UPDATE: Windsor Malls to Close under State of Emergency Saturday
The city of Windsor has declared a state of emergency to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Mayor Drew Dilkens has enacted measures under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act so the city could close public gathering spaces like malls.
Dilkens says Devonshire and Tecumseh malls will close by the end of day Saturday with the exception of essential services and will likely remain closed until April 5.
"We want people to still be able to get to the grocery store and get their prescriptions as well. They'll still be allowed to do that at both malls and frankly, any attachment to the mall that's not directly accessible from inside the mall is also allowed to continue to operate," says Dilkens. "We're trying to be as reasonable as possible."
The closure is a proactive measure, according to Dilkens.
"There are thousands of people who will be returning from March Break vacation over the next couple of days," he says. "As I see what's happening in other cities across Ontario and across Canada with states of emergency being declared, I want to make sure, to the greatest extent possible I can help protect the community."
He says declaring the state of emergency was the first step towards allowing the city to close commercial spaces where more than 50-people may gather.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford declared a State of Emergency on March 17; Windsor joins several municipalities across Canada that have followed suit.
There are still no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Essex County.