Coronavirus: What You Need to Know

NEW MASK RULE (beginning May 29): Governor Northam has made face coverings mandatory for everyone age 10+ while inside retail stores, food/drink establishments, grooming/personal care, government facilities, public transportation, and anywhere people congregate. Exceptions: 1) while eating/drinking, 2) while exercising, 3) if you have trouble breathing or are unable to remove the mask without help, or 4) if your health conditions prohibit wearing a face covering.

ACCESSIBILITY:

QUESTION OR CONCERN?: Do you have a question or concern relating to the COVID-19 pandemic? Submit this online form.

METERED PARKING: Downtown meter enforcement to resume June 1.

HEARTS FOR HEROES: Decorate your front door or window with hearts to show appreciation of our local heroes during this difficult time. More info

Coronavirus banner

The City, CDC, Virginia Department of Health and the Lord Fairfax Health District (LFHD) are closely monitoring the international outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) and working with healthcare partners at the state and federal level.

Coronavirus is a new virus that has caused an outbreak of a respiratory illness. It was first detected in Wuhan, China in late December 2019. It’s spread through close person-to-person contact (within 6 feet), respiratory droplets that are then inhaled (ex: when someone doesn’t cover their mouth when they cough or sneeze), and possibly from touching contaminated surfaces. Click here for regular updates on cases in the U.S

Information Resources

Virginia Department of Health's COVID-19 information hotline (available 24/7): (877) ASK-VDH3 or (877) 275-8343.

Rely on the below sites for up-to-date and accurate information.

Talking with children

Testing sites in the U.S. - Click here for a list of testing sites.

Frequently Asked Questions

Topic FAQs
Coronavirus (CDC) Link
March 23, 2020 Executive Order #53
(VA Governor)
Link
March 30, 2020 Executive Order #55
(VA Governor)
Link
Wearing a Mask Link
Phase I Link

Stay Home, Save Lives

A message from Mayor John David Smith, Jr, Valley Health President Mark Merrill and Shenandoah University President Tracy Fitzsimmons.


What To Do If You Are Sick

If you have a respiratory illness or symptoms, or think you have been exposed to COVID-19, you can call the COVID-19 Respiratory Care Phone Line at 540-536-0380. Valley Health is available for those with symptoms who do not have a doctor, or their doctor's office is closed, Monday-Friday, 8 am-8 pm and Saturday, 9 am-6 pm.

If you are sick:

  1. Stay home except to get medical care or food and wear a good face mask
  2. Separate yourself from other people in your home (home isolation)
  3. Call ahead before visiting the doctor
  4. Wear a face mask when you are around other people 
  5. Cover your coughs and sneezes
  6. Wash your hands often
  7. Avoid sharing personal household items
  8. Clean all "high-touch" areas everyday
  9. Monitor your symptoms and know when to seek medical attention

Click here for details from the CDC.


Food Pantries, Services, Donations & Volunteers

Food Pantries & Banks

  • Click here for a list of food pantries in the area.
  • Winchester Public Schools is also distributing free lunch and breakfast meals for students 18 and under at 12 locations throughout the city. More Info 
  • Visit VAFoodBanks.org for a list of food banks in Virginia.
  • Text FOOD or COMIDA to 877877 to learn more about feeding sites near you.

Pop-up Market

The City has partnered with Sysco Foods to provide recently a pop-up market to reduce the strain on local grocery stores. Go to winchester-pop-up-market.myshopify.com for upcoming dates and ordering instructions. Pick up location: Drive-thru at Jim Barnett Park Rec Center.

For a full variety of supplies and grocery needs, please visit local groceries and food service providers. The Pop-up Market is made possible by the City of Winchester, Winchester EDA, Winchester-Frederick County Tourism and Sysco Foods.

