COVID-19 Updates Archive - November 2020
- Nov. 30 Updates
- Nov. 25 Updates
- Nov. 20 Updates
- Nov. 19 Updates
- Nov. 18 Updates
- Nov. 16 Updates
- Nov. 13 Updates
- Nov. 12 Updates
- Nov. 10 Updates
- Nov. 9 Updates
- Nov. 5 Updates
- Nov. 2 Updates
Nov. 30, 2020 Update - 3 p.m.
Governor and First Lady Northam, Cabinet Members Volunteer at Food Banks Across Virginia
Ongoing pandemic has put thousands of Virginia families at risk of food insecurity, increased demand for food banks
Governor Ralph Northam, First Lady Pamela Northam and members of the Governor’s Cabinet volunteered at food banks throughout Virginia on Monday, Nov. 30, 2020, highlighting the critical role food banks are filling for Virginians facing food insecurity amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The COVID-19 pandemic has increased food insecurity across the Commonwealth and as a result, more Virginians are using the services of food banks and other food programs. Prior to the pandemic, approximately 850,000 Virginians, including 250,000 children, did not know where their next meal would come from. Feeding America estimates that the ongoing pandemic could make up to 275,000 more Virginians food insecure.
The Federation of Virginia Food Banks operates seven regional Feeding America food banks across the Commonwealth that distribute food to partners within their regions. To support Virginia food banks or to learn more about volunteer opportunities, please visit vafoodbanks.org.
In July, the Commonwealth committed an initial $1.4 million in Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding to help launch a new statewide initiative with Sentara Healthcare, Truist and the Federation of Virginia Food Banks called the “We Care” COVID-19 Virginia Emergency Food Support Plan, providing approximately 100,000 food boxes to Virginia families.
Earlier this month, Governor Northam allocated $7 million in federal CARES Act dollars to help Virginia food banks to continue to provide food to Virginians who need it. This funding is in addition to $650,000 in Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) funding to support food bank services. In October, Governor Northam and the Children’s Cabinet released the Virginia Roadmap to End Hunger, a set of goals and strategies to prioritize food security during the Commonwealth’s response to COVID-19 and beyond.
Nov. 25, 2020 Update - 12:30 p.m.
Chesterfield Health Department Announces December Free COVID-19 Testing Events
Residents exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms are strongly encouraged to attend upcoming indoor, walk-up free testing events
In an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19 across Chesterfield, the county’s Health Department is hosting a series of free testing events throughout December.
These free, indoor, walk-up testing events will occur on the following days and locations:
- Mondays: Dec. 7, 14, 21, 28 – 1-3 p.m.
Second Baptist Church
5100 West Hundred Road
- Tuesdays: Dec. 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 – 10 a.m. to noon
Walmsley United Methodist Church
2950 Walmsley Blvd.
- Wednesdays: Dec. 2, 9, 16, 30 – 10 a.m. to noon
St. Augustine’s Catholic Church
4400 Beulah Road
- Thursdays: Dec. 3, 10, 17, 31
- Walmsley United Methodist Church – 10 a.m. to noon
2950 Walmsley Blvd.
- Faith and Family Center – 4-5 p.m.
7900 Walmsley Blvd.
- Walmsley United Methodist Church – 10 a.m. to noon
- Fridays: Dec. 4, 11, 18 – 10 a.m. to noon
Second Baptist Church
5100 West Hundred Road
- Saturdays: Dec. 5, 12, 19 – 10 a.m. to noon
Chesterfield Health Department
Smith-Wagner Building Multi-Purpose Room
9501 Lucy Corr Circle
No reservation is necessary. There will be no testing events on Dec. 23-27.
Residents who may be experiencing COVID-19 symptoms as defined by the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are strongly encouraged to attend the free, indoor, walk-up testing events.
Read the full news release.
Nov. 25, 2020 Update - 11:45 a.m.
Chesterfield County Public Schools to Return to All-Virtual Learning Environment
Beginning Monday, Nov. 30
Chesterfield County Public Schools (CCPS) will return to an all-virtual learning environment starting Monday, Nov. 30. Only Cohort No. 1 students (Level 2 special education students) will be allowed to return to school for in-person instruction.
This return to an all-virtual learning environment, due to public health data reflecting a worsening pandemic locally, will last at least through the end of the first semester (Friday, Jan. 29).
