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By JIM MAURER

STAFF WRITER

The Hancock County commissioners have declared a “state of emergency” in the county, effective immediately, until at least 11:59 p.m. April 6 — unless the order is rescinded or modified by the Ohio Department of Health director.

The declaration made via resolution follows similar action by state and federal governments. It comes after the first confirmed COVID-19 case was reported in the county on Sunday.

The 21-year-old female has been isolated and is recovering.

The action was taken to make the county eligible for state and federal government assistance, both material and financial, according to the commissioners, and is not being done to cause fear and panic.

It’s a formality, said Commissioner Tim Bechtol, as the commissioners want to limit employee potential exposure to the virus, and also to those under care of the county, such as jail inmates.

The resolution includes the 12-page “stay at home order,” signed Sunday by Dr. Amy Acton, state director of health.

The resolution also includes an 11-page memorandum from the federal Department of Homeland Security that identifies “essential critical infrastructure workers during COVID-19 response,” which was included in Tuesday’s edition of The Courier.

Maurer: 419-427-8420

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