Salem Mayor Brad Nash declared a State of Emergency in response to COVID-19 at a special meeting of the board of aldermen March 23.

“We have seen in other states how rapidly this virus can spread through communities and the impact it can have on our most vulnerable populations,” Nash said. “As this situation has evolved, we have taken measured steps to stem the spread in our community.

“This proclamation is the next step and will help expedite our emergency response efforts and allow us to procure needed resources more easily and adapt as necessary in our ongoing efforts to protect public health and safety.”

This declaration will remain in place for 60 days or until the board of aldermen takes other action, whichever comes first.

Residents are encouraged to follow the directives from the president, Centers for Disease Control, Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services and Dent County Health Center.

“We appreciate the efforts of the many businesses that have already altered their operations to help in our community’s efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19,” Nash said.

“We know these are trying times for everyone, and this continues to be a very fluid situation, with new changes daily. City leadership and staff continue to monitor the situation and work to meet the needs of our community and follow both recommendations and mandates from county, state and federal authorities.

“We must come together as a community to work through this crisis not only for the wellbeing of our community members but for the viability of our health system,” he said. “We urge everyone in our community, regardless of age, to take all appropriate measures to prevent the spread of this virus.”