Virginia Department of Health (VDH) data released earlier today showed that Chesterfield County has exceeded the seven-day rolling average of 25 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents (at 26.5 as of Nov. 25) that Chesterfield County Public Schools targeted as a metric to return to an all-virtual learning environment. The school division’s plan, first shared with families and staff on Nov. 17, is largely based on Harvard Global Health Institute’s metric and was part of original conversations with the Public Health Committee. With the seven-day average of 25 cases or more per 100,000, this would place the school division in the highest category of CCPS’s original metric and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) School Indicators in terms of cases.
The increase in local COVID-19 cases has been swift. One month ago, Chesterfield’s seven-day rolling average was 13.2. Today (Nov. 25) it is 26.5. During the same timeframe, the local positivity rate has increased from 5.8 to 8.3 percent. Last week, more than 1 million COVID-19 cases were reported nationwide in six days.
Chesterfield County Public Schools been tracking data and preparing for a potential return to an all-virtual learning environment. Things to know:
- If your child attends elementary school, view additional information about the adjusted Monday-Friday virtual schedule (PDF).
- If you child attends middle or high school, view additional information about the Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday virtual schedule as well as what students should expect on Wednesdays (PDF).
- Free meals (PDF) will continue to be available for all Chesterfield County youth ages 18 and younger.
- Technology support (PDF) will be set up at designated school sites for students and families.
In the coming days, families should expect to hear more about the return to virtual learning from their school, including what to expect on Monday when school resumes in a virtual setting.
The School Board will hold a special-called work session at 3 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 30 in the Public Meeting Room to receive an update on the current situation. During this meeting, a public health update will be provided and will include a review of the factors that have led to the decision to return at this time to an all-virtual learning environment.
Nov. 20, 2020 Update - 5 p.m.
Virginia Department of Health Announces Free COVID-19 Testing in Chesterfield Health District
Four free COVID-19 testing events around the Thanksgiving holiday
The Chesterfield Health District will offer four free COVID-19 testing events around the Thanksgiving holiday.
The following testing events are available for symptomatic individuals or contacts of a known COVID-19 case:
- Saturday, Nov. 21, Chesterfield Health Department, 9501 Lucy Corr Circle, Smith-Wagner Building, multipurpose room, 10:30-11:30 a.m.
- Monday, Nov. 23, Second Baptist Church, 5100 W Hundred Road, 2-3 p.m.
- Tuesday, Nov. 24, Walmsley United Methodist Church, 2950 Walmsley Blvd., 4-5 p.m.
- Monday, Nov. 30, Second Baptist Church, 5100 W Hundred Road, 2-3 p.m.
Symptoms of COVID-19 infection can include fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, headache, chills, muscle pain or new loss of taste or smell.
Tests are available on a first-come, first-served basis. No insurance is needed. No appointment is needed. This is a free service.
To protect yourself and healthcare workers, wear a cloth face covering or mask. Keep at least six feet of distance between yourself and other people at all times. Be sure to tell the testing providers if you have any symptoms of COVID-19, including fever, deep cough or shortness of breath, or believe that you may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19.
To lower the risk of spreading respiratory infections, including COVID-19, the Virginia Department of Health encourages everyone to:
- Stay home as much as possible, especially if you are at higher risk of serious illness. If you must go out in public, wear a cloth face covering;
- Stay home when you are sick;
- Avoid contact with sick people;
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing;
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer ONLY if soap and water are not available;
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth;
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces;
- If you are experiencing symptoms, call your doctor;
- Practice social distancing. Maintain at least six feet of space between yourself and other individuals when out in public; and avoid crowds of people.
For more information about the free testing events, call (804) 318-8207.
View VDH information on COVID-19 in Virginia.
Nov. 19, 2020 Update - 11:30 a.m.
Chesterfield Board of Supervisors Seek to Amend FY21 Budget
Additional resources due to stronger revenue performance, increased efficiencies
A combination of cost saving measures, higher sales tax revenue and accelerated residential growth is permitting the Chesterfield Board of Supervisors to reinvest in the county’s workforce through a series of amendments to the FY21 budget.
The Board of Supervisors has set a public hearing regarding the budget amendments during its final board meeting of the year on Wednesday, Dec. 16.
The FY21 budget was first approved in April. However, the Board of Supervisors shaved roughly $52 million from the original proposed budget through a series of measures that included furloughs and hiring freezes because of the economic uncertainty related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, a rise in local sales tax receipts, continued robust residential development and early cost saving measures in April provided additional revenue capacity and the Board of Supervisors is planning to invest that additional revenue into the county’s workforce.
