The City of Waconia has declared a local emergency in response to the expanding COVID-19 pandemic, according to city officials.

On Friday, March 20, Mayor Kent Bloudek enacted the local emergency authorization, which enables the city to apply for federal and state relief funds, should they become available.

Minnesota law allows mayors to declare a local emergency for a limit of three days without city council approval. To that end, the Waconia City Council has called an emergency special session for Monday, March 23, to discuss the current situation in Minnesota and the city in regards to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The emergency declaration also provides more flexibility to city staff to enact and enforce policies and procedures without implicit city council approval. This will allow city administrators to adjust staffing, availability and protocol on the fly as state and federal guidelines change.

The emergency declaration by Waconia comes after many other cities, counties – including Carver County – and Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz declared similar emergencies in their jurisdictions and at the state level, respectively.

The city has also established a landing page for COVID-19-related updates at http://waconia.org/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=184.

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