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City Hall will be closed to the public until at least April 12th.  Our COVID-19 resource page has City operational updates. Follow our health experts for Coronavirus updates from the Thomas Jefferson Health District's and Virginia Department of Health website.

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For media inquiries or questions regarding press releases, please contact:

Charlottesville Office of Communications
Brian Wheeler, Director of Communications
434-970-3129
wheelerb@charlottesville.org

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Charlottesville continues preparations for Coronavirus

Post Date:03/11/2020 3:12 PM
City Seal
Media Contact
Brian Wheeler
Director of Communications
434-970-3129
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 11, 2020

Charlottesville continues preparations for Coronavirus

Residents are encouraged to follow updates and recommendations from the Virginia Department of Health and to follow best practices for not spreading the flu

20200311-Coronavirus-planningCHARLOTTESVILLE, VA - The City of Charlottesville is continuing its preparations for potential Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in our community. A large planning group representing all City departments (photo at right) met this morning to continue developing action plans focused on the safety of our employees, the continuity of the City's operations, and the provision of essential services to our residents.

Virginia now has nine presumptive positive cases of COVID-19, one of which is located in central Virginia. The City is holding regular meetings with our partners at the Virginia Department of Health's Thomas Jefferson Health District, Albemarle County, the University of Virginia, and area healthcare facilities to ensure our community is fully prepared.

Classes at the University of Virginia

Earlier today, the University of Virginia announced it will stop holding classes on Grounds and start online instruction, possibly through the end of the semester. The University will reassess this decision after April 5. In the meantime, all UVA students are being urged to return home and UVA events with more than 100 people are being prohibited.

The City is committed to working together and supporting our neighbors during this event and to keeping the focus on public health and safety. The University is taking this step to protect the health of its students and faculty and to do its part not to spread the virus in Virginia. This change will present challenges to many employers and employees in our community, including the City of Charlottesville.

Public Meetings & Special Events

The City hosts numerous public meetings inside and outside City Hall and facilitates special events held in the community. The City's Facilities Maintenance team has installed additional hand sanitizer stations in our buildings and is expanding its cleaning protocols. We urge our visitors to follow best practices for not spreading the flu and other respiratory illnesses (see below).

The City Manager will be reviewing upcoming special event applications involving large crowds which may include additional precautionary measures recommended by the Health Department.

The City Manager is also evaluating alternative venues and participation options for both officials and members of the public wishing to attend public meetings. Remote viewing options exist for some meetings such as the regular meetings of Charlottesville City Council which are televised and streamed on the City's website and on Facebook.

Local Resources

The Virginia Department of Health's Thomas Jefferson Health District has opened a hotline at (434) 972-6261 which is staffed Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. to answer questions regarding the Coronavirus. The public can leave messages that will be returned as soon as possible. If someone is experiencing a medical emergency, they should call 911.

The City’s website homepage features a link to the Virginia Department of Health’s primary information resources on the Coronavirus.

Share this shortcut to reach the VDH Coronavirus website: www.charlottesville.org/coronavirus

Besides checking the VDH website on a daily basis for timely and accurate information, the steps below will help you be personally prepared at home and at work.

What can you do?

Follow these rules for not spreading the flu and other respiratory illnesses (like COVID-19):

  • stay home when sick,
  • cover coughs and sneezes,
  • avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth,
  • wash your hands often (see below), and
  • routinely clean frequently touched surfaces.

Again, you and your children should stay home if you are sick. When it comes to hand cleaning, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or clean them often with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60-95 percent alcohol.

Visit the CDC’s coughing and sneezing etiquette and clean hands web pages for more information.

As the Thomas Jefferson Health District makes additional information available, the City of Charlottesville will share any additional precautionary measures with the community through media releases, our website, and via social media.

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Persons with disabilities may request reasonable accommodations by contacting ada@charlottesville.org or (434) 970-3182.
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