More specifically, the Board of Supervisors is planning to dedicate $13.5 million to address public safety pay – the largest investment to public safety in the county’s history.
If approved, the measure would make starting salaries for Chesterfield Fire and EMS, Police and Sheriff employees some of the most competitive in the state. It also would establish a new step plan for public safety career advancements and eradicate pay compression for Chesterfield Fire and EMS, Police and Sheriff employees.
Proposed increases to county public safety compensation are part of a pay study conducted earlier this year at the request of the Board of Supervisors and county administrators.
Phase one of the pay increases for all three public safety agencies would begin in January 2021, with phase two of the pay implementation plan set to launch around April 2021 to address step increases and pay compression.
Aside from addressing compensation for public safety workers, other proposed FY21 budget amendments highlight additional investment in the county’s government workforce that include:
- A two percent merit raise.
- Increased investment in existing training and career development.
- Lifting all departmental hiring freezes.
- Dedicated resources for new equipment and infrastructure.
Furthermore, the proposed amendments also call for hiring 10 full-time librarians, recruiting a new Planning assistant director and increases to the county’s custodial contract to keep pace with COVID-19 protocols.
Read the full news release.
Nov. 18, 2020 Update - 6 p.m.
Governor Northam Signs Revised State Budget That Makes Key Investments, Provides Critical Relief During COVID-19 Pandemic
Budget includes eviction moratorium, support for utility customers
Governor Ralph Northam signed House Bill 5005, Virginia’s revised biennial budget. The Governor called the General Assembly into special session on Aug. 18 and has worked with legislative leaders to enact a spending plan that protects key priorities, preserves the Commonwealth’s financial options and addresses critical challenges that Virginians are facing amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The signed budget finalizes previously announced funding allocations that Virginia received under the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, including:
- Vaccination Program: $22 million for the Virginia Department of Health’s vaccination preparation and planning through the end of 2020
- K-12 Schools: $220 million for COVID-19 preparedness and response efforts in K-12 public schools, with all 132 school districts receiving at least $100,000
- Higher Education: $116 million to support ongoing COVID-19 response at public colleges, universities, and medical schools and $22 million for the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia to provide payments to private institutions of higher education
- Child Care: $65.8 million to increase access to child care and continue child care incentive grant program established in April
- Small Business Assistance: $70 million to establish the Rebuild VA economic recovery fund providing grants to small businesses and nonprofit organizations impacted by the pandemic and $30 million in additional funds to continue the program
- Broadband Accessibility: $30 million to fast-track broadband projects in underserved localities
- Home Health Workers: $73 million to provide hazard pay to home health personal attendants who served high-risk populations during the early months of the pandemic
- Workforce Training for Unemployed Virginians: $30 million to establish the Re-Employing Virginians initiative providing scholarships to individuals who enroll in programs in high-demand fields
- Rent and Mortgage Relief: $12 million to expand the Virginia Rent and Mortgage Relief Program launched in June
- Food Banks: $7 million to help Virginia food banks meet increased demand for food assistance
- Medicaid Day Support Providers: $25 million to fund monthly retainer payments for day support programs that provide services for Virginians with developmental disabilities.
- Free Clinics: $3 million to reimburse members of the Virginia Association of Free and Charitable Clinics for COVID-19 expenses
Utility Shutoff Protections
The budget signed today includes $100 million in Coronavirus Relief Funds (CRF) to support jurisdictional and municipal utility customers facing financial hardship due to the public health crisis. It also directs the State Corporation Commission to establish an application process for distributing the funds to utilities so they can efficiently provide direct assistance to eligible customers.
The budget also puts in place a moratorium on utility disconnections, including water and electricity, which will remain in effect until the Governor determines that the economic and public health conditions have improved such that the prohibition does not need to be in place or until at least 60 days after the declared state of emergency ends. The budget includes protections for utility providers dealing with revenue shortfalls and establishes a repayment plan to give customers the opportunity to pay off back debt over a longer period.
The budget prohibits evictions for non-payment of rent through Dec. 31, 2020, which is stronger than current federal protections. Landlords and tenants must cooperate and apply for rental assistance through the Virginia Rent and Mortgage Relief Program (RMRP) administered by the Department of Housing and Community Development. After Jan. 1, 2021, the budget requires landlords and tenants to work together to access rent assistance, including through the RMRP, before proceeding with an eviction.
