Council Chair Signs Emergency Disaster Declaration in Preparation for COVID-19

Richland County Council Chair Paul Livingston has signed an emergency declaration in accordance with County ordinance to initiate specific actions to respond to COVID-19, or coronavirus.

Over the past four weeks, County Administrator Leonardo Brown has met with members of the County’s executive leadership team and some Councilmembers to discuss the County’s response to the emerging COVID-19 crisis. Livingston and Brown also took part in a Midlands Coronavirus Task Force news conference March 6.

The emergency declaration gives the Council Chair and Administrator operational authority to adequately respond to an existing or anticipated emergency situation, as was the case with the 2015 flood and subsequent weather emergencies. Among other things, the emergency declaration allows for the use of available funds and other resources, transfer personnel or functions to address the crisis and suspend regulations that would hinder a prompt response.

“We are taking measured steps to face this evolving threat and its potential impact in Richland County,” Brown said. “Richland County will continue to closely monitor and coordinate with other government and health officials to assess the situation and continue to receive guidance from DHEC and the CDC.”

While cases of the virus are confirmed in South Carolina, there currently are no confirmed cases in Richland County.

The County is operating under conditions as outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Richland County Government is enacting additional safety protocols and will increase communications to residents and employees as the situation develops.