Fort Walton Beach Declares State of Emergency in Response to COVID-19

Health

Unedited press release from the City of Fort Walton Beach

FORT WALTON BEACH, Fla. – Today, March 23, 2020, the City of Fort Walton Beach declared a local State of Emergency in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic (See attached). The following declarations are effective immediately:

Section 1. That a State of Emergency exists in the City of Fort Walton Beach, Florida.

Section 2. That the City Manager is designated as the Director of Emergency Management for the City with the authority to carry out the necessary actions and emergency response to protect the health, safety and welfare of the citizens and employees of the City of Fort Walton Beach from the COVID-19 pandemic for the duration of the emergency.

Section 3. That the Fire Chief is designated as the Incident Commander under the City’s Pandemic Response Plan under the ICS Command Structure for this emergency.

Section 4. That City Staff is directed to engage in all practices recommended by the Center for Disease Control, Department of Health and any other health organization to combat the spread of COVID-19. Further, the City encourages the public accessing public parks, facilities or any other outdoor activity to follow the CDC guidance for social distancing and limiting the number of

persons in a gathering to 10 or less.

Section 5. That this Declaration of State of Emergency enables the City to seek additional resources and apply for federal and state aid to assist the City’s efforts to address the health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Section 6. That the City Manager may enter into any interlocal agreement with other agencies, such as the Department of Health or Okaloosa County, to assist in the procurement and/or distribution of supplies, equipment, materials and facilities related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Section 7. That the City’s Purchasing Policies and Procedures be temporarily suspended to allow for the emergency procurement of supplies, equipment and materials to protect the health, safety and welfare of City employees and residents.

All items purchased for the response to COVID-19 will be brought to City Council in the future for ratification in compliance with the City’s Purchasing Policies and Procedures.

Section 8. This Declaration of State of Emergency shall take effect immediately upon the signature of the Mayor and shall end within 90 days, unless extended by a vote of the City Council at a duly called public meeting.

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