Marion County Commissioners Declare Emergency in Response to COVID-19

Posted on March 16, 2020

Salem, OR – On Monday, March 16, 2020, the Marion County Board of Commissioners declared an emergency in response to the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) pandemic. There are currently 39 presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 in Oregon and two in Marion County.

The emergency declaration allows the county to seek resources from the state and federal government and implements the county’s Emergency Operations Plan. It provides for emergency purchasing procedures and more flexibility for personnel utilization.

In part, the emergency declaration reads:

“COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus) is an emerging disease and its progress is rapidly evolving. Keeping the public informed and as safe as possible has demanded a great deal of local resources. Resources related to contact tracing, disease investigation, community information, funding, and other resources related to the health and safety of the community are expected to be exhausted.”
Commissioner Colm Willis, chair, said, “We appreciate the hard work of our public health professionals and health care providers in our communities who have been working tirelessly to protect the health and well-being of Marion County’s residents. This emergency declaration helps us ensure we have the tools needed to respond to our community during this evolving situation.”
In keeping with Oregon and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations to reduce opportunities for disease transmission, Marion County is canceling gatherings of more than 50 people and taking into account social distancing measures as we review county operations, events, and activities.
For more information about Marion County’s response to COVID-19 (novel coronavirus), visit

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