View a full list of legislation signed by the Governor during the special session.
Nov. 16, 2020 Update - 12:30 p.m.
Chesterfield Commissioner of the Revenue Office Now Offering Pre-Scheduled, In-Person Appointments
Unscheduled walk-in visits indefinitely suspended to optimize customer service during the COVID-19 pandemic
To more efficiently serve residents while safeguarding employee and community health, Chesterfield’s Office of the Commissioner of the Revenue is now pre-scheduling in-person appointments by phone and email. Unscheduled walk-in visits to the office have been suspended indefinitely to optimize customer service during the COVID-19 pandemic.
To schedule an in-person appointment, residents may call 804-748-1281 and follow the prompts provided. Alternatively, residents may send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org that includes their name, tax account number and a brief description of their issue. When scheduling an appointment, a tax assessment specialist will ensure residents are informed of the information, documents and other materials they should bring with them to the office.
During a pre-scheduled, in-person appointment, residents are required to wear a face covering over both their nose and mouth in all Chesterfield County buildings. Residents are also asked to observe physical distancing guidelines, as indicated.
As Commissioner of the Revenue, Jenefer Hughes is responsible for fairly and equitably applying the Code of Virginia and county ordinances to determine citizen’s tax contributions to pay for the county’s public services. Her office is responsible for administering the business property tax; other businesses taxes such as transient occupancy and short-term rental tax; and personal property taxes on vehicles, mobile homes and boats.
Additionally, her office administers tax relief programs for elderly and disabled residents as well as veterans, assists residents in preparing and filing their income tax returns, issues business licenses, resolves problems related to tax matters for residents and more.
For more information about Hughes and the Office of the Commissioner of the Revenue, visit www.chesterfield.gov/comrev. Open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., the office can be contacted by phone at 804-748-1281 and by email at email@example.com..
Read the full news release.
Nov. 16, 2020 Update - 9:15 a.m.
Chesterfield Modifies Qualifications for its CARES Water Assistance Program
Updated program requirements seek to reach more county residents in need
Chesterfield County is modifying several of its requirements for its recently launched Chesterfield CARES Water Assistance Program to reach more residents in need.
The program, which was originally launched in late October, offers relief to residents who have fallen behind on utility bill payments after a loss or decrease in income due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Administered through the Department of Social Services, the program uses federal CARES Act funding for those in need of assistance in paying past-due water and wastewater utility bills.
Residents may apply online at www.chesterfield.gov/COVIDWaterBillHelp. Applications should be submitted by Monday, Nov. 30, 2020, and funds will be awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis.
1) Applicants must live in Chesterfield County and have an active residential Chesterfield County utility water and/or wastewater account.
2) Applicants must have a past due balance on their residential water and/or wastewater account within the March 1 to Nov. 30, 2020 time frame.
3) During the period of time between March 1 and Nov. 30, 2020, at least one household member must have been furloughed, laid off, unemployed or under-employed due to COVID-19; been unable to find a job due to COVID-19; had to leave or quit their job due to COVID-19 illness; or had to leave or quit their job to care for someone with COVID-19.
4) Households should provide documentation of circumstances described in Section 3 if available (examples include documentation of business closing, pre/post COVID-19 banking account statements, an unemployment letter, notice of furlough or layoff, one paystub from before March 1 and one paystub from after March 1 which shows a decrease in income due to COVID-19, etc.).
Initial funding assistance amount will not exceed $500. Depending on funding availability on or after Dec. 1, 2020, applicants may be eligible for up to $200 in additional funding assistance if their household income has not increased and assistance for past due balances is still required.
For more information about the program, visit www.chesterfield.gov/COVIDWaterBillHelp to review qualifications, necessary documentation and begin the online application process.
Read the full news release.
Nov. 13, 2020 Update - 3:15 p.m.
Governor Northam Announces New Statewide Measures to Contain COVID-19
Includes limit of 25 individuals for in-person gatherings, expanded mask mandate, on-site alcohol curfew and increased enforcement
As COVID-19 surges in states across the country, Governor Ralph Northam announced new actions to mitigate the spread of the virus in Virginia. While the Commonwealth’s case count per capita and positivity rate remain comparatively low, all five health regions are experiencing increases in new COVID-19 cases, positive tests and hospitalizations.
