Loudoun Declares Local Emergency Amid COVID-19

Loudoun County government leaders have declared a local emergency in response to the continued spread of COVID-19.

Loudoun County Administrator Tim Hemstreet issued a declaration of local emergency Monday, March 16 with the concurrence of County Chairwoman Phyllis J. Randall (D-At Large).

“It is critical that we remove any barriers to the county’s ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Randall stated. “This declaration will give us more flexibility as we respond in the coming days, weeks and months to this public health threat.”

The local declaration of emergency relaxes formal procurement requirements to allow the county government to more easily acquire any goods or services needed to assist in the response to the threat posed by COVID-19.

The declaration also modifies normal employment rules, so that county employees can be reassigned to county operations involved in the response if necessary. The local declaration is also sometimes a requirement for residents and businesses to obtain financial aid and emergency loans offered by the federal or state governments.

The declaration also modifies normal employment rules, so that county employees can be reassigned to county operations involved in the response if necessary. The local declaration is also sometimes a requirement for residents and businesses to obtain financial aid and emergency loans offered by the federal or state governments.

Randall said the declaration gives the county and its employees options.

“Say we have an employee that might be an accountant, and he or she is caught up on their work and they don’t particularly want to do telework right now. They want to help pass out meals to seniors,” Randall said. “They can do that. They’ll be paid. So it allows us to move staff around as we need them and as they want to work.”

She also said although Hemstreet now does not have to wait for the full Board of Supervisors to sign off on some procurement decisions, any procurement under the emergency declaration will still be made public at the board.

The declaration of a local emergency in Loudoun follows the declaration of a statewide emergency from Virginia Governor Ralph Northam and local declarations from other jurisdictions in the region.

The Board of Supervisors is expected to formally ratify the declaration at its next business meeting Tuesday, March 17 at 5 p.m.

So far, COVID-19 appears to be most dangerous to elderly people or those with preexisting conditions. There is not yet a vaccine for the virus.

County health authorities continues to encourage everyone in the community to take steps to limit the spread of COVID-19, which include:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer only if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Avoid contact with sick people.
  • Avoid non-essential travel.

Visitloudoun.gov/coronavirusto sign up for email and text updates on COVID-19, or text LCCOVID19to 888777 to receive text alerts from Loudoun County about COVID-19.

Residents with questions about COVID-19 may call the Loudoun County Health Department’s information line, 703-737-8300, or emailhealth@loudoun.gov.

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