The City of Timmins has lifted the state of emergency that was initiated to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mayor George Pirie declared that this afternoon.

Emergency planning manager Tom Laughren says it was decided to do that, as the number of new cases has tapered off in the last month or month-and-a-half, and with evidence that people have adopted safety measures such as masking, physical distancing and hand washing.

“We’re going to be living with this for the next year or two, even if they do find a vaccination,” Laughren predicts.  “And I think there’s a number of other issues in the community that we need to be focused on as well, such as opioids and the homelessness piece.”

The decision was made by the city’s emergency control group.   Laughren tells My Timmins Now Dot Com  that it will continue to meet, but divert some of its attention to those other community issues.

He stresses the fact that leaving the state of emergency has nothing to do with the impact of COVID-19 or the potential of a second wave.

“We still want people to practice all the proper health precautions: the social distancing, the washing of hands, the masks,” Laughren emphasizes. “We recognize that schools will be starting and we know there’s concerns around that. And again, our group will continue to meet and follow and be ready if there is a second wave.”

The state of emergency has been in effect since April 3rd.  Laughren says it can be easily reinstated.