Governor Northam shared a new video to update Virginians on the additional steps the Commonwealth is taking to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
The following measures will take effect at midnight on Sunday, Nov. 15:
- Reduction in public and private gatherings: All public and private in-person gatherings must be limited to 25 individuals, down from the current cap of 250 people. This includes outdoor and indoor settings.
- Expansion of mask mandate: All Virginians aged five and over are required to wear face coverings in indoor public spaces. This expands the current mask mandate, which has been in place in Virginia since May 29 and requires all individuals aged 10 and over to wear face coverings in indoor public settings.
- Strengthened enforcement within essential retail businesses: All essential retail businesses, including grocery stores and pharmacies, must adhere to statewide guidelines for physical distancing, wearing face coverings and enhanced cleaning. While certain essential retail businesses have been required to adhere to these regulations as a best practice, violations will now be enforceable through the Virginia Department of Health as a Class One misdemeanor.
- On-site alcohol curfew: The on-site sale, consumption and possession of alcohol is prohibited after 10 p.m. in any restaurant, dining establishment, food court, brewery, microbrewery, distillery, winery or tasting room. All restaurants, dining establishments, food courts, breweries, microbreweries, distilleries, wineries and tasting rooms must close by midnight. Virginia law does not distinguish between restaurants and bars, however, under current restrictions, individuals that choose to consume alcohol prior to 10 p.m. must be served as in a restaurant and remain seated at tables six feet apart.
Virginia is averaging 1,500 newly-reported COVID-19 cases per day, up from a statewide peak of approximately 1,200 in May. While Southwest Virginia has experienced a spike in the number of diagnosed COVID-19 cases, all five of the Commonwealth’s health regions are currently reporting a positivity rate over five percent. Although hospital capacity remains stable, hospitalizations have increased statewide by more than 35 percent in the last four weeks.
On Tuesday, Governor Northam announced new contracts with three laboratories as part of the Commonwealth’s OneLabNetwork, which will significantly increase Virginia’s public health testing capacity. Contracts with Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, University of Virginia Medical Center in Charlottesville and Sentara Healthcare in Norfolk will directly support high-priority outbreak investigations, community testing events, and testing in congregate settings, with a goal of being able to perform 7,000 per day by the end of the year.
Visit the Executive Actions webpage for the full text of amended Executive Order Sixty-Three and Order of Public Health Emergency Five and sixth amended Executive Order Sixty-Seven and Order of Public Health Emergency Seven.
For information about COVID-19 in Virginia, visit vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus.
Nov. 13, 2020 Update - 9:15 a.m.
Nov. 18 Board of Supervisors Meeting to Be Held In Person
Residents can also submit comments ahead of time using online form
The Chesterfield County Board of Supervisors meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 18, will be held in person in the Public Meeting Room at 10001 Iron Bridge Road. The online comment form is available for citizens to submit comments ahead of time.
The meeting will begin at 2 p.m. with a work session followed by the 6 p.m. evening session. Both sessions will be held in the Public Meeting Room and will be available for viewing on Comcast Channel 98, Verizon Channel 28, and live streamed on chesterfield.gov and the county’s YouTube channel.
Measures are being put in place to accommodate in person public input while practicing social distancing, as recommended by health officials.
Residents wishing to participate in person will be required to wear a face covering and pass a simple health screening before entering the building. In order to maintain the 6-foot social distance requirement, seating will be extremely limited; however, TV monitors will be set up outside the Public Meeting Room.
Due to the COVID 19 occupancy limits of the Public Meeting Room, the general public will not able to be seated in the room, however, citizens requesting to speak before the Board will be given the opportunity to comment in person at the appropriate time.
Residents who wish to make comments on the portion of the Board’s agenda known as "Citizen Comment Period on Unscheduled Matters" can submit comments via the online form; or call in comments and leave a message at 804-748-1808. A maximum of 15 citizens may leave comments for this meeting in accordance with the Board’s procedures on “Citizen Comment Period on Unscheduled Matters.” The portal will close at 5 p.m. on the day prior to the scheduled board meeting (Tuesday, Nov. 17) in order to prepare comments for the public and the board to see in a timely manner; prior to the Board meeting.
Residents who wish to provide input on any and all of the public hearing items on the agenda are encouraged to submit comments via the online form. Residents without internet access may call in comments and leave a message at 804-748-1808.
