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County government creates Coalition of Stakeholders in the face of COVID-19

LOCK HAVEN – Leaders of Clinton County are joining together in the face of a pandemic. Those involved include; The City of Lock Haven, Lock Haven University, UPMC Lock Haven, the Economic Partnership, Department of Emergency Services, Keystone Central School District, 76th District State Representative, Bucktail Medical Center, and multiple departments of Clinton County Government.

With the help of Lock Haven University, the Clinton County Commissioners created an opportunity for the group to have an online meeting on March 18. “After having a discussion with City Manager, Greg Wilson, it only made sense that we try and get everyone together to discuss what measures are being taken, what needs exist, and how can we help each other”, said Commissioner Angela Harding. “The most important aspect for us as a county is that we are being pro-active in the face of this pandemic”, she continued.

The Community Emergency Coalition, as it has been informally coined, has held two on-line meetings and intends on continuing discussions on a weekly basis.

While at the creation of this press release Clinton County does not have any verified COVID19 cases, the coalition suspects that it is only a matter of time. The purpose and goal is to share knowledge, information, resources, and have a network in place to do everything possible to help protect the citizens and first responders in Clinton County.

“I’m glad everyone is recognizing the enormous importance of this pandemic and that we are all working together for the betterment of the Clinton County community. It is imperative that we do everything we can to mitigate the effects of this invisible enemy”, said County Commissioner Miles Kessinger.

Clinton County Department of Emergency Services (DES) has made several requests to obtain supplies and approvals from Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA). The requests include first responder protective gear and unmet needs based on the lack of presence of the virus in our community. DES is also communicating with local medical professionals, first responders, and elected officials to prepare the requests.

On March 17 the Clinton County Commissioners signed a Disaster Declaration. “This declaration allows us to begin the process of managing the disaster and also recover funding associated with the pandemic. It also suspends certain procedures that would normally be required by law to allow us to purchase things that we need to deal with the emergency”, said Bill Frantz, Clinton County Emergency Management Coordinator.

“We must remain vigilant as we work together to keep our community as safe as possible. We appreciate all of the effort of those involved to work together to achieve this common goal”, said County Commissioner Jeff Snyder.

In order to adhere to the recommendations and limit groups, the Commissioners meetings will be live streamed on the Clinton County Government Facebook page beginning with the work session Monday, March 30, 2020 at 9:00AM. Residents are encouraged to participate by calling 570.893.4000 during the meeting, at the appropriate times. A complete list of meeting dates and times can be found on the county website. If you do not have access to the internet, please call the number above and we will be glad to give you more information.

“We want to also encourage Clinton County to visit the Clinton County Economic Partnership’s website. They are doing a wonderful job of keeping up to date information for those effected including businesses, employees, as well as the latest mandates and information being distributed by the state”, said Commissioner Harding. “In addition, UPMC’s website is full of valuable information about the pandemic and what actions are being taken from a medical standpoint.”

Clinton County Government is operating. Staff has been staggered and all buildings are closed to the public in an effort to encourage residents to stay home. A full list of department phone numbers and emails have been posted on all entrances, the county Facebook page, and website. Departments are continuing to help residents with their immediate needs, as well as continuing to serve the Courts.

The Clinton County Commissioners urge the residents of Clinton County to heed the recommendations to stay home, limit travel, wash hands and surfaces frequently, and take the potential of the COVID19 pandemic seriously.

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