The Boone County commissioners declared a state of emergency for Boone County effective today in response to the new coronavirus.
The emergency preparedness action plan will help activate funding, supplies, and resources if needed. The commissioners, in partnership with the Emergency Management Agency, Witham Health Services, Boone County Sheriff’s Office and the Boone County Health Dept. have declared this a public health emergency as a proactive measure to protect the health of county residents.
Following the declaration, the Boone County 4-H Fairgrounds will be closed to the public, and the Annex and Witham buildings at the fairgrounds may be used for patient overflow from Witham Hospital if needed, according to the BCHD. The plan aims to combat COVID-19, the disease stemming from the new coronavirus.
Claire Haughton, Public Information Officer with the Boone County Health Dept., said there has been no patient overflow from any county hospital as of this time.
Boone County has reported one presumptive positive case of COVID-19, as of this time, though Haughton said there could be more that have not been identified yet.
“It’s just a precaution to prepare for the worst,” Haughton said.
Travel is not restricted in any way by the state of emergency.
Starting Wednesday, all county offices will be taking special precautions to protect the health of county residents.
Public access to the Boone County Courthouse will be available during the hours of 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. until Friday. All residents and employees will go through an evaluation tent, answer a questionnaire and clear a temperature screening before admittance. Only then will they receive a colored wristband for the day that will allow them to enter the courthouse or other public areas of county owned and operated buildings.
Beginning March 23rd, public access hours will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. until further notice.
The declaration will expire in seven days and may be renewed upon further evaluation, according to the BCHD.
The commissioners and county partners will reconvene every Monday to determine if a continued declaration is warranted.