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In gathering for an emergency meeting Thursday morning, March 19, Sierra County Commissioners unanimously approved Resolution No. 108-065, which was termed as a Local Emergency Disaster Declaration.  

This measure authorizes county manager Bruce Swingle and Emergency Services Coordinator Paul Tooley to enter into mutual aid agreements for reciprocal emergency management and actions necessary to protect the health of persons in Sierra County during the present public health emergency. 

The county manager said the resolution would provide him with the authority to expend revenue for food, hygiene products and other necessary items to assist citizens in need throughout the community. Swingle said the administration had received a number of calls from county residents who are homebound, or otherwise limited by the current health emergency. He told commissioners many of these individuals have expressed great concern, as they are already experiencing shortages of food and other necessary items. 

•One of the decisions arrived at during a March 17 emergency gathering of Sierra County community leaders was the establishment of the Sierra County administration to serve as the lead hub for public information throughout the current health crisis.

In this regard, Swingle said a special webpage on the county’s website (www.sierraco.org) is now in place to alert citizens to both the latest information concerning the COVID-19 coronavirus, as well as details regarding services, assistance and other items of importance for Sierra County residents. A special Facebook page has also been created to further the dissemination of important information to all county residents and visitors.

Anyone in need of assistance is encouraged to visit the county’s website and/or Facebook page to access available data, or to contact Sierra County’s administrative offices by phoning (575) 894-6215. 

•Sierra County authorities have also issued a formal press release, which outlines the administration’s plans to maintain basic services throughout the current emergency.

This statement first acknowledges how the most recent New Mexico Department of Health mandates will prompt a “select number” of county employees to either continue working from their homes, or to be placed on administrative leave, effective March 19.

While restrictions will control the entry of individuals into the county’s administration building and other offices, county manager Swingle said staff would be on hand to assure services and basic operations would continue.

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