Curry County Commissioners declared an emergency within Curry County in response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) at the Board of Commissioners meeting held on Wednesday, March 18.

“We all need to pull together as a county and as a nation,” said Commissioner Christopher Paasch in a statement. “To the citizens of Curry County, know that we are doing all we can to keep you informed, and we are working with all state and federal authorities to curb this COVID-19 coronavirus."

Under state statute, the county is authorized “to act as an emergency management agency, including the authority to establish policies and protocols for defining and directing responsibilities during a time of emergency,” according to the resolution.

Commissioners expect resources and funding will be exhausted at the local level for contact tracing, disease investigation and community information. Responding to local needs to keep the public informed and as safe as possible will require many resources.

The declaration specifically requests assistance from the state for help providing consistent messaging to the public and for disease investigation.

“The Board of Curry County Commissioners hereby resolves: Under the emergency powers granted by ORS 401.305 declare that a local State of Emergency exists within Curry County. This declaration directs the Curry County Office of Emergency Management and Curry County Public Health to take all necessary steps authorized by law to coordinate response and recovery from this emergency including, but not limited to requesting assistance and potential reimbursements from the State of Oregon and the appropriate Federal authorities.”

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