Shawnee County Commission approves Emergency Disaster Declaration as COVID cases rise


TOPEKA (KSNT) – The Shawnee County Commission approved an Emergency Disaster Declaration Thursday morning, recommended by Emergency Management Director Dusty Nichols.

As cases continue to rise and hospitals struggle to keep up, Shawnee County Commission Chairman Kevin Cook authorized an Emergency Disaster Declaration.

“We are extended past what we can do, and if we keep on this path we are in danger of causing some significant issues,” Nichols said. “This particular case is basically sending a signal to the state that we are out of resources. We are depleting all of our resources from hospital beds to staffing to everything else”.

Nichols is also hoping this declaration will send a signal to the public, as he thinks “many people thought the pandemic was over in June and July.”

“This will hopefully send a signal to the community that we’ve got problems, people need to start social distancing, wearing masks, and get vaccinated,” Nichols said.

The declaration will last seven days, the county commission will consider extending the state of emergency through October. The County Commission also voted to approve the request for Emergency Management to apply for a FEMA Public Assistance Grant valued at over $1,000,000.

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