COVID-19 (Coronavirus) News & Updates

Lancaster County Government Offices Respond to COVID19 Emergency

Due to health risks associated with the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, public access to Lancaster County offices and buildings is suspended effective immediately, until further notice, including County Administration, Building Official, Planning and Zoning, Registrar, Social Services, Emergency Services, Sheriff, and the offices of the Treasurer and Commissioner of the Revenue. County staff will be available to conduct business and assist the public over the phone or by email. Online applications are also available for many government services.  The Courts have issued their own notices for closures. Essential services will still be provided including Emergency Medical Services, Law Enforcement and Waste Management.

The following public meetings have been cancelled:

Board of Supervisors FY21 Budget Meeting scheduled for Thursday April 2, 2020
Board of Zoning Appeals Meeting scheduled for Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Wetlands Board Meeting scheduled for Thursday, April 9, 2020
Board of Supervisors FY21 Budget Meeting scheduled for Thursday April 9, 2020
Board of Supervisors FY21 Budget Meeting scheduled for Thursday April 23, 2020

Additional updates, notices, information and announcements will be posted on the County website at www.lancova.com.

To continue to serve our community during this Local Emergency we will be continuing to perform inspections and process permits. Currently our office is closed to the Public and contact will need to be made though email or phone.

All Permit applications can either be emailed to build@lancova.com, faxed to (804)462-0031 or mailed to 8311 Mary Ball Rd. Lancaster, VA 22503, Attention: Permits Department. There are (2) new fillable permit application forms (please fill out all required information). Payments can be made by check mailed to above address and online at www.webfeepay.com (a convenience fee of 2.45% will be added to each transaction).

Please email any plans, plats, applications and/or requested information to build@lancova.com or contact our office at (804)462-5480

Inspection procedures will continue to operate as normal. Please call (804)462-0241 and leave message on our automated inspection line with permit number, return contact information and type of inspection requested.

3/23/2020 UPDATE: Lancaster County Building department will continue to keep our permitting and inspections moving, as we all do our part to help slow the spread of COVID-19. We have added a drop box located at the side parking lot of the Admin building for drop off of plans and needed materials. Inspections will continue, some may require site visits and others may be done by video, pictures and/or video call. For inspections that require county staff to perform onsite please remember to adhere to the 6’ distancing required by the State Governor. If you have any questions please call our office.

ALL INSPECTIONS STILL NEED TO BE CALLED INTO THE AUTOMATED LINE AS NORMAL. PLEASE MAKE SURE A CONTACT NUMBER IS INCLUDED WITH YOUR REQUESTED INSPECTION.

The Lancaster Voter Office, and all county offices are still closed to the public in an effort to prevent the spread of the  COVID-19  virus.  The Electoral Board and the General Registrar encourage all voters to vote absentee by mail for both the May and June elections, which have now both been extended for two more weeks each.

Pursuant to Governor Northam’s Announcement Friday, the May Town Elections have now been rescheduled for May 19th.  This allows voters two additional weeks to vote absentee by mail. In an earlier press release, Governor Northam already changed the June 9th election to June 23rd.  The new deadline to request an absentee ballot by mail for the May election is May 12th and the last day to request a ballot by mail for the June election is June 16th.   For both elections, it is recommended you use the reason code: 2A / disability or illness.

In-person Election day voting on May 19th and June 23rd will be CURBSIDE ONLY.  Voters must remain in their cars.  This is most likely going to be a confusing and slow process, so again, please vote absentee by mail to avoid election day issues.

You can request an absentee ballot online at www.elections.virginia.gov or visit the Voter Registration page.  Applications can be found in the “download section” section of that webpage.  You may also email or call us to request the application for a mailed ballot.  The Voter office phone number is 804-462-5277. Our email is vote@lancova.com.

1. General Information:  Stay in touch at the Governor's dedicated Coronavirus website https://www.virginia.gov/coronavirus-updates/

2. Support for Workers:

UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE – expanded time, amounts and those covered

The unemployment insurance program, administered by the Virginia Employment Commission (VEC), provides temporary financial assistance to individuals who become unemployed through no fault of their own. Under normal circumstances, individuals who meet a strict set of employment-related criteria can receive weekly payments over a period of 12 to 26 weeks, but efforts are underway at both the state and federal level to expand eligibility, increase payments, and extend the duration coverage.

As a result, all Virginians who have experienced job or income loss as a result of the Coronavirus crisis are encouraged to file an application for unemployment insurance using the VEC's online portal: https://www.vawc.virginia.gov/vosnet/Default.aspx selecting “Lack of Work” as their reason for separation. Please note, recipients will be required to access the portal each week to claim their unemployment insurance payment.