Social Services

SNAP - Emergency benefits will be made available to Virginia Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants in May, as part of a provision set forth by the Families First Coronavirus Responses Act of 2020. Under this provision, the Virginia Department of Social Services (VDSS) will issue the emergency benefits to any household not already receiving the maximum benefits and who are not currently repaying a prior over-issuance of SNAP benefits. More Info

SNAP - Starting May 29, 2020, Virginians who receive SNAP benefits will be able to pay for their groceries online and have them delivered, after the USDA approved Virginia to participate in an innovative online purchasing pilot program. More Info

Resources App - The Virginia Department of Social Services has launched COVID-19 Virginia Resources, a mobile app and dedicated website to provide a one-stop switchboard for all of the benefits, resources and programs Virginians need most right now. Visit http://COVID.Virginia.Gov and download the app today.

Virginia Department of Social Services COVID-19 Website

Making Donations

  • Click here for information about how the non-profit and private sector organizations can make donations to assist with the response effort. 
  • Valley Health is asking the community to donate hand-sewn masks to preserve PPE for their providers and staff who are on the front lines of the COVID-19 battle. If sewing isn't your strong suit, you can still be #sewhelpful by contributing supplies or monetary donations to go toward this cause. Click here for instructions, how-to videos, listed drop off locations and info on our limited supply of pre-cut mask kits.

Volunteering


Doing Business with the City

Local residents and businesses can conduct business with the City using the following resources:

  • Online – Visit www.winchesterva.gov for information, forms, etc. The direct link to the City’s online bill pay options is www.winchesterva.gov/bill-pay.
  • Phone, Email or Mail - For the staff and department directory, visit www.winchesterva.gov/department-listing.
  • Drop box - Drop off correspondence, completed forms, payments, etc. at drop boxes located outside City Hall (N. Cameron Street side), Creamery Building, and Timbrook Public Safety Center (top of stairs). For social services documents, use the drop box outside the WDSS office at 24 Baker Street.

COVID-19 Updates

Scroll down for updates from and regarding the City of Winchester or click here.

  • May 26, 2020 - Beginning May 29, Governor Northam has made face coverings mandatory for everyone age 10+ while inside retail stores, food/drink establishments, grooming/personal care, government facilities, public transportation, and anywhere people congregate. Exceptions: 1) while eating/drinking, 2) while exercising, 3) if you have trouble breathing or are unable to remove the mask without help, or 4) if your health conditions prohibit wearing a face covering. Executive Order #63
  • May 18, 2020 - Governor Northam initiated new resources to protect Virginians from eviction and support individuals who have lost their job or income due to COVID-19. These tools include StayHomeVirginia.com, a new website to help Virginians navigate housing programs, services, and resources. The website offers guidance on working with landlords, financial institutions, and other organizations to use eviction and foreclosure protections during this health crisis. Resources include relief for private mortgage holders, multifamily complexes, and tenants affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • May 9, 2020 - Governor Ralph Northam signed Executive Order 61 and presented a detailed framework for the first phase of the “Forward Virginia” plan to safely and gradually ease public health restrictions while containing the spread of COVID-19. The new executive order modifies public health guidance in Executive Order 53 and Executive Order 55 and establishes guidelines for Phase I.  News Release   Website   PDF

