EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. — El Paso Board of County Commissioners Chairman Mark Waller signed a local disaster emergency declaration for the county due to developments related to COVID-19 on Saturday.
Waller said this declaration will allow El Paso County to activate the Medical Reserve Corp., which can help alleviate the burden for medical personnel. In addition, it will also help local medical providers obtain personal protective equipment.
“The safety and well-being of our citizens is our top priority,” said Commissioner Waller. “This declaration enables us to access additional medical resources and utilize emergency procurement policies. Until further notice, people should go about their normal lives with a few modifications to help limit the spread of the disease.”
El Paso County Public Health began monitoring the spread of COVID-19 in December and activated an incident command on Feb. 14, according to the county. The World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 outbreak as a pandemic on March 11. That same day, Colorado Governor Jared Polis declared a State of Emergency. March 13, an El Paso County resident—a woman in her 80’s with known medical history—succumbed to the disease.
“Our community is strong and we can face this challenge together,” Waller stated. “Now more than ever, it is important to take the necessary steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19: stay home if you’re sick, thoroughly wash your hands, avoid close contact with people with flu-like symptoms, clean and disinfect surfaces frequently, sneeze into a tissue or your elbow, and avoid touching your face.”