As of 3:30pm Monday, the city of Timmins is under a COVID-19 state of emergency.

In a late afternoon news conference, Mayor George Pirie addressed what that means compared to the provincial stay-at-home order.

“We want the province to designate Timmins as a hot spot. That answers that we will get the PPE and the vaccines that are required to keep our people, our population healthy.”

Hotspot designation would also enhance testing capacity and support a community isolation centre.

Pirie notes that  Timmins and District Hospital is urging everyone to get vaccinated as soon as possible, so that health care services aren’t overwhelmed. But the mayor says hundreds of vaccination appointments are going unfilled.

“I’m asking the citizens of Timmins to get vaccinated,” he told reporters, “and follow public health measures to ensure that our businesses and our citizens survive the third wave.”

Although not entirely sure of the ranking, Pirie says he thinks Timmins has the third highest rate of infection per capita in Ontario.