Mohave County declares state of emergency
KINGMAN – Mohave County is up to speed with preparations for the potential of a coronavirus outbreak, said Mohave County Chairwoman Jean Bishop at a press conference on Wednesday, March 18 at the County Administration Building.
“I urge citizens to remain calm,” she said.
At the same time, she declared a state of emergency in the county, mostly, as she explained, to free up access to federal and state funds in the event they are needed.
“The good news is we have no positive reports [of coronavirus] in Mohave County,” Bishop said.
It is a fair assumption, though, that the virus is already in the community, County’s Public Health Director Denise Burley said. She advised the public to visit the Public Health Department’s website (https://bit.ly/2x95T8a) and Facebook for daily updates.
As of March 18, the county had conducted 12 tests with no positive results reported, said county Public Health Nursing Services Manager Lynne Valentine.
“Our testing capability is limited, as it is throughout the state,” Burley said.
There are no immediate plans to arrange mass testing sites, she continued. To be tested, one must still demonstrate both symptoms and exposure, like a recent travel or a contact with a coronavirus carrier. If someone in the county would test positive, their whole family would be asked to stay home, Burley said.
Mohave County Emergency Coordinator Mike Browning said elements of a county Emergency Operation Center have already activated and the county is prepared to move to full-scale operation, if needed.
Friday, March 20, will bring another important meeting, Bishop said. The county will be deciding on further closures, such as libraries or less essential departments. The future of local small businesses, and employees in the county who have already lost their jobs, will be discussed.
Workers are particularly affected in Laughlin, Nevada, and Bullhead City, after casinos and businesses in Clark County, Nevada closed after that county reported its first coronavirus death.
“We’re doing everything possible to address the crisis,” Supervisor Gary Watson of District 1 said. “We’ll get through this. Remain calm and faithful to your government. … Use common sense.”
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