Emergency declared by Okanogan County Commissioners

Okanogan CountyOKANOGAN – Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, the Okanogan County Commissioners have passed Resolution 45-2020 and declared an emergency in Okanogan County.


WHEREAS, on January 21, 2020, the Washington State Department of Health confirmed the first case of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in the United States in Snohomish County, Washington, and local health departments and the Washington State Department of Health have since that time worked to identify, contact, and test others in Washington State potentially exposed to COVID-19 in coordination with the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); and

WHEREAS, COVID-19, a respiratory disease that can result in serious illness or death, is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which is a new strain of coronavirus that had not been previously identified in humans and can easily spread from person to person; and

WHEREAS, the CDC identifies the potential public health threat posed by COVID-19 both globally and in the United States as “high”, and has advised that person-to-person spread of COVID-19 will continue to occur globally, including within the United States; and

WHEREAS, on January 31, 2020, the United States Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar declared a public health emergency for COVID-19, beginning on January 27, 2020; and

WHEREAS, this worldwide outbreak of COVID-19 and the effects of its extreme risk of person to-person transmission throughout the Washington State and the residents of Okanogan County significantly impacts the life and health of our people, as well as the economy of the region, and is a public emergency that affects the life, health, property or the public peace; and

WHEREAS, on February 29, 2020 the Governor of the State of Washington declared that a state of emergency exists in all counties in the State of Washington; and

WHEREAS, The Washington State Military Department, State Emergency Operations Center, is coordinating resources across state government to support the Department of Health and local officials in alleviating the impacts to people, property, and infrastructure, and is assessing the magnitude and long-term effects of the incident with the Washington State Department of Health; and

WHEREAS, Okanogan County Department of Public Health and the Okanogan County Emergency Management Department has reported that conditions created by the Public Health threat from COVID-19 virus pandemic presents a public health and safety concern in Okanogan County and have recommended the county take appropriate actions to help slow the spread of the virus;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Board of Okanogan County Commissioners, in consideration of the above findings of fact:

  1. A state of emergency is declared due the COVID-19 Virus national pandemic in Okanogan County.
  2. There is a present emergency which necessitates activation of the Okanogan County Disaster Preparedness Plan and utilization of emergency powers granted pursuant to RCW 36. 40. 180 and RCW 38. 52. 070(2). Departments shall endeavor to secure the most competitive price available for goods and services.
  3. That Okanogan County elected officials and Okanogan County department heads are hereby directed to effectuate emergency procedures to address necessary steps to maintain continuity of operations of county government for mandates not affected by the situation. 
  4. Elected officials and departments are authorized to enter contracts and incur obligations in order to address emergency responses specific to the COVID-19 pandemic. 
  5. Elected officials and department heads are authorized to exercise the powers vested in this resolution in light of the extreme emergency situation without regard to time-consuming procedures and formalities prescribed by law (excepting mandatory constitutional requirements).  In order to prepare for, prevent and respond to this emergency, the requirements of competitive bidding and public notice are hereby waived for emergency related procurements pursuant to RCW 36.40.180, RCW 38.52.070(2) and purchasing/contracting requirements pursuant to RCW 36.32.270.
  6. Utilization of virtual and teleconference options to conduct business of the county.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED for the work period March 20 through April 30, 2020 the Board of Okanogan County Commissioners grants authority to independent elected officials to approve options for those employees that are deemed non-essential during that time period and are sent home shall be considered on-call and must remain available to come to work during their regular scheduled shift if called, provided that they regularly check their office email and provide a telephone number where they can be reached for work related issues and are available to physically report to work as deemed necessary.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED the emergency authority granted under this resolution shall expire thirty days from the date of adoption or when the Board determines that the extraordinary measures detained herein are no longer required for the protection of the public, peace, safety and welfare unless specifically authorized by the Board.

DATED at Okanogan, Washington this 20 day of March, 2020.



Jim Detro, Chairman

Chris Branch, Member

Andy Hover, Member