The public hearing comment form and the meeting agenda are posted online for citizens to view, and citizens are encouraged to view public hearing agenda items and all attachments before submitting a comment.
There are no limits on the number of citizens that can comment on each public hearing item; however, each citizen may submit only one comment per public hearing topic. The allotted comment space is equivalent to the 3-minute allotted time of in-person board meetings. At the end of each day through Nov. 17, the clerk will post all public hearing comments received that day for the public to view. Public hearing comments will be received until 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 17 in order to prepare comments for the public and the board to see in a timely manner, prior to the board meeting.
All comments received will be distributed to the board and posted online for the public to view in advance of the meeting and will be made a part of the board’s official public record within the rules of procedure adopted by the Board of Supervisors.
- The online public comment form may be accessed directly at www.chesterfield.gov/BOScomments.
- The public comment voicemail phone number is 804-748-1808.
Read the full news release.
Nov. 12, 2020 Update - 1 p.m.
November 17 Planning Commission Meeting to Be Held In Person
Residents can also submit comments ahead of time using online form
The Chesterfield Planning Commission will hold its Tuesday, Nov. 17 meeting in person in the Public Meeting Room at 10001 Iron Bridge Road.
Measures are being put in place to accommodate public input while still practicing social distancing, as recommended by health officials.
Residents wishing to comment in person will be required to wear a face covering and pass a simple health screening before entering the building. In order to maintain the 6-foot social distance requirement, seating will be extremely limited; however, TV monitors will be set up outside the Public Meeting Room.
Citizens are encouraged to use the online comment form to provide comment on public hearings regarding zoning cases. Those wishing to comment must submit a new online form for each public hearing they want to comment on. Only one comment per person per public hearing will be accepted. The online form can also be used to comment on unscheduled matters. In addition to the form, comments can also be received by email the Planning Department, or by calling 804-748-1125.
The Planning Commission will accept all public comments (online portal, telephone message and email) until 5 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 16 to ensure the comments are provided to the Planning Commission prior to the 6 p.m. meeting for their consideration.
The agenda, staff reports, and PowerPoint presentations for the Nov. 17 Planning Commission Meeting.
The Chesterfield Planning Commission Meeting will be livestreamed on WCCT Chesterfield Community Television, including Comcast channel 98 and Verizon channel 28, and on the Chesterfield County YouTube.
Read the full news release.
Nov. 10, 2020 Update - 5:30 p.m.
LISC Virginia and Chesterfield County Launch Relief Fund for Small Businesses Harmed by COVID-19
Grants up to $10,000 to pay for payroll, rent, utilities, vendor bills and COVID-19-related expenses
LISC Virginia and Chesterfield County have announced the launch of the Chesterfield County Microenterprise Relief Fund. This fund will provide small businesses with five or fewer employees grants up to $10,000 to pay for payroll, rent, utilities, vendor bills and COVID-19-related expenses.
Small business owners can apply through the LISC Virginia website. Applications will be accepted on a rolling-basis until all the funds are disbursed. Funds will be disbursed on a first-come, first-serve basis. These grants will provide rapid relief to small businesses, helping them remain operational, retain employees and continue offering vital goods and services in their community.
This program will help business owners most unlikely to access or receive capital assistance from traditional sources. To qualify for the program, the small business must be a microenterprise with five or fewer employees, one of whom owns the business. The business owner’s household income must also be below 80% of the area median income (AMI). For further information about eligibility requirements, please visit the LISC Virginia website.
The fund was made available after the Chesterfield County Board of Supervisors approved the use of federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act Community Development Block Grant funds. Chesterfield County’s CDBG program is administered by the Department of Community Enhancement.
Read the full news release.
Nov. 9, 2020 Update - 5:30 p.m.
Governor Northam Announces $25 Million in CARES Act Funding for Medicaid Day Support Providers
Governor Ralph Northam announced that Virginia will allocate $25 million from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act to fund monthly retainer payments for day support programs that provide services for Virginians with developmental disabilities. These programs offer day support, community engagement and community coaching to individuals who are receiving Medicaid’s developmental disability waiver services.
Because of the pandemic, many day support programs have had to change their service delivery models and limit the services they provide and the number of clients they are able to serve. This has had an impact on their budgets and ability to remain open. Between March 12 and July 31, 2020, these providers were allowed to bill Medicaid for retainer payments instead of services.
