Adams County declares state of emergency

March 17, 2020 11:40 AM

ADAMS COUNTY — Adams County is under a state of emergency, according to a press release from the office of the Adams County commissioners.

County commissioners met with elected officials, department heads and the Adams County Health District on Monday morning before unanimously approving a resolution to declare the countywide state of emergency at 12:30 p.m.

“We are going to do everything possible to assist the public and protect the county’s employees during this global pandemic,” said chairman Roger Hartwig of Othello.

According to the release, Adams County Health Officer Dr. Alexander Brzezny advised the commissioners that “there exists a health emergency for all citizens and visitors of Adams County.” The declaration allows the county to access available state and federal assistance, which includes business and employee support, and future disaster recovery funds.

A resolution to restrict public access to county facilities was also approved; emergency services, district courts, superior court and Adams County Department of Health will continue to operate.

In accordance with Gov. Jay Inslee’s order to ban public gatherings of 50 or more people, all county departments will be closed to the public but will still be staffed and can be reached by phone or email. County employees, who total 180, will be paid throughout the state of emergency.

“Our people need their wages,” Hartwig said. “They will continue to face their financial obligations to pay for food, to buy essential supplies and care for their families. I think it’s very important we do not cut their wages.”

— Staff report