Texas Township signs Proclamation of Disaster Emergency

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TEXAS TOWNSHIP, PA — Two of three supervisors were masked and gloved for the live April 6 monthly meeting of the Texas Township Board of Supervisors. One wore a construction worker’s mask, the other something that looked like a homemade attempt at a surgical mask. Secretary Joann Hancock wore a bandit-style bandana over her nose and mouth. The masked and gloved planning board representative ran out of the meeting room several times during the half-hour meeting, to cough outdoors.

Supervisor Don Doney was reading Gov. Tom Wolf’s Proclamation of Disaster Emergency to himself before the meeting started. Watching him, Hancock said, “We have to sign it; we have no choice.” Doney nodded grimly.

Ten minutes later, the board voted unanimously to sign the document that gives Pennsylvania’s top officials the right to suspend or waive temporarily the laws that daily govern the lives of the commonwealth’s residents. Published on March 6, the proclamation gives the commonwealth’s Commissioner of Education the right to suspend compulsory school attendance. It gives the Commissioner of State Police the right to use all available resources and personnel, in a manner he deems appropriate, to support the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency. And it gives the Adjutant General of Pennsylvania the right to place on active duty within the state individuals and units of the National Guard for missions designated necessary by the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency. For the full text of the proclamation, see  bit.ly/govwolfsigns.

The proclamation was published in response to a finding of two confirmed cases of COVID-19 within Pennsylvania. Thirty days later, the state is reporting 12,980 confirmed cases and 162 deaths [bit.ly/erieapril7]. And full impact of the COVID-19 emergency has come home to Texas Township and the greater Honesdale area.

“I heard a Walmart employee tested positive. Of course, they don’t say who it is,” whispered someone.

“You’ve gotta feel for those people; they weren’t even given masks and gloves until yesterday,” said someone else.

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