Prince William declares state of emergency, now has 3 coronavirus cases

Prince William County Executive Christopher Martino

As of noon today, Prince William County and her residents are living under a state of emergency.

County Executive Chris Martino signed a Declaration of Local State of Emergency for Prince William County in response to the guidance from the Centers for Disease Control to limit crowds of people to 50 or less to help slow the spread of the coronavirus, the COVID-19 virus that originated from Wuhan, China.

The declaration is in effect as of noon today, March 16, and will allow the county to mobilize and prioritize resources, handle procurement issues, as well as assign and coordinate response activities to help promote and enforce social distancing, the county told Potomac Local News.

“We know that it’s critical that we practice social distancing as much as possible in order to help slow the spread of COVID-19 and help our health system. This declaration will help us mobilize resources to put practices and policies in place to keep our employees and residents healthy,” states Prince William County Executive Christopher Martino. “It is important to note that this declaration is not because we’ve seen a dramatic increase in the number of confirmed cases in Prince William County. As of right now, the county remains at three confirmed cases and we have no reason to suspect community spread.”

In order to enforce social distancing as much as possible in the community, Prince William County has taken the following actions in the last 24 hours:
  • Closed all libraries.
  • Closing the Adult Day Healthcare program as of Tuesday, March 17.
  • Canceled the Board of County Supervisors meeting scheduled for Tuesday, March 17.
  • Canceled the Planning Commission meeting scheduled for Wednesday, March 18.
This is in addition to the action taken last week that closed park facilities, senior centers and canceling all outside meetings to be held in county facilities. More information on the state of the virus’s effects on the county can be found here: pwcgov.org/emergency.
Residents are strongly encouraged to practice social distancing in their day to day activities, as well. The county also encourages residents to do business with the county online as much as possible. If they must come to a county facility, residents should call the office they wish to visit before making the trip, Martino urged.
Of the 51 cases of coronavirus now reported on Virginia, Prince William County is home to three infected patients.

At least one person in Virginia has died from the infection.

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