SUDBURY -- The mayor of Timmins, George Pirie, has ended the community's state of emergency, following discussions with the city's Emergency Control Group.

In a news release Wednesday, the city said the emergency was declared April 3 to "raise public awareness regarding the gravity of the current pandemic situation; to protect volunteers that are called to assist; and, to ensure the corporation can quickly respond to other unforeseen events should they arise."

Pirie said that residents realize that COVID-19 isn't going away anytime soon.

“We’ve been living with this pandemic for half a year in Timmins, and there is no obvious end in the foreseeable future,” Pirie said. “Our citizens know that life has changed. They know that physical distancing and wearing masks are necessary. They know that frequent hand washing is a must. They know that they are responsible to look out for their own health, and the health of their loved ones.”

Must remain vigilant

Ending the state of emergency doesn’t change any of the orders or guidance issued through the Porcupine Health Unit, Pirie said.

“The City of Timmins stands behind (Dr. Lianne Catton, the medical officer of health) and thanks her for her unwavering leadership throughout this crisis,” said Pirie. “As a community, we owe a debt of gratitude to so many frontline workers across the City with a Heart of Gold. We cannot ignore that debt by relaxing our precautions. As we adjust to living with the pandemic we must remain ever vigilant.”

The health unit has dealt with 72 COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began in March, the most recent was Aug. 3. Of those, eight people have passed away as a result, while the rest have recovered.