Covid-19 Local Response
Town of Front Royal Response
This page is continually updated and information may change on a daily basis (Updated 3/30/20 2:40pm)
During this challenging time, the Town of Front Royal is closely monitoring information related to COVID-19 in Virginia and surrounding counties from the Virginia Department of Health (VDH), Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and Governor of Virginia to minimize COVID-19 related impact in our community and facilities.
We have and will continue to take necessary steps to ensure the continuation of all essential Town services: government administration, electric, refuse collection, sewer, and water to our residents. Additionally, we have taken various precautions to safeguard citizens and employees. A partial list of these safeguard includes the following:
- Effective March 23, 2020 – All Town of Front Royal buildings and offices, including Town Hall, will be closed to the general public. Essential personnel have been identified and notified to report to work as their Directors have directed. We have maximized work-from-home policies and equipped non-essential personnel with laptops and mobile phone devices in order to continuing service to citizens. During the period in which Town buildings and offices are closed, response will be as follows:
- Department of Finance:
- Drive-Thru lanes will remain open during hours of normal operation. The right lane will be used for payments only and the left lane will be used for additional transactions, such as change of utility service request. The Town anticipates longer wait times for those using the drive-thru services and recommends citizens to call the Department of Finance to discuss any question related to utility services or payments.
- Finance Department staff will be available by telephone.
- The Town will NOT disconnect utility service due to non-payment of a utility account.
- The Town will NOT assess late fees or penalties for balances on utility accounts.
- The Town will continue to mail utility bills and applicable delinquent notifications.
- To avoid long delays the Town strongly encourages citizens to use an alternative method of payment including:
- Website - https://frontroyalva.com/373/Online-Payments (Utilities & Tax Payments)
- By Telephone – Please call the Finance Department 540-635-7799
- By Mail - Check/Money Order can be sent to P.O. Box 1560, Front Royal, VA 22630
- Drop box – The drop box is located on the outside of the building just before the drive-thru window
- Planning and Zoning Department will be able to accept permit applications through the US mail. Approvals will be returned by mail or email accordingly.
Town of Front Royal Department of Planning and Zoning
102 East Main St.
Front Royal, VA 22630
- Electric, Wastewater and Water Treatment Departments: As of Friday, March 13, 2020 – All employees in these critical departments have staffed in shifts and teams in order to segregate themselves whenever possible from other employees. Additionally, the Director is limiting or preventing sharing of equipment and vehicles in order to limit possible virus exposure.
- Front Royal Police Department: On Thursday, March 12, 2020 initiated the Pandemic Influenza Standard Operating Procedures and Protocols.
- The Town Manager has been conducting daily meetings with all Department Directors and tracking staffing, sickness, effectiveness, inventory, as well as, receiving and transmitting general information. All employees have been trained and are following CDC and VDH guidelines for disinfecting work area, personal hygiene and social distancing. The following has been instituted to exercise proper hygiene:
- Providing hand sanitize stations in all Town buildings.
- Regularly cleaning and disinfecting commons areas in all Town buildings
- Requiring Town employees to regularly wash their hands
- Limiting in-person interactions in Town buildings by requiring citizens to use the Town Hall drive-thru to pay utility bills and conduct other Town business via phone, email, or mail.
Status of Town infrastructure and mission critical systems:
Every morning the Town Manager reviews with Town Departmental Directors and Managers their operational status. (updated 3/30/20 11:33am)
- Energy Services: 100% operational effectiveness.
- Front Royal Police Department: 100% operational effectiveness.
- Wastewater Treatment Plant: 100% operational effectiveness.
- Water Treatment Plant: 100% operational effectiveness.
- Refuge: 100% operational effectiveness.
- Finance: 90% operational effectiveness.
Our mission is to keep our employees and citizens healthy and safe as this situation evolves. We are committed to providing you with accurate information as quickly as we receive it. Please understand information changes frequently but we will do our very best to keep your informed.
Citizens Support and Information (Updated 3/26/20 4:51 pm)
Coronavirus (COVID19) Basics
How does it spread?
- Coronaviruses are zoonotic, meaning they are transmitted between animals and people. Detailed investigations found that SARS-CoV was transmitted from civet cats to humans and MERS-CoV from dromedary camels to humans. Several known coronaviruses are circulating in animals that have not yet infected humans.
Common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.
What are the symptoms?
What can I do to prevent illness?
What should I do if I am feeling sick?
- If you think that you (or a family member) may be experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, residents are urged to NOT show up unannounced at any local medical facility but instead contact a Primary Care Physician to discuss your symptoms. If you meet the Virginia Department of Health screening criteria and require COVID-19 testing, you will be directed to the appropriate local medical facility for treatment. If you have general questions regarding COVID-19, please call the Lord Fairfax Health District local call center at (540) 771-3992 or the Virginia Department of Health public information line at 1-877-ASK-VDH3 (1-877-275-8343). As always, if you are experiencing a true medical emergency, call 911 or report to the closest hospital’s emergency room for emergent treatment.
