County declares emergency

The Montrose Movie Theater went dark after non life-sustaining businesses were ordered to close by Gov. Tom Wolf. Susquehanna County Commissioners issued a declaration of emergency disaster last week and are providing informational resources on the county website. STAFF PHOTO/STACI WILSON

The Susquehanna County Commissioners signed a Declaration of Disaster Emergency on Thursday, March 19, in response to the evolving coronavirus situation. “We have the highest regard for the health and safety of all County residents and visitors to our County and continue to do all we can to protect them,” reads the statement from the commissioners issued last week.

The county’s emergency management agency is coordinating the emergency response.

As of Monday, March 23, all county buildings opened for emergency and essential functions by appointment only. Appointments can be made by calling the department directly or the courthouse main number, 570-278-4600, according to the release.

The county has also updated their website to include food banks and mobile food pantries, as well as providing links to school districts providing food distribution for students.

The Wednesday, March 25, meeting of the county commissioners will be held via teleconference; and streamed live on YouTube; a call-in number (provided on the county website) will allow for public participation.

As of Monday, March 23, the Pennsylvania Dept. of Health reported that the statewide total of positive COVID-19 cases was 644, with cases confirmed in 34 of the 67 counties. As of Monday’s update from the Dept. of Health, there were no confirmed cases in Susquehanna County.

Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said, “Pennsylvanians have a very important job right now: stay calm, stay home and stay safe. We have seen case counts continue to increase and the best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is to stay home.”

The Pennsylvania Dept. of Education announced Monday that all school districts would remain closed until at least April 6. The closure order could be extended if necessary to stop the spread of COVID-19, according to a release issued Monday. The state’s 29 intermediate units are ready to provide technical assistance to help develop continuity of education plans for all students.

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