Mayor Guthrie declares state of emergency for Guelph in response to COVID-19

Guelph, Ont., March 26, 2020—Guelph Mayor Cam Guthrie has declared a state of emergency for the city of Guelph in response to COVID-19. The Mayor made this decision after Dr. Nicola Mercer, the Medical Officer of Health, declared an outbreak in a ward at Guelph General Hospital earlier today. The state of emergency is effective immediately, and will remain in effect until further notice.

The declaration is part of the City’s ongoing efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19 and will ensure the City can continue to act and respond quickly to the COVID-19 pandemic and any other events that arise in the weeks ahead.

The City’s emergency management team is working closely with Wellington Dufferin Guelph Public Health, Guelph General Hospital and the Guelph Police Service to put measures in place to protect the health and safety of the community. The City closed all public facilities including recreation centres, libraries, museums, theatres, City Hall, play structures, tennis courts, and fenced dog park and skate park. The City also cancelled all events and regular Council meetings until April 30.


“Over the last week and a half, you have often heard me saying that things are changing on an hour by hour basis. This hour is no different. After further weighing information relayed to me today by the Medical Officer of Health and other medical professionals, I have decided to declare a State of Emergency for the City of Guelph. I have not made this decision lightly. We need to take the advice of medical officials seriously and take bold, decisive action to flatten the curve and prevent further spread of COVID-19. With this declaration, I implore all Guelph residents to be diligent about practicing safe physical distancing to protect our community’s health and well-being.”
—Guelph Mayor Cam Guthrie

“This is a really clear signal that people need to stay home. We’ve closed what we can, and we’re relying on everyone in our community to do their part to slow this down. Don’t leave your homes unless you really need to. Shop for groceries once a week. Don’t go to the hardware store unless you’re there to get stuff for a home emergency. We’re all in this together.”
—Scott Stewart, Chief Administrative Officer, City of Guelph.

“Public Health works to ensure residents are safe and as healthy as possible. We support all efforts to protect the health of people living in Guelph.  Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health will continue to work hand-in-hand with the City to ensure the safety of our community. As Medical Officer of Health I want to thank Mayor Guthrie, Council and everyone at the City of Guelph for their efforts during the COVID-19 outbreak.”
—Dr. Nicola Mercer, Medical Officer of Health for Wellington Dufferin Guelph.

“We certainly support this declaration. The most important way the community can support us right now is by practicing relentless social distancing.”
—Marianne Walker, Chief Executive Officer of Guelph General Hospital

For the up-to-date information about how the City of Guelph is responding to COVID-19, please visit


Guelph state of emergency declaration COVID-19 March 26, 2020

For more information

Mayor Cam Guthrie
[email protected]

Katherine Galley
Communications Advisor, Mayor’s Office
519-822-1260 extension 2558
[email protected]