County of Montgomery

DECLARATION of a STATE OF EMERGENCY

Issued June 23, 2020

 

STATE OF EMERGENCY ENACTED TO RESIST THE SPREAD OF COVID-19 IN MONTGOMERY COUNTY BY REQUIRING ALL RESIDENTS TO WEAR FACE COVERINGS WHILE IN PUBLIC AND WHEN & WHERE SOCIAL DISTANCING STANDARDS CANNOT BE PROPERLY MAINTAINED.

 

By the powers authorized to me under Article 1A of the North Carolina Emergency Management Act, I, Dottie Robinson Chairman of the Board of County Commissioners, do hereby declare a State of Emergency and immediately require the wearing of face coverings in an effort to retard the rampant spread and transmission of COVID-19 in Montgomery County.  This declaration of emergency and order requiring the wearing of face coverings is applicable to all areas, incorporated and unincorporated, of the County and will remain in effect until the Montgomery County Health Department reports the percentage of lab confirmed positive tests results falls below the targeted rate of less than five percent (5%), or until conditions require amendment or alteration of this order.

On June 22, 2020 the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services notified Montgomery County that it had become the latest hot-spot for the spread of COVID-19 and had one of the highest infection rates per capita in the State.  Over the last two weeks, the number of positive, infected tests results in the County for COVID-19 has surpassed twelve percent (12%).  In addition, the number of hospitalizations has increased, as well as the number of deaths attributed to the virus.

Over the next eight (8) weeks, the Montgomery County Departments of Health and Emergency Services will undertake the ambitious goal of having tested 15% of the overall population of the County.  In addition to the tests completed to date, the County will attempt to administer no less than four hundred and twenty-five (425) tests per week.  While increased testing is prescribed by the State Department of Health and Human Services to monitor the rates of infection, testing alone will NOT reduce the number of persons being infected.  The solution to reducing the spread and to keeping your families, neighbors, and communities safe is to practice the 3 W’s: wash your hands often and correctly, wait six (6) feet apart to social distance, and to wear a proper face covering.

Over the next eight weeks, the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners, along with the Office of the Sheriff and the County Departments of Health and Emergency Services will lead a campaign to educate the public to the continued risks associated with COVID-19 and to help spread an infectious sense of community support, love, and compassion which will allow us to beat this virus and to heal our County.  As your friend, as your Commissioner, and one who loves this County and the people in it, I ask you to please join this effort and be a part of the solution.  Helping to protect each other by wearing a face covering is an act of humanity and marks you as a person of faith and strength.  We have helped each other through times of loss, times of uncertainty, and even through times of disagreements.  This is a public health crisis, and if we will all get behind this effort then in a relatively short period of time we will have significantly reduced the level of risk.  Let’s make Montgomery County an example for the State, the Nation, and the World.  I know many of you personally, and there is not a single one of you whom I do not believe can put aside differences long enough to help push down the infection rate of COVID-19. 

Under this declaration of emergency, a clean face covering is required at all public and private places within Montgomery County at any time when people are indoors.  Face coverings are also required outdoors where and when social distancing practices are not being followed. A face covering should be made from cotton, linen, silk, or non-woven medical grade material and can be manufactured or home-made.  The covering can be improvised from household items such as scarfs, T-shirts, sweatshirts, or even towels.  The covering should fit snugly and cover the wearer’s nose and mouth.

This emergency declaration order does not pertain to the following groups of persons:

  • Those whose religious beliefs forbid the covering of the face;
  • Persons with medical and/or behavioral conditions to whom the wearing of a face covering is debilitating;
  • Infants and toddlers who cannot manage the wearing of a face covering.

It will be assumed that any persons not complying with this order and not wearing a face covering while indoors or not social distanced outdoors can be categorized into one of these groups.

This emergency declaration does not apply to the following situations:

  • While dining or eating/drinking in a restaurant or food service establishment;
  • While receiving medical treatment;
  • Where the wearing of a face covering puts the wearer at the risk of physical harm;
  • Alone and/or only with members of the same household.

It will be assumed that any persons not complying with this order and not wearing a face covering while indoors or not social distanced outdoors can be categorized into one of these groups.

NOW, THEREFORE LET IT BE RESOLVED, A STATE OF EMERGENCY IS HEREBY DECLARED IN MONTGOMERY COUNTY, NC DUE TO THE HIGH INFECTION RATE OF COVID-19 AND UNDER THIS DECLARATION OF EMERGENCY ALL PERSONS WITHIN THE JURISDICTION OF THE COUNTY ARE REQUIRED TO WEAR A FACE COVERING IN CONFORMITY WITH THE PROVISIONS DEFINED HEREIN.  THIS ORDER WILL REMAIN IN EFFECT UNTIL THE INFECTION RATE, PUBLISHED EVERY WEEKDAY ON THE MONTGOMERY COUNTY WEBSITE, FALLS BELOW FIVE PERCENT (5%) OF THE TOTAL NUMBER OF PERSONS TESTED OR UNTIL CONDITIONS REQUIRE AMENDMENT OR ALTERATION OF THIS ORDER.

 

Declared this 23rd day of June 2020.

Signed,

Dottie Robinson,

Chairman of the Board of County Commissioners