Local Covid-19 Update
COVID-19 – Update for Henry County and the City of Martinsville
Click here for the most current information regarding Virginia's Response to COVID-19.
Updated August 31, 2020, at 1:11 PM EDT
This informational page is authorized by Henry County, the Henry County Public Service Authority, and the City of Martinsville to serve as a community resource on the latest updates regarding the COVID-19 Pandemic.
(Due to the continued growth in the list of changes, items less than 24-hours old are underlined for easy identification.)
Local Emergency Management officials of both jurisdictions continue to monitor the public health concerns related to COVID-19 actively.
There are confirmed COVID-19 cases in Henry County, the City of Martinsville, and throughout the immediate area.
Central COVID-19 General Testing Site Information
- Mask Up MHC Initiative
- June 8, 2020 Press Conference: Wearing Masks
- City of Martinsville Covid Statement August 28, 2020
- Local Emergency Management officials continue to coordinate with the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) as well as local healthcare facilities to share information and continue collaborative planning and preparation.
- Residents are asked to assist in limiting false rumors by referring to the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) website to gain accurate information. All known cases and updated information can be viewed on the site. http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/surveillance-and-investigation/novel-coronavirus/
- All local recreational events and activities are canceled until further notice. Parks and other outdoor recreation facilities will remain open. Still, users are encouraged to practice social-distancing and good personal hygiene.
- PRECAUTIONARY STEPS for flushing water lines in facilities after extended shutdown-CLICK HERE.
- If you are sick, including coughing or running a fever, do not go to government facilities.
- Residents who have a question or any other need assistance from any local government representative are strongly encouraged to use online services as much as possible and call before coming to the building. Many issues may be handled over the telephone or by email.
- If it becomes necessary to visit government buildings, visitors are encouraged to maintain at least six feet from other individuals in the building. They are also encouraged to wash their hands, wear face masks, and make use of hand sanitizing products.
- All visitation to either the Henry County or Martinsville City jail is suspended until further notice.
- Additional equipment is being installed to extend the County’s public Wi-Fi to the parking lots at the Administration Building, Henry County Courthouse, and Jack Dalton Park. This will allow anyone without internet access at their home or business to access internet resources from our parking lots without leaving their vehicle.
- The Henry County Fire Marshal's Office is conducting non-emergency inspections by appointment only. Smoke alarm installations have been suspended; however, county residents may call 634-4660 about picking up smoke alarms to install themselves.
- The City of Martinsville has canceled all events which include:
- Parks & Recreation Events and Rentals, although City parks remain open to the public
- Martinsville Fire-EMS tours/events/public visitors/and car seat installations
- Martinsville Police tours/events and Neighborhood Watch meetings
- No new special event permits will be issued
- Persons still needing to make direct payments or applications at City Hall may use the following methods:
- All tax and billing payments: please use online payments, drive-thru window, or dropbox
- Utility service connections: call (276) 403-5146 or email email@example.com
- Building permit or other permit applications: call (276) 403-5173
- Building Inspection Requests: call (276) 403-5365
- Other than Court, City Hall is open but will be limited to 50 visitors at a time. Visitors are required to sign in and out of the building. This limitation will remain in effect until further notice. Sign-in requirements will continue in effect thereafter.
- ALL MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC ENTERING CITY HALL ARE REQUIRED TO WEAR A FACIAL COVERING AS DIRECTED BY THE GOVERNOR’S EO-63.
- The City will begin disconnecting delinquent utility accounts on August 31. To avoid disconnection, delinquent account holders must set up a payment plan with the City to ensure they are able to cover unpaid utility bills. Persons with such payment plans are eligible for financial assistance to reduce what they owe by applying for such assistance through the Department of Social Services.
- City Council has unanimously approved a second round of local grants allocating a portion of Federal CARES Act COVID-19 funds to help local small businesses recover from the pandemic shutdown. Grants of up to $5,000 are available. Applications and information are available on the City website (View Application) and from City Hall, and must be received by the end of business on October 2nd. Local small businesses are encouraged to apply for these funds.
All residential tenants who are behind on their rent are urged to apply for rental assistance through the Virginia Rent and Mortgage Relief Program (RMRP) which is administered locally by Step Inc., and which has a local office at 6-B Liberty Street. A link to this rental assistance program is at:
- Henry-Martinsville Department of Social Services has limited access to its building. They are still receiving calls and responding appropriately as usual. Anyone seeking assistance is encouraged to utilize their various online services or call (276) 656-4300.
