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Updated: Mar 24, 2020

** UPDATE - March 24, 2020 at 8:55 am**

My apologies, as I have not been keeping this up to date as I would have liked, but I've been trying to spend more time with my family when I'm home. That being said, here are some highlights over the past few days. Justin Trudeau will be speaking at 11am today, and Doug Ford at 1pm. Doug Ford will be making an announcement regarding hydro rates.

- Please note that all Thames Centre PLAYGROUNDS are CLOSED effective immediately. Outdoor parks remain open

- To help with social distancing, the Mill Pond in Dorchester is asking you to walk the trails IN A CLOCKWISE DIRECTION ONLY.

** UPDATE - March 19, 2020 at 12:22 pm **

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau urged all Canadians who can, to donate blood. PM Trudeau says "these are uncertain times but whatever happens next, we can count on each other."

Premier Doug Ford spoke this morning with a few updates that the province is working on. Ford announced eviction notices for renters will not be issued and sheriff's offices have been asked to postpone any scheduled enforcement or eviction orders immediately, to ensure any Ontarian will not lose their home during this time. Additionally, all driver licenses, plates and health card renewals will be postponed until further notice - you can use your expired documents. Ford also announced that deliveries to stores will be allowed 24 hours a day, and will override any municipal noise bylaws to ensure stores are stocked. Ford reiterates against hoarding and panic buying.

** UPDATE - March 18, 2020 at 11:07 am **

Doug Ford will be speaking at 1:00pm in regards to COVID-19 in Ontario

** UPDATE - March 17, 2020 at 1:42 pm **

From the Mayor of Thames Centre:

"I have just released a statement declaring a state of emergency in Thames Centre. The County of Middlesex has also declared a state of emergency. But....nothing has changed ,this declaration protects our volunteers who may be required to help, it also allows to collect any appropriate insurance claims and allows us to collect any applicable funding from the province or federal government. I was pleased to talk to Minister Yurek this morning as well as receiving daily updates from MP Karen Vecchio. We are so lucky to have these representatives who are willing to work side by side with us during these fast changing times. Our municipal office and staff were also well prepared and this declaration doesn’t change our operations since we were proactive and have closed our offices to drop in visitors . Our staff were already working from home. Again I have faith that Thames Centre residents will behave in the best way as advised by our health providers...I have faith that will look out for our neighbours in the true rural fashion. I have faith that this challenge will allow us to be the best people we can be. Remember I am a call, a text and email away from you if you need some answers. Out Thames Centre website is also a great and reliable source of information."

** UPDATE - March 17, 2020 at 11:50am **

Further to the announcement this morning from Premier Doug Ford, here are more details reg: closures across the province:

- All facilities providing indoor recreational programs;

- All public libraries;

-All private schools as defined in the Education Act;

-All licensed child care centres;

-All bars and restaurants, except to the extent that such facilities provide takeout food and delivery;

-All theatres including those offering live performances of music, dance, and other art forms, as well as cinemas that show movies;

-Concert venues.

Additionally, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had another press conference today. He announced Parks Canada will be suspending all services, essentially "anything with a door is closed". Canada has also coordinated an Emergency Loan Program for up to $5000 to cover costs for Canadians to get home, or cover basic needs costs until they can return home. There will be full cabinet meeting this afternoon to discuss Canada's response and how to protect jobs and our economy as we move forward with COVID-19. There will be another announcement tomorrow regarding our economy. He reminds everyone to wash their hands, sneeze or cough into their sleeve and stay home if you are sick. For those who have not heard, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has closed our borders to most foreign travellers. You can learn more here.

At a local level here in Thames Centre, we are continuing to monitor the situations and follow all advice and guidelines from Middlesex-London Health Unit, and other levels of government. Please continue to monitor the Thames Centre website for any changes. Additionally, I will continue to update this blog post as more information presents.

I just received notification that at 11:20am, Middlesex County declared a local state of emergency. I will update once I receive more information.

** UPDATE - March 17, 2020 at 8:47am **

Premier Doug Ford held a press conference this morning declaring a state of emergency in the province of Ontario. Effective immediately, all libraries, recreation facilities, restaurants, bars, theatres (including live performances), private schools and day cares are closed. All organized groups of more than 50 people, including meetings of worship, are banned.

*Post - March 16, 2020 at 9:20pm*

Everyday is a new day as we tackle the beast of COVID-19 that is striking around the world. I wanted to take the opportunity to update everyone on what's happening locally. Note, I specified the date of the post at the beginning, because everything changes multiple times a day. For example, this morning during the province's press conference the Ontario Medical Officer of Health stated there was no concern to close restaurants or bars. Tonight, the Middlesex-London Health Unit and our Medical Officer of Health recommended all restaurants, bars and theaters close over the next two weeks. I urge everyone to stay up to date by visiting Middlesex-London Health Unit, Province of Ontario's website or the World Health Organization.

At a local level as of Monday March 16, Thames Centre administrative building and facilities will be closed to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Please be rest assured that staff and Council will still be available during this time to address all of your questions and concerns, and will be available via email. As usual, I am more than happy to take your phone calls and emails and forward to the appropriate staff. Thames Centre’s website and social media will continue to be updated during this time, and I will continue to provide updates as well.

All Middlesex County libraries are closed as of Tuesday March 17th through until Saturday April 4th. No fines will accumulate for materials that are currently on loan. All due dates for borrowed materials will be automatically extended to April 14 at this time. To avoid unnecessary travel, please do not return your currently checked-out materials. Any changes to library services and hours will be posted on the Middlesex County Library website and will also be shared on their social media accounts. For help accessing resources online, email

Some key things to remember:

1) Most importantly, WASH YOUR HANDS! This is the easiest way to do your part! Avoid touching your face (I know, it's hard!) and cough or sneeze into your elbow or sleeve.

2) Practice social distancing! This doesn't mean quarantine, or locking yourself in your home. Get out and enjoy some of Middlesex County Trails, parks and don't forget to support local businesses when getting your groceries and supplies!

3) If you have travelled anywhere outside of Canada, self-quarantine yourself for 14 days - even if you do not experience any symptoms!

4) Avoid all unnecessary travel!

5) If you experience any symptoms of COVID-19 including fever, coughing and shortness of breath, complete Ontario's online symptom assessment, call Telehealth at 1-866-797-0000 or visit London's coronavirus assessment centre.

Remember to stay informed with reliable sources and stay up to date as information changes!

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