Jackson County declares local state of emergency

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MARIANNA, Fla. (WMBB)–Officials in Jackson County are taking full precautions as they declare a local state of emergency. While there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the county, they hope this decision will keep it that way.

County leaders called an emergency meeting Monday morning. After declaring the local state of emergency, they began rolling out new rules.

“I’d rather look back to say we did too much than I wish we did more,” said Wilanne Daniels, the County Administrator.

All events being held in county rental facilities now canceled for the next 30 days.

“We did not make that decision lightly, we tried to just fall in line with what surrounding counties and other agencies are doing,” Daniels said.

The county is also closing outside access to their offices until March 30th.

“No one needs to be concerned that they will not be able to conduct business, they will, we just ask that you call first, allow us to help you electronically or by the phone if at all possible,” Daniels said.

Fire Rescue Chief Charlie Brunner was also in attendance. He says callers dialing 911 may expect some additional questions from the dispatcher related to the symptoms of COVID-19. These include asking if they have they traveled internationally recently, and have they been in contact with a laboratory-confirmed person who tested positive for the virus.

Jackson County Corrections Chief Jammie Jeter also spoke out. He says the jail has suspended inmate visits and outside inmate work crews.

The county has also canceled their next commission meeting. They will meet again on April 14th.

“This isn’t coming from a place of fear at all. I feel very confident with everything we have in place to be able to respond if necessary,” Daniels said.

The Jackson County Health Department also shared an update. They said they received COVID-19 testing kits on Saturday.

The local state of emergency expires in 7 days at sunset. At that time, the county administrator can decide to renew it for another 7 days

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