Local State of Emergency declared

CAMBRIDGE — A Declaration of Local State of Emergency and Executive Order was issued in Dorchester County on March 23, 2020 in order to provide the County Council the necessary powers and resources to combat the threat the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has on public health and the safety and welfare of our citizens.

This Declaration enables the emergency powers of the County Council under the County Charter and State law in accordance with applicable State and local emergency plans. Additionally, through its adoption, the County Council requests and authorizes the receipt of available Federal State aid, resources and assistance.

The State of emergency will continue until cancelled by order of the County Council President or the Governor of Maryland and shall not continue for more than 30 days without the affirmative vote of the County Council.

“The County Council is committed to ensuring that all County Departments and agencies work together to provide essential services to the citizens of Dorchester County,” a statement from the Council said. “We ask for your patience during this public health emergency and encourage you to follow the recommended guidelines to ensure your safety and those of your fellow citizens.”

The full text of the Declaration follows:
Resolution #624
Declaration of local state of emergency and executive order
Covid-19 public health emergency pursuant to section 14-111 of the public safety article of the annotated code of maryland
Recitals:
WHEREAS, the disease known as COVID-19 is a severe respiratory disease, resulting in illness or death, caused by the person-to-person spread of the novel coronavirus;
WHEREAS, the novel coronavirus, as a viral agent capable of causing extensive loss of life or serious disability, is a deadly agent;
WHEREAS, the World Health Organization has declared the novel coronavirus outbreak a global pandemic;
WHEREAS, the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has declared that COVID-19 creates a public health emergency;
WHEREAS, on March 5, 2020, Governor Lawrence J. Hogan declared that a State of Emergency and Catastrophic Health Emergency exists within the entire State of Maryland due to the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak;
WHEREAS, on March 13, 2020, President Donald J. Trump declared a National Emergency concerning the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak;
WHEREAS, the Centers for Disease Control has issued guidance to all state and local governments, and all citizens, recommending certain actions to reduce community spread of COVID-19,
WHEREAS, the transmission of the novel coronavirus in Dorchester County is a threat to human health;
WHEREAS, COVID-19 is a public health catastrophe and public emergency and poses an immediate danger to public safety;
WHEREAS, the President of the County Council serves as the principal executive officer of the County; and
WHEREAS, pursuant to Section 14-111 of the Public Safety Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland, the principal executive officer of a political subdivision may declare a local state of emergency in order to activate the response and recovery aspects of any applicable local state of emergency plan and authorize the provision of aid and assistance under such plans.
Now THEREFORE, BE IT HEREBY ORDERED BY THE COUNTY COUNCIL OF DORCHESTER COUNTY, MARYLAND THAT Dorchester County is under a local state of emergency due to the disease COVID-19, caused by the novel coronavirus.

AND BE IT FURTHER ORDERED THAT Dorchester County, its employees, servants, and agents are empowered to do all lawful acts and implement all lawful procedures considered necessary to prevent or alleviate the effects of the emergency.
AND BE IT FURTHER ORDERED THAT all emergency powers of the County Council under the Dorchester County Charter and State law are hereby enabled, including but not limited to, Section 512 of the Dorchester County, Maryland Charter and in accordance with all applicable State and local emergency plans.

AND BE IT FURTHER ORDERED THAT Dorchester County hereby requests, and authorizes the receipt of all available Federal and State aid, resources, and assistance to protect the public health, safety, and welfare of the citizens of Dorchester County pursuant to Title 14 of the Public Safety Article, Annotated Code of Maryland.

AND BE IT FURTHER ORDERED that this state of emergency shall be effective beginning at immediately upon adoption on March 23, 2020 and will continue until cancelled by order of the President of the County Council of Dorchester County or by the Governor of Maryland, but in any event shall not continue for more than 30 days without affirmative vote by the County Council.

ADOPTED/EFFECTIVE:
March 20, 2020
Signed:
County Manager Keith Adkins
Council President Jay Newcomb


Helpful Coronavirus links

Maryland Department of Health Coronavirus Page
CDC: About the Coronavirus Disease 2019
CDC: What to do if You Are Sick
Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center
AP News Coronavirus Coverage

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