The Region of Waterloo will terminate its state of emergency declaration this Friday, first issued in response to the COVID-19 pandemic more than two years ago.
The state of emergency was declared on March 25, 2020.
In a post on social media on Wednesday, Regional Chair Karen Redman announced she will be rescinding the state of emergency on May 27.
Speaking with CityNews 570, Regional Chair Karen Redman said that State of Emergency was the first to be declared across the region and all seven area municipalities, and though those municipalities largely rescinded their own orders back in March, she felt there was an onus to keep the regional order in place due to the services they provide - like transit, shelter care, long term care and social services.
"It was really to grapple with an emergency that we hadn't seen of that kind of magnitude before, so that we could move efficiently forward and do things like redeploy staff, invite volunteers to come in and help out with the emergency response to the vaccine... and I think it's really important as we look back on that span of time to realize that so many things were changing in real-time, and we needed to be nimble, and we needed to be decisive."
Redman cited COVID-19 indicators for lifting the emergency declaration, including hospitalizations, wastewater data and positive tests, saying they are trending in the right direction - to the degree that the region feels it no longer needs the ability to redeploy staff on an emergency basis.
"Over the last two years, our community has come together to fight COVID-19, making many personal sacrifices and stepping up to get vaccinated."