The City of The Dalles declared a state of emergency, effective immediately, during an emergency meeting of the council Friday, March 20, 2020. The declaration will remain in effect through April 17, 2020.
At the city manager’s discretion, the declaration of a state of emergency may be extended in two-week increments so long as COVID-19 continues to pose an ongoing, immediate and substantial threat to life, safety, health, or property in the City of The Dalles, according to the declaration.
The council also passed a plan of succession for city leadership: Should City Manger be incapacitated, City Manager Pro-Tem would be Daniel Hunter, the human resources director, followed by City Clerk Izetta Grossman.
The declaration states four reasons for declaring an emergency:
• All local city and county resources have, or will likely be expended, and the city anticipates that there will be need of the following additional resources from the State and/or Federal government: assistance in public information and communicable disease response; assistance to facilitate the maintenance of normal public health operations and economic assistance for impacted city businesses.
• That to ensure the city is fully prepared for COVID-19 and that local authorities have the resources needed to respond to COVID-19, a declaration of emergency is necessary.
• That the unknown duration of the COVID-19 pandemic will have significant financial impact to the community.
• That the city has been closely monitoring updated information state-wide through the Oregon Health Authority (OHA), and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for U.S. updates. The primary focus at the City is to restrict the spread of COVID-19 and to maintain the health of our workforce so the City can continue to provide crucial City services.”
The declaration states that:
• A local State of Emergency is declared to exist throughout the city.
• To protect the health and safety of city employees, the city manager will work with the human resource department and IT, legal and other city department heads to continue to develop emergency policies and guidance on the use of sick leave, telecommuting, meeting protocol, identification of essential and non-essential staff for ongoing presence at city facilities, and other policies that will be in effect for the duration of the emergency.
• This Declaration of a State of Emergency is effective immediately and shall remain in effect until April 17, 2020. At the city manager’s discretion, this Declaration of a State of Emergency may be extended in two-week increments so long as COVID-19 continues to pose an ongoing, immediate, and substantial threat to life, safety, health, or property in the City of The Dalles.
• To eliminate exposure to and spread of COVID-19, and in support of state and federal guidelines for social distancing, the City of the Dalles is canceling non-essential programs and public meetings through April 17, 2020, at which time the City will review the information from the CDC and Wasco County Health department.