MH declares state of emergency over COVID-19

By Chad Ingram

The Township of Minden Hills hasdeclared a state of emergency amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“Certainly with the [provincial]declaration at 8:30 yesterday morning this went to whole otherlevel” Mayor Brent Devolin told the Times on March 18 explaining the decisionto make a municipal declaration of a state of emergency was madeafter a meeting of the township's emergency control group on theevening of March 17.

The declaration puts into action thetownship's emergency management and continuity of operations plans(created in 2016 and publicly available on the township's website).

“This basically allows us to workhand-in-glove with the province” Devolin said indicating therewould be further legislation coming down the pipe from the provinceregarding the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

A special meeting of Minden Hillscouncil has been called for March 19 where council will delegatecertain authorities to the township's emergency management groupwhich consists of some members of council the township's chiefadministrative officer and a cross-section of department heads.

During the weekend two cases ofCOVID-19 were confirmed within the jurisdiction of the HaliburtonKawartha Pine Ridge District Health Unit in Northumberland Countyand the City of Kawartha Lakes respectively.

Devolin said the threat posed by thevirus should not be taken lightly.

“The notion that it's not happeningin our community is a fallacy” he said. “It's coming here. It isgoing to affect us.”

Devolin strongly urged residents topractice social distancing regular hand-washing and other suchmeasures.

“The public participation is probablythe most significant element” he said. “If we want to protectour community our family our neighbours we need to takeresponsibility at the individual level.”