LONDON, ON -- Perth County, the Township of Perth South, Township of Perth East and the Municipality of West Perth have all declared a State of Emergency in response to COVID-19.

The declaration was made as of Thursday morning.

"The decision to declare an emergency is not taken lightly,” said Warden Jin Aitcheson in a statement. “Perth County is being proactive in our fight against COVID-19 to protect the health and safety of individuals and families."

Declaring a State of Emergency is meant to raise awareness of the seriousness of the coronavirus, allowing residents to know that it the municipality is doing what they can to protect their community.

"This morning the County of Perth along with the Townships of Perth South and Perth East and the Municipality of West Perth made the mutual decision to declare emergencies in response to the COVID-19 global pandemic," said Aitcheson.

During this State of Emergency, municipalities urge all residents to stay home, and practice proper hygiene protocols.