The Highlands COVID-19 Task Force, Update on Efforts

Friday, April 3, 2020

The Highlands COVID-19 Task Force, met on Monday to discuss the ongoing public health emergency now affecting the Highlands directly. The focus of this last meeting was to again discuss resources in place locally and those available through the Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) and the Virginia Department of Health (VDH). Task Force attendees also reported out on their respective emergency operation efforts in place and those that are underway, particularly for the Community Services Board (CSB), the school systems and the Department of Social Services (DSS).

• VDH now reports know positive cases daily at 9:00AM, this can be found at o 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.

• VDH plans to have a Town Hall Event (4/6/20) on multiple television stations—Monday, April 6, at 7:00PM, this will be on WSLS and other local stations in Lexington Roanoke viewing area.

• Residents of the Highlands are reminded that as of Monday, March 30, 2020, Governor Northam, issued Executive Order 55, calling for a statewide Stay-at-Home Order, through June 10, 2020. o Area law enforcement agencies are working to communicate with essential businesses and other establishments that remain open on the processes needed to comply.

• Local elected officials continue to work with and through local media to get the word out on the guidelines in place to slow the spread of COVID-19.

• The Highlands YMCA, is working to determine need for emergency childcare for those who work as essential employees in core sectors in the area.

• The Alleghany Highlands Chamber of Commerce and Tourism has also partnered with the Salvation Army to help ensure and promote food security during these uncertain times for those homebound, in need or those that may become homebound. o Efforts are underway to work to provide meal boxes weekly to folks in addition to the hot meals provided. o For assistance or to help, please contact the Salvation Army by phone at 540-962-6206.

• The State has a resource website and hotline for those needing assistance, that number is 211 or

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.