Grayson County’s Response to COVID-19
Grayson County Covid-19 Helpline
Emergency Relief Fund for Grayson County
“While many organizations are receiving funds to support communities in Southwest Virginia affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and actions to prevent its spread, many of you want your donations to stay in Grayson County. To facilitate this, we have organized a local non-profit to manage and administer the Emergency Relief Fund for Grayson County.
This fund will be used to meet the needs of Grayson County citizens who may not qualify for other assistance programs or for whom time is a critical factor, etc.
Donations to the Emergency Relief Fund for Grayson County are tax deductible and may be made by check payable to “Emergency Relief Fund for Grayson County.” Donations may be mailed to the Grayson County Treasurer’s Office, 129 Davis Street, Suite 205, P.O. Box 127, Independence, VA 24348 or they may be dropped in the Treasurer’s Office Drop Box located in the lower parking lot of the Grayson County Courthouse, 129 Davis Street, Independence, VA.
Questions regarding the Emergency Relief Fund for Grayson County may be directed to the Grayson County COVID-19 Helpline at 276-200-4654.
Thank you for supporting the citizens of Grayson County!”
May 18 Press Release
Citizens of Grayson County,
As we continue our progress through the unprecedented Coronavirus 19 emergency, I want to advise you that your efforts have been, and continue to be, successful in minimizing the impact of this disease. While, as expected, we do have a small number of cases in Grayson County, your actions in social distancing and minimizing unnecessary travel have kept the numbers low and controllable.
Due to this success and that of our fellow Virginians, we are ready to begin the delicate process of reducing the number of restrictions we are currently living under while we continue to protect ourselves and our families from exposure to Coronavirus 19. We are taking these actions based on the best guidance available from our medical professionals with the Virginia Department of Health and the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention and we take them concurrently with our fellow Virginians. On 15 May 2020, Executive Order 61, signed by Governor Ralph Northam, went into effect with the following changes to current restrictions:
- Non-Essential Retail establishments will be able to increase their service to 50% of their certificate of occupancy capacity.
- Restaurants and beverage services with outdoor seating may open that seating to 50% capacity.
- Places of worship may increase their on-site attendance to 50% of their certificate of occupancy capacity.
- Personal grooming businesses may resume business by appointment only.
- Private campgrounds may open.
- State parks will begin to open campgrounds and cabins in phases.
Please note that these are the very brief highlights of the changes. Specific requirements for each category are noted in Governor of Virginia Executive Order 61. Other restrictions imposed by Executive Orders 53 and 55 remain in effect. Executive Order 61 may be found on the Grayson County Coronavirus webpage at: https://www.graysoncountyva.gov/coronavirus-19/.
It is also important to note that these actions are not mandated. You, as a business owner, consumer or citizen may choose to continue more restrictive actions to protect yourselves and your families if you choose to.
As we begin reducing the restrictions on our normal behaviors, we will continue to aggressively monitor how these changes are impacting the spread of Coronavirus in our communities. Our intention is to reduce restrictions further as soon as evaluation of the process indicates that it is safe to do so. This, of course, depends on all of us continuing to take all actions possible to continue to protect our citizens from spread of this disease:
- Please continue to minimize unnecessary travel.
- Cover your mouth and nose when in public settings.
- Telecommute from home when possible.
- Keep your gatherings small.
- Also, though – Get outside. Talk a walk. Get some exercise. Enjoy beautiful Grayson County!
For our high-risk citizens, I want to remind you that we have resources available to help you meet your physical needs, such as grocery shopping, pharmacy deliveries, etc. without having to go out. Contact the Grayson County Coronavirus Helpline at 276-200-4654 for assistance.
For citizens who have catastrophic needs because of Coronavirus 19, we have established the Grayson County Emergency Relief Fund. Again, contact the Helpline at 276-200-4654 to request assistance from the Relief Fund.
Finally, if you have a medical emergency, please do not hesitate to call 9-1-1 because of concerns about Coronavirus-19. We are seeing an increase in deaths due to heart attack and stroke because people are worried about going to the hospital. Our hospitals are safe and are very good at protecting our citizens. Please don’t hesitate to use them when it is necessary.
Finally, I want to thank all of the people who make it possible for use to be safe and even thrive under these unique conditions: Our volunteer EMS and fire professionals continue to go wherever they are needed. Our public health professionals are aggressively tracing potential contacts even while they have substantially increased the amount of virus testing in our communities. Our public employees continue delivering the mail, picking up the trash, and all of the other functions we need. Our farmers, retailers and business owners continue to see to our physical needs while our faith leaders are finding innovative ways to meet our spiritual needs. Our community is truly one of service and I am proud to be a part of it.
We Are Grayson County!
William L. Shepley
Grayson County Tourism
107 E. Main Street (276)773-2000
P.O. Box 336
Independence, VA 24348
To: Short Term Rental Providers
From: William L. Shepley
Re: Rentals During EO #55
Due to the Governor of Virginia’s stay at home order (EO #55) placing restrictions on travel and the recommendations for social distancing in response to Coronavirus-19 pandemic, we are requesting all short-term rental and Airbnb providers located in Grayson County to stop all vacation or entertainment driven short-term rentals until the travel restrictions are lifted. We do not recommend that rentals to employees of local businesses working away from home be affected.
Thank you for your support during this difficult time.
William L. Shepley
Grayson County Statement of Emergency Concerning Coronavirus-19
On 17 March, 2020, the County Administrator for Grayson County, the town manager for Independence and the mayors for the towns of Fries and Troutdale joined in declaring a local state of emergency for the named jurisdictions.
This action, not taken lightly, allows our employees, emergency responders and citizens to better prepare for the likelihood of Coronavirus-19 extending into our communities.
In parallel with the declaration of emergency, Grayson County is also taking the following actions:
• Public access to government offices and facilities is being strictly limited to those functions that cannot be handled by phone or email. Any citizen needing assistance must call the office with whom they wish to do business. If you do not know the number of the office, call 276-773-2471 for guidance. If the service you are requesting is determined to require entry to the building, you will be met at the door to the courthouse adjacent to the main parking lot. This action is meant to maximize social distancing, reduce unnecessary public interaction and help to minimize the potential for spread of Coronavirus-19.
• Grayson County Circuit hearings have been continued until 04-06-2020. This does not include arraignments, bail hearings, protective order appeals or other cases deemed an emergency. Contact the Clerk’s office at 276-773-2231 with questions.
• Grayson District Court hearings have been continued until 04-06-2020. This does not include arraignments, bail hearings, protective orders or other cases deemed an emergency. Contact the Clerk’s office at 276-773-2011 with questions.
• Town government facilities in Fries, Independence and Troutdale are taking similar precautions to those of the County.
• Per the Office of the Governor of Virginia, the Department of Motor Vehicles is closed.
• Public schools remain closed to students. School officials and staff are continuing to develop extraordinary mechanisms for continuing to educate our children while keeping them, their families and the rest of our citizens safe.
We ask you, the citizens that make Grayson County the wonderful place that it is, to support us in these actions as well as following the recommendations of the Virginia Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
• Avoid close contact with people who may be sick
• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
• Stay home when you are sick except to get medical care
• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
• Limit gatherings to fewer than 10 persons
We thank each of you for supporting our communities as we continue to prepare. We Are Grayson County!