County signs Emergency Declaration

Sherburne County has taken steps to assure greater flexibility in preparing for and responding to COVID-19 by signing an Emergency Declaration.

Board Chair Felix Schmiesing signed the Declaration at noon today.

The full Board of Commissioners is expected to meet Friday to vote to extend the Declaration indefinitely. Schmiesing cautioned that an Emergency Declaration isn’t a sign that the county’s residents are any more vulnerable to COVID-19. The Declaration is necessary to give the county the ability to do certain things it couldn’t without the Declaration.

Among those are the potential to recoup expenses related to the county’s response to COVID-19; fewer constraints on how the county can spend money to respond to the outbreak; more flexibility in how the county utilizes its professional staff; and more options in how the public can continue to access county services, including public meetings.

“We want to continue to have our employees at work and continue to provide necessary services to the public,” Schmiesing said. “This Declaration gives us greater flexibility to do that.”

Some changes that are likely happening are restricting the number of people who will be allowed to attend County Board meetings. The majority of the Government Center, beginning Monday, March 23, will continue to be open for business by appointment only.

Appointments will be able to be scheduled online, via phone call or via email. For information about how individual departments are providing services going forward, please visit our website at

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