie said. "This hour is no different.

"I have decided to declare a State of Emergency for the City of Guelph. I have not made this decision lightly. We need to take the advice of medical officials seriously and take bold, decisive action to flatten the curve and prevent further spread of COVID-19.

"With this declaration, I implore all Guelph residents to be diligent about practicing safe physical distancing to protect our community's health and well-being."