Wright County Board adopts emergency declaration in response to COVID-19

BUFFALO, MN – The Wright County Board of Commissioners adopted the following emergency declaration in response to the COVID-19 pandemic:

WHEREAS, Novel Coronavirus Disease 2019, commonly known as COVID-19, a respiratory disease-that can result in serious illness or death, is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which is a new strain of coronavirus that had not been previously identified in humans and can easily spread from person to person; and

WHEREAS, the CDC has identified the potential public health threat posed by COVID-19, and has advised that person-to-person spread of COVID-19 will continue to occur; and

WHEREAS, Wright County has had a positive test for COVID-19; and,

WHEREAS, on January 31, 2020, the United States Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar declared a public health emergency for COVID-19, beginning on January 27; 2020; and

WHEREAS, on March 13, 2020 President Donald Trump declared that the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States constitutes a National Emergency; and

WHEREAS, on March 13, 2020, Governor Tim Walz declared a Peacetime State of Emergency to authorize any and all necessary resources to be used in support of the COVID-19 response; and

WHEREAS, the National Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the Minnesota Department of Public Health recommend that any individual with confirmed COVID-19 should remain under home isolation precautions until the risk of secondary transmission to others is thought to be low; and

WHEREAS, during this pandemic, it is possible that individuals who are not diagnosed with COVID-19 will be placed in quarantine to control or prevent further spread of COVID-19; and

WHEREAS, the necessary resources to respond to and recover from this pandemic will exceed those resources available within the County, and additional resources will be needed from Wright County, and state and federal sources;

Now, THEREFORE, THE WRIGHT COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS, REQUESTS, AND DIRECTS AS FOLLOWS:

  1. Under the authority given in Minnesota Statutes 12.29, declares that a local emergency exists within Wright County, effective March 16, 2020, with all the powers and responsibilities attending thereto as provided by Chapter 12, Minnesota Statute.
  2. Directs County departments to review ordinance and regulatory requirements, operations, civil and legal proceedings, events, and resources that can and should be adjusted or suspended, or to enact emergency regulations to support the residents of Wright County during the pandemic.
  3. Directs the Wright County Public Health Director/Community Health Services Administrator and the Wright County Director of Emergency Management to request and coordinate appropriate aid and resources from surrounding jurisdictions and the State of Minnesota, as needed.
  4. Declares, under Minn. Stat. 13D.021, that in-person meetings of the County Board of Commissioners and other public bodies under the County Board’s jurisdiction where members of those bodies have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or are otherwise in quarantine or isolation in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 are not practical or prudent because of the COVID-19 health pandemic and the emergency declared under Minn. Stat. Chapter 12 by Governor Walz.
  5. Orders that this declaration be given prompt and general publicity and that it be filed promptly by the County Clerk.

In addition, all Wright County government public counters – with the exception of the sheriff’s office, court administration, and court services/probation – will be closed until April 1. All departments will begin implementing telecommuting to the greatest extent possible. Furthermore, the commissioners requested that all nonessential committee meetings be postponed until April 1.

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