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COVID-19 Update

COVID-19

SOUTHSIDE HEALTH DISTRICT CONFIRMS CASE OF COVID-19 IN BRUNSWICK COUNTY
Read the full article here.

DECLARATION LOCAL EMERGENCY

The Brunswick County Board of Supervisors has declared Brunswick County to be in the state of a Local Emergency. Read the full declaration here.

LETTER TO BRUNSWICK COUNTY CITIZENS, BUSINESS, AND RELIGIOUS LEADERS

In a letter addressed to Brunswick County citizens, businesses, and religious leaders, Dr. Barbara Jarrett Harris, Board Chair,  says, "As a nation, we are faced with a crisis that we have never encountered before, the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus)...The Brunswick County Board of Supervisors' top priority is to implement effective strategies to prevent the spread of Coronavirus and to enhance the safety and well-being of citizens and employees." Read the full letter here.

COVID-19 (CORONAVIRUS) RESOURCES

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) have many resources available for citizens to learn more about the novel coronavirus known as COVID-19. Please visit these main sites for the most up-to-date information: 
COVID-19 EMERGENCY LOAN APPLICATION

Small businesses located in Halifax, Mecklenburg or Brunswick County that were in operation by February 15, 2020 are potentially eligible for a loan. This Loan Fund is strictly in response to business owners adversely affected by the COVID-19 Pandemic. Funds must be used to relieve and reduce unemployment, assist with job retention, and/or assist with working capital needs necessary to sustain businesses through the pandemic.

Flyer: COVID-19 Emergency Loan Flyer
Application (Word): COVID-19 Application

VIRGINIA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH (VDH) NEWS RELEASE - APRIL 2, 2020
COVID-19 is Widespread, Precautions Provide the Best Protection

(DANVILLE, Virginia) -- The Virginia Department of Health now reports widespread community transmission of COVID-19. This means that COVID-19 is spreading in communities across Virginia, and as additional cases are identified each day, we are reminded that everyone can and should practice personal precautions to help stop the spread.

"All Virginians should stay home and practice social distancing," urges Scott Spillmann, M.D., M.P.H., director, Pittsylvania-Danville Health District. "If you have to go out for critical things like grocery shopping or medical care, stay at least six feet away from others. And wash your hands and surfaces often. These personal precautions apply to all of us, wherever we are"

"Now that COVID-19 is spreading in our communities and cases are confirmed in every health district in Virginia, it is increasingly urgent to practice these precautions," Dr. Spillmann continued. "This is the most effective way to protect yourself, those around you and those that will be around you tomorrow and in the days to come. The risk of exposure to COVID-19 is everywhere, and we should all understand there is no safe place; there is only safe behavior."

Older adults, especially those 65 and older, and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions may be at higher risk for more severe complications from COVID-19. Stay home and avoid close contact with people who are sick. "Even if you’re not at high risk for COVID-19, you can do your part to stop the spread by staying home and practicing social distancing," said Dr. Spillmann.

There is growing evidence that people can spread COVID-19 even if they never develop symptoms or before their symptoms start. Even so, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention believes that people are most contagious when they have symptoms. Everyone should limit their exposure by staying home.

Most people with COVID-19 develop mild illness and can isolate at home. The most common symptoms are fever, cough and shortness of breath. Other common symptoms include fatigue, decreased appetite and muscle or body aches. Not everyone with COVID-19 will have all symptoms, and a fever might not be present.

If you are sick with COVID-19 or think you might have COVID-19, stay home, rest and separate yourself from other people in the home as much as possible. Most people will develop mild to moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough, that will get better without medical help. By staying home, you reduce the chance of spreading COVID-19 to others, including healthcare workers who are needed to care for the more seriously ill. If you require medical attention, call ahead.

Not every person who has been exposed to COVID-19 needs to be tested. In most instances, a positive test would not change what a doctor tells you to do to get better.

Avoid public spaces, public activities and group gatherings. If you must use public transportation, such as buses, trains, taxis or ride shares, maintain as much distance as possible from others, avoid touching surfaces and wash your hands when you arrive at your destination (or use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.)

Do your part to STOP the spread by taking everyday precautions, including staying at home as much as possible, avoiding close contact with others, covering your coughs and sneezes and cleaning and disinfecting surfaces.

Individuals, communities, businesses and healthcare organizations all play an important role in slowing the spread of COVID-19.

For the most up to date information on COVID-19 in Virginia, visit http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus.

