TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KLIX)-Twin Falls County commissioners signed off on an emergency declaration amid the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic at the same time the Twin Falls City Council made a similar decision.

Commissioner Jack Johnson said the commissioner chair, Don Hall, made the motion and the other commissioners affirmed the declaration. Commissioner Johnson said the main purpose of the declaration is for budgetary reasons and noted the commissioners have no intention of using it to close or shut businesses down as the state deals with COVID-19.

The state of emergency will allow the county to access funding much easier without hindrance if needed to respond to the outbreak and will make refunds from the federal and state government easier. The city of Twin Falls has also declared a State of Emergency Monday morning during a special city council meeting.

Again, according to Mayor Suzanne Hawkins in a statement ahead of the meeting, the declaration will allow the city to "more efficiently allocate funds to combat COVID-19."

Jerome County signed an emergency declaration last week on Wednesday, March 18.

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