Panola County issued a declaration of local disaster due to public health emergency Wednesday morning in response to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.

The state of disaster for public health emergency will continue for seven days from Wednesday unless continued or renewed by the Panola County Commissioners’ Court.

Judge Lee Ann Jones issued the declaration after determining that extraordinary measures need to be taken to mitigate the effects of this public health emergency and to facilitate the efficient, rapid and cooperate response to the emergency.

The declaration authorizes the use of all lawfully-available enforcement tools and activates the Panola County Emergency Management Plan. It mirrors the State of Texas Governor’s Declaration and Proclamation that Gov. Gregg Abbott issued.