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Lake Geneva declares citywide emergency during virus outbreak
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Lake Geneva declares citywide emergency during virus outbreak

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Lake Geneva city coronavirus emergency

Lake Geneva Mayor Tom Hartz, center, reads a proclamation of a state of emergency March 19 at City Hall, joined by City Clerk Lana Kropf, left, and City Attorney Dan Draper.

Lake Geneva's elected city leaders today declared a citywide state of emergency for the next two months in an effort to control the coronavirus outbreak.

The declaration by the Lake Geneva City Council calls for postponing city government meetings, limiting the size of public gatherings in City Hall, restricting city employee travel, and taking other steps to safeguard public health.

"Safety is the key," Alderman Doug Skates said as he and other council members unanimously approved the measure shortly after 6 p.m. at City Hall.

The emergency declaration is scheduled to continue until May 18.

The three-page proclamation notes the spread of coronavirus throughout the United States and also the lack of any known vaccine or treatment for the flu-like respiratory infection.

It states: "The conditions created by these public health emergencies pose a continuing and substantial threat to public order, life, health and safety of the citizens of the city of Lake Geneva."

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A similar measure was approved earlier today by the Walworth County Board, giving county government greater flexibility for the next 90 days to cope with the coronavirus threat.

Health officials have reported two confirmed cases of coronarvirus among residents of Walworth County — a number that is expected to grow.

Other provisions of Lake Geneva's declaration empower the city to make emergency purchases of supplies and services, refund security deposits on Riviera events that must be cancelled, suspend downtown parking fees, and urge residents to comply with state health guidelines.

The postponed city government meetings do not include city council, plan commission and other major bodies.

Voting for the proclamation were Aldermen Shari Straube, Selena Proksa, John Halverson, Doug Skates, Ken Howell and Cindy Flower.

Aldermen Richard Hedlund and Tim Dunn were absent.

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