MARCH 23, 2020 NEWS RELEASE

Governor Northam Orders Statewide Closure of Certain Non-Essential Businesses, K-12 Schools

Governor Ralph Northam today issued a statewide order to protect the health and safety of Virginians and reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19. Executive Order Fifty-Three orders the closure of certain non-essential businesses, bans all gatherings of more than 10 people, and closes all K-12 schools for the remainder of the academic year. Governor Northam is also urging all Virginians to avoid non-essential travel outside the home, if and when possible.

This order goes into effect at 11:59 PM on Tuesday, March 24, 2020 and will remain in place until 11:59 PM on Thursday, April 23, 2020.

Public Gatherings
All gatherings of more than 10 people are banned statewide, beginning at 11:59 PM on Tuesday, March 24, 2020. This does not include gatherings that involve the provision of health care or medical services, access to essential services for low-income residents, such as food banks; operations of the media; law enforcement agencies; or operations of government.

K-12 Schools
All schools will remain closed through the end of this academic year. The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) will issue guidance to help divisions execute plans to continue instruction, while ensuring students are served equitably, regardless of income level, access to technology, English learner status, or special needs. This includes options for additional instruction through summer programming, integrating instruction into coursework next year, and allowing students to make up content. VDOE will submit a waiver to the federal government to lift end-of-year testing requirements and is exploring options to waive state mandated tests.

Recreation and Entertainment Businesses
The following recreation and entertainment businesses are considered non-essential and must close to the public beginning at 11:59 PM on Tuesday, March 24, 2020:
  • Theaters, performing arts centers, concert venues, museums, and other indoor entertainment centers;
  • Fitness centers, gymnasiums, recreation centers, indoor sports facilities, indoor exercise facilities;
  • Beauty salons, barber shops, spas, massage parlors, tanning salons, tattoo shops, and any other location where personal care or personal grooming services are performed that would not allow compliance with social distancing guidelines to remain six feet apart;
  • Racetracks and historic horse racing facilities;
  • Bowling alleys, skating rinks, arcades, amusement parks, trampoline parks, fairs, arts and craft facilities, aquariums, zoos, escape rooms, indoor shooting ranges, public and private social clubs, and all other places of indoor public amusement.
Dining and On-Site Alcohol Establishments

All dining and congregation areas in the following establishments must close to the public beginning at 11:59 PM on Tuesday, March 24, 2020. These establishments may continue to offer delivery and/or takeout services. Establishments include:

  • Restaurants; 
  • Dining establishments; 
  • Food courts; 
  • Farmers markets; 
  • Breweries; 
  • Microbreweries; 
  • Distilleries; 
  • Wineries; and
  • Tasting rooms.

Retail Businesses

The following retail businesses are considered essential and may remain open during normal business hours:

  • Grocery stores, pharmacies, and other retailers that sell food and beverage products or pharmacy products, including dollar stores, and department stores with grocery or pharmacy operations;
  • Medical, laboratory, and vision supply retailers;
  • Electronic retailers that sell or service cell phones, computers, tablets, and other communications technology;
  • Automotive parts, accessories, and tire retailers as well as automotive repair facilities;
  • Home improvement, hardware, building material, and building supply retailers;
  • Lawn and garden equipment retailers;
  • Beer, wine, and liquor stores;
  • Retail functions of gas stations and convenience stores;
  • Retail located within healthcare facilities;
  • Banks and other financial institutions with retail functions;
  • Pet stores and feed stores;
  • Printing and office supply stores; and
  • Laundromats and dry cleaners.

All essential retail establishments must, to the extent possible, adhere to social distancing recommendations, enhanced sanitizing practices on common surfaces, and other appropriate workplace guidance from state and federal authorities. 

Any brick-and-mortar retail business not listed above must limit all in-person shopping to no more than 10 patrons per establishment, adhere to social distancing recommendations, sanitize common surfaces, and apply relevant workplace guidance from state and federal authorities. If any such business cannot adhere to the 10-patron limit with proper social distancing requirements, it must close.

Additional Guidance
Professional businesses not listed above must utilize telework as much as possible. Where telework is not feasible, such businesses must adhere to social distancing recommendations, enhanced sanitizing procedures, and apply relevant workplace guidance from state and federal authorities, including CDC, OSHA, and the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry.

Businesses in violation of this order may be charged with a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Nothing in Executive Order Fifty-Three limits the provision of health care or medical services, access to essential services for low-income residents, such as food banks; the operations of the media; law enforcement agencies; or operations of government.

The full text of Executive Order Fifty-Three can be found here. Additional guidance and a Frequently Asked Questions guide can be found here.

Watch the video of today’s announcement here.