EFFINGHAM — The Effingham County Board on Monday issued a disaster proclamation for the county due to the coronavirus. However, no cases had been reported in the county as of Monday.
“Because of the COVD-19 pandemic, along with the federal and state government responses, as well as the number of people traveling through Effingham County, today, in accordance with the Illinois Emergency Management Act, I am proclaiming a disaster declaration for Effingham County,” County Board Chairman Jim Niemann said in a statement. “lt’s very important that we understand the meaning of this disaster declaration and the reason why l have made the decision to move forward in this way. This is only a step in the process of response which will allow us to request additional logistical support from the state when we need it, enable opportunities that speed processes to use emergency funds if that becomes necessary, and be proactive in our response to this crisis.
“The Effingham County Health Department is the lead agency of this response. The other agencies of the county will prioritize their support for the health department and this will be a unity of effort of all levels of government. Your support as a citizen of our county is crucial. Please make your best efforts to follow the advice and guidance of the Effingham County Health Department.
“We will work in concert with the City of Effingham, our local communities, as well as the state and federal governments in our response to this pandemic.
“This declaration is a call to Effingham County residents to remain calm and to treat each other with respect as we work together to get through this as painlessly as possible.
“It is important for all of us to understand our responsibility to our communities and to this response. It will take every citizen of Effingham County being proactive, following all the advice of the Effingham County Health Department, and partnering with us to control this virus in our communities.
“Remember, during this time, what makes us thrive as human beings; a healthy diet and stress-relieving exercise, fresh air and sunshine, family and laughter. Be kind to one another.
“How we respond to this will define us as individuals, parents and communities. These are the moments that legacies and life examples are set in stone. Together we can reveal the true nature of who we are as individuals and as a community.
“We are all in this together!”
Under the authority of the Illinois Emergency Management Agency Act (20 ILCS 3305/I1) I, James Niemann, Principal Executive Officer of the County of Effingham, State of Illinois, do hereby proclaim that a disaster exists in Effingham County due to the COVID I9 pandemic.
In accordance with the Illinois Emergency Management Agency Act (20 ILCS 3305/II), a local disaster proclamation shall not be continued or renewed for a period in excess of seven (7) days except by or with the consent of the governing board of the political subdivision.
Therefore, this proclamation is effective this 16th day of March, 2020 and shall expire at 4 p.m. on April 20, 2020 unless extended by the Effingham County Board.