HRM won’t rule out state of emergency declaration as COVID-19 cases rise

As the number of COVID-19 cases in Nova Scotia rises to 12, the Halifax Regional Municipality isn’t ruling out any preventative measures, including the declaration of a local state of emergency.

It’s reassuring the public, however, that the step isn’t necessary in the city’s current state.

“At this point in time, we haven’t needed to declare a state of emergency to do the things we’ve done, which have been quite extraordinary by normal circumstances,” Halifax Mayor Mike Savage told reporters on Wednesday.

“The state of emergency is something we’re always considering as I think all governments are across the country and around the world.”

In a press conference, the municipality’s top planners said they meet every morning to reassess their protocols and compare them with best practices in other jurisdictions.

“We want to operate on a no-surprise policy,” added Savage.

In recent days, the Alberta cities of Banff, Red Deer and Calgary have all declared their own local states of emergency.

The Halifax Regional Municipality is following cues from the provincial government as it responds to the crisis, shuttering customer service desks, restricting public transit and encouraging employees to work from home.

But essential services, including fire, police, waste removal and 311, all remain in place.

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