COOS COUNTY — Coos County Commissioners have declared a local state of emergency in response to the novel coronavirus, COVID-19.

The board met Tuesday, March 17 in Coquille to approve and sign the declaration which authorizes the county to seek additional emergency assistance from state and federal governments.

Under state statute and county code, the board of commissioners are “authorized to take and/or direct such actions and issue orders as are determined to be necessary to protect the public and property and to efficiently conduct activities that minimize or mitigate the effect of the emergency,” according to the declaration.

It also outlines that the board is allowed to suspend procurement rules for COVID-19 related purchases as well as create a process for expediting relevant contracts as a way to obtain much-needed goods and services.

“The board further delegates authority to the director of Coos Health and Wellness to enter into contracts and conduct all procurements necessary to acquire the labor, services, or equipment needed to conduct disease investigations, contract tracing and any other appropriate public health function necessary to track or prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the most expeditious manner possible,” the declaration stated. “When possible, the county counsel and finance shall be consulted in accordance with the county rules.”

A slight modification was also made to the declaration Tuesday morning which included commissioners also be consulted and notified of any of the purchases and decisions made by CHW. The board is also able to modify personnel leave, payroll processes and other workplace requirement related to the coronavirus.

The declaration, which was passed unanimously, will remain in effect for the next 60 days.

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