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Staunton City Council confirms emergency declaration

stauntonStaunton City Council is announcing several immediate actions to provide relief and support to the community in the face of the coronavirus outbreak.

Council voted Wednesday to adopt a resolution confirming the city’s official declaration of a local emergency, which will provide access to federal and state level response tools.  New local measures were also approved, including discontinuation of parking fees for the Johnson Street and New Street parking garages and the Wharf parking lot.

Additionally, Council has discontinued water disconnections on delinquent accounts so that people have access to clean water during the virus outbreak. These measures will be reevaluated on April 15.

Additional initiatives are under active review and will be considered at Council’s next meeting.

“While this is obviously a very concerning and significantly disruptive situation, I want to reassure our community that the city’s COVID-19 response team is working in close collaboration with local, regional and state partners to ensure a coordinated and seamless response,” said Mayor Carolyn Dull. “We are evaluating and adapting our operational approaches and procedures, in some cases on an hourly basis, to ensure the best possible access to city programs and services especially for the most vulnerable in our community.”

The city anticipates a continuing need to communicate urgent and up to date information to the public and encourages community members to follow the city Facebook page and refer frequently to the Staunton website to stay abreast of the latest developments.

“We are very aware of the anxiety and economic hardship being caused by this global pandemic and are extremely grateful for the calm and compassionate actions we see occurring in our community even as individuals struggle with their own concerns.  We are particularly grateful to city employees who are living the best values of public service in their day to day work,” said Mayor Dull. “We encourage the public to continue to seek out trusted expert public health sources such as the CDC and the Virginia Department of Health for information to help with personal, family and business decision making.”