Update: Staunton government response to COVID-19

stauntonIn an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, the City of Staunton continues to enhance its response with the following actions:

City Council Announcement. Read the City Council’s announcement on further response measures online at www.ci.staunton.va.us/Home/Components/News/News/1637/71 if you missed it this morning.

Meeting Recording. If you were unable to tune in to yesterday’s emergency City Council meeting or unable to hear the entire meeting, email communications@ci.staunton.va.us to request a downloadable mp3 file.

Parks and Recreation. The little league fields in Gypsy Hill Park are now locked. Please remember that events or activities with 10 or more participants, including team baseball practice, are prohibited.

Free Tax Forms. Since the Staunton Public Library is closed to customers, the tax forms usually available can be found in City Hall. They’re on the first floor right inside the main door, by the Treasurer’s Office.

Voting. If you are planning to vote in the May 5, 2020 local election, you can vote by mail due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Visit our website, www.ci.staunton.va.us/departments/registrar, to find out how you can request an application for a ballot. If possible, please conduct business with the voter registration office by phone or email, or online.

Conducting Business with City Departments. City offices are presently open for business.  But with many city employees telecommuting, if you do need to visit city hall, you may see signs on doors advising you of a telephone number and an email address where you can reach a representative of the department. Below is list of some of our departments and how you can reach them for your needs:

  • Community Development asks for your patience as they continue to serve citizens without increasing risk to customers and staff. Visit their website, www.ci.staunton.va.us/departments/community-development, for temporary permitting and inspections procedures/policies during the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • Office On Youth programs are currently canceled or postponed, but staff will continue to take referrals for future programs and classes. All court and school ordered youth services are continuing, but contacts may be modified. If you have questions, please visit www.officeonyouth.com, or call 540.332.3806 or 540.942.6757.
  • Blue Ridge Court Services. In an effort to reduce the possibility of transmission this highly contagious virus, effective March 19, 2020, and until April 3, 2020, Blue Ridge Court Services (BRCS) will no longer perform face to face interviews for pretrial investigations at the Middle River Regional Jail (MRRJ).In the interim, the office will provide bond memos and criminal history information and is working with MRRJ to set up video conferencing. BRCS will continue to be open and provide ongoing services to the courts and clients.  Based on guidance from the Virginia Department of Health, the office will be limiting face to face contacts with clients until further notice.  Staff are making liberal use of telephone contacts and collateral contacts with clients.
  • Staunton Circuit Court, in order to help eliminate the need for people to come in person to the office, is encouraging everyone to visit the court’s website at www.ci.staunton.va.us/departments/clerk-of-circuit-court for more information on the services provided. If you have any questions, call the office at 540.332.3874.

We strongly encourage those who need to do business with the city, to use www.ci.staunton.va.us for online services or to transact city business by telephone or email.  A city directory is accessible at www.ci.staunton.va.us/government/contact-us.

Community Resources. There are a number of resources available in the area to businesses and individuals. We will try to share them here and on our social media as we find out about them. Some are listed below:

  • In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, BRITE Bus is offering free rides on all fixed and paratransit routes beginning Monday, March 23 and extending through April 31, 2020. Up-to-date information regarding any service or operational changes due to COVID-19 will be posted on www.britebus.org, and the BRITE bus Facebook and Twitter pages. During this time of uncertainty, BRITE bus is committed to assisting community personnel get to and from work and residents who must travel within the community do so.
  • The Staunton Downtown Development Association has assembled a list of downtown business operations and details. The list, available at www.stauntondowntown.org/business-openings-info/, will continue to be updated as new information develops.

Social Security. Effective March 17, 2020 all local Social Security offices will be closed to the public for in-person service. This decision protects the population they serve—older Americans and people with underlying medical conditions—and their employees during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, their secure and convenient online services remain available at www.socialsecurity.gov and local offices will also continue to provide critical services over the phone. You can reach them at 1.800.772.1213.

Augusta Health. As of this morning, Waynesboro Urgent Care is now the COVID-19 Assessment Center.  The center will be limiting all ambulatory services to respiratory related illnesses and will be dedicated to seeing, assessing, treating, and educating patients who present with signs and symptoms potentially associated with COVID-19.

If you think you or a resident may have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever and symptoms, such as cough or shortness of breath, call your healthcare provider for medical advice or reach out to the Waynesboro Urgent Care COVID-19 Assessment Center. DO NOT just show up in ER unless there is difficulty breathing!  Augusta Medical Group providers and practices, along with the centralized call center will begin diverting appropriate patients to the Waynesboro Urgent Care/COVID-19 Assessment Center. The phone number for Augusta Health’s Centralized Call Center is 1.833.242.4584.

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