Detailed instructions for individuals applying for unemployment insurance benefits can be found here https://www.vec.virginia.gov/sites/default/files/documents/Information-on-claims-related-to-layoff-March-2020.pdf  An FAQ on unemployment benefits can be found here http://www.vec.virginia.gov/faqs/general-unemployment-insurance-questions

3. Support for Small Business

* For questions other than resources listed below, email business@virginia.gov

SMALL BUSINESS DISASTER LOANS

Following a request submitted by Governor Northam on March 18, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) approved an Economic Injury Disaster Loan declaration for Virginia. Small businesses and nonprofit organizations throughout the Commonwealth affected by the COVID-19 public health crisis can now apply for low-interest federal disaster loans of up to $2 million from the SBA to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other expenses. To submit a loan application through the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, please visit https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/

RAPID RESPONSE FUNDS TO ASSIST SMALL BUSINESS

Rapid Response is a federal program to help workers, companies, and communities experiencing layoffs and closures and provide strategies to avert layoffs. This includes connecting workers and businesses to information, partners, new employment opportunities, funding, and training programs that can help lessen the impact of layoffs or avert layoffs all together.

The Additional Rapid Response Assistance for COVID-19 available through the state provides funding to help businesses avert layoffs by providing assistance in sanitization of work spaces, implementing telework options to support social distancing that the company has not supported prior, or other innovative strategies that help keep employees on the job.  Businesses may apply for assistance through their regional workforce boards. Contact Jackie Davis at the Bay Consortium Workforce Development Board at 804-333-4048 or jdavis@baywib.org

4. Information on SBA Paycheck Protection Program

Updated: March 27, 2020

County officials were notified today by the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) of a positive COVID-19 case in Lancaster County which may be travel related. The individual is isolated and being monitored. The Virginia Department of Health notified the County of this confirmed case to ensure local public safety officials were aware and could continue the precautions necessary to mitigate further spread.

The confirmation of a case in Lancaster County was only a matter of time. Lancaster County began preparations in anticipation of this event by declaring a local emergency on March 18, 2020. Since then, Lancaster County closed its offices to the public and began conducting business online and by telecommunications to decrease risk and support social distancing initiatives. Emergency Responders and Local Law Enforcement have also taken recommended precautions to mitigate the risk of exposure.

Lancaster County encourages all citizens to assist in lowering the risk of germ spread to include washing your hands often, avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when coughing or sneezing, clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces, stay home when you are sick, avoid non-essential travel, avoid contact with people who are sick, practice social distancing by maintaining at least six feet of space between yourself and other individuals when out in public, and avoid crowds of more than ten people.

The Three Rivers Health District has established a COVID-19 call line at (804) 313-1638. The Virginia Department of Health has also established a state call center at 1 (877) AKS-VDH3 (1-877-257-8343).

County staff will be available to conduct business and assist the public over the phone or by email. Online applications are also available for many government services.

Additional updates, notices, information and announcements will be posted on the County website at www.lancova.com.

Updated: March 18, 2020

As of 5:00 p.m. today, Lancaster County declared a local emergency in response to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic pursuant to Virginia Code section § 44-146.21, as amended. Download Emergency Declaration (PDF Format). COVID-19, a communicable disease that threatens public health is of sufficient severity and magnitude to warrant coordinated local government action to prevent or alleviate potential hardship or suffering. This Declaration is issued as a precautionary security measure to allow for the full powers of government to deal effectively with the emergency.

Public access to Lancaster County offices and buildings is suspended effective immediately, until further notice, including County Administration, Building Official, Planning and Zoning, Registrar, Social Services, Emergency Services, Sheriff, and the offices of the Treasurer and Commissioner of the Revenue. The Courts have issued their own notices for closures. Essential services will still be provided including Emergency Medical Services, Law Enforcement and Waste Management.

The Department of Social Services will continue to provide essential mandated services to include responding to child and adult protective services reports. You can apply for benefits by phone at 1 (855) 635-4370 or https://commonhelp.virginia.gov/access.

Payments to the Treasurer’s office can be made on-line, mailed or left in the drop-box outside of the building.

All public meetings previously scheduled will be rescheduled to later dates.

All County Staff will report to work as usual or as directed by their supervisor. County staff will be available to conduct business and assist the public over the phone or by email. Online applications are also available for many government services. Additional updates, notices, information and announcements will be posted on this page of the County website.

Additional information on COVID-19 is available at the following links:

http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/surveillance-and-investigation/novel-coronavirus/
http://www.coronavirus.gov

Emergency Pandemic Ordinance Addressing Continuity of Government

Additional COVID-19 Related Web Sites