Forward VA overview-Phase I

  • May 4, 2020 - Governor Northam extends stay-at-home Executive Order #53 through May 14. Governor expects to initiate Reopening Plan Phase I (of III) on May 15. Phase I will change order to "safer at home" and reopening guidelines for businesses will be provided regarding physical distancing, enhanced cleaning/disinfecting and workplace safety. 
  • April 29, 2020 - Governor Northam announced that Virginia has secured relief options for more than 200,000 Virginians with privately held student loans. More Info
  • April 24, 2020 - Governor Northam released a blueprint for easing public health restrictions. More Info
  • April 23, 2020 - Governor Northam today extended the current ban on elective surgeries by one week, until May 1, and the closure of Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) public-facing offices by two weeks, until May 11. Virginia State Police are directed to continue suspending the enforcement of motor vehicle inspections and take several additional measures through July 31. More Info
  • April 19, 2020 - VDH announces that positive cases in VA are surging and urge residents to stay home and continue to social distance from others.
  • April 15, 2020 - Governor Northam extends business closures to May 8. More Info
  • April 8, 2020 - Governor Northam requested the General Assembly move the May General Election and all special elections scheduled for May 5, 2020 to the November 3, 2020 General Election date to further mitigate the spread of COVID-19. The Governor is also exercising his statutory authority (§ 24.2-603.1 of the Code of Virginia) to move the June primary elections from June 9, 2020 to June 23, 2020. More info
  • April 4, 2020 - CDC recommends that people wear a cloth face covering to cover their nose and mouth in the community setting. This is to protect people around you if you are infected but do not have symptoms. More info
  • March 30, 2020 - VA Governor Northam issues Executive Order 55 which directs all Virginians to stay home except in extremely limited circumstances through June 10. Individuals may leave their residence to seek medical attention, work, care for family or household members, obtain goods and services like food, prescriptions and others as outlined in EO 53, and engage in outdoor activity with strict social distancing requirements. Details
  • March 23, 2020 - VA Governor closes all public schools for rest of academic year. Additional restrictions for businesses will go into effect at midnight on March 24 (details on Executive Order 53 are available on the Governor's website). Gatherings of 10+ people are banned (does not include health care or medical services, access to essential services for low-income residents such as food banks, operations of the media, law enforcement agencies, or operations of government). Click here for FAQs relating to this order.
  • March 22, 2020 - Lord Fairfax Health District has first confirmed case. VDH News Releases
  • March 18, 2020 - The Virginia Department of Elections encourages voters to protect their health during COVID-19 outbreak. Voting absentee in the coming local May elections is strongly encouraged. Voters may choose reason "2A My disability or illness" for Absentee voting in the May 2020 elections due to COVID-19. Voters who choose the absentee option should do so as soon as possible so they can get their ballots in time to return them by mail by Election Day. More Info
  • March 17, 2020 - VA Governor issues Public Health Emergency Order and makes it mandatory for restaurants, fitness centers and theaters to adhere to 10-person gathering ban. Read ​Order
    • Clarification by the Commonwealth (March 20): It is the interpretation on of the Virginia Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services (VDACS) that the order issued by the Governor and State Health Commissioner regarding the restriction limiting the number of patrons at restaurants and similar establishments to ten (10), also applies to similar establishments or activities as regulated by the VDACS Food Safety Program, including farmers’ markets, areas at breweries wineries and distilleries that include tasting rooms, public taprooms, sit down sea ng areas within these facilities and any comparable retail operation such as convenience stores with food service and seating.
  • March 17, 2020 - Governor announces new measures to combat the virus. Read More
  • March 17, 2020 - Winchester Public Schools is offering free lunch and breakfast meals for pick up at 12 locations throughout the city. More Info 
  • March 15, 2020 - CDC recommends in-person events and gatherings with 50+ people be canceled or postponed. Read More
  • March 13, 2020 - President Trump declares State of Emergency for U.S.
  • March 12, 2020 - Virginia Governor declares State of Emergency and outlines additional measures to combat COVID-19. Read News Release
  • March 10, 2020 - The Lord Fairfax Health Department Director presented an overview of the Coronavirus to City Council. Review Presentation
  • January 30, 2020 - The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the virus outbreak a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC).

Symptoms

The incubation time from exposure to showing symptoms is 5 days and in some cases 14 days, individuals who have been exposed but aren’t yet showing symptoms are asked to self quarantine for 14 days. Those who are most affected or are the most at-risk are individuals:

  • over 60 years old
  • with a compromised immune system such as cancer, diabetes, or on immunosuppressive medication
  • are pregnant
  • in a nursing home or long-term care facility
  • with asthma
  • with HIV

The following symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion
  • Bluish lips or face

If you have traveled outside the U.S. (or anywhere with widespread or ongoing community spread of conoravirus) and are experiencing symptoms or think you have been exposed to the coronavirus, VDH strongly urges you to NOT go directly to your doctor, urgent care or hospital.