- The Commonwealth Attorney's office is not accepting in-person visits until further notice. In-office hours for attorneys, staff and victim-witness have been adjusted. Click here to view the entire memo.
- Henry County Courthouse, by Court Order, is restricting access using the following processes for everyone wishing to enter the building. Anyone entering the Courthouse will be subject to a body temperature scan and a health screening questionnaire. Additional restrictions after entry can be found at the security checkpoint. Any person not complying with these requirements will be immediately removed from the building and shall not be readmitted.
- The Circuit Court Clerk's office is asking everyone to utilize available online services. The clerk's office will only assist with in-person matters that cannot be handled by an online service. A list of online services can be found at http://www.henrycountyva.gov/clerk-of-circuit-court. If you do not see what you are looking for online, please call 634-4880 prior to coming to the courthouse, someone may be able to help you over the phone.'
- Martinsville Courts are only open for essential or emergency court actions.
- For information on Virginia's Re-opening Phases plan CLICK HERE.
- On March 30, 2020, Governor Northam issued a stay-at-home order. Please click here for details.
- Virginia’s DMV Office's are open by appointment only. CLICK HERE for information on how to make an appointment.
- Online services will remain available, and anyone needing to renew a license or vehicle registration is encouraged to do so online.
- For those who cannot renew online, or whose license or registration expires before May 15, DMV will grant a 60-day extension.
- Those with chronic health conditions or aged 65 or older should self-quarantine. Public health experts advise that individuals with underlying medical conditions and those aged 65 or older are at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19.
- Neighbors and friends are asked to stay in touch and regularly check in with high-risk individuals.
- The Supreme Court of Virginia granted a judicial emergency in response to COVID-19. From Monday, March 16 non-essential, non-emergency court proceedings in all district and circuit courts are suspended absent a specific exemption.
- For more details and a comprehensive list of actions Governor Northam has announced to combat COVID-19 in Virginia, visit gov/https://www.virginia.gov/coronavirus/.
- SOVAH - Martinsville is not allowing visitors. Please go to SOVAH’s site for the latest details.
- SOVAH Health Offers Reassurance to the Community (Source: Henry County Enterprise) https://henrycountyenterprise.com/hospital-has-appropriate-bed-space-supplies-as-supervisors-approve-state-of-emergency/
- Click on your school district for information regarding the 20-21 school year.
- Patrick Henry Community College has closed the campus to the public. Students needing to conduct business on campus must have a pre-arranged appointment. For more information, go to the PHCC
Business (Announcements and Resources for Business Owners)
What to do if you feel you may be having symptoms of COVID-19?
The following is the recommendation of the CDC for any individual who becomes sick.
- Call your doctor: If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever and symptoms, such as cough or difficulty breathing, call your healthcare provider for medical advice. Only call 9-1-1 for a life-threatening emergency. Contacting your primary care provider or using available telemedicine resources is the first line of defense. If presenting COVID-19-like symptoms (fever, cough shortness of breath), calling 911 may result in a recommendation for self-care at home.
- If EMS personnel are called, able patients should be prepared to walk out their home into the open air for an assessment. Not all patients who are exhibiting COVID-19-like symptoms will require transport to the hospital.
- As the risk of COVID-19 patients increases in our region, you may see firefighters and paramedics wearing an increased level of personal protective equipment such as respiratory protection, eye protection, and gloves. This increase in protection is to ensure that your first responders are capable of continuing to provide emergency medical care to those in need.
This link to the CDC’s website provides further recommendations for those who feel they may have symptoms of COVID-19. What to do if you are sick?
Citizens are strongly encouraged to visit the Center for Disease Control website for detailed information on simple steps, which can help protect themselves, their families, their neighbors, and the community. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus
Tips to keep you and your family safe:
- Keep at least 6 feet between yourself and others.
- As of May 29, 2020, the Commonwealth of Virginia now requires that people wear cloth face coverings when spending time in indoor public settings
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, throw the tissue in the trash, and immediately wash your hands with soap and water.
Additional resources are listed below.
Preguntas Frecuentes Sobre La Orden Ejecutiva Cincuenta y Tres
How to Make a Face Mask and information regarding wearing face masks.
Virginia Department of Health Coronavirus Disease website
CDC Coronavirus Disease website
CDC Situation Summary
CDC Guidance for Businesses and Employers
CDC Tips for Getting Your Household Ready for COVID-19
New information will be released as it becomes available.