BANDON — The Bandon City Council declared a state of emergency on Thursday, March 19, through Monday, May 4, for the entire city of Bandon. The declaration follows President Donald Trump's nationwide state of emergency declaration on March 13.
Oregon Gov. Kate Brown's declared a state of emergency on March 8, followed on March 23 with a "stay-at-home" order.
Gov. Brown has closed restaurants to dine-in services and many businesses are also closed other than essential services.
"Those closures have caused tremendous economic hardship on local businesses and their employees, the city of Bandon's declaration stated.
The World Health Organization on March 11 declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic. A declaration of emergency also was made by the Coos County Board of Commissioners on March 17 and several other South Coast cities have followed suit.
The declarations at the federal, state, county and local levels allow emergency disaster relief and assistance to be received.
In part, the declaration describes corona as a "group of viruses that can cause respiratory disease, with the potential to cause serious illness or loss of life for individuals with underlying health conditions."
The declaration states: "Whereas, the City of Bandon makes the following findings: COVID-19 requires a significant amount of resources at the local level to keep the public and community informed and as safe as possible."
COVID-19 has created a threat to the public health and safety. As of March 24, there were no confirmed COVID-19 cases in Coos County, but there are in nearby counties.
The City of Bandon General Fund relies on the Transient Occupancy Tax to provide law enforcement and general government services, and as people travel less, TOT revenues are likely to decline, the declaration stated.
"The COVID-19 pandemic has had and will continue to have a significant financial impact to the community," the declaration states.
In the city's adoption of resolution 05-11, the City Council also adopted the city's Emergency Operations Plan.
The declaration gives the city flexibility and more authority, according to Mayor Mary Schamehorn. For example, all necessary city funds will be redirected for emergency use and standard city procurement procedures have been suspended for any contract or purchase necessary to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition, all non-essential city commissions, committees, task forces and city events are canceled until further notice. To protect the health of city employees, City Manager Dan Chandler may issue emergency rules or guidance on the use of sick leave, telework, remote work, or other policies that will be in effect for the duration of the emergency.
Chandler may take other measures as "determined to be necessary to protect lives and property and to efficiently conduct activities that minimize or mitigate the effect of the emergency."
Chandler can also take all "necessary steps authorized by law to coordinate the response of the emergency," including but not limited to requesting assistance from the State of Oregon and Coos County and may redirect city funds for emergency use, award contracts and make purchases for the purpose of meeting the emergency. Chandler is required to provide the City Council a regular report showing the emergency and the necessity for such action, together with an itemized account of all expenditures.
The declaration of the State of Emergency will remain in effect through May 4, but may be extended in one-month increments.