(March 20, 10:45 a.m.) COTTONWOOD – The City of Cottonwood has set a special meeting for Monday, March 23, 7 p.m., for a city council affirmation of a local disaster declaration.
The public is encouraged to attend the meeting set for Cottonwood City Hall.
Currently, four cities in Idaho County – Kooskia, Grangeville, Riggins and Stites -- have approved by resolution declarations of local disaster emergency, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
These declarations allow municipalities to access to federal, state and local supplemental funding, and decision-making resources, for the purpose of protecting the health and safety of the community.
(March 19: 5 p.m.) Four cities in Idaho County – Kooskia, Grangeville, Riggins and Stites -- have approved by resolution declarations of local disaster emergency, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Riggins City Clerk Brenda Tilley reports, “Effective March 19th, all city facilities (city hall, Salmon River Public Library, Riggins Community Center, and Salmon River Heritage Center) have been temporarily closed to the public. Staff are continuing to work to keep city services going; phones at city hall are being answered during business hours.”
News on the coronavirus is updated continually, available to the public online at:
(March 19, 2:30 p.m.)
In special meetings held Thursday afternoon, March 19, the cities of Kooskia and Grangeville have approved by resolution declarations of local disaster emergency, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
At this time, no COVID cases have been confirmed in Idaho County, nor within the five-county North Central Health District.
The latest case was reported this afternoon, in Kootenai County, which is the first in Idaho’s Panhandle.
(This story is developing. The Free Press will be contacting other cities to see whether further declarations are in the works within Idaho County.)
In effect until further notice, these declarations allow access to federal, state and local supplemental funding, and decision-making resources, for the purpose of protecting the health and safety of the community.
As regards Grangeville’s action, “Although one goal of declaration is to alert citizens to change their normal behavior,” according to a release, “this does not mean there is a mass outbreak in the City of Grangeville, but a proactive measure enabling necessary emergency planning.”
“We will continue to work with the governor’s office for additional guidance,” stated the release.
Grangeville City hall will remain open to the public, and regular cleaning of surfaces remains in effect. Residents can provide payments by mail, use the drop box at city hall or pay online.
Public works is business as usual, with projects and regular maintenance continuing to be conducted.
City policing remains normal, with plans in place for other agency assist in the event of virus impact on GPD officers.
On that note, Grangeville Police Chief Morgan Drew, along with Cottonwood Police Chief Terry Cochran, addressed the Idaho County Commission on Tuesday, March 17, on their current plans, as reported in a recent Free Press story:
“We’re taking it by a case-by-case basis,” said Grangeville Police Chief Morgan Drew, also echoed by Cottonwood Police Chief Terry Cochran, in dealing with exposure risk during public contacts.
“If something leads us to believe there may be a risk of coronavirus, we’ll probably do a line of questioning on the scene,” Drew said, “and if that’s the case, we’ll take appropriate action, get EMS involved. Other things become secondary.” Officers won’t be making traffic stops in “big bunny” hazmat suits, he joked, but they will be provided personal protection gear, if needed.
The City of Grangeville recommends practice of good prevention techniques:
- Staying home when sick, contacting your health provider for instructions
- Following the CDC recommendations to include washing hands frequently, covering your cough
- Keeping safe distances, honoring personal space and social distancing
- Avoiding hand-to-hand personal contact, and touching your face
- Those at a higher risk – people older than 60 or with certain underlying health conditions – stay at home as much as possible to reduce risk of exposure to the virus