Berks County reinstates disaster declaration in response to COVID spike

A day after Berks County set a new pandemic-high in daily COVID-19 cases, local officials announced Thursday that they have reinstated the disaster emergency declaration that expired over six months ago. 

"This spike is straining key sectors throughout the community, including crucial Berks County departments that have already been affected by the pandemic and expect to experience even greater stresses as the need for services, grows and available staff becomes limited due to illness or quarantine," the county said in a statement. 

Officials say the disaster declaration is in direct response to the sudden increase of COVID-19 cases and its impact on the local healthcare system. The order will allow the county to "mobilize quickly and effectively" to alleviate the strains of the emergency.

Chief Administrative Officer Ronald Seaman, who will help lead the county's response, stressed that the declaration is "not a cause for alarm." 

Berks County's first disaster emergency declaration was issued in March, 2020 during the outset of the pandemic. That order lasted until June, 2021 when it was evident the county could continue to execute its mission to serve the public under normal operating procedures.

The county reached a pandemic-high 651 cases on Wednesday, which pushed officials to reinstate disaster emergency declaration.



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