City Council Statement on COVID-19

Staunton City Council Announces Further Response Measures

MARCH 19, 2020: Staunton City Council is expressing continued resolve and appreciation as city staff, residents, businesses, and visitors respond to the unprecedented and rapidly evolving situation caused by the continued spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and is announcing several immediate actions to provide relief and support to the community.

Council is actively engaged in deploying all resources at the city’s disposal to protect, to the greatest extent possible, the health and welfare of its residents, businesses, visitors, and employees based on widely accepted guidance provided by trusted public health officials.  At Council’s meeting on Wednesday, March 18, Council voted to adopt a resolution confirming the city’s official declaration of a local emergency, which will provide access to federal and state level response tools.  New local measures were also approved, including discontinuation of parking fees for the Johnson Street and New Street parking garages and the Wharf parking lot.  Additionally, Council has discontinued water disconnections on delinquent accounts so that people have access to clean water during the virus outbreak.  These measures will be reevaluated on April 15.  Additional initiatives are under active review and will be considered at Council’s next meeting.

“While this is obviously a very concerning and significantly disruptive situation, I want to reassure our community that the city’s COVID-19 response team is working in close collaboration with local, regional and state partners to ensure a coordinated and seamless response,” said Mayor Carolyn Dull.  “We are evaluating and adapting our operational approaches and procedures, in some cases on an hourly basis, to ensure the best possible access to city programs and services especially for the most vulnerable in our community.”

The city anticipates a continuing need to communicate urgent and up to date information to the public and encourages community members to follow the city Facebook page and refer frequently to the Staunton website to stay abreast of the latest developments.

“We are very aware of the anxiety and economic hardship being caused by this global pandemic and are extremely grateful for the calm and compassionate actions we see occurring in our community even as individuals struggle with their own concerns.  We are particularly grateful to city employees who are living the best values of public service in their day to day work,” said Mayor Dull.   “We encourage the public to continue to seek out trusted expert public health sources such as the CDC and the Virginia Department of Health for information to help with personal, family and business decision making.”