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Richmond plans to declare emergency

A special council meeting has been called for Thursday afternoon.
Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie addresses the Richmond Chamber of Commerce on Feb. 3, 2015.

Richmond council is calling a special meeting on Thursday to declare an emergency in the city. This is to deal with the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak that is currently spreading globally and locally.

The declaration will allow the city to enhance its preparedness to deal with outbreak, which has been ruled a pandemic by the World Health Organization.

The province declared a state of emergency on Wednesday, after the provincial health officer declared a public health emergency on Tuesday.

Pubs and bars have been ordered to shut down, the Canada-U.S. border will be closed to non-essential travel and foreign nationals are largely barred from entering the country.

The declaration will allow the city to make adjustments in personnel with a partial or full shutdown of city hall, if warranted, explained Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie.

This will allow employees to work from home or be more flexible in their work routines as the situation evolves, he added.

Brodie said he’s pleased with the edicts coming from the provincial government, with the closure of some establishments and the focus on social distancing.

“I think we’re taking some very decisive steps,” he said. “But we may need to do more.”

“Every indication is this is going to be an extensive situation with drawn-out consequences and we’re counting on the public to continue cooperating,” he added.

There will be measures taken at the meeting to respect social distancing and adhere to preventative measure to limit the spread of the virus.

The meeting will take place at 4:30 p.m. in city hall in the Anderson Room.

For more of our COVID-19 coverage, click here