In response to the continued spread of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 through Oregon, the City of Elkton declared a state of emergency on Monday, March 30, during a 9 a.m. emergency meeting of the city council.
“Basically, it’s just pre-emptive in case we get with what they’re predicting could happen,” said Gary Trout, Elkton’s city clerk and public works foreman. “We’re not actually in an emergency situation, but we’re trying to get things in place in case it happens because our city is so small-staffed. If we do have some illness or if we do have something come through, it could hit us pretty hard.”
Trout said the city government is currently operating with three part-time employees filling various roles. Declaring a state of emergency could open up the flow of funds to address employee shortages and may allow the city to recoup expenses should these needs arise.
“We hope we don’t have to use any of these provisions,” he said. “Right now, we’re just preparing for the worst, hoping for the best.”
With a population around 200, Elkton is located in Douglas County, which also declared a state of emergency on March 16.
On Sunday, Douglas County Public Health Officer Dr. Bob Dannenhoffer announced one new positive case of COVID-19 in Douglas County, bringing the confirmed number of cases in the county to five.