The Boone County Commissioners have declared a State of Emergency for Boone County effective at 1:30pm today, Tuesday March 17th, 2020. This decision is locally executed, state-managed, and federally supported.

This scalable plan is an emergency preparedness action plan to help activate funding, supplies, and resources in the event they are needed. The Commissioners, in partnership with the Emergency Management Agency, Witham Health Services, Boone County Sheriff’s Office, and the Boone County Health Department have declared this a public health emergency in order to be preemptive, not to incite fear, to actively protect the health of our community and of our employees.

The ultimate goal of declaring a public health emergency is to be as proactive as possible in the event there is an increase of COVID-19 cases in Boone County. Travel is not restricted in any way.

Starting Wednesday, March 18th at 8:00am all county offices will be taking special precautions in order to protect the health of Boone County residents and employees. The following actions will take place:

1. Public access to the Boone County Courthouse will be available during the hours of 7:30am4:00pm until Friday, March 20th. All residents and employees will go through an evaluation tent consisting of a questionnaire and temperature screening before admittance. They will receive a colored wrist band for the day that will allow them to enter the Courthouse, Annex, and other public areas of county owned and operated buildings. • Beginning Monday, March 23rd, public access hours will be from 10:00am to 2:00pm until further notice.

2. The 4-H Fairgrounds will be closed to the public. The Annex and Witham building may be used for patient overflow from Witham Hospital as a precautionary preparedness measure for any future needs. • After a disinfection process, the Annex may be used for triage and the Witham building may be used as a step down unit for precautionary preparedness measures for future accommodations if needed.

This declaration will expire in 7 days and may be renewed upon further evaluation. The Commissioners and county partners will reconvene every Monday for the time being to determine if a continued declaration is warranted. Evaluations will be daily and updates will be distributed as necessary.

Please forward inquiries to Claire Haughton, Public Information Officer with the Boone County Health Department, at chaughton@co.boone.in.us or (765)482-3942, option 7. For further information about COVID-19, please visit the Boone County website at boonecounty.in.gov, the Indiana State Department of Health at in.gov/coronavirus, or the CDC at coronavirus.gov.