Stafford, Va. – Stafford County has declared a local state of emergency today in response to COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019). Virginia Governor Ralph Northam also declared a state of emergency for the Commonwealth on March 12, 2020, and President Donald Trump declared a national emergency on March 13, 2020. The declaration will allow the County to be eligible for federal and state reimbursements at a later date related to this emergency. The declaration lifts certain procurement laws to allow the County Administrator to take necessary actions during the declaration, and it provides local small businesses with the ability to apply for loans through the Small Business Administration. In addition, it gives Stafford access to state mutual aid. The County’s Emergency Operations Center has been activated since last week and will remain open for as long as required.
County Administrator Tom Foley stated, “Declaring now puts Stafford in the right position to stay proactive and prepared during this unprecedented circumstance as the wellbeing and safety of our community and staff is our top priority.”
Wendi Lane, Local Health Emergency Coordinator for the Rappahannock Area Health District (RAHD), confirmed one person in Stafford County was a presumptive positive for the virus that causes COVID-19. The Virginia Department of Health will be providing information on that case. RAHD will also be providing a person full-time in the Emergency Operations Center.
The Centers for Disease Control has released guidelines saying there should be no public gatherings of more than 50 persons at one time. Stafford County has canceled all programs, events, classes and meetings held at County facilities until March 31, 2020. The Board of Supervisors is currently scheduled to meet on Tuesday, March 17, 2020, at 12:00 p.m. only, and has canceled the 7:00 p.m. meeting along with public hearings. Staff will be monitoring the limit of 50 visitors and implementing social distancing practices.
The Stafford DMV Select, located in the Treasurer’s Office of the George L. Gordon, Jr., Government Center, 1300 Courthouse Road, Stafford, VA, has suspended all services from March 17 through April 2, 2020.
Stafford County has implemented a telework policy. The goal is to maximize teleworking and social distancing to protect employees as well as visitors without effecting Stafford’s level of service to citizens.
During modified-operations, residents and visitors will be able to access county services; however, we stress the following:
• Take advantage of our online services by visiting www.staffordcountyva.gov;
• Determine if your service or request is essential or that it can be postponed;
• If you are sick, especially if you are showing signs and symptoms of COVID-19, please do not come to any county facility;
• Visit our webpage at www.staffordcountyva.gov/coronavirus for pertinent information related to COVID-19;
• Continue to exercise proper handwashing with soap and other preventive actions such as covering your cough, sneezing into your elbow or tissue, avoid touching your eyes, nose, mouth, and clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces at home.
Stafford County continues to reassess the evolving situation daily and will provide updates to the community to include notifying the public if there are any changes to these procedures before March 31. For more information on COVID-19, please visit Stafford’s Coronavirus Central Information page (www.staffordcountyva.gov/coronavirus) with links to local, state and federal authorities.
Stafford Courts released an order with information regarding court proceedings through April 6, 2020. The link is below. The Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court will have special hours over the next two days:
Tuesday March 17, 2020...….The Stafford JDR Court will be open, however closed to the public and all court hearings will be rescheduled for a later date, with exception of protective orders.
Wednesday March 18, 2020......The Stafford JDR Court will be open, however closed to the public and all court hearings will be rescheduled for a later date, with exception of protective orders.