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Charlottesville provides update on COVID-19, Phase One of slow reopen

charlottesvilleThe City of Charlottesville has entered the first phase of Gov. Ralph Northam’s Forward Virginia plan to ease public health restrictions to help contain the spread of COVID-19.

The city will continue to permit the dedicated curbside pickup on-street parking spaces that are signed and scattered throughout the city.

These spaces allow 15-minute convenient access for retail and restaurant pickups.

The city will assist with signage to encourage social distancing for customers choosing to dine outdoors. In addition, the city will continue a relaxed approach to the enforcement of temporary business signs unless there is a concern for public health or safety.

The Office of Economic Development encourages local business owners to visit their website for more information and links to helpful resources.

While the Safer-at-Home order provides for city businesses and organizations to ease restrictions gradually, the Charlottesville Police Department encourages business owners and patrons to comply with the guidelines to ensure the health and safety of our community.

“The Charlottesville Police Department will continue to focus on educating the public and businesses about potential violations of the Governor’s latest executive order,” said Charlottesville Police Chief RaShall Brackney. “We strongly encourage the public to use facial coverings while adhering to physical distancing guidelines. By doing so, our communities will be able to socially and safely reconnect, as we balance public safety with public health.”

Questions about specific business practices may be directed to the Thomas Jefferson Health District’s hotline at (434) 972-6261. Should the public have any other concerns regarding potential violations, they may call the Regional Emergency Communications Center’s non-emergency line at (434) 977-9041.

City operations update

The city will continue to follow the social distancing recommendations of the Virginia Department of Health to protect staff and clients.

City Hall will remain closed with only essential employees at the office. Key staff remain available via telephone and email to ensure business continues to the greatest degree possible.

The city’s staffing plan and decision to reopen will be reevaluated on or before Sunday, May 24, 2020. Notice will be made to the public if this schedule should change.

The public is encouraged to use online and telephonic options for conducting business at City Hall. This includes using the payment drop boxes on both sides of City Hall and the drive through drop box located between the City Hall Annex and the Key Recreation Center.

The Charlottesville Fire Department developed a three-phased flowchart to assist in understanding the transition and planning.

City’s Parks & Recreation has updated its list of closures and cancellations. The decision to close the outdoor pools and spray grounds for the summer was not based on the state’s executive order and was made through the collaboration between Parks & Recreation, City Management and City Council by evaluating factors such as public safety and health, operational expenses and staffing.

augusta free press
augusta free press