Weekly Highlands COVID-19 Task Force Touchpoint

March 30, 2020 

10 a.m.

Krystal Onaitis, Covington City Manager, opened the conference call.  

Organizations/Representatives via phone conferencing: DSS, HCA, Carillion, VDH, VDEM, Alleghany County Administrator, Covington City Manager, Clifton Forge Town Manager, Iron Gate Town Clerk, Local Emergency Managers, Sheriff’s office & Regional Jail, Commonwealth Attorney, Covington Police Dept & EMS, Covington and Alleghany County School Superintendents, CSB, WestRock, Ingevity 

  • VDEM continues to work on communication process to health care officials and local officials. 
  • VDH are taking lead on preparation for a testing site. They continue to send message to everyone to wash your hands, keep social distancing and stay home. The website is updated daily.  
  • There was discussion to change this weekly meeting to 11 a.m. due to health officials having another conference call at the same time. 
  • LewisGale Hospital Alleghany have supplies and staffing are in a good place. The hospital is at a level and not allowing patients to have visitors, there are only a few exceptions. They have multiple conference calls daily for updates.  
  • Local First Responders will get notification from the hospital of any suspected infected person that was transported by their department.  There is concern of using current PPE supplies and not getting enough replenishments.  
  • The local Emergency Managers are working on: internal planning, COOP, offering assistance for on-site testing, working with VDEM and VDH, telework for staff, essential openings for as long as possible, requesting PPE, etc…  
  • At this time there are no guard units available to guard a testing site and local law enforcement may be needed in the interim. 
  • With the request of state agencies and the Governor, there has been a review of files for inmates at the regional jail. There have been reductions and are now 72 inmates. There are separate quarantine areas available for male or female.  
  • Covington Police Department have had only minor violations of the restrictions put on businesses.  
  • Clifton Forge parks are closed and the trails remain open. 
  • The Regional Jail have approximately 50 overflow inmates off-site. They have ordered PPE and it has been ceased by the federal government.  
  • The Salvation Army, area Mayors, volunteers and churches are continuing to help feed citizens. 
  • Community Services Board have all their buildings closed to the public. The clinic is screening case by case and need additional PPE. Staff are going to patients’ homes in some situations where care is required, they are using precaution. Their website continues to be updated for information.  
  • Social Services are closed to the public, they are working on getting PPE. They have modified work and are screening.  
  • Schools are working on an emergency daycare for care of a child for those that are required to go to work, such as, health care providers, etc.. There would have to be a limit due to social distancing and schools being closed. These are evolving discussions.  
  • VDH has been getting information out, posting and sharing. There will be weekly information sent to the media, facebook, for localities to link and share.  
  • The City will highlight core services on facebook. This is to assure, that other than the telework that is being done, the core services are still being accomplished such as, refuse collection, etc…  
  • The County thanks everyone for their time and hard work for the conference calls and coordinating processes to share information.