Do the following if you meet the above criteria: 

  1. Call VA Health Department's toll free line at 877-ASK-VDH3.
  2. Follow instructions provided by VDH and the CDC.
  3. If you are severely ill, call 911, share your concerns with the dispatcher and EMS before making contact with personnel who respond. (Please do not call 911 or the City's non-emergency number for questions about COVID-19.)

List of Testing Sites in U.S.


Prevention

Health officials advise the steps you take to prevent the spread of the common cold and flu will help prevent coronavirus. There is currently no vaccine. The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to the virus. As a reminder, the CDC always recommends everyday preventative actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Practice social distancing. Avoid crowded areas and groups. This is especially important for people who are at a higher risk of getting sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
    • NEW (4/4): CDC recommends that people wear a cloth face covering to cover their nose and mouth in the community setting. This is to protect people around you if you are infected but do not have symptoms. More info
    • Face masks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others.
    • The use of face masks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
    • Click here for more information about handwashing.
  • Telework, if possible.

Remember to Care for Yourself

Self-care during this time will help your long-term healing. If you need emotional support, there is help available 24/7:

How to Discontinue Home Isolation

People with COVID-19 who have stayed home (home isolated) can stop home isolation under the following conditions:

If you will not have a test to determine if you are still contagious, you can leave home after these three things have happened:

  • You have had no fever for at least 72 hours (that is three full days of no fever without the use medicine that reduces fevers)
  • AND other symptoms have improved (for example, when your cough or shortness of breath have improved)
  • AND at least 7 days have passed since your symptoms first appeared

If you will be tested to determine if you are still contagious, you can leave home after these three things have happened:

  • You no longer have a fever (without the use medicine that reduces fevers)
  • AND other symptoms have improved (for example, when your cough or shortness of breath have improved)
  • AND you received two negative tests in a row, 24 hours apart. Your doctor will follow CDC guidelines.

Reopening Guidance for Cleaning & Disinfecting

The CDC has released reopening guidance for cleaning and disinfecting intended for all Americans, whether you own a business, run a school, or want to ensure the cleanliness and safety of your home. Cleaning and disinfecting public spaces including your workplace, school, home, and business will require you to:

  • Develop your plan
  • Implement your plan
  • Maintain and revise your plan

Reducing the risk of exposure to COVID-19 by cleaning and disinfection is an important part of reopening public spaces that will require careful planning. Every American has a role in making sure our communities are as safe as possible to reopen and remain open.

The virus that causes COVID-19 can be killed if you use the right products. EPA has compiled a list of disinfectant products that can be used against COVID-19, including ready-to-use sprays, concentrates, and wipes. Each product has been shown to be effective against viruses that are harder to kill than viruses like the one that causes COVID-19.

Click here for more information.

Click here for Phase I "Forward Virginia" reopening guidance for businesses from the VA Governor (Executive Order 61). 

How to Clean and Disinfect

  • Clean
    • Wear disposable gloves to clean and disinfect. Wash your hands frequently.
    • Clean surfaces using soap and water, then use disinfectant.
    • Cleaning with soap and water reduces number of germs, dirt and impurities on the surface. Disinfecting kills germs on surfaces.
    • Practice routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces.
  • Disinfect
  • Cleaning & disinfecting a facility if someone is sick: Click here for details.

For Businesses

The pandemic and social distancing requirements have been hard on our local businesses. Several assistance programs have been implemented by the Commonwealth, City of Winchester and community partners.

Virginia Department of Health Resources for Businesses

Maintaining or Restoring Water Quality in Building with Low or No Use

Prolonged building and business closures reduce water usage, potentially leading to stagnant water inside building plumbing. This water can become unsafe to drink or otherwise use for domestic or commercial purposes. EPA recommends that building owners and managers take proactive steps as outlined in the documents below to protect public health by minimizing water stagnation during closures and taking action to address building water quality prior to reopening.

