Spotsylvania County declares a local state of emergency in response to growing concerns over the spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). County Administrator Edward Petrovitch made the announcement Tuesday evening, March 17, 2020, during a special meeting of the Board of Supervisors. The board also voted to suspend its bylaws to allow modification of conduct at future Board of Supervisors meetings, including new rules and logistics for public hearings during the local emergency. In addition, the board voted to cancel its March 24, 2020 meeting.
Governor Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency in the Commonwealth of Virginia March 12, and President Donald Trump declared a national state of emergency March 13, in response to the continued spread of novel coronavirus, or COVID-19. The county’s Emergency Operations Center was officially activated at 8am this morning.
Governor Northam told Virginians during a briefing today to avoid non-essential gatherings of more than 10 people, per federal guidelines. This does not include normal operations at essential services such as manufacturers, distribution centers, airports, bus and train stations, medical facilities, grocery stores, or pharmacies. He also urged those with chronic health conditions or aged 65 or older, to self-quarantine since they are at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19.
- Spotsylvania County Government is postponing or canceling community programs and classes held at county facilities through March 31.
- The Visitor’s Center, located at 4704 Southpoint Parkway, is also closed to the public through March 31.
- DMV Connect scheduled for Wednesday, March 18 in the Holbert Building at 9104 Courthouse Road is canceled.
- Spotsylvania Circuit Court and the Clerk’s Office is closed at least through Friday, April 3, having enacted its emergency response plan.
- The 5th Annual Spotsylvania Courthouse Village Food Truck Rodeo is postponed. A rescheduled date will be announced at a later time.
- The FY 2021 budget public hearing planned for March 31 at Courtland High School is expected to be held as advertised. However, staff intends to limit occupancy of the auditorium and institute social distancing practices. All speakers will be given the opportunity to speak to the Board of Supervisors and additional procedures will be in place to ensure the public’s safety during this hearing mandated by state code.
Spotsylvania County remains in frequent contact with the Virginia Department of Health through the Rappahannock Area Health District & Virginia Department of Emergency Management to receive updates on the latest developments of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), and is committed to keeping residents and employees updated and informed as this situation continues to evolve.
Immediately, the county will implement modified operations while maintaining existing levels of services throughout this evaluation period, such as social distancing protocols, an employee telework policy, enhanced notices of proper health practices and the postponement of all non-essential meetings. Spotsylvania canceled water disconnections to customers beginning March 9 and plans to continue that policy for the next two billing cycles. In addition, the county is working to reconnect customers with suspended water services. These decisions are to ensure the safety and well-being of our citizens and staff, which is our highest priority.
During modified operations, residents and visitors will be able to access county services; however, we strongly recommend the following:
- Take advantage of our online services by visiting www.spotsylvania.va.us
- Determine if your service or request is essential or whether it can be postponed.
- If you are sick, especially if you are showing signs and symptoms of COVID-19, please do not enter any county facility.
- Continue to exercise proper handwashing with soap and other preventative actions, such as coughing or sneezing into a tissue or inside elbow, avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth, as well as practicing social distancing. Clean and disinfect frequently-touched objects and surfaces at home.
- For accurate information and the latest developments on COVID-19, visit www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus and www.cdc.gov
Spotsylvania County continues to reassess this rapidly, developing 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.
Stay informed by checking the county’s website at www.spotsylvania.va.us, following us on social media @SpotsyGov and signing up for Spotsy Alerts from the county homepage.
Under state law, the declaration of a local state of emergency allows Spotsylvania access to state mutual aid, potential ability to receive state and federal reimbursements, relaxes certain procurement laws, allowing the County Administrator to take necessary actions during the declaration, and gives small businesses the opportunity to apply for loans through the Small Business Administration.