Viroqua mayor declares public health emergency

Viroqua mayor declares public health emergency

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Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Mayor Karen Mischel, City of Viroqua, has declared a public health emergency. Although there are no confirmed cases in Vernon County as of March 16, this declaration will provide the Mayor and City departments the ability to use all resources and funds necessary to respond to and contain the outbreak. It will also allow emergency spending for necessary equipment, medicines, and other needed supplies.

“The City has and will continue to take a serious and assertive approach to help control and mitigate the spread of this virus,” Mischel said. “In the past weeks, all City departments have reacted quickly and decisively to ensure all essential City services are safeguarded against a potential negative impact and continue to operate through the coming days, weeks and months. This declaration, based on a strong recommendation by Vernon County Emergency Management, will provide the additional capacity necessary to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic as the situation evolves.”

At this time, the City urges all residents, businesses, community partners, and visitors to treat the COVID-19 outbreak as a serious matter to be met with a calm and responsible approach based on information from reliable and authoritative sources. Each member of our community should stay informed of and then implement all best practices as outlined by the CDC, Wisconsin Department of Health Services, and Vernon County.

To support mitigation efforts, the City has (1) restricted public access to municipal buildings, (2) banned public gatherings of more than 10 persons, and (3) prohibited the use of all park play structures—including Eckhart Enchantment Playground. Other park spaces will remain open for public use.

As the spring election approaches, the City Clerk is working steadfastly with other local municipalities and the State Board of Elections to implement the recommended changes and accommodations as they become available. More information regarding elections will be made available to the public as a solution is defined.

The proclamation also suspends Common Council rules that prohibit Council members from participating in open meetings remotely via phone or internet. The City is currently working to plan and implement accommodations to allow open participation in government to take place despite the need for social distancing.

For additional information, contact City Administrator Nate Torres, at 608-637-7154, ext. 18, or ntorres@viroqua-wisconsin.com.

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