The Highlands COVID-19 Task Force, met Tuesday afternoon through its usual conference call efforts. The Task Force now formally includes the Alleghany Highlands Chamber of Commerce and Tourism as well as the Alleghany Highlands YMCA.
The major topic covered this week was how each member organization was still working to serve the area through enhanced preventative measures to protect employees and the public. All local governments have their core operations relating to service delivery functioning at full capacity and billing operations are working – even if modified in their processes. Additionally, support service organizations such as the Alleghany Highlands Community Services Board is still providing clinical treatment and case management, as is the Department of Social Services with its Community Policy Management Team still meeting and case work occurring for those in our communities who are in need. The YMCA continues discussions and to review feasibility of emergency child care given that one in three women in the country comprise the ranks of essential workers and the need was documented here in the Highlands. The Chamber is working to coordinate efforts with the Salvation Army, the M3 Minute Men and Local Office on Aging as it received a grant from the Alleghany Foundation to assist with food security and emergency supplies for the community.
Due to the measures that citizens and businesses continue to follow, the case count in the Highlands remains relatively low compared to surrounding areas and other regions within the state. Regrettably there has been a total of six positive cases from our area and there sadly has been one death based on reporting.
We stress to every one of all ages, that per CDC and VDH guidance, all should do their part to stay home as much as possible. It is equally important to follow good personal and communal space hygiene, practice social distancing and wear cloth masks when out in public spaces where social distancing cannot be consistently followed.
While times are challenging and everyone is impacted differently during this unprecedented time, we are #HighlandsStrong and we are all in this together for the long haul. Now more than ever empathy and lending a helping hand no matter how small the gesture, goes a long way.
For more information on COVID-19, the following online resources are recommended, CDC website: https://www.cdc.gov/, or the VDH website: http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/. For those without internet, VDH has a regional hotline 1-855-949-8378, as well as a state hotline, 1-877-ASK-VDH3.