Metro Leaders Sign Emergency Coronavirus Declaration
While North Dakota still has only 1 confirmed case, F-M Leaders are preparing for the wide spread impact the virus is having on the nation.
FARGO, N.D. — City and county leaders signed an emergency declaration on Monday regarding the coronavirus Pandemic.
“What the government is realizing, is that we aren’t flattening out. What we are going to do is what needs to be done in our community to keep our community safe,” said Mayor Tim Mahoney of Fargo, “Obviously a case will come when you look at statistics so we want to be ready for that.”
Mayor Mahoney, Mayor Dardis, Mayor Judd, and Cass County Commission Chair Peterson all say that the declaration is the first step they must take in order to help prepare for the impacts of the coronavirus on a physical and economic level.
The declaration will help secure money from the federal government that would help cover the costs incurred by the cities and the county to prepare for and contain the virus, as well as to pay employees who may have to work extra hours during the outbreak.
Beyond that, local officials are still evaluating how else they can use that federal money to help those who will be left without any income during the pandemic.
“If you look at the economic impact, it is far reaching. There is a lot of hourly wage people that if you are closing restaurants or pubs, they aren’t going to get paid,” said Mayor Bernie Dardis of West Fargo, “The federal government is trying to react to that, and I think that’s a positive thing, because some of those folks that will need the help the most, they are responding to it.”
Childcare has also become a hot topic for mayors, as it could derail potential containment and prevention efforts.
“For folks that are essential employees, they need to know that there are resources to keep them working to help us get through all of this. Childcare is going to be really really critical, because if those folks can’t go out and work and they have to stay at home, that will really compromise a lot of what we have going on,” said Mayor Johnathon Judd.
All three cities say that they are prepared to work together on the pandemic.
“It’s like getting ready for the flood fight, you’re waiting for the crest, and you have to get all your stuff ready before that. We have been preparing for this for four weeks, so we are very comfortable that if a health crisis comes we’ll be prepared,” said Mayor Mahoney.
“Whether it’s Clay county, Moorhead, Fargo, West Fargo, or Cass county, everybody is all on the same page, and I think that’s extremely important,” said Mayor Dardis.