  • Information on maintaining or restoring water quality in buildings with low or no use - View

  • Restoring water quality in buildings for reopening - View

  • FAQs about drinking water and COVID-19 - View

  • FAQs about Wastewater and COVID-19 - View

Microbial Hazards

According to the CDC, the temporary shutdown or reduced operation of a building and reductions in normal water use can create hazards. Two potential microbial hazards that should be considered prior to reopening after a period of building inactivity are mold and Legionella (the cause of Legionnaires’ disease). View

Updates/Programs

  • May 26, 2020 - Beginning May 29, Governor Northam has made face coverings mandatory for everyone age 10+ while inside retail stores, food/drink establishments, grooming/personal care, government facilities, public transportation, and anywhere people congregate. Exceptions: 1) while eating/drinking, 2) while exercising, 3) if you have trouble breathing or are unable to remove the mask without help, or 4) if your health conditions prohibit wearing a face covering. Executive Order #63
  • May 9, 2020 - Governor Ralph Northam signed Executive Order 61 and provided guidelines for Phase I "Forward Virginia" business reopening. More Info
  • April 15, 2020 - Governor Northam extends business closures to May 8. More Info
  • April 15, 2020 - Governor Northam announced an additional $70 million in Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) funding through the federal CARES Act to further support the provision of child care for essential personnel. More Info
  • April 9, 2020 - Governor Northam issued an executive directive authorizing the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority (ABC) to defer annual fees for licenses and permits that would be up for renewal through June. The Governor also directed the Virginia ABC to allow establishments with mixed beverage licenses, such as restaurants and distilleries, to sell mixed beverages through takeout or delivery, effective at midnight Thursday, April 9. More info
  • April 3, 2020 - Winchester Parking Authority can create temporary loading zones in metered spaces for businesses that are providing take-out food services. Business owners can contact the WPA at 540-722-7575 for more information.
  • March 27, 2020 - The FDA issued guidance today on a Temporary Policy Regarding Nutrition Labeling of Certain Packaged Food During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency. The FDA is issuing this guidance to provide restaurants and food manufacturers with flexibility regarding nutrition labeling so that they can sell certain packaged foods during the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, restaurants may have purchased ingredients that they can no longer use to prepare restaurant food and instead wish to sell to their customers. 
  • March 24, 2020 - VA Department of Taxation has offered the following sales tax exemption: Businesses impacted by coronavirus can request an extension of the due date for filing and payment of their February 2020 sales tax return due March 20, 2020, for 30 days. When granted, businesses will be able to file and pay no later than April 20, 2020 with a waiver of any penalties. For more information, see Virginia Tax Bulletin 20-3: Option to Request Extension of Sales Tax Deadlines for those Affected by the COVID-19 Crisis.
  • March 24, 2020 - Winchester EDA approves a Disaster Relief Funding Program for small businesses in the City of Winchester. Details and application.
  • March 17, 2020 - Council approved a resolution (R-2020-13) to direct the City Treasurer and Commissioner of the Revenue to not impose penalties and interest upon certain local taxes (meals, transient occupancy and admission taxes) during the pandemic. This will allow businesses additional time to pay certain taxes without penalty, interest and collection activities. Council also strongly recommended that the City Treasurer not undertake collection actions upon any business that fails to pay any of the taxes subject to this relief. 
  • City Development Services has offered to provide assistance during the pandemic. Contact Shawn Hershberger at 540-722-7577 or Shirley Dodson at 540-667-1815, ext. 1663.
  • Virginia Department of Small Businesses is asking businesses impacted by the pandemic to complete a short survey by March 27 at 5 pm. Information will help the Commonwealth understand and document the impact on businesses to ensure eligibility for possible federal disaster funding.
  • Lord Fairfax Small Business Development Center has Small Business Administration Diaster Relief Loan. Applications

Click below for recommendations for:

For Workers

Virginia has several new initiatives to help residents during the pandemic:

  • April 12, 2020 - Governor Northam has signed nearly two dozen new laws to support working Virginians, including legislation to combat worker misclassification and wage theft, ban workplace discrimination, and prohibit non-compete covenants for low-wage workers. More Info
  • Waiving the waiting period and enhancing eligibility for unemployment benefits (Contact: Virginia Employment Commission)
  • Loosening restrictions for those receiving unemployment insurance
  • Prohibition on new eviction cases for tenants who are unable to pay rent as a result of the pandemic
  • The Virginia State Corporation Commission is directing the utilities it regulates (electric, natural gas, and water companies) to suspend service disconnections for 60 days.

