General Information Update
Posted by Staunton City Schools on 3/27/2020
Where can I go for accurate and up-to-date information about COVID-19?
The Virginia Department of Health has released a checklist to help you take steps to lessen the impact of a severe coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on you and your family.
Social distancing and quarantine may cause some concern for individuals, families and communities. Here are some tips to manage these mitigating strategies during this time.
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
Symptoms of COVID-19 included fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Please remain vigilant to your own health and the health of your children. If you or your child experiences these symptoms, contact your local health care provider or the health department 332-7830. Your doctor or health department staff will decide whether or not testing needs to occur or whether or not you or your child should be seen in person. Please contact your primary doctor or health department first to reduce the chance of viral transmission.
Please remember, individuals who are mildly ill may not need to be tested and should isolate (keep away from other people) and be taken care of at home.
If you or someone in your family is positively diagnosed, you can find information about next steps here: What to do if you have confirmed or suspected coronavirus disease (COVID-19)? – Coronavirus
What if someone in my family has been exposed to COVID-19?
If someone in your family has been in close contact with confirmed cases of COVID-19, the Virginia Department of Health has advice for you here: What to do if you were potentially exposed to someone with confirmed coronavirus disease (COVID-19)? – Coronavirus
The Virginia Department of Health recommends you self-quarantine for 14 days from the date of the potential contact and monitor your own health for symptoms. For additional questions about staying home or monitoring your health, please call 877-ASK-VDH3 (877-275-8343). If you are diagnosed with COVID-19, please take these steps to prevent the spread: What To Do if You Are Sick
How can my family and I help stop the spread of COVID-19?
Social distancing is important to reduce the spread of COVID-19, and planning ahead for self-quarantine or social distancing will save time, frustration and anxiety for families. Please refer to Student Services / Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Information for information about social distancing, cleaning recommendations for your home, ways to build resiliency and support you and your family’s emotional well-being and other community resource information.
Additional ways to help stop the spread of COVID-19 can be found here: Schools, Workplaces & Community Locations | CDC It will take all of us, working together and supporting one another, to stop the spread of this illness.
This social story may help you explain COVID-19 to your children and other family members.
What community resources are available for families?
This blog will update multiple times weekly with new information for you and your family.
My employer just told me that the company is closing, or is downsizing and I will no longer have a job/or my hours have been cut. What can I do?
The Virginia Employment Commission has important information to help you navigate this difficult circumstance, including
I'm Unemployed! Now What? This link provides basic information on what to do if you find yourself unemployed.
UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE (UI) PROCEDURES TO FILE OR RE-OPEN A CLAIM Look here for detailed instruction on how to file or re-open an unemployment claim, including required documents you will need and an expected time frame for the process.
My family is currently facing eviction. Are there any resources to help me keep my family in our home?
From the Virginia Poverty Law Center:
Your Rights as a Tenant During COVID-19 Outbreak (Current as of March 23, 2020)
Your landlord must take you to court to evict you.
- Your landlord cannot evict you without a court order, no matter what your lease says.
- You do not have to move out just because the landlord tells you to leave, gives you a “5 Day Pay or Quit” or other written notice, or files an eviction lawsuit (“unlawful detainer”) against you.
- Courts have stopped hearing unlawful detainer cases until least April 6, 2020.
- We do not know when the courts will schedule new eviction cases.
- Still, if you have an unlawful detainer case scheduled for the next few weeks, you should check with the court to find out when it will be heard. You can also look up your case and find the court’s phone number by visiting http://www.courts.state.va.us/courts/gd.html.
You can still go to the court for emergencies, like if your landlord illegally locks you out. It is illegal for your landlord to shut off utilities or lock you out without a court order:
- If the landlord locks you out or cuts off heat, water, gas, or electricity without a court order, you can call your local sheriff or police for help.
- You can also sue your landlord to get back into your home and get utilities turned back on. The courts are still hearing emergency cases like these, called “unlawful exclusions.” Your landlord still has a duty to do repairs and maintenance:
- Even with the COVID-19 outbreak the landlord must still provide you with a safe and healthy place to live.
If something breaks, send your landlord a letter asking for repairs right away. Your utilities, including water and electricity, should not be cut off:
- The State Corporate Commission has told electric, gas, and water companies not to cut service for non-payment until the COVID-19 crisis ends.
- If your Dominion Energy service was recently cut off, call 1-866-366-4357 to get reconnected.
If you are facing eviction, if your landlord attempts to lock you out without taking you to court, or if you have questions about your rights, contact your local legal aid by calling 1-866-LEGL-AID or get legal advice from the Eviction Legal Helpline by calling 1-833-NoEvict. Visit VaLegalAid.org for more information.