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Lathrop declares local emergency
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The City of Lathrop has officially declared a local emergency.

On Monday, City Manager Steve Salvatore signed an emergency proclamation declaring that COVID-19 – the novel coronavirus that is currently crippling the world economy and prompting widespread shutdowns – has become a local emergency. Acting as the Director of Emergency Services, Salvatore signed the document that will allow Lathrop to receive finding for any unforeseen expenses incurred as a result of the anticipated shutdowns that could be coming as early as this week as the government works to get a handle on the spread and transmission of the virus in an attempt to prevent the healthcare system from becoming overloaded.

According to City Clerk Teresa Vargas, the proclamation will need to be approved by the Lathrop City Council later this week in an emergency session and came after the State of California declared a State of Emergency and other municipalities followed suit.

Vargas said that it’s “business as usual” at City Hall for the time being but noted that things could change in the coming days and work is being done to ensure that residents continue to receive the essential services that they rely on.

Now that a state of emergency has been declared, any expenses that Lathrop accrues as a result of the virus could be eligible for reimbursement.

When the council does finally meet this week to ratify the proclamation, they will do so without an audience after the city took advantage of new state rules that allow for business to be conducted by teleconference – allowing the public to view the proceedings either on a cable access channel or online and calling in when wanting to make a statement for the record. The city will utilize the new system on Wednesday for the Lathrop Planning Commission and could roll it out for the Lathrop City Council as early as that night or on Thursday to formally adopt the proclamation.

On Monday the San Joaquin County Department of Public Health Services announced that an additional case of COVID-19 has been diagnosed, bringing the total number of cases in the county up to 9. There have been no deaths associated with the virus this year, and as of last month, various strains of influenza have killed 12 county residents with H1N1, also known as the “swine flu,” becoming the dominant strain later in the season.

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.