Local Covid-19 Update
COVID-19 – Update for Henry County and the City of Martinsville
Updated March 30, 2020, at 3:36 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 is 1 confirmed COVID-19 case in Henry County, the City of Martinsville. Other closest confirmed cases in our area are in Franklin County and Pittsylvania County.
- Henry County closes access to playground equipment; parks to remain open. Click here for more information.
- 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.
- Payment windows located in the Henry County Treasurer’s Office, Commissioner of Revenue's Office, and the Public Service Authority will close for walk-up service. Residents are asked to make use of online payment options, send payments in the mail, or use the drop box located in front of the Administration building. Payments can be made online at henrycountyva.gov/paymybill
- Henry County PSA customers who need to sign up for service or disconnect service should call the PSA Customer Service office at 276-634-2505 and speak to a representative.
- 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 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 Fire Marshal Offices haves suspended all non-emergency inspections as well as all smoke alarm installations.
- The City of Martinsville has canceled all non-essential events through April 26, which include:
- All budget work sessions, which will be rescheduled
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Building permit or other permit applications: call (276) 403-5173
- Building Inspection Requests: call (276) 403-5365
- All essential City services: Police, Fire and EMS protection, trash collection, and utility services remain in operation but are not open to the public.
- The City will not cut off any delinquent utility accounts until May 18. Utility bills remain due, however, and charges for late payments apply.
- Other than the courts, Martinsville City Hall is closed to the public. Individuals visiting for the court will be screened for fever and ask a series of questions regarding recent travel and health symptoms.
- Henry-Martinsville Department of Social Services has closed its facility. 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.
- 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.
- On March 30, 2020, Governor Northam issued a stay-at-home order. Please click here for details.
- All gatherings of more than 10 people are banned statewide. This does not include gatherings that involve the provision of health care or medical services, access to essential services for low-income residents, such as food banks; operations of the media; law enforcement agencies; or operations of government.
- Virginia’s 75 DMV offices, as well as mobile units, will close to the public.
- 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 through Monday, April 6, 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/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/ )
- ALL K-12 Schools are closed for the remainder of the 19/20 school year. Click on your school district for the latest information.
- 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)
- Rooster Walk has been postponed RW12 until Memorial Day weekend of next year (May 27-30, 2021).
- The following recreation and entertainment businesses are closed to the public.
- Theaters, performing arts centers, concert venues, museums, and other indoor entertainment centers;
- Fitness centers, gymnasiums, recreation centers, indoor sports facilities, indoor exercise facilities;
- Beauty salons, barbershops, spas, massage parlors, tanning salons, tattoo shops, and any other location where personal care or personal grooming services are performed that would not allow compliance with social distancing guidelines to remain six feet apart;
- Racetracks and historic horse racing facilities;
- Bowling alleys, skating rinks, arcades, amusement parks, trampoline parks, fairs, arts and craft facilities, aquariums, zoos, escape rooms, indoor shooting ranges, public and private social clubs, and all other places of indoor public amusement.
- All dining and congregation areas in the following establishments are only allowed to offer delivery and/or takeout services.
- Restaurants; Dining establishments; Food courts; Farmers markets; Breweries; Microbreweries; Distilleries; Wineries; and Tasting rooms.
- Retail businesses are considered essential and may remain open during normal business hours:
- All essential retail establishments must, to the extent possible, adhere to social distancing recommendations, enhanced sanitizing practices on common surfaces, and other appropriate workplace guidance from state and federal authorities.
- Any business owners who have questions regarding Governor Northam’s executive order and whether it applies to their specific business, please email your questions to email@example.com and someone with the Governor’s office will respond.
- The Small Business Administration is offering low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to Virginia small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). For more information about available SBA resources and services, please visit: SBA.gov/coronavirus.
FEMA Update dated March 30, 2020
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:
- 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.
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.