The Highlands COVID-19 Task Force, Update on Efforts

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

The Highlands COVID-19 Task Force, met yesterday to discuss the ongoing efforts underway within each local government to limit and contain the spread of COVID-19. Efforts are underway as to limit direct contact with the public and promote remote work, as all localities are limiting office time and promoting remote work to the greatest extent possible. All area localities are adopting creative measures to ensure business as usual while each continues to plan, prepare and monitor the COVID-19 situation locally.

While there continue to be low numbers of positive cases reported in the Highlands, it is important for all to understand that a case anywhere in the Highlands impacts us, as we are all interconnected and truly in this together. Given what we are learning through the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and US Surgeon General, Dr. Jerome Adams, staying at home as much as possible is critical in our effort to slow the spread. For those that must go out for essential outings relating to reporting to work as an essential worker, medical care, medication, gas and/or groceries, it is now recommended that non-surgical cloth masks be worn, especially in settings where social distancing poses a challenge.

Remember your personal actions can have a positive impact. The best way to protect those who are essential workers, your family, the Highlands community and yourself is by complying with the Stay-at-Home Order and following social distancing guidelines along with wearing a mask when out, practicing good personal and communal surface hygiene. We are ALL in this together!

• REMINDER…VDH reports know positive cases daily at

  • It is important to note that there is a “lag” time in reporting due to turnaround time in current testing methods. More information on this can be found on VDH’s website.

• The US Surgeon General, Dr. Jerome Adams, has made a YouTube Video on how you can make your own masks to be worn during essential outings. You can watch it at, This Do it Yourself (DIY) method is very easy and uses on hand material nearly any of us have at home.

• Another great video made by the CDC’s Dr. John Brooks, who is their Chief Medical Officer for the COVID-19 response is, he answers a key question about the novel coronavirus outbreak – how long the virus lives.

For more information on COVID-19, the following online resources are recommended, CDC website:, or the VDH website: For those without internet, VDH has a regional hotline 1-855-949-8378, as well as a state hotline, 1-877-ASK-VDH3.