Arapahoe County issues emergency declaration to manage COVID-19 response

Administrative tool used to manage critical resources and directions

Arapahoe County today issued a local emergency proclamation to unlock resources, organize county response strategies and provide additional assistance for municipalities that are dealing with COVID-19, the coronavirus.

To date, Arapahoe County has three presumptive positive cases and is working with Tri-County Health to provide resources, information and direction to the more than 650,000 residents in Arapahoe County. The declaration is authorized for seven days at which point the county could extend it for a set time period.

“During an emergency, which includes a pandemic, the county is charged with taking the lead in coordinating efforts,” said Board Chair Nancy Sharpe. “This action was not taken lightly but it is the necessary trigger for that to happen. This allows Arapahoe County to direct all possible resources to help manage the response at the appropriate level.”

Arapahoe County Sheriff Tyler Brown affirmed that the declaration is a necessary step in taking a measured response to the pandemic.

“This declaration helps provide the county the necessary—and absolutely critical—resources needed to keep our collective community safe in a coordinated response,” said Brown. “Our efforts can be focused on providing additional public health and safety measures while also fully supporting the work of Tri-County Health in managing this crisis. Keeping our residents safe is our absolute top priority.”

Although most individuals affected by COVID-19 will experience mild flu-like symptoms, some will have more serious symptoms and require hospitalization. Response and containment efforts will draw upon available local, state and county resources, which could strain supply chains and cause delays in delivery or execution.

The emergency declaration allows county officials to authorize the furnishing of aid and assistance as necessary and better coordinate with the 13 municipalities within Arapahoe County.

Last week, the county opened its Emergency Operations Center, which is the central clearinghouse for critical incident management. The EOC coordinates efforts with Tri-County Health and other local, state and national agencies to direct operations, resources and personnel to deal with incidents such as the coronavirus.

On Wednesday, Arapahoe County joined forces with Tri-County Health and Adams and Douglas Counties to provide a virtual town hall where residents in the tri-county area asked questions and received answers from health experts about COVID-19. More than 1.5 people live in the tri-county area. A recording of the town hall is available on the County website, the County Facebook page and the County YouTube page. A Spanish-language version is available here.

For information on county efforts related to COVID-19, visit the Arapahoe County website.


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