Staunton City Council calls emergency meeting to discuss COVID-19

Staunton City Council calls for an emergency meeting to discuss COVID-19

STAUNTON, Va. (WVIR) - Staunton leaders held an emergency meeting on Tuesday to talk about the city’s response to COVID-19.

The most recent changes include closing City Hall and the playgrounds at Montgomery Hall Park, Gypsy Hill Park, and Booker T. Washington Community Center.

Staunton City Manager Steve Rosenberg says they’re continuing to monitor other park facilities and will close them if necessary. “What we’ve seen especially on the nice days is that the parks have been overrun and that individuals have not been conscious about practicing social distancing.”

City Council also talked about the possibility of waiving penalties and interest for meals and lodging taxes during this time to help area businesses.


Updates on City Response to COVID-19 Virus Week of March 23, 2020

The following information is provided on behalf of the City of Staunton.

Post Date: 03/23/2020 4:55 PM

MARCH 24, 2020: The following information is provided on behalf of the City of Staunton.

Staunton Fire & Rescue and Staunton-Augusta Rescue Squad continue to modify response guidelines based on updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Virginia Department of Health. Personnel have the proper protective equipment (PPE) for responses and continue to work on distributing PPE as it is received. Personnel are diligent while continuing to safely respond to all incidents on the front lines of this pandemic. Across the country, many public safety agencies have lost large numbers of personnel to quarantine during the event. The agencies have several guidelines in place to minimize this risk.

Voter Registration – Voting for the May 5 Election. Registered voters are strongly encouraged to vote by mail in the upcoming local election. To vote by mail, an application to request an absentee ballot must be completed and submitted to the voter registration office. Use reason code 2A “My disability or illness” on the application. A ballot will be mailed to you. Applications for absentee ballots may be requested/submitted:

Applications and ballots can be mailed to Voter Registration, P.O. Box 1092, Staunton, VA 24402, or deposited in the dark green city drop box on the corner of W. Beverley St. and Central Ave.

As an alternative to mailing an absentee ballot, in-person absentee voting is available in the Johnson Street parking garage from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, by emailing goldsmithmg@ci.staunton.va.us.

Instructions for in-person absentee voting:

  • Park on the 2nd floor of the Johnson Street parking garage near the elevator.
  • A representative of the voter registration office will meet you in the garage, check your ID card, and provide a ballot for you to complete
  • Complete your ballot and place it in a privacy envelope provided by the representative, who will insert the ballot into the voting machine on return to the office

If you have any questions, email City Registrar Molly Goldsmith at goldsmithmg@ci.staunton.va.us.

Available Resources

  • The City Attorney’s website has been updated to include copies of local, state, and federal actions that have been taken related to COVID-19. If you’re interested, you can find that information at https://www.ci.staunton.va.us/departments/city-attorney.
  • Augusta Health’s COVID Care Call Center is available to the community at 540.332.5122, Monday-Friday between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. The call center is staffed by nurses who can answer questions and provide advice in a personal way to members of the community who are seeking guidance.

Tips

Stay up-to-date with the city throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond by signing up for our e-notification list at https://www.ci.staunton.va.us/residents/enotification-sign-up. City Announcements will get you all information regarding COVID-19 as it is released.

MARCH 23, 2020: The following information is provided on behalf of the City of Staunton.

As of 5 p.m. on Monday, March 23, 2020 City Hall will be closed to the public. Citizens will have uninterrupted access to the public for critical services to the greatest extent possible.

In preparation for this closure, the city has developed a COVID-19 landing page with enhanced resources for citizens to complete their day-to-day business with the city. The page will continue to evolve as the events continue and gives residents access to the city as well to local resources.

Updates to City Processes

Staunton Police Department. Citizens will not be able to access the lobby of the police department starting at 5 p.m. on Monday, March 23, 2020, and should contact 911 in the event of an emergency. Citizens should call the department’s non-emergency number, 540.332.3842, for assistance with all non-emergency matters.

  • The department’s Ride-Along Program and collection of DNA buccal swabs have been temporarily suspended.
  • Fingerprinting of citizens will be considered on a case by case basis for emergency employment situations only.Individuals will need to contact the dispatch center using the non-emergency phone number to make a request for fingerprinting services.
  • Employees will be maintaining a distance of approximately six feet, when practical, in the event face to face contact is necessary.Citizens may be asked to meet officers outside of their home, business, etc.
  • When contacting the 911 center for services, callers will be asked screening questions by a dispatcher in order to determine if someone is ill, has a fever, or is experiencing respiratory problems.

The department will continue to respond to all emergency calls for service. Non-emergency calls may be handled by telephone. Your information will be forwarded to an officer who will return your call, provide information/advice, and take a report if needed. Please understand that our response to non-emergency incidents might be delayed.

Staunton Public Library. The Library will be ending its curbside service as of 4 p.m. on Tuesday, March 24. At close of day on Tuesday, book returns will be locked and hold requests suspended. You may keep any materials you have borrowed until the Library reopens. No overdue fines will be charged during this time. Staff members are still available to help you access and navigate the many digital library resources. You can call them at 540.332.3902 Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. or email library@ci.staunton.va.us. As always, there are many online resources available at www.stauntonlibrary.org.

Playgrounds. Effectively immediately and through April 15, playgrounds at Montgomery Hall Park, Gypsy Hill Park and Booker T. Washington Community Center are closed due to the public health emergency. The parks and recreation department will implement closures.

Animal Shelter. Providing care to the animals in our area is essential and will be maintained. However, there will be some changes in process and customers are encouraged to conduct business by email or telephone.

  • Adoptions and fosters by appointment only. Appointments can be made by emailing staff.svasc@gmail.com or by calling the shelter at 540.943.5142.
  • Owners who are surrendering pets are encouraged to call the Shelter at 540.943.5142 and schedule an appointment.
  • When it is necessary to conduct business in person, Shelter staff asks that you call them from the Shelter parking lot and let them know you need service.

Available Resources

For Small Businesses

  • Utilizing the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), the state is providing low-interest, long-term disaster loans to businesses of all sizes, private non-profit organizations, homeowners, and renters to repair or replace uninsured/underinsured disaster damaged property. SBA disaster loans offer an affordable way for individuals and businesses to recover from declared disasters. Application is online at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/Information/Index.
  • The Staunton Creative Community Fund is offering loans up to $5,000, at a rate of 2% to 3%.Term length varies between 12 to 36 months.Interest only payments are available. For more information, email hello@stauntonfund.org.

Stay up-to-date with the city throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond by signing up for our e-notification list at https://www.ci.staunton.va.us/residents/enotification-sign-up. City Announcements will get you all information regarding COVID-19 as it is released.

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