Albany Mayor Sharon Konopa has signed a paper declaring a “local state of emergency as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.” The city council will meet Wednesday to ratify the resolution.
The declaration gives City Manager Peter Troedsson the authority to redirect city funds for emergency use. It also confers the authority to “order such other measures as are found to be immediately necessary for the protection of life and/or property.”
It doesn’t appear, though, that the manager can do anything about things outside the city’s purview, such as panic buying of toilet paper or other necessities by members of the public. The resolution’s reference to city funds, and the suspension of normal city procurement procedures, is intended to “reduce the impact of the … pandemic on employees of and services delivered by the City of Albany.”
The resolution takes effect immediately and lasts until March 27 but can be extended by two-week increments.
As of Friday morning, there were 30 cases of the new coronavirus (COVID-19) in Oregon, including eight in Linn County, all of them at the Lebanon Veterans’ Home. Since Jan. 24, some 524 people statewide had been monitored for the virus, the Oregon Health Authority said. Of those, 337 didn’t have it, and 157 were still pending.
The Health Authority has a lot of information about this on its website here. In a section on frequent questions, the Health Authority says people should NOT quit going to stores or restaurants. “Lost business harms family’s incomes as well,” it says. “Please continue to visit the businesses and restaurants as you normally do.”
The Albany council’s special meeting is set for 5:15 p.m. Wednesday at City Hall. Otherwise, all city meetings are canceled until further notice. (hh)