DANVILLE, Va. (WFXR) — Danville joins other localities on Tuesday afternoon in declaring a local state of emergency.
These localities are Botetourt, Roanoke, Henry Counties, Salem, Vinton, and Roanoke.
An emergency declaration allows a locality to access additional resources in the prevention and response to a COVID-19 outbreak.
“It is important for the public to know that this situation is serious and that their local government is taking steps to protect the public and ensure the continuation of essential services,” said City Manager Ken Larking.
The declaration is in place until April 7.
The city is taking the following actions as part of the emergency declaration:
- Danville will temporarily suspend the disconnection of utility services for late payment during the state of emergency;
- The Charles H. Harris Financial Service Center remains open, but citizens are encouraged to pay online, by mail or use the drive-thru window or payment drop box;
- Suspending business travel for city employees unless approved by the city manager’s office;
- Exploring work-at-home options for certain employees and modifying leave rules in order to slow the spread of the disease and ensure the availability of city workers to deliver essential services;
- Implementing social-distancing for workplace protocols, which limit the number of face-to-face meetings;
- First responders and front line employees are taking steps to protect themselves from exposure, including the use of personal protective equipment;
- Enhancing cleaning and disinfecting protocols in public buildings;
- The Rubie B. Archie Library and indoor Parks and Recreation facilities remain closed to the public; and
- Outdoor facilities including parks and the RiverWalk Trail will remain open.
The city encourages residents to practice the safety measures issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, such as:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, and help young children do the same. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Wash your hands, especially after coughing and sneezing, before and after caring for an ill person, and before preparing foods and before eating.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze and then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact (such as kissing, sharing cups, or sharing eating utensils) with people who are sick. Close contact is considered being within six (6) feet of someone who is ill for 15 minutes or more.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects, such as toys and doorknobs, especially if someone is sick.
- Stay home when you are sick, except when you need to get medical care. If you seek medical attention, call your doctor’s office or medical facility before you go.
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