By Caitlin Herrington

The Journal

WALHALLA — In an effort to move people, money and equipment around quickly to best respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, Oconee County Council declared a state of emergency Tuesday night.

The declaration is “executive-tailored,” Oconee County attorney David Root said.

“It is purposed to allow (Amanda) Brock, as the administrator, in consultation with myself and our emergency services director and the chairman of council, to move a little bit more fluidly,” Root told council and the public attending virtually via livestream and radio formats, “to be able to effect procurement decisions, employee and personnel decisions, to move employees around, to perhaps repurpose offices and things of this nature without having to go back for council approval.”

The actions and reactions of government may feel like overkill, council chairman Julian Davis said, and he hopes that turns out to be the case during the virus outbreak that has yet to be confirmed in Oconee County.

“While we’re preparing for the worst, we’re hoping for the best,” he said, noting hours of proactive preparation have been poured into government decisions. “We should not stand in the fear of the unknown, but should take the necessary precautions to keep each of us healthy and safe.”

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