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Pasco County declares state of emergency as coronavirus spreads around the US

The decision gives county leaders more power and resources to combat COVID-19.
Credit: AP

PASCO COUNTY, Fla — Rapidly hiring workers, enlisting volunteers and making emergency purchases – that’s all possible under a local emergency declaration just approved by Pasco County commissioners in an emergency meeting.

It was requested by Florida’s Division of Emergency Management, and it gives County Administrator Dan Biles and Emergency Management Director Andrew Fossa wide-ranging powers to ramp up the county’s response to the coronavirus.

According to a news release, they can “do what they feel is necessary to ensure the health, safety and welfare of the community.”

The county is urging everyone that personal hygiene remains the best defense against COVID-19. That includes:

  • Washing your hands with soap and water – frequently
  • Covering coughs and sneezes with your arm, not your hands
  • Staying home and avoiding crowds if you feel sick.

According to the Tampa Bay Times, Pasco County’s last state of emergency was declared before Hurricane Dorian in August.

RELATED: Coronavirus in Florida: Live updates as more events are postponed 

RELATED:Three new cases of coronavirus confirmed in Florida

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