Mayor John Tory has declared a state of emergency for the City of Toronto in the wake of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The announcement comes one week after Premier Doug Ford ordered a state of emergency for the province of Ontario. According to Tory, the declaration will help provide city staff with the resources they need, without requiring approval from city council.
“The next few days are absolutely crucial in our ongoing efforts to slow down the spread of COVID-19,” said Tory during Monday’s announcement. “In making this declaration, I strongly encourage residents to take every precaution in protecting yourselves and your fellow citizens.”
“Stay at home, stay safe, and only buy essential supplies, for example, once a week,” he pleaded.
Tory made the declaration after receiving the recommendation from the city’s medical officer of health Dr. Eileen de Villa.
“This will maximize the city’s ability to do everything possible, as quickly as possible, to fight this virus, to win this battle,” said Tory.
We are declaring a State of Emergency as part of the City’s ongoing efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19 and to ensure the municipal government can continue to act and respond quickly to the pandemic and any other events that arise in the weeks ahead. pic.twitter.com/xsjZQ4Pnf8
— John Tory (@JohnTory) March 23, 2020
The Toronto mayor went on to support Premier Doug Ford’s call for non-essential services to close their doors and stressed the importance of social distancing.
In a press release also issued Monday, Mayor Tory said he will support orders from the provincial and federal governments, if people do not comply with the need to stay home.