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Posted on: March 5, 2020

Information about the Coronavirus - Prevention and Preparation

covid-19

Summary

The novel coronavirus is a rapidly-evolving international virus outbreak that causes a respiratory disease known as COVID-19. This Information Sheet is to provide resources and information for use by businesses and the public in the Town of Middleburg. The most up-to-date information can be found from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Virginia Department of Health (VDH). Loudoun County supports this effort through the Loudoun County Health Department, Office of Emergency Management, and the Office of the County Administrator.

Loudoun County will be holding a special briefing on the coronavirus outbreak and the County’s response on Wednesday, March 11th at 5pm. More information is at: https://www.loudoun.gov/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=5528

Background

The Town of Middleburg has a high concentration of retail and visitor shopping, to include local, regional, and international travelers. To date, the impact of COVID-19 on Loudoun County has been minimal. At this time, there are no cases of COVID-19 reported in Virginia.

 Loudoun County has been engaged with its regional, state and federal partners regarding planning and preparedness for any potential impacts. Public health officials at each level of government have been focused on “containment” of COVID-19, which aims to keep the infection out of the United States. This is accomplished through targeted screenings, such as those being conducted at Dulles International Airport, and monitoring people who may have come in contact with the virus to prevent transmission. The Loudoun County Health Department and Virginia Department of Health are actively involved in these efforts, which includes the potential quarantine of individuals in Loudoun who may be at risk of exposure to COVID-19, such as those who have traveled to China.

Prevention is Key

The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus. The US Government has issued cautions about travel to China, South Korea, Iran, Italy and Japan. There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19 infection.

 Currently, the CDC recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:

 Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash; or cough or sneeze into the sleeve of your shirt.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently-touched objects and surfaces.
  • Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask:
  • CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
  • Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others, and by health workers.

 These are tried and true methods of preventing all types of infections, including COVID-19.

Information for Employers and Places of Business

The CDC has provided specific information for Employers and Places of Business. To prevent stigma and discrimination in the workplace and for business patrons, use only the guidance described below to determine risk of COVID-19. Do not make determinations of risk based on race or country of origin, and be sure to maintain confidentiality of people with confirmed
COVID-19. There is much more to learn about the transmissibility, severity, and other features of COVID-19 and investigations are ongoing. Updates are available on CDC’s web page at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/covid19.

Take the following measures to keep your place of employment safe from COVID-19:

  • Actively encourage sick employees to stay home
  • Separate sick employees
  • Emphasize staying home when sick, respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene by all employees
  • Perform routine environmental cleaning
  • Advise employees before traveling to take certain steps

Links and Further Information

One of the most important steps that each of us can take right now is to stay informed. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is the best source of information about COVID-19, including details on how the virus spreads, symptoms of infection, prevention and treatment, the global outbreak, FAQs, and much more. You are encouraged to take time to learn about COVID-19 by visiting the CDC’s website.

Keep abreast of the latest information by visiting the following websites:

CDC: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov

VDH: www.vdh.virginia.gov/surveillance-and-investigation/novel-coronavirus/

Loudoun County: www.loudoun.gov/coronavirus  

COVID-19 Business Loans

U.S. Small Business loans and other forms of assistance are now available to businesses affected by  COVID-19.  For more information regarding the available loan programs, visit our Business COVID-19 Program page

Navigating COVID-19 Assistance Programs

Business & Economic Development Director Gaucher is available to assist you in navigating the various assistance programs that are now available.  To schedule an appointment with Jamie (by phone), click here.  The Town has also developed information on navigating the COVID-19 Assistance Programs..

Completely Electronic Public Meetings & Ensuring Public Access

The Town Council adopted an ordinance that allows for completely electronic public meetings if necessary to ensure important/essential matters are addressed to ensuring the continuing work of the Town during this local emergency.  Visit the About Council Meetings page for more information should this become necessary. 

Middleburg COVID-19 Stimulus Package

To help businesses and residents, the Mayor and Council approved a COVID-19 stimulus package.  Below are some of the highlights:

-The Town has suspended late fees & service disconnects for users of the Town’s water/sewer systems for sixty days (through May 26, 2020)

-The Town will issue a credit of up to $200 per water/sewer customer, not to exceed the amount of the bill, for the May utility bill (which covers the March/April service period)

-The Town is deferring the penalty on meals tax payments for restaurants through June 30, 2020. Restaurants must still file their monthly gross receipts reports. Interest penalty will still apply.

-The Town has donated $8,750 to the Visit Loudoun Foundation, which has established a fund to assist workers in the hospitality industry.  Contact the Foundation for details.

-The Town has donated $4,000 to Seven Loaves Food Bank to help provide food for those in need and $4,000 to Middleburg FISH to help Middleburg residents pay their rent or utilities.  Contact those organizations for more information. 



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