Perth County, the City of Stratford, and several neighboring municipalities are now under a state of emergency over COVID-19.

The declaration was made Thursday morning on the advice of the city’s emergency control group that includes emergency first responders, the public health unit, members of the city’s corporate leadership team and outside agencies.

The Townships of Perth South and Perth East and the Municipality of West Perth have also declared a state of emergency over the pandemic.

The Town of St. Marys made its emergency declaration on March 19th.

To date the Huron Perth Public Health unit has reported 101 people tested, 73 came negative, 26 are pending and two were confirmed to have the virus.

Stratford Mayor Dan Mathieson says in a release that the decision comes as a reinforcement of the serious nature of the COVID 19 pandemic and the potential threat it poses to the community.

The declaration gives municipalities the additional flexibility to respond to an emergency, as well as access to funding if it becomes available.

Mathieson adds that Stratford’s emergency declaration serves the following purposes;

  1. To help raise public awareness of the urgency of the COVID-19 situation.
  2. To recognize the danger of community transmission of the coronavirus.

Mayor Mathieson says the State of Emergency declaration represents the next step in the City of Stratford’s carefully considered response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

That response has included the closure of all City buildings and facilities to the public, and the reduction of some municipal services in order to limit the spread of the virus.

The release also says that the City’s Emergency Control Group was activated on March 16th and has met regularly by teleconference since that date to keep members informed and updated on local emergency planning.