COVID-19 has not gone away as it continues to stay active throughout the country, especially in states like California, Arizona, Texas and Florida. Stafford’s rate of infection has remained relatively low over the last couple of months, allowing the County to reopen gradually following the Governor’s guidelines for the state. Does this mean the County is free of worry and can go back to a pre-Coronavirus normal? Or does it mean we continue to practice social distancing, healthy hygiene practices and continue to wear face coverings? With the Coronavirus still active in the community, the answer must be a mix of both approaches.
“I feel our approach to battling the virus is the right approach as Stafford County has had lower rates of infection than most parts of the state and the nation,” said Chairman of the Stafford County Board of Supervisors Meg Bohmke. “Having said that, we have to find a way to make all the things we normally do – daily living, working, educating – while continuing to practice our efforts with face coverings and healthy hygiene – until this threat is removed from our community.”
Where are we currently? Stafford has had 1,038 cases, 102 hospitalizations and six deaths. Our seven-day positivity rate is 4%. We are in Phase III of the Governor’s Forward Virginia reopening plan. Stores, restaurants and retail establishments do not have capacity limitations but still must maintain six feet of social distancing. Indoor entertainment venues reopened at 50 percent capacity. Gyms have a 75% percent capacity cap. Public gathering limits have increased from 50 persons to 250 persons. Face coverings are still mandated indoors when in public buildings.
Stafford County Government is open. Stafford County continues to encourage accessing County services by visiting www.staffordcountyva.gov. If you must visit County buildings, particularly the George L. Gordon, Jr., Government Center, you will be asked for permission to take your temperature. You may have to wait in line to enter as staff is limiting the number of visitors to offices to adhere to social distancing protocols. Face coverings are mandated per the Governor.
Residents are still advised that it is “safer at home.” Wear face coverings and wash your hands for 20 seconds to get rid of germs. Keep hand sanitizer on hand for when you cannot access a sink. If you think you have been exposed, please be tested and quarantine yourself accordingly.