Businesses (updated 3/30/20 9:32am)
Virginia Small Business Development Center (SBDC) provides additional details on the Federal Disaster Loans for economic damage.
Discovery: The Virginia SBDC provides assistance and additional resources and eligibility requirements that define small businesses, eligibility requirements, and offer lending criteria directly on their website.
Applicants are encouraged to apply directly to SBA’s Disaster Assistance Program.
SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDLs) funding comes directly from the U.S. Treasury, and based on applicable lending criteria per applicant, the loan interest rate is 3.75% with payments up to a maximum of 30 years. Loans are available of up to $2 million per small business.
Suggested Applicant Planning & Next Steps: SBDC can help you through these steps!
Loan Assistance opportunity address: https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/disaster-assistance
- Review eligibility
- Identify how this loan can best assist your small business
- Identify how much of this loan you would like to borrow
- Identify lending criteria and terms
- Review and navigate the application system. Chrome is not suggested.
- Gather important financial documents
- Apply and be prepared for someone from SBA to contact you.
SBA announces Express Bridge Loan Pilot Program effective March 25, 2020.
Discovery: The United States Small Business Administration (SBA), pursuant to its authority under the Small Business Act, provides direct loan assistance to small businesses. The SBA has set up an Express Bridge Loan (EBL) Pilot Program that authorizes SBA Express Lenders to provided expedited SBA-guaranteed bridge loan financing on an emergency basis up to $25,000.
Express Bridge Loan Pilot Program
EBL loans can be approved through March 13, 2021. It applies the policies and procedures in place for the SBA Express program to allow SBA Express Lenders to use a streamlined underwriting process for EBL loans. The modification for the COVID-19 Emergency Declaration minimizes the burden on small businesses applying for loans through the EBL Pilot Program and encourage SBA Express Lenders to participate.
EBL loans are only available through SBA Express Lenders with a valid “Supplemental Loan Guaranty Agreement SBA Express Program”, in effect as of March 13, 2020. Eligible small businesses and SBA Express Lenders must already have had an existing banking relationship on or before the date of March 13, 2020.
Eligible Small Businesses
EBL loans may only be made to small businesses that were operation when the declared disaster commenced and must meet all other 7(a) loan eligibility requirements.
EBL Quick Facts
- Limited to $25,000
- Fixed or Variable interest rate
- Maximum 7-year loan term
Information on this website is provided solely as a convenience to the citizens of Front Royal, and such, citizens assume all risks associated with using this site.
Unemployment Benefit Matters (updated 3/30/20 11:31am)
Virginia Unemployment Insurance Program
General Information about the Unemployment Insurance Program and to file unemployment claim online: http://www.vec.virginia.gov/unemployed
To file a claim by telephone number: 1-866-832-2363
Coronavirus update: Virginia is providing updates on Unemployment Insurance changes related to COVID-19 here: http://www.vec.virginia.gov/qa-coronavirus
Unemployment Updates due to COVID-19
Governor Northam announced the following actions to protect working Virginians impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak:
- No waiting for unemployment benefits. Governor Northam has directed the Commissioner of the Virginia Employment Commission to waive the one-week waiting period to ensure workers can receive benefits as soon as possible.
- Enhanced eligibility for unemployment. Workers may be eligible to receive unemployment benefits if an employer needs to temporarily slow or cease operations due to COVID-19. If a worker has been issued a notice to self-quarantine by a medical or public health official and is not receiving paid sick or medical leave from their employer, they may be eligible to receive unemployment benefits. In addition, a worker may be eligible for unemployment benefits if they must stay home to care for an ill family member and are not receiving paid family medical leave from their employer.
- Fewer restrictions. For individuals receiving unemployment insurance, Governor Northam is directing the Virginia Employment Commission to give affected workers special consideration on deadlines, mandatory re-employment appointments, and work search requirements.
The Office of the Governor is providing a Frequently Asked Questions guide for workers that have been temporarily laid off or discharged during this public health crisis.
If you are a worker who has been totally or partially separated from your job due to Coronavirus, please note that no claim for unemployment insurance may be filed or processed until an actual lay off from employment has occurred, or until there has been an actual reduction in hours. When filing your claim for unemployment benefits, please be sure to check the reason for separation as Lack of Work/Lay off. If you will be filing because of a reduction in hours, you will not receive benefits unless your gross earnings are less than your weekly benefit amount.
The program now applies to workers who are out of work because they are:
- quarantined, either on their own initiative or at the direction of a medical official
- caring for a family member who is ill or under quarantine
- caring for a child whose school or day care was closed
3/28/20 The CARES Act, federal legislation to expand eligibility for unemployment insurance, has become law. Virginia will receive guidance from the United States Department of Labor about how to implement the provisions of the law. After VEC receives that guidance, it will be posted on their website and they will begin implementing the new provisions.