New budget language extends the ability of the Department of Medical Assistance Services (DMAS) to offer similar payments through the end of December, using this CARES Act funding. DMAS will administer the payments and determine eligibility. Payments will cover the period from Aug. 1 to Dec. 30, 2020.
Nov. 9, 2020 Update - 4:15 p.m.
Governor Northam Announces $22 Million for Virginia’s Private Institutions of Higher Education
Funding will support ongoing COVID-19 response at private colleges and universities
Governor Ralph Northam announced a new allocation of $22 million in federal Coronavirus Aid, Recovery and Economic Security (CARES) Act dollars to support Virginia’s private institutions of higher education. This funding is proportionate to recently announced CARES Act funding for public institutions, and will be used to support COVID-19 preparedness and response efforts at Virginia’s private non-profit colleges and universities.
This funding will be allocated to the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) and distributed to institutions based on COVID-19 expenses incurred between July 1 and Nov. 1, 2020. The funds will support pandemic-related expenditures including personal protective equipment, sanitization and cleaning, and testing for students, staff and faculty.
In June, the Commonwealth issued guidance to Virginia higher education institutions for developing plans to safely reopen campuses and resume in-person instruction.
Nov. 9, 2020 Update - 1 p.m.
Governor Northam Allocates $60 Million in CARES Act Funding for Municipal Utility Relief
Total of $120 million will provide payment support for customers impacted by COVID-19 pandemic
Governor Ralph Northam announced a new allocation of $60 million in funding from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Recovery and Economic Security (CARES) Act to support municipal utility relief efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic. Combined with the Governor’s proposed budget amendment to provide $60 million for jurisdictional utilities, the Commonwealth is directing a total of $120 million for residential and non-residential utility customers impacted by the ongoing public health crisis.
The $60 million municipal utility relief program will be administered by the Department of Housing and Community Development and the Department of Accounts. The program will allow counties and cities to apply to set-up smaller, locally administered relief programs, which will support customers’ bill payments and assist with outstanding debt. On Thursday, Nov. 5, Governor Northam proposed an amendment to the biennial budget that would match the $60 million in CARES Act funding for municipal utilities with $60 million for jurisdictional utilities, which are utilities overseen by the State Corporation Commission.
The program application and eligibility criteria for counties and cities and their municipal utilities will be available in the coming weeks. For more information about the program, visit dhcd.virginia.gov/utilityrelief.
Nov. 9, 2020 Update - Noon
Governor Northam Directs $7 Million in CARES Act Funding to Virginia Food Banks
Money will help address food insecurity amid COVID-19 pandemic
Governor Ralph Northam announced that Virginia will allocate $7 million in federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act dollars to Virginia food banks to help Virginians who rely on food assistance.
Prior to the pandemic, approximately 850,000 Virginians, including 250,000 children, did not know where their next meal would come from. Feeding America estimates that up to 275,000 more Virginians may experience food insecurity in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This allocation of CARES Act funding will help the Federation of Virginia Food Banks purchase fresh food and dairy products, filling an expected gap caused by the end of the federal Farmers to Families Food Box program and a severe drop in commodities at the end of the year. Food banks can also use the money to purchase shelf-stable commodities and address storage, refrigeration and transportation issues.
In July, the Commonwealth committed an initial $1.4 million in CARES Act funding to help launch a new statewide initiative with Sentara Healthcare, Truist, and the Federation of Virginia Food Banks called the “We Care” COVID-19 Virginia Emergency Food Support Plan, providing approximately 100,000 food boxes to Virginia families.
Governor Northam asked the General Assembly to approve an additional $650,000 in Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) funding to support food bank services. Governor Northam and the Children’s Cabinet recently released the Virginia Roadmap to End Hunger, a set of goals and strategies to prioritize food security during the Commonwealth’s response to COVID-19 and beyond.
Additionally, Governor Northam, members of his Cabinet, and staff will be volunteering at food banks during the month of November.
Nov. 5, 2020 Update - 7 p.m.
Governor Northam Takes Action on Revised State Budget, Final Special Session Bills
Newly-signed laws advance sentencing reform, establish statewide ‘Marcus’ alert system
Governor Ralph Northam has taken action on Virginia’s revised biennial budget, sending ten amendments to the General Assembly. He also signed three new laws and proposed changes to one bill, which mark his final actions on legislation passed during the special session that began on Tuesday, Aug. 18.
