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County officials change office procedures

Following the declared State of Emergency on March 12 by Governor Ralph Northam and limited gatherings in Virginia’s restaurants, fitness centers and theaters to no more than 10 people, the Centers for Disease Control is recommending no gatherings larger than 10 people for organizations that serve people who are at serious risk. That recommendation was updated March 16 stating that all U.S. events of 10 or more people should be cancelled or held virtually as part of new measures to reduce the potential spread of COVID-19.

“Heeding the instructions from the President’s Office, the Virginia Department of Health and the Governor, when it comes to dealing with COVID-19, modified procedures for offices and services are being implemented effective immediately,” Charlotte County Administrator Dan Witt said.

All Charlotte County offices request any business that can be done electronically should be done in this manner.

EVENTS 

All special events held at county-owned facilities have been postponed or canceled. Use of county facilities by other organizations or entities will be terminated until further notice.

The board of supervisors’ joint work session with the school board scheduled for March 30 at 7 p.m. has been canceled.

ESSENTIAL SERVICES 

All essential services such as Fire and EMS, law enforcement, and solid waste are expected to operate as normal.

Each department will follow its own protocol when delivering services to the public.

Walt Bailey, chief of Phenix Volunteer Fire Dept., met with the EMS Council and said supplies are available to be moved from one area to another (gowns, gloves mask, etc.).

Protocols are changing daily and EMS can refuse transport, assessments can be done in route and patients may be requested to come outside.

Bill Mayhew, of the Charlotte County Rescue Squad said that no in-home assessments would be performed.

Dispatch has a list of health questions that will be asked when someone calls in for assistance.

Responses are being limited to calls for essential services.

COUNTY ADMINISTRATION OFFICE/ 

BUILDING INSPECTOR 

The County Administration Office will remain open to the public and staff will be available by telephone, fax, or e-mail. This is the preferred method of communication until April 6.

Zoning permits & building permits will still be processed. Applications for both are available on the county website. Applications can be filled out and dropped off at the Administration Office.

Staff can provide assistance with filling out the forms via telephone or e-mail.

The building inspector will continue doing inspections with limited contact. The building inspector will also help other counties with inspections if needed.

RECYCLE CENTERS 

Recycle centers workers will only handle or remove trash from vehicles if help is required and requested. This is only a temporary measure.

ANIMAL CONTROL 

Animal Control field activities will operate on a normal schedule. Shelter operations will be closed to the public.

SOCIAL SERVICES 

The Department of Social Services will be closed to the public March 20 through April 3 or longer if needed. The agency will continue to accept Child Protective Services/Adult Protective Service referrals. The office staff will be available Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. by phone and/or email. Needed information or documentation should be submitted by mail, fax or email or can be left in the drop box in front of the office.

TREASURER 

The Charlotte County Treasurer’s office will remain open to the public at this time. Citizens are encouraged to practice social distancing. The office may be contacted by phone, email or fax.

COMMISSIONER OF THE REVENUE/DMV 

The DMV Select Office will be suspending services Monday, March 23 through Friday, April 3 or longer if needed.

COURT SERVICES/ 

COMMONWEALTH’S ATTORNEY 

The Commonwealth’s Attorney will follow the Supreme Court schedule. Signs have been placed on the entrance door instructing the public to knock or call and someone will help those needing assistance on the porch.

Courts will be using guidelines as set out by the Supreme Court of Virginia. At this time, non-essential and non-emergency proceedings have been suspended.

VOTER REGISTRAR 

The public is asked to call the Voter Registrar for applications and mail them in. The office is open and applications may be dropped off.

SHERIFF’S OFFICE 

The Sheriff’s Office will continue to perform law enforcement activities. Access to the Sheriff’s Office will be limited. If a deputy responds to a residence, they will ask the citizen to step outside to speak with them.

Jail visitation has been suspended until further notice. Citizens are encouraged to call rather than come to the jail. A designated area for the complaints within the jail will be established. No courtesy fingerprinting is being done.

EXTENSION OFFICE 

Citizens are encouraged to contact the Extension Office via phone and email. All activities except for virtual/on-line activities have been suspended.

LIBRARY 

The library facilities are closed to the public. Curbside service will be available with limited hours, please call the local library to request materials and arrange a time for pickup. A library employee will deliver them to the library door, the sidewalk or car.

Do not return any materials to the library until further notice. No donations are being accepted at this time.