A listing of the latest News announcements from Augusta County. You can subscribe to County News on the E-Notices page to receive updates via e-mail. You can also subscribe to this page using RSS by clicking on the RSS icon at the top right of this page.
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Augusta County Develops Reopening Plan
With the foremost goal of protecting the safety and health of citizens, the County has developed a plan for a phased reopening of government facilities.
Since March 20, 2020, Augusta County government buildings have been closed in accordance with statewide stay-at-home orders and health guidelines for public safety. Throughout the closures, Augusta County has been able to continue most business operations and services for the citizens remotely and electronically and using safe distancing measures, including the use of the drive-thru window and drop-box.
Statewide, Virginia is entering Phase I of the Virginia Forward plan to safely and gradually ease public health restrictions while containing the spread of COVID-19. In alignment with Virginia’s reopening, the County has developed a plan for a phased reopening of local government facilities. The plan is created with the foremost goal of protecting the health and safety of all citizens.
The plan follows state and federal guidelines to safely and gradually ease public health restrictions. Phases are based on the level and intensity of public interaction for individual departments and focus on physical distancing, safety measures, and sanitizing protocols.
Candy Hensley, Assistant to the County Administrator, has coordinated efforts to develop the recovery plan. While the County will do everything possible to follow the plan, Hensley cautions that implementation will ultimately depend on the data reflecting the spread or containment of the virus. Hensley added, “While we can tentatively plan for reopening dates… the plan will have to be flexible and respond to the data. In other words, our best laid plans are subject to change.”
Augusta County Reopening Plan - Phase 1 Overview
The Government Center tentatively plans to open to the public on June 1. After the center opens, for the safety of the public as well as that of employees, the County asks the public to continue use of the drive-thru window and the drop box and to continue requesting services electronically and by phone.
Upon opening, the center will have active protocols and visible measures in place to maintain strict guidelines for safety, including:
- Security screens at the counters will be lowered and fitted with acrylic barriers with space underneath to conduct business.
- Narrow tables and rope barriers will be in place to help maintain safe physical distancing measures.
- Hand sanitizing stations will be available at entrances.
- The wearing of masks is recommended.
Departments and Agencies
All departments have been integral in the development of processes for reopening based on the unique operations of the department. Input and updates to the plan will be ongoing.
Departments and county agencies will continue to coordinate efforts for reopening and for sharing high standards of safety protocols used. Information will be forthcoming from individual agencies.
Parks and Recreation
The Parks and Recreation department is taking the strictest precautions for safety and health due to the inherent risks from personal contact through community activities. The highest priority continues to be the safety of all guests and staff.
The department plans to update the status of programs by June 15. The current decisions regarding Parks and Recreation activities include:
- All scheduled special events through August are cancelled. This includes the annual Sweet Dreams Day at Stuarts Draft Park, Food Truck Wednesdays, and Dog Days.
- All summer camp programs have been cancelled. This includes KIDS Camp and RecConnect.
- The swimming pool at Stuarts Draft Park will not open for the 2020 season. Swim lessons and the Stuarts Draft Dolphins swim team will not be offered.
- The campground and swimming pool at Natural Chimneys Park remain closed and an update on their availability will be provided by June 15. The Red Wing Roots Music Festival will be postponed until July 9-11, 2021.
- All registrations and reservations continue to be suspended until further notice.
- All parks and trails are open to the public. Picnic shelters, pavilions, restrooms, and playgrounds in county parks and on county school properties remain closed indefinitely. A status update will be provided by June 15.
Augusta County Circuit Court
- Updated protocols for court cases resuming on May 18 can be seen online.
Augusta County Libraries
The Library is working on plans for reopening in stages, beginning with restarting curb service at the Churchville and Fishersville Libraries, tentatively in mid-June.
- Fishersville will have another free book giveaway event in the near future - weather dependent.
- The children's department will host a simplified summer reading program starting June 1. Details to come.
- Staff has been busy cleaning and weeding collections and rearranging, repainting, and refreshing our libraries. We miss our patrons and can't wait to welcome them back!