Virginia Governor Ralph Northam recently updated reopening plans for the Commonwealth moving away from stay-at-home to “safer-at-home,” initiating Phase I of his three-pronged plan for opening the state on Friday, May 15. Accordingly, Stafford County is revising its building closures to the public, reopening most County offices and facilities on May 15, 2020, for in-person services with specific and safety-focused protocols in place adhering to the 10-person guidance for gatherings. Be advised that Stafford County will align with any changes made by the Governor if a decision is made to extend past the planned May 15 opening.
“As we reopen to the public, it will be in a way that puts the safety of the public and staff as the number one priority. We appreciate everyone’s patience as we all adapt to this modified operation,” said County Administrator Tom Foley. “This decision is based on Stafford’s COVID-19 data trends and is guiding the way we plan to open to the public.”
Stafford is currently showing a positive case rate per 100,000 of 257, as of May 12. According to www.novaregiondashboard.com, Prince William is showing a rate of 690 cases, Alexandria is showing 778 cases and the Northern Virginia region, as a whole, is at 557 cases. However, Fredericksburg is showing 225 cases and Spotsylvania is at 192 cases, demonstrating that Stafford aligns more with the Rappahannock Health District (Stafford’s health district) and the state overall, more than Northern Virginia. This factor is important to note as the Governor has requested that only regions may request different accommodations, which is something the Fredericksburg region is not seeking at this time. As an example, Stafford is cautiously opening the Government Center building by taking phased steps to bring back staff and visitors into the building safely. Specifically, this means that less than 50% of staff will return to work in shifts while allowing no more than 10-person gatherings that will not exceed more than 25 public visitors total into the Government Center at any given period.
The public is encouraged to continue to use the many online and phone services to conduct business remotely. If those services do not meet your needs, you may visit County offices and facilities to conduct business, starting at 8:00 a.m., on Friday, May 15, 2020. Temperature checks will be taken at the entrance to each building. Face coverings are recommended for visitors but will not be provided by the County. A limited number of patrons will be allowed in each specified area at a time to meet social distancing guidelines. Stafford encourages citizens to take advantage of online services as much as possible during this time of transition.
Staff members will wear face coverings in common areas and when they are conducting business with someone from the public, unless separated by a divider. Staff will be continuously cleaning and disinfecting their offices before and after external or internal visitors. Enhanced sanitizing precautions will be taken in the after-hours cleaning of the buildings.
During Phase I, most Stafford County outdoor parks will remain open with regular operating hours for trail use only. For a listing of those parks and the amenities closed within the facility, please visit www.staffordparks.com. Unfortunately, due to budget constraints caused by COVID-19 and limitations on public gatherings, a difficult decision has been made to cancel park activities and programs for the summer, including camps and pools. Staff and the Board of Supervisors will continue to evaluate the safety, staffing, and budgeting aspects throughout the summer, given that the State may move to the next phase creating the potential for a limited increase of park operations.
As the Governor encourages residents that they are ‘safer at home,’ all business transactions are still available online or by phone, as listed below.
Residents may access services online in several ways on Stafford’s website (www.staffordcountyva.gov/onlineservices):
Stafford Utilities is temporarily suspending all water and sewer cutoffs for any non-payment or late payment reasons until further notice. Customers, who are currently without water and (or) sewer service for any prior reason, may call (540) 658-8616 to be reconnected. All nonessential utility flushing or tie-ins that would affect water service have been delayed until further notice. Stafford Utilities will work with all customers on any billing questions.
Stafford County continues to stand by, ready to answer phone calls at (540) 658-8600. If you need specific support, please contact the department directly.
Commissioner of the Revenue: 540-658-4132
Circuit Court: 540-658-8750
General District Court: 540-658-8935
Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court: 540-658-8778
Economic Development: 540-658-8681
Fire and Rescue: 540-658-7200
Human Resources: 540-658-8628
Human Services: 540-658-4622
Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities: 540-658-4814
Planning and Zoning: 540-658-8668
Public Works: 540-658-8616
Rappahannock Regional Landfill (R-Board): 540-658-5279
Sheriff’s Office: 540-658-4400
Social Services: 540-658-8720
Voter Registrar 540-658-4000
Courthouse access is limited and from May 18 to June 7, Circuit and General District Court will be having in person non-emergency matters, if it is deemed safe to do so. The Juvenile Domestic Relations Court has its own schedule. More information may be found at https://staffordcountyva.gov/courts.
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 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.