LA GRANDE — The Union County Board of Commissioners on Wednesday declared a state of emergency.
The commissioners voted 3-0 to pass a resolution declaring an emergency as a local response to the outbreak of COVID-19.
J.B. Brock, Union County emergency services manager, said the resolution will help the county to respond faster to situations related to the new coronavirus.
It will give the county the authority to take certain steps, such as like drawing money from a variety of funds for the purchase of protective equipment and the like.
The declaration also provides the county the authority to take steps such as bypassing the bidding process if a contractor needs to be hired for an urgent project.
Commissioner Donna Beverage said the emergency declaration will make it easier for the county to help those in need of assistance.
“It will unleash opportunities for us to help,’’ Beverage said, noting that local business owners are among those who could be assisted by the county.
Brock told the commissioners before their vote that everyone needs to help each other to survive the COVID-19 crisis.
“We need to be taking care of each other as a community,’’ Brock said.
“We need to be checking in our neighbors, to call them or knock on their doors to see what they need.’’
Paul Anderes, chairman of the county board, encouraged anyone from Union, Wallowa or Baker counties who needs help during the COVID-19 crisis to visit the NE Oregon Joint Information Center on Facebook to find resources.