Mayor Broughton Proclaims City State of Emergency over Coronavirus Pandemic
March 17, 2020
Mayor Van Broughton today declared a citywide state of emergency in Elkins in response to the ongoing threat of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. To further mitigate against this threat and to comply with federal recommendations concerning social distancing to protect the public and city staff and officials, the mayor has also cancelled all city meetings until further notice. A state of emergency does not impose any restrictions on the public, but it does enable the mayor to order restrictions if necessary. (The proclamation text appears at the bottom of this post.)
City hall remains closed to the public until further notice. All core city services and operations will continue to be provided, although steps are being taken to minimize non-essential contact between city staff and the public. The Treasurers’ Department will be operating and can receive phone calls, but all business must be transacted online, via the drop box behind city hall, or by mail. The Elkins Fire Department remains on duty but has closed its building to the public. The Elkins Police Department remains on duty, but officers may be wearing gloves or other protective gear when interacting with the public, out of an abundance of caution.
“I know that we are all deeply concerned about the threat COVID-19 poses to our city and nation,” said Broughton. “At this point, it is only a matter of time before confirmed cases are identified and the real threat of spread is upon us. We find ourselves as West Virginias in the unique and fortunate position of being able to take proactive measures against this worldwide pandemic, and that is why I have decided to take these actions.”
Mayors are granted authority for emergency declarations under West Virginia Code 15-5-1. The mayor’s emergency proclamation has been posted online and at city hall. It will also be transmitted to the governor’s office and to the office of the Randolph County Commission.
The text of the proclamation may be reviewed below. A scan of the signed proclamation may be viewed by clicking here.
The mayor has also issued emergency updates to the city’s personnel policy.
WHEREAS, as of March 17, 2020, the World Health Organization has confirmed 173,344 worldwide cases of the novel coronavirus (“COVID-19”), including 7,019 deaths; and,
WHEREAS, as of March 17, 2020, there are 1,714 confirmed cases of COVID-19, and thousands more pending or presumed, in the United States, including 68 deaths; and,
WHEREAS, as of March 17, 2020 West Virginia has no confirmed cases of COVID-19, however, every other state throughout the country does have confirmed cases of the virus; and,
WHEREAS, on March 13, 2020, the President of the United States declared a national emergency; and,
WHEREAS, on March 16, 2020, the Governor of West Virginia declared a state emergency; and,
WHEREAS, the State of West Virginia and the City of Elkins have the opportunity to take proactive and preventative measures to slow down or stop the spread of COVID-19 in our communities;
NOW THEREFORE, I, Van T. Broughton, Mayor of the City of Elkins, do hereby proclaim pursuant to the authority granted in West Virginia Code § 15-5-1, et seq., and Elkins City Charter Sec. 20, et seq., that the spread of COVID-19 in the United States creates an existing and threatened state of emergency endangering the lives, safety, health and welfare of the people within the City of Elkins; and,
I HEREBY DECLARE to all persons the existence of this state of emergency and, in order to more effectively protect the welfare of the people within the City, effective upon the signing of this proclamation, I will be exercising the authority granted to me in West Virginia Code § 15-5-1, et seq., and Elkins City Charter Sec. 20, et seq., through the issuance of executive orders, emergency policies, and use and direction of City personnel, services, and equipment to perform acts necessary to the management of this existing and threatened state of emergency; and,
I FURTHER DELEGATE to the City Clerk the same authority granted to me in West Virginia Code § 15-5-1, et seq., and Elkins City Code Sec. 20, et seq., to issue such policies and direct City personnel, services, and equipment, to perform acts necessary to the management of this existing and threatened state of emergency.
Pursuant to the authority granted to me in West Virginia Code § 15-5-1, et seq., and Elkins City Code Sec. 20, et seq., it shall be unlawful for any person to violate any provision of any restriction imposed by the executive orders or emergency policies issued under the authority of this proclamation.
Upon execution, this proclamation shall be filed with the City Clerk and a copy shall be sent to the Randolph county Commission and the Governor of West Virginia. This proclamation and any executive order or emergency policy issued under the authority of this proclamation shall be available for public view on the City of Elkins website.
This proclamation shall be in effect until I issue a subsequent proclamation rescinding the existing and threated state of emergency.
DATED this 17th day of March at 1:30 p.m.