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The Lawrence County Commissioners passed an ordinance Tuesday morning declaring a public health emergency in Lawrence County due to COVID-19.

The declaration will allow the county to seek federal funds to meet the public health emergency needs that may arise.

According to Emergency Management Director Valerie Luchauer, she and the Lawrence County Health Department staff continue to monitor the positive cases in the county and supply resources requested on a case by case basis.

The declaration allows:

  • All Lawerence County offices should cooperate with public health and the Governor of Indiana to combat the fight against COVID-19.
  • Lawrence County may issue a local travel advisory, watch, or warning for up to seven days pursuant to IC10-14-3-29.5. If the conditions warrant. Such advisory, watch or warning may be extended by the Commissioners.
  • Lawrence County Government and its agencies shall comply with the procedure set forth in IC 10-14-3 and Lawrence County Management Ordinance when exercising the emergency powers thereunder.
  • Subject to adoption by the Commissioners, this resolution shall remain in effect until the declaration of the public health emergency by the Lawrence County Health Department and the Governor is rescinded.

Emergency Management and the Health Department also are providing continued communication and education to all pertinent parties during the emergency and monitor personal protective equipment for first responders and health care providers.

The commissioners also amended the Lawrence County COVID-19 policy for employees.

Effective today and extending until December 31, 2020, Lawrence County workplace policies are being amended and enhanced for those employees under the Lawrence County Personnel Policy Handbook, regardless of the current length of employment. These policies will be revisited regularly and employes should check with their department heads.

Employees who are able and healthy are expected at work as scheduled. All staff who can work remotely. are asked to prepare to do so now.

An eligible full-time employee may take paid sick leave up to two weeks paid at the regular rate. An employee caring for a child can take up to 10 weeks more of paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave at 2/3 of the employee’s regular rate.