Coronavirus, COVID-19: Important Updates and Multilingual Resources.

Coronavirus COVID-19

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The City of Harrisonburg and all departments are closely monitoring the latest information and recommendations concerning the Coronavirus, or COVID-19.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Multilingual Resources

 

City timeline and engagement on COVID-19 (presentation slides) [744KB]PDF

City discussion on COVID-19 efforts - April 28, 2020 City Council meeting video

 

Seven simple steps to stop Covid-19Flyer regarding Covid-19 in English, Spanish, Russian, Swahili, and Arabic [807KB]PDF

 

We are working closely with regional and national health experts in monitoring the situation, and have put all City protocols related to the prevention of the spread of communicable diseases into action. This includes postponing events and closing facilities to the public. All essential City services continue unchanged at this time. We are in daily contact with the Virginia Department of Health, which is providing guidance on this matter. We have also created a Joint Information Center with the Virginia Department of Health to help increase their communications efforts in Harrisonburg and to answer questions residents have about the local impact of COVID-19.

 

Please be aware that, on Friday, May 15, Phase 1 of Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s reopening plan went into effect. This has eased some COVID-19 restrictions, and allows for the reopening of some businesses while still requiring social distancing efforts and controlling the amount of customers allowed at one time.  

 

Phase 1The reopening plan allows for outdoor dining, retail shopping, outdoor activities at some exercise facilities, and personal care and grooming services, among other changes in restrictions, as long as certain social distancing requirements are met.  

Ensuring those requirements are met will be the responsibility of the Virginia Department of Health. If you have a question about how this impacts your business, or if you have a concern about these requirements not being followed by a business, please contact the Virginia Department of Health.  

 

The City of Harrisonburg is still operating under its declaration of a local emergency, made on March 16. This declaration allows the City to more quickly allocate needed resources in response to COVID-19, and to potentially be reimbursed for funds spent in that response.

This declaration does not change any of the City protocols or measures we are currently using regarding COVID-19, and does not require any additional action by our residents.

The Harrisonburg City Hall and all other municipal buildings are restricting public access. All essential City services are being maintained, and City staff continues to be accessible by phone or email during this time. This decision has not impacted police or fire, sanitation, transportation or any other essential City service. All offices continue to operate under their usual schedule and City business continues unchanged. The public is able to meet with staff members by appointment during this time by calling City Hall at 540-432-7701.

All City of Harrisonburg playgrounds are closed as part of our response to limiting the spread of COVID-19 in our community. Open green spaces and walking trails where patrons can practice safe social distancing methods are still open at this time. All Harrisonburg Parks and Recreation indoor facilities are currently closed, and upcoming events have been canceled. The Public Safety Building has limited access and visitors should call ahead before visiting. The Hardesty-Higgins Visitor Center is currently closed.

 

The City has implemented social distancing measures at Harrisonburg City Council meetings and is offering additional ways for residents to take part in meetings from home.

The public will not be able to attend meetings in person, however, a phone line will be live at 540-437-2687 during meetings where residents will be allowed to call in and speak with City Council during the Public Hearings and the Public Comments portion of the night’s meeting. We ask those that wish to speak during the public comment period to not call in until after all the public hearings and public comment on those have been heard. This will avoid anyone calling on any other item from holding up the que and then being asked to call back at a later time. Residents also may provide comment prior to the meeting by visiting this page: www.harrisonburgva.gov/agenda-comments.

Residents will be able to watch the meeting live on:

 

Virginia has established a call line for anyone who has questions about COVID-19. That number is 1-855-949-8378 and it is open Monday through Friday from 8:00am to 6:00pm.

Those wishing to do business with the City can access many services online or by phone. Those who are interested may choose to pay their City of Harrisonburg bills online or by mail. Visit www.harrisonburgva.gov/pay-bills and scroll to the bottom of the page for online payment options. You also can mail payment to our office at City of Harrisonburg, Treasurers Office, P.O. Box 1007, Harrisonburg, VA 22803-1007. You also may call 540-432-7701. A dropbox is available outside City Hall and the Harrisonburg Department of Public Utilities on Beery Road for those wishing to drop payments off.

In an effort to support our residents and businesses that have been impacted by COVID-19, the Harrisonburg City Council has voted to allow the waiver of late fees for late payments of City-provided utilities bills to qualifying customers. Those with questions about their eligibility for this program should call Harrisonburg Public Utilities at 540-434-9959. City utility customers may email, fax or mail their penalty waiver request along with COVID-19 impact documentation to 2155 Beery Rd, Harrisonburg, VA 22801 Attn: Utility Billing.

The Harrisonburg Department of Public Transportation is waiving all fares for transit and paratransit customers at this time. The City’s bus and paratransit service is currently operating as scheduled, and the majority of routes throughout the City are unchanged. Riders are asked to wear a mask when riding. Routes servicing JMU are currently inactive. All riders should enter and exit the buses using the rear doors, unless they need to utilize the ramp or receive ADA assistance. Call 540-432-0492 for more information.

 

Mayor Deanna Reed has a message for Harrisonburg residents about everything the City is doing to support our community at this time: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9a0Wd3mJRgI

 

Latest Updates from Sentara RMH - Testing Information (Please visit their website https://sentaraupdates.com/ for the latest updates.)

Latest Updates from the Virginia Employment Commission on Unemployment Insurance (Please visit their website http://www.vec.virginia.gov/unemployed for more.)

 

What is the Coronavirus COVID-19?

The 2019 Novel Coronavirus, or COVID-19, is a new respiratory virus. Coronaviruses affect the respiratory system, including the lungs and airways.

How does the virus spread?

If a person who has the virus sneezes or coughs and droplets enter the environment, others in close proximity can become infected. It’s not known how easily the virus spreads.

Tips to Follow

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
    • Put distance between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
  • Stay home if you are sick, except to get medical care.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
    • Throw used tissues in the trash.
    • Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

 

PDF[508KB] What every community can do now to decrease the spread of the coronavirus

 

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