Hubbard County Statement of Local Emergency - March 23, 2020


Hubbard County Statement of Local Emergency

 Preamble

Novel Coronavirus Disease, 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.

The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has identified the public health threat posed by COVID-19, and has advised that person-to-person spread of COVID-19 will continue to occur.

On January 31st, 2020, the United States Department of Health and Human Services declared a public health emergency for COVID-19, beginning on January 27, 2020.

On March 11th, 2020, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic, after its widespread impact reached 112 countries and its effect was felt in nearly every region.,

On March 13th, 2020 President Donald Trump declared that the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States constitutes a National Emergency.

On March 13th, 2020, Governor Tim Walz signed Executive Order 20-01 declaring a Peacetime State of Emergency to authorize any and all necessary resources to be used in support of the COVID-19 response.

On March 15th, 2020, Governor Tim Walz signed Executive Order 20-02, ordering the temporary closure of all public and private schools, following similar but voluntary actions by the University of Minnesota system, the Minnesota State Colleges and University system and many private higher colleges and universities to temporary close its campuses, to allow for new safety measures related to controlling the further spread of COVID-19.

 On March 16th, 2020, Governor Tim Walz signed Executive Order 20-04, ordering the temporary closure of Bars, Restaurants, and Other Places of Accommodation so as to take additional proactive measures, including enhanced community mitigation, to slow the spread of this pandemic.

The CDC and the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) 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.

During this pandemic, individuals who are not yet diagnosed with COVID-19 but may have been exposed to COVID-19 are being asked place themselves in quarantine to control or prevent further spread of COVID-19.

The White House, the CDC and the MDH now recommend restrictions on gatherings of more than 10 persons and further recommends practice of social distancing of at least 6-feet in all settings.

The significant community, organizational, institutional and business responses to the COVID-19 pandemic have the potential to compromise the provision of essential public services, including a reduction in the size of the workforce due to school closures, isolation, or quarantine.

The necessary resources to respond to and recover from this pandemic, as well as to mitigate the significant business disruption experienced within the County, will exceed existing resources available within the County, and additional resources will be needed from Hubbard County, and state and federal sources.

Now, Therefore, the Chair of the Hubbard County Board of Commissioners, under the authority given in Minn. Stat. § 12.29 Subd. 1, has declared that a local emergency exists within Hubbard County, effective March 23, 2020.

Further, the Chair of the Hubbard County Board of Commissioners hereby authorizes and directs Hubbard County administration, public safety, public health and Emergency Management officials to undertake all actions necessary to protect the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of Hubbard County, including through the judicious exercise of the powers and responsibilities provided in Minn. Stat. § 12.37.

Further, the Chair of the Hubbard County Board of Commissioners further directs County departments to immediately review ordinance and regulatory requirements, operations, civil and legal proceedings, events, and resources that can and should be adjusted, modified or suspended, or to enact emergency regulations to support Hubbard County’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Further, the Chair of the Hubbard County Board of Commissioners further directs the Hubbard County Senior Management Team, consisting of the Board Chair and Vice-Chair, Sheriff, Attorney, Coordinator, Public Works Coordinator / Highway Engineer, as well as the Hubbard County Director of Emergency Management and Community Health Director, acting collectively as the County’s Unified Command Team in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, to request and coordinate appropriate aid and resources from surrounding jurisdictions, the State of Minnesota and the federal government, as needed.

Further, under Minn. Stat. § 13D.021, the Chair of the Hubbard County Board of Commissioners declares in-person meetings of the County Board of Commissioners and other public bodies of the County may be impractical or imprudent during the COVID-19 pandemic, under the guidelines set by the White House, CDC and MDH for gatherings and social distancing, thus leading the Chair to direct that:

  • Pursuant to Minn. Stat. § 13D.021, in-person meetings of the Hubbard County Board of Commissioners, the Planning Commission/Board of Adjustment, the Housing and Redevelopment Authority, and other boards and commissions of Hubbard County are or may not be practical or prudent due to the COVID-19 health pandemic and the emergency declared by Governor Walz pursuant to Minnesota Statutes, chapter 12.
  • Meetings of the County Board, the Planning Commission/Board of Adjustment, the Housing and Redevelopment Authority and other County boards and commissions shall be conducted by telephone or other electronic means, as appropriate, to protect the health and safety of meeting attendees and the public.
  • In-person public attendance at meetings of the County Board, the Planning Commission/Board of Adjustment, the Housing and Redevelopment Authority and other County boards and commissions is not feasible, except by limiting in-person public attendance to as few people as possible for the necessary conduct of the public’s business in the meeting room, with social distancing guidelines enforced, or as otherwise limited by recommendations and guidelines from state and federal authorities.
  • County staff shall take such action as may be necessary to allow for such meetings to occur via telephone or other electronic means pursuant to Minnesota Statutes, § 13D.021, where appropriate, until such time as it is determined that in-person meetings may resume.
  • County staff shall take such action as may be necessary to limit in-person public attendance to as few people as possible for the necessary conduct of the public’s business in a meeting room and enforce social distancing guidelines, or otherwise limit such attendance as may be directed by the County Coordinator based on recommendations and guidelines from state and federal authorities.

Further, pursuant to Minn. Stat. § 12.29 Subd. 1, the Chair of the Hubbard County Board of Commissioners directs that this emergency declaration is in effect from the date of this declaration, as indicated below, and shall continue and remain in effect as long as the State of Minnesota peacetime emergency declaration remains in effect, pending ratification by and official act of the Hubbard County Board of Commissioner within seventy-two (72) hours of this declaration at a Special County Board meeting to be convened on March 26th, 2020. 

Further, the Chair of the Hubbard County Board of Commissioners directs that this Declaration of Local Emergency, additions or changes to this declaration, the eventual termination or expiration of this declaration, and any and all official communications pertaining to the same, shall be given prompt and general publication, including on the County’s website, and immediately filed by the County Coordinator.

Notarized this 23rd day of March, 2020

 BY:                                                                                                          ATTEST:

 /s/ Charlene Christenson_____________                          /s/Eric Nerness________________________

Hon. Charlene Christenson                                                         Eric Nerness

Board Chair                                                                                        County Coordinator/Clerk of the Board

County Board of Commissioners

HUBBARD COUNTY, MN

 

AS TO FORM:

/s/Jonathan Frieden_____________________

Jonathan Frieden

County Attorney