COVID-19: NKY Counties Declare State of Emergency
Since this article was originally published to include only Kenton County's declaration, additional counties have declared emergencies: Campbell, Boone, and Grant.
“We are in full support of the decision of our elected officials to declare states of emergency. Declaring states of emergency opens our area to additional resources to support efforts to prepare for and respond to COVID-19 in our region,” said Dr. Lynne Saddler, Northern Kentucky District Director of Health.
Kenton County Judge/Executive Kris Knochelmann will declare a state of emergency at the fiscal court meeting on Tuesday, March 17 in Covington.
According to the meeting agenda, the emergency is dated March 11.
Knochelmann cited the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' public health emergency declaration on January 27 and Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear's state of emergency declaration on March 6, both related to the coronavirus/COVID-19 global pandemic, in the county's declaration.
There are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Kenton County, though there are currently 11 such confirmed cases in Kentucky, all in Harrison, Fayette, and Jefferson counties.
"The Kenton County Office of Homeland Security Emergency Management has special resources to assist local agencies and jurisdictions in the protection of life, health and safety and to mitigate the effects of such events," the county declaration reads in part.
Also from the county declaration:
"The Director of the KENTON County Office of Homeland Security Emergency Management shall direct the Office of Homeland Security Emergency Management to provide such assistance as can be delivered from available local resources and shall coordinate all agencies of local government to provide assistance to KENTON County;
"All agencies of KENTON County shall cooperate to the fullest extent with KENTON County Office of Homeland Security Emergency Management and shall provide such assistance as may be required for response to this emergency.
"Under this State of Emergency, as provided in KRS 39A.100 (2) and 45A.380(1)(7) County Judge Executive can waive procedures and formalities otherwise required by the law pertaining to: a) performance of public work, b) entering into contracts, c) incurring obligations, d) employment of permanent and temporary workers, e) utilization of volunteer workers, f) rental of equipment, g) appropriation and expenditure of public funds."
From Kenton County:
What does this mean?
This proclamation allows emergency services to activate internal processes for local and inter-jurisdictional disaster emergency planning and purchasing.
What does it NOT mean?
This does not mean that schools, business, churches and other like organizations have to close. It is at the discretion of each entity to make the decision whether or not to remain in operation.
“Kenton County has been working with our local partners in response to COVID-19 in order to best protect our community” said Knochelmann. “Residents are
encouraged to check the County’s website regularly for local and state updates from the Health Department and the office of the Governor. Please keep your family and neighbors in mind going forward, and we will emerge stronger as a community on the other side of this event.”
From Campbell County:
The declaration is an administrative tool that can help facilitate access to funding and other resources, as well as centralize coordination of the county response. Campbell County officials say it was important to file the declaration now because some resources are made available based on the declaration date. State of Emergency Declarations are a typical response to COVID-19, and municipalities across the country are using them to ensure appropriate resources are available for response and recovery.
“While there will likely be cases of COVID-19 in Campbell County, the declaration does not mean we think our community is less safe than anywhere else impacted by the virus,” said William R. Turner, director of the Office of Emergency Management. “This is just one more tool to aid in our response.”
From Grant County:
"Grant County has been closely monitoring the current situation and now is the appropriate time to act. We will continue to coordinate our efforts and assist in the multidisciplinary and regional response to the coronavirus," Judge/Executive Chuck Dills said. "Grant County residents should remain calm and be confident that County government will be doing everything within its power to keep the community safe and prepared. I urge everyone to continue to take appropriate steps to protect their own health in accordance with Northern Kentucky Health Department and CDC guidelines. The entire County organization and the Health Department have my full support and confidence."
From Boone County:
“Boone County has been closely monitoring the current situation and now is the appropriate time to act. We will continue to coordinate our efforts and assist in the multidisciplinary and regional response to the coronavirus,” Judge/Executive Gary Moore said. “Boone County residents should remain calm and be confident
that County government will be doing everything within its power to keep the community safe and prepared. I urge everyone to continue to take appropriate steps to protect their own health in accordance with Northern Kentucky Health Department and CDC guidelines. The entire County organization and the Health Department have my full support and confidence.”