Augusta County, Staunton declare states of emergency due to COVID-19

Published: Mar. 16, 2020 at 2:38 PM EDT
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Augusta County and Staunton have joined the City of Harrisonburg and dozens of local governments across Virginia in declaring a local state of emergency in response to the COVID-19 novel coronavirus.

The declaration allows county or city officials to make decisions quickly about emergency actions that might be needed to help protect county residents and to allocate local resources where needed.

It also allows the county or city to access operational resources and funding from state and federal agencies. The President

on March 13, 2020, and Governor Northam

on March 12.

Augusta County leaders say they've been coordinating closely with Waynesboro and Staunton leaders to share information and resources.

The moves by Augusta County and Staunton follow

over the weekend.

While there has been one positive test for COVID-19

and one positive test across the mountain

, at this point, there have been no confirmed cases in Augusta County, Staunton, or Waynesboro.

However, local governments are making these moves to prevent further spread of the virus and "flatten the curve" of transmission.

Below are aspects of the county and the city affected by the declarations:

The Augusta County Government Center

Augusta County has cancelled public use of the government center for meeting spaces until further notice and limited access to the building to only essential business that can't be accomplished online, over the phone, or through the mail.

People can call 540-245-5600 with any questions.

Staunton City Offices

City offices currently remain open for business, but the city strongly encourages people to use

for online services or to transact city business by phone or email.

Augusta County Parks and Rec

The Parks and Rec department has cancelled all county-sponsored programs, events, and activities, effective immediately. All reservations and scheduled uses of park facilities are cancelled through at least April 5.

Staunton Parks and Rec

The city has suspended all programs, activities and events conducted in facilities managed by Staunton Parks and Recreation through at least April 15. City parks, including Gypsy Hill Golf Course but excluding indoor facilities, remain open for use by individuals.

Augusta County Library

All Augusta County libraries have suspended programs and meetings and will be fully closing to the public as of Tuesday, March 17.

The library's Churchville and Fishersville locations will offer curbside service to patrons who call either location and request materials.

Staunton Public Library

The library will be closed through at least April 15.

Library staff plan to provide a summary of digital resources and will remain available to assist patrons b y phone and email.

Augusta County Circuit Court Clerk’s Office

Access to the Clerk’s Office will be limited and additional security screening done at the Courthouse door. Online services are available for the public at

. The Clerk records deeds, serves as probate judge, issues marriage licenses, and is the court administrator for all civil and criminal cases.

Augusta County Service Authority

For customers that wish to limit their exposure at this time, the

provides several remote payment options. Payments can be made by mail, telephone, automatic bank draft or online. Customers can contact Customer Service at (540) 245-5681 to pay with their Discover, MasterCard or Visa. Customers can set up automatic bank draft by contacting Customer Service at (540) 245-5681. This service is provided at no cost.

Customers can also pay online at