‘We’re not out of this yet’: Orillia mayor urges caution as state of emergency ends

Orillia business owners are feeling more optimistic with further COVID-19 restrictions lifting.

Mayor Steve Clarke said he is hopeful the changes will continue to positively impact businesses.

“When we first came into the pandemic, we were so very concerned about our physical health, as we should have, but we quickly realized that the impact on mental health was significant, and certainly economic health, have been decimated by that.”

The City formulated an economic task force at the onset of the pandemic. Clarke said the task force had been involved in several initiatives to help businesses get through the past two years.

The mayor said the same team would have more recommendations for council as the light at the end of the tunnel to normalcy grows brighter.

On Tuesday, the City of Orillia officially ended its state of emergency initiated in the spring of 2020.

Still, Clarke said now isn’t the time to let one’s guard down.

“As we slowly get back to life as we used to know it, my one word of caution really is as much as we’ve done somethings to warn of easing restrictions, we’re not out of this yet,” said Clarke.

Orillia’s mayor urged residents to remain aware of social distancing, be “respectful,” and support local businesses.

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