(Updated 3/24/20): Loudoun County has declared a local emergency in response to the continued spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Loudoun County Administrator Tim Hemstreet issued a declaration of local emergency Monday, March 16, 2020, with the concurrence of Board of Supervisors Chair Phyllis Randall. The Board of Supervisors confirmed the declaration at its business meeting March 17, 2020.
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(Posted 3/17/20) In general, gloves are not recommended to be worn by employees other than when they are actively seeing patients, disinfecting or coming in contact with dangerous materials. The practice of wearing gloves all day is not beneficial and can be counterproductive if it reduces the frequency of hand washing and use of hand sanitizer.
(Posted 3/10/20): The Board of Supervisors’ Adopted Rules of Order (Section XIX) provides for remote participation in Board meetings as permitted by the Code of Virginia § 2.2-3708.2. Any individual member may participate from a remote location only if a quorum (5 members) of the Board is physically assembled at the primary or central meeting location, and the Board has made arrangements for the voice of the remote participant to be heard by all persons at the primary or central meeting location. The Rules of Order and law provide other stipulations regarding remote participation, including notice requirements, minute recordation, and limitations on frequency.
Further, the Code of Virginia §2.2-3708.2(A)(3) authorizes a public body to meet by electronic communication without a quorum being physically assembled when the Governor has declared a state of emergency (in accordance with § 44-146.17) provided that the declared emergency makes it impracticable or unsafe to assemble a quorum in a single location and the purpose of the meeting is to address the emergency.
(Posted 3/10/20): The CDC states that based on what is currently known about the virus, spread from person-to-person happens most frequently among close contacts (within about 6 feet). This type of transmission occurs via respiratory droplets. According to the CDC, “It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.” Transmission of coronavirus in general occurs much more commonly through respiratory droplets than through fomites (objects or materials that are likely to carry infection, such as clothes, utensils, and furniture.) Cleaning of visibly dirty surfaces and frequently touched surfaces followed by disinfection is a best practice measure for prevention of COVID-19 and other viral respiratory illnesses in community settings. The CDC further states, “No additional disinfection beyond routine cleaning is recommended at this time.” Loudoun County’s Department of General Services (DGS) provides standard housekeeping services for departments, which includes keeping soap and hand sanitizer available at designated stations in county facilities. The county continues to maintain its routine cleaning practices.
In addition, the county recommends that all employees and visitors to county facilities practice good personal hygiene, including:
(Posted 3/10/20): Loudoun County is operating under the Pandemic Response Plan, which is an adjunct to the county’s Emergency Operations Plan. The Pandemic Response Plan, specifically provides the local health department, county government departments, the school system, the airport, our hospitals and healthcare providers, and other entities either direct or implied roles to best identify and prevent the spread of disease in our community. Loudoun County’s Emergency Operations Plan then provides the paradigm for any county government approach, response and recovery for all-hazards including health emergencies such as COVID-19. These plans work collaboratively together and many of the resources that are deployed are derived from the county’s general fund and those of other separate entities involved (e.g., LCPS, local hospitals, airports, utilities and municipalities).
(Posted 3/10/20): No, not at this time. It is the County Administrator, who also serves as Loudoun County’s Emergency Management Director, who would have to make this recommendation to the Board of Supervisors, if ever warranted.
(Posted 3/10/20): Loudoun County first responders are following the CDC guidance for first responders, including emergency medical services and public safety personnel.
(Posted 3/11/20): If an employee has COVID-19 or COVID-19 symptoms, the employee should follow normal sick leave procedures. They would use accrued sick leave. If they have no sick leave or run out of sick leave mid-illness, we would apply their other accrued leave such as annual, personal, floating holiday, etc.
If there is reason to believe that the employee’s illness arose out of his/her employment and/or was contracted in the course of performing his/her duties, injury leave would be triggered. In such a case, the employee would file a workers compensation claim and injury leave would initially apply while the county’s third party vendor makes a determination as to whether the claim was compensable. If the claim is found to be non-compensable, we would go back and change the injury leave applied to the employee’s accrued leave.
If an employee becomes seriously ill and is out of all leave accruals, short-term disability and donated leave would be explored, subject to the normal requirements and restrictions.
As long as the employee has met the eligibility requirements for Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), his or her job will protected for up to 12 weeks, even if the employee is out of accrued leave.
(Updated 3/24/20): The Loudoun County courts and the Clerk of the Circuit Court have made changes to their operations, including - in the case of the Clerk of the Circuit Court - expanding access to remote services. Several county departments have made changes to their normal operating procedures.
(Updated 3/24/20): With the closure of Loudoun County Public Schools, LCPS is providing meals at many schools and also providing a meal pick-up service. Find the latest information on the LCPS website. The Loudoun County Government continues to work with various community partners to coordinate a plan for supporting our high-risk population.