Lambton County has declared a local state of emergency as Canada tries to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.
The order was issued at 1:30 pm Wednesday.
A news release from the county says the state of emergency was declared to raise public awareness regarding the gravity of COVID-19.
“We hope your attitude toward the COVID-19 changes(with the declaration of the state of emergency) to okay; this is something we need to look at; we have to follow through with the recommendations with hand wash and (social) distancing,” says Lambton County Warden Bill Weber.
He believes the province’s state of emergency – which led to the cancelation of sit down service in restaurants – likely made many people wake up to the seriousness of the pandemic and likely will save lives.
“That was a huge step in my opinion,” he says. “We had seniors in coffee shops and not really having much regard for being in groups. That’s going to make things better.”
Seniors are the most likely to die from respirator problems due to the virus.
Weber says the state of emergency declaration was also made:
- To protect volunteers that are called to assist,
- To preserve the rights of the county for future compensation should it become available; and
- To ensure the organization can quickly respond to other unforeseen events should they arise.
There are no confirmed cases of the virus in Lambton County however many businesses have closed as employers ask workers to do their jobs from home to keep the virus from spreading.
Sarnia has also declared a state of emergency as has the Township of Warwick, Dawn-Euphemia, Brooke-Alvinston and Pt. Edward. Weber says he will sign a declaration his community – Lambton Shores – this afternoon.