Commissioners sign Declaration of Disaster Emergency

Although Greene County does not yet have a case of COVID-19, the commissioners signed a Declaration of Disaster Emergency Monday to help with funding efforts to prevent the spread of the virus in the county.

The Greene County Commissioners signed a Declaration of Disaster Emergency Monday for funding purposes, as the pandemic effects increase. The commissioners stated that the declaration is not related to the severity of the situation nor a lack of resources or support available, but rather to help with costs related to the virus and eventual reimbursement of those expenses, according to a news release by the commissioners.

The commissioners stated that although Greene County does not yet have a confirmed case of coronavirus COVID-19, they are continuing to coordinate with state and national agencies to help prevent the virus from spreading in the area.

They released updates provided from relevant state organizations, partners and cooperating agencies, as well as the Greene County government.

The Department of Health has stressed social distancing, washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available, covering any coughs or sneezes with your elbow or Kleenex, not your hands, and cleaning surfaces frequently.

The commissioners stated that individuals have the responsibility of social distancing and that they should stay home for all reasons other than essential.

“Social distancing is the best effort to gain control of exposure rates before it overwhelms our healthcare system, and it also benefits our entire county and individual communities,” the commissioners said.

The commissioners stated their concern for the repercussions for the community if people do not abide by the advice given by the Department of Health to keep oneself socially distant.

“If social distancing is ignored and the masses continue to unnecessarily contract and spread the virus in groups in public, then we as a community will see a very large, rapid spike in sick people; so many sick people in such a short period of time that the hospitals’ resources and treatment capabilities are exceeded,” the press release states.

The commissioners advise those feeling ill or exhibiting flu like symptoms to call their primary care physician. Washington Healthcare Systems Greene can be reached at (724) 627-3101.

According to the press release, emergency services remain responsive to calls, however 911 dispatchers will be asking additional questions in order to prepare the EMS responders to the possibility of exposure to COVID-19.

The government of Greene County continues tracking updates on the novel coronavirus COVID-19 from state and national agencies. County agencies are still seeing walk-in visitors; however, the commissioners encourage conducting as much county business as possible via telephone or e-mail.

“Many issues can be resolved over the phone,” Belding said. “All public meetings will continue to be live streamed on the county commissioner’s Facebook account, reducing the need to come to the government building.”

The Southwestern Pennsylvania Area Agency on Aging, Inc. announced that, effective March 17, all senior community centers and senior satellite centers in Fayette, Greene, and Washington Counties will be suspending operations of all social and recreational activities through March 27. Greene County transportation services will continue to service life sustaining trips, including medical and trips for food.

According to the release, Human Service Departments will continue operations, incorporating directions from their state organizations and increasing the use of communications over the phone.

The county government’s website is continuously being updated and Greene County Emergency Management can provide additional information pertaining to the response to COVID-19 pandemic and can be reached via email at publicinformation@co.greene.pa.us.

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