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Bell County ends COVID-19 disaster declaration

Bell County Judge David Blackburn signed the termination Tuesday, bringing the official declaration of a public health disaster to an end after nearly 15 months.

BELL COUNTY, Texas — Bell County has terminated its local disaster declaration regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, Bell County Judge David Blackburn announced June 1. 

Blackburn signed the termination Tuesday afternoon, bringing the official declaration of a public health disaster to an end after nearly 15 months.

“The only reason the declaration has been in effect the past several months was to ensure that, if there were any federal or state benefits or program funding available to the county, we could make use of them,” Blackburn said in a release. “In talking to several area leaders, I don’t see any need to continue it at this time.”

The Bell County Commissioners Court approved the disaster declaration on March 18, 2020. Its approval would remain in effect until the county judge terminated it. With the termination, Blackburn said the county would continue to work with entities to get the public vaccinated in an assisting role.

“We will continue to support both our public and private healthcare structures, as well as the governor’s office and any federal or state agencies associated with the continuing efforts to get vaccinations done across the county,” Blackburn said. "But, as far as the county taking a lead role associated with those, I think those responsibilities will transition to other entities.”