The City of Holden joins a growing number of American cities to declare a State of Emergency at the local level, due to the fast-spreading and deadly coronavirus/COVID-19. Mayor Doyle Weeks, Sr. signed a Declaration of State of Emergency for the City of Holden after an electronic vote by the City Council on Wednesday, March 18. Mayor Weeks would like to reassure the residents of Holden that this step by no means represents any increased risk, but will open up resources from regional, state and federal sources that may be necessary in the future. This step will further the City’s precautionary measures to prepare for the potential spread of COVID-19 in the area. The declaration read, in part: “Whereas, the City of Holden has been working in collaboration with Johnson County Emergency Management Agency (JCEMA) and local health and public safety agencies to monitor and plan for the containment and subsequent mitigation of COVID-19 through the formation of a Johnson County COVID-19 Task Force.” The virus is a disease capable of causing severe symptoms or loss of life, particularly to older populations and those with pre-existing conditions. It is critical for the City of Holden to prepare for and respond to suspected or confirmed cases in Holden to implement measures to mitigate the spread of the virus. The declaration continued: “Whereas, this threat of imminent disaster and emergency situation throughout the City is of such magnitude and severity as to render essential the City’s ability to request mutual aid from applicable state, county and federal entities.” Again, there are no reported or suspected cases of the coronavirus in Holden at this time. City leaders just want to be prepared and have the ability to seek help if the situation changes in Holden.