Chaffee County Commissioners declared a local disaster emergency Friday afternoon in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The statement signed by Greg Felt, commission chairman, said, “In light of the ongoing risk to pubic health and safety, it is necessary to declare a local disaster emergency.”

The emergency declaration is in effect for the next seven days.

Felt said commissioners would review the county situation at their regular meeting on Tuesday and decide on extending or rescinding it at that time.

Friday’s declaration activates the county interjurisdictional disaster emergency plans and authorizes the furnishing of aid and assistance under the plans.

The declaration also:

• Allows the county Office of Emergency Management the authority to assign county personnel duties not in their job description, expend financial resources, use emergency procurement procedkures, suspend and re-assign county operations.

• Based on the public health director’s recommendations, suspends until further notice public events at county-owned facilities, other than scheduled meetings of county boards.

• The Chaffee County community is strongly directed to engage in social distancing and to postpone or cancel gatherings or events where people congregate in large numbers or in close contact with one another.

• County meetings will take place as scheduled but arrangements will be made for public participation virtually, online or via teleconference.

• County buildings and offices will remain open as normally scheduled but decisions about county staff working from home will be made on a case-by-case basis taking into consideration the county’s operational needs and public health advice, recognizing that not all work will be able to be performed at home and may require phyusical pressence all or some of the time.

From our sister paper The Mountain Mail www.themountainmail.com

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