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BOS Emergency Meeting: Supervisors, others discuss measures to keep residents virus-free

Center for Disease Control today lowers size of public gatherings from 50 to 10

MOHAVE COUNTY – That they were getting updated information and statistics during their 90-minute emergency meeting Monday afternoon accentuated Mohave County supervisor’s claims that the global coronavirus pandemic is evolving at lightning speed. As the meeting was in progress it was noted that the federal Center for Disease Control had lowered to 10 from 50 people the size of public gatherings that should be authorized.

It was during the meeting that county officials collectively learned from an email from Presiding Superior Court Judge Charles Gurtler that the Arizona State Supreme Court had ordered that no jury trials be conducted for at least two weeks. It was also noted during the emergency meeting that the County Adult Detention Center had taken in a female inmate over the weekend who exhibited some virus symptoms prompting her isolation and possible testing.

 “We have had a waterfall, so to speak, of unforeseen circumstances that have been happening almost one after another,” deputy county attorney Ryan Esplin said in explaining why the emergency board meeting was appropriate. He said that more than 181,000 cases of the virus had been documented throughout the world by Monday afternoon.

“We currently have no confirmed cases in our county,” said Department of Public Health Director Denise Burley. “We do have testing going on in our county.”

Burley said people who feel sick should first go home, but seek medical attention if need is apparent. She said it’s important that not everybody ask to be tested when limited resources need to be reserved to test those who are most susceptible to the virus; the elderly and those who suffer pre-existing health conditions.

Burley told supervisors her department activated its operations center in early February and has been providing information updates since that time. Emergency Services Coordinator Mike Browning said it might be necessary to activate the County Emergency Operations Center at some point.

County Manager Mike Hendrix expressed preference to keep key staff members in their departments for now, allowing them to handle day-to-day tasks and emergency responsibilities as well before placing all the resources in one location.

While there were a number of comments urging caution against overreaction and oppression, supervisor Buster Johnson said the county should err on the side of public health. “I think we need to be a lot more proactive than we are,” Johnson said.

Burley said information updates are being posted on the health department website and the main county website. Supervisor Ron Gould suggested that the public be provided lists of necessary items they should make sure they have in their households while the outbreak persists.

Mohave County Communications Director Roger Galloway is recommending weekly news conferences to help keep the press and public informed. A Tuesday, March 17 press conference is scheduled at 2:00 p.m. in Kingman.

Supervisor Gary Watson expressed worry that Mohave County might become a sanctuary for those seeking safety in the hysteria of the pandemic. He said some might look to ride out the crisis in northwest Arizona given favorable climate and an abundance of space.

  • Dave Hawkins

One thought on “BOS Emergency Meeting: Supervisors, others discuss measures to keep residents virus-free

  1. yesterday standing on bank line the guy in back of me was breathing down my neck –I kept a safe distance from the one in front of me

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