Governor Northam took action on Virginia’s revised biennial budget, which lawmakers were forced to adjust due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Among other amendments, the Governor included enabling language that will allow the Commonwealth to implement redistricting reform in the state constitution, as passed by Virginia voters on Election Day. Governor Northam also proposed an additional $1 million to fund an independent investigation into the culture at the Virginia Military Institute.
Governor Northam signed Senate Bill 5038, sponsored by Senator McPike, and House Bill 5043, sponsored by Delegate Bourne, which establish a statewide mental health awareness response and community understanding services (Marcus) alert system. This measure promotes a behavioral health response to individuals in crisis, including by limiting the role of law enforcement, and is named after Marcus-David Peters, who was killed by a police officer while experiencing a behavioral health crisis in 2018.
The Governor also signed Senate Bill 5007, sponsored by Senator Morrissey, which aligns Virginia with the vast majority of states in allowing judges to decide sentences in criminal cases, except when a defendant requests sentencing by a jury. This change is expected to result in fairer sentences and reduce over-incarceration.
Governor Northam proposed changes to House Bill 5106, sponsored by Delegate Cole, which protects certain tenants that have been impacted financially by the COVID-19 pandemic. He added a technical amendment, which clearly defines the adverse actions that may not be taken against tenants based on payment history or an eviction for nonpayment of rent that occurred during the pandemic.
View the Governor Northam’s letter to the General Assembly (PDF) detailing his amendments to the revised state budget.
Nov. 2, 2020 Update - 6:45 p.m.
Governor Northam Announces Over $9 Million in GO Virginia Grants to Spur Economic Recovery, Support Long-Term Growth
Funding to advance regional workforce development programs, business scale-up initiatives in response to COVID-19 pandemic
Governor Ralph Northam announced two allocations of Growth and Opportunity for Virginia (GO Virginia) grants, totaling more than $9 million.
Since the program’s inception in 2017, GO Virginia has funded 138 projects and awarded approximately $43.8 million to support regional economic development efforts.
View more information about the GO Virginia program. The GO Virginia Board includes key members of the Governor’s cabinet, the business community and the General Assembly.
2020 Round Three Statewide Grant Awards
Virginia Small Business Development Center Cash Match 2020-2021
The Virginia Small Business Development Center (SBDC) will expand its services for small businesses by providing matching funds required to access the full funding available from the Small Business Administration (SBA), which has a 1:1 match requirement with 50 percent cash.
Virtual Virginia Workforce
$1,500,000 (Phase I skills gap analysis authorized)
Region 4: Counties of Charles City, Chesterfield, Dinwiddie, Goochland, Greensville, Hanover, Henrico, New Kent, Powhatan, Prince George, Surry and Sussex and the cities of Colonial Heights, Emporia, Hopewell, Petersburg and Richmond
Nov. 2, 2020 Update - 9 a.m.
Chesterfield CARES Water Assistance Program
Water and wastewater bill relief for those impacted economically by COVID-19
Has a loss or decrease in income due to the COVID-19 pandemic caused you to fall behind on your water and wastewater utility bill payments? The Chesterfield CARES Water Assistance Program is here to offer relief.
Administered through the Department of Social Services, the program uses federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding to assist Chesterfield residents needing assistance to pay past-due utility bills. Applications should be submitted by Monday, Nov. 30, 2020, and funds will be awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis.
- Applicants must live in Chesterfield County and have an active residential Chesterfield County utility water and/or wastewater account.
- Applicants must have a past due balance on their residential water and/or wastewater account within the March 1 to Nov. 30, 2020 time frame.
- Households must show a decrease in income due to COVID-19. All adult members of the household (18 years and older) must submit proof of a decrease in income due to COVID-19. (Examples include an unemployment letter, notice of furlough or layoff, one paystub from before March 1 and one paystub from after March 1 which shows a decrease in income due to COVID-19, etc.)
- Self-employed applicants must provide documentation to show a decrease in income due to COVID-19. (Examples include documentation of business closing, pre/post COVID-19 banking account statements, etc.)
Initial funding assistance amount will not exceed $500. Depending on funding availability on or after Dec. 1, 2020, if household income has not increased and assistance for past due balances is still required, applicants may be eligible for up to $200 in additional funding assistance.
Questions about the program? Visit www.chesterfield.gov/COVIDWaterBillHelp to review qualifications, necessary documentation and begin the application process.