PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) –The city of Panama City declared a state of emergency due to the coronavirus on Wednesday.
Being in a state of emergency allows the city to receive FEMA funds from expenses it comes across during the outbreak.
The city also announced it updated the employee personnel policy, allowing city employees to be placed on administrative leave if being tested for the virus.
City manager, Mark McQueen, also now will have an increased spending authority, going from $25,000 to $100,000.
The city is also cancelling a number of its planned events. McQueen says they are taking all measures necessary to keep citizens safe.
“It is important to create social distancing,” McQueen said. “These are certainly very uncertain times but we need to air on the side of caution and I think that is what we are seeing across the federal and state level and certainly we saw the county and the city take those exact same measures.”
The city of Panama City will continue to operate and city hall will remain open. All city facilities and public parks will remain open, but any planned event that includes 10 or more people has been cancelled.