The city of Monona has rescinded a public health state of emergency it put into place more than one year ago.
City council members approved a declaration for a local state of emergency on March 16, 2020 in response to the mounting presence of COVID-19.
Now, City Administrator Bryan Gadow said it’s no longer needed.
“We adopted it at a time when everyone else was adopting theirs for a couple of reasons,” Gadow said of the city’s choice to follow suit with Dane County and various other local municipalities. “One, to give us some flexibility in response [to COVID-19], but also to make us eligible for various federal and state grants.”
In 2020, the federal government allocated $350 billion in emergency assistance to local governments through the American Rescue Plan.
Declaring a state of emergency was a catalyst for some of those funds, though Gadow said the expiration last month of several public health orders has altered the landscape.
“With Dane County lifting all of their public health orders in the early part of June, it’s really not necessary for the city to continue to maintain our local state of emergency,” he said. “For our purposes, this is no longer necessary.”
If local COVID-19 cases were to rise significantly or spread of the Delta variant, now the dominant strain of the virus according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), were to worsen, the city could choose to restore its state of emergency.
“If there were ever to be a situation, with the Delta variant or anything else, where Dane County or somebody else would adopt a new state of emergency, then we could come back at a later date and adopt a second state of emergency,” Gadow confirmed.
The reversal of the city’s local state of emergency was approved at the city council’s first in-person meeting in more than a year. The council had been meeting in a virtual format since March 2020 as a COVID-19 precaution.