3/28/20 There are reports of scammers attempting to defraud users applying for unemployment insurance. Please make sure you are on this site, www.vec.virginia.gov or www.vawc.virginia.gov when applying for benefits.
Q&A on Claims Related to Coronavirus
UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE PROCEDURES IN RESPONSE TO COVID-19
Q. When should I file a claim for unemployment compensation benefits?
A. You should file your claim on-line (**preferred method) through our Website at www.vec.virginia.gov after you have been out of work at least 1 full day. If you do not have access to a computer, you can file your claim through our Customer Contact Center by calling 866-832-2363 Monday through Friday 8:15am – 4:30pm. Your claim will be effective Sunday of the week in which you submit your on-line application or file through our Customer Contact Center.
Q. My hours have been reduced. Can I apply for unemployment compensation benefits?
A. You can file due to a reduction in hours. If your gross earnings are less than your weekly benefit amount. Currently, the maximum weekly benefit amount in Virginia is $378.
Q. What happens after I complete my unemployment insurance application?
A. Once your claim is processed by the VEC, you will receive three important documents. The Benefit Rights document explains eligibility requirements and what you need to do each week to claim your benefits. The Monetary Determination document shows how much money you may be eligible to receive. You will also receive a PIN. You need the PIN to claim weekly benefits and to make inquiries about your claim.
Q. How much money will I qualify to receive?
A. Depending on your earnings, your benefit amount may range from a minimum of $60 per week for 12 weeks to a maximum of $378 a week for 26 weeks. (Refer to your Monetary Determination)
Q. How soon before I can expect a benefit payment?
A. Beginning with claims effective March 15, 2020, Governor Northam has directed that the one week waiting period and the requirement to conduct a weekly job search both be suspended for those receiving unemployment insurance benefits. If you are eligible for benefits, a payment should be processed shortly after you claim your first full week. You will need to refer to the Benefit Rights document for instructions on claiming weekly benefits.
Resources: (Updated 3/27/20 4:28pm)
- Warren County Coronavirus Latest Information https://www.warrencountyva.net/coronavirus-latest-information
- CDC https://www.cdc.gov Coronavirus 101
- WHO https://www.who.int
- VDH http://www.vdh.virginia.gov
- WCFR http://www.warrencountyfire.com
- Front Royal Police Department https://frontroyalva.com/169/Police-Department
- Front Royal Public Works Department https://frontroyalva.com/200/Public-Works
- Front Royal Energy Services https://frontroyalva.com/230/Energy-Services
- Town Administration https://frontroyalva.com/223/Town-Manager
- Warren County Administration https://warrencountyva.net/government/county-departments/administration
- Warren Memorial Hospital https://www.valleyhealthlink.com/warren-memorial-hospital/the-new-warren-memorial-hospital/
- Office of the Governor of Virginia https://www.governor.virginia.gov/
- Valley Health Coronavirus Updates https://www.valleyhealthlink.com/patients-visitors/coronavirus-covid-19-updates/
Key Phone Numbers
- Town Administration: 540.635.8007
- Town Police Department (Non Emergency Number) : 540.635.2111
- Town Finance Department: 540.635.7799
- Town Energy Services: 540.635.3027
- Town Public Works: 540.635.7819
- Town Planning and Zoning: 540.635.4236
- County Administration: 540.636.4600
- County Building Inspector: 540.636.9973
- County Commissioner of Revenue: 540.635.2651
- County Treasurer: 540.635.2215
- Sheriff’s Department (Non Emergency Number): 540.635.4128
- County Fire and Rescue (Non Emergency Number): 540.636.3830
- Social Services: 540.635.3430
- County Parks and Recreation: 540.635.7750
- County Planning and Zoning: 540.636.3354
- Voter Registrar’s Office: 540.635.4327
Other Important Numbers:
- Chamber of Commerce: 540.635.3185
- Clerk of Court: 540.635.2435
- Commonwealth Attorney: 540.635.5441
- DMV: 866.368.5463
- EDA: 540.635.2182
- Virginia Employment Commission (Front Royal) 540.635.1511
- Virginia Employment Commission (Winchester) 540.722.3415
- Warren County GIS Coronavirus information
- COVID-19 Summary in Virginia: Virginia - Situation Summary and Map from the Virginia Department of Health.
- United States summary of cases: US - Situation Summary and US - Case Summary from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- Worldwide summary of COVID-19: Worldwide - Situation Summary from the World Health Organization.
- Worldwide maps of COVID-19 cases: Worldwide - Cases Map (World Health Organization) and Worldwide - Cases Map (John Hopkins University)