TIMMINS — A state of emergency has been declared in Timmins in response to COVID-19, according to Mayor George Pirie.
This afternoon, Pirie also revealed the worst-case scenario COVID-19 numbers for the City of Timmins.
Pirie said the state of emergency is to raise public awareness about the gravity of the pandemic is a way to respond quickly to the evolving conditions, and will help protect volunteers.
“I’ve said before that we would declare a state of emergency when our healthcare system would be overwhelmed with the cases. That is not the case today,” he said.
Pirie explained the declaration is to provide WSIB coverage to volunteers.
“As we know tomorrow, we have a remarkable group of volunteers that will stepping into the role of the Lord’s Kitchen and serving three meals a day. We want to ensure that they have ultimately the highest level of protection that we have available to us and that includes extending WSIB coverage to them,” he said.
Pirie said there are other talks going on about how to protect the local population, including putting a curfew in place.
In the Porcupine Health Unit region, there are currently 28 confirmed COVID-19 cases.
As of this morning, the health unit is aware of 387 tests submitted locally. Of those, 28 have been positive and 314 were negative. They are waiting on the results of 45 tests. Five positive cases have been resolved.
Pirie also delivered the worst case-scenario for the City of Timmins.
In that projection, he said April 7 there could be up to 136 cases of COVID-19 in Timmins, with one or two people in the ICU. By April 14, there could be up to 136 cases, with eight or nine in the ICU.
May 1 is the worst day in the worst-case scenario.
That is when Pirie said there could be up to 1,553 cases in the city, with 23 in the ICU.
Although the stats released by the health unit cover the entire area, he noted these projections are just for the city.
“We can beat this. We can beat this if we all act together doing exactly what we’re supposed to do to knock that curve down. That’s a phenomenal number of cases, that’s a phenomenal number of people that could end up in Timmins ICU,” he said.
He said everyone has to do their part to control the numbers.
“This is serious and we have to take it seriously. It isn’t a laughing matter, it isn’t a joke, it’s not a time to have a party. It’s time, it’s past the time to take this very, very seriously,” he said.