For the first time in its history, Washington County has been declared a disaster; it was made due to the growing health concerns surrounding the coronavirus.
County Board Chairman David A. Meyer issued the declaration in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Officials say that this declaration is an “essential step” in the response to the crisis.
According to a press release, the declaration “enacts the emergency operations plan and unlocks access to resources, equipment, and personnel in order to assist residents of Washington County.
The Declaration will allow for greater collaboration with local, state, and federal governments. It also positions the county to access support from the federal government when additional
resources are necessary and with federal funding that is becoming available.”
The county will remain open and continue to serve residents at a restricted level. Officials urge business to be conducted over the phone and anyone coming into the office will be screened before they are allowed to enter.
“This is a precautionary measure to ensure the health and safety of both our employees and our citizens,” the press release said.
Officials say the declaration will open the doors for available resources from the state and federal government.
The release continued: “As part of our coordinated effort, The Washington County EMA Director and Washington County Health Department Administrator is in communications with state and federal officials regarding the evolving COVID-19 response. The Chairman of the Washington County Board will be kept up to date on the response and when needed consult with the other Board members to help facilitate the response to COVID-19.
As of Thursday morning, there have been no confirmed cases of coronavirus in Washington County. On March 18, two additional cases were reported in Clinton County as well as cases in Williamson and Jackson counties.
The CDC recommends everyday healthy behaviors to help prevent the spread
of respiratory viruses, including:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household
cleaning spray or wipe.
- Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after
going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or