Regional Chair Jim Bradley and Niagara’s local municipal mayors offer the following joint statement regarding the decision to lift the State of Emergency:
“Effective Tuesday, March 15 at 12:01 a.m., Niagara’s municipalities are officially ending the municipal States of Emergency that have been in place since April 3, 2020 as they are no longer necessary.
As the heads of council, we declared the State of Emergency together in an effort to help save lives, protect our hospital system and to underscore the critical nature of the situation. After two years, we are in a significantly different position and appears that it is now the appropriate time to move forward as a community.
As we continue to observe a decrease in cases, hospitalization and loss of life, standing down from our emergency declaration is another way we are learning how to transition to living with and managing COVID-19.
We want to offer a sincere thank you to all Niagara residents who did their part over the last two years to wear masks, follow directions to stay home, limit personal contact and get vaccinated.
We also thank all of our front line health care workers who selflessly made the commitment to serve our community, getting us through exceptionally difficult times. We also owe a debt of gratitude to our essential workers who continued to report to work throughout the pandemic, risking their health to ensure our economy could continue to operate.
We acknowledge that the last two years have been exceptionally challenging for everyone, but the people of Niagara proved time and time again that they are willing to do what is necessary to take care of each other and keep one another safe.
Make no mistake: the sacrifices that you made saved lives and kept people out of the hospital.
As provincial rules continue to ease in the coming weeks, we encourage residents to safely take advantage of all that our communities have to offer. Like most residents, we are relieved to see the progress we have made over the last few weeks and we are ready to move forward in our lives.
Despite this significant progress, it is important to remember that the pandemic is not completely over. Residents are encouraged to consider taking steps to protect themselves and reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission. Some of these steps include getting a third vaccine dose, practicing physical distancing when possible, and participating in outdoor activities, as opposed to indoor, when that is an option.
Residents are also reminded that some COVID-19 protocols may remain in place at certain municipal facilities around the region for the coming weeks as each individual community responds to changing guidelines.”