What Does Eagle County's Local Emergency Declaration Mean?

Mar 11, 2020


  Eagle County Commissioners voted to extend the local disaster emergency declaration Tuesday in response to COVID-19. KDNK’s Lucas Turner reports on what the declaration means.

Eagle County Emergency Manager Birch Barron presents to the Board of County Commissioners on Tuesday March 10, 2020
Credit Eagle County

The emergency declaration first went into effect Saturday after it was signed by County Manager Jeff Shroll. It was set to expire Wednesday. On Tuesday Eagle County staff asked commissioners to extend and officially recognize the declaration. 

Eagle County Emergency Manager Birch Barron explained why extending the emergency declaration is justified.

The move comes after health officials announced Eagle County’s third presumptive positive case of COVID19.

County attorney Kathy Parker explains that the declaration recognizes the Public Health Department’s ability to issue orders that are enforceable by the Sherrif's Department throughout the county.

The declaration also recognizes Eagle County’s emergency manager as the lead coordinator of the response, directs staff to make themselves available for the emergency response efforts if needed, and directs the county manager to review staff resources and a continuity plan, in the event that a staff member becomes ill.

Parker ended by stating that the emergency declaration is mainly administrative and that it records the county’s official response to the situation.

Eagle County Public Health and Environment Director Heath Harmon explained that protecting those with pre-existing health conditions is why the community should focus on practicing basic disease prevention guidelines.

Kathy Chandler-Henry, Chair of the Eagle Board of County Commissioners says an emergency declaration is a tool to aid in a well-coordinated response.

You can find updates on Public Health and Safety information at ecemergency.org