Resources:

Information and a FAQ guide for workers

Resources for workers impacted by COVID-19


Local Travel Advisories

Winchester-Frederick County Convention and Visitors Bureau has created an online Travel Advisory web page to help locals, visitors and businesses during the pandemic. The new page provides a central location for up-to-date information about special offerings from local businesses, attraction closings, postponed or canceled major events, travel guidance, and more. 

Shopping Tips

  • Minimize trips to the store - Making a list before leaving home can help make sure you get everything the first time.
  • No need to hoard - There is no disruption in supply chain, buy just enough for your family for a week or two.
  • Shop online - If you can afford to do your shopping online for either delivery or pickup, do it!
  • Restaurant pickup and delivery - Local restaurants may also. be open for pickup or delivery. Call before to check their status.
  • Protect yourself in public - Use sanitizer wipers on the carts and carry hand sanitizer if you can.
  • Social distance - Leave space between you and other shoppers or employees, at least 6 feet.
  • Leave the family at home - Send just one person to the store to do shopping to reduce public crowding.
  • As for help - If you are sick, ask someone else to help complete the shopping. Self-isolate at home!

City of Winchester Response

Updates:

  • June 1, 2020 - Parking meter enforcement to resume in Old Town. The outdoor pool will open for lap swim and swim team practices only during designated times. Public Work's large item pick up will also resume.
  • April 2, 2020 - Provided updates and information about COVID-19 and assistance for businesses on the City's Rouss Review podcast
  • April 2, 2020 - Click here to read messages from Mayor John David Smith, Jr. and Lord Fairfax Health District Director Colin Greene. 
  • March 30, 2020 - Winchester Parks & Recreation closes outdoor basketball courts in Jim Barnett Park. 
  • March 26, 2020 - Winchester Parks & Recreation closes all park playgrounds (Jim Barnett Park and neighborhood parks) and athletic fields to the public.
  • March 26, 2020 - Mayor Smith cancels all non-regulatory City board meetings until further notice. Regulatory boards can meet if necessary and must follow CDC guidelines. 
  • March 24, 2020 - Winchester EDA approves Disaster Relief Funding Program for small businesses in the City of Winchester. 
  • March 24, 2020 - Public Works' large item and compost pick up is canceled until further notice. 
  • March 23, 2020 - Winchester Parking Authority has closed the walk up window at the admin office in the George Washington Autopark. Contact staff via phone or email. Click here for the City staff/department directory.
  • March 20, 2020 - WinTran makes service changes:
    • Beginning Monday, March 23, all Winchester Transit and paratransit routes will operate from 8:50 am-4:55 pm.
    • Beginning Saturday, March 20, there will be no trolley service until further notice.
    • Effective immediately, there is no service to Jim Barnett Park, WMC Wellness Center (except for scheduled Physical Therapy patients), Shenandoah University, and Apple Blossom Mall due to closures.
    • Effective immediately, Winchester Transit will follow the limits set by Governor Northam and will not allow more than 10 passengers on a bus at any given time.
  • March 20, 2020 - City's COVID-19 response update news release. Read
  • March 20, 2020 - The Winchester Parking Authority has suspended enforcement of the on-street and parking lot metered parking spaces until April 3, 2020. Hourly and monthly parking charges in the four downtown parking garages will remain the same. Metered parking is always free on weekends and 6 pm-9 am Monday-Friday. Whether or not to extend the suspension will be evaluated at a later date.
  • March 20, 2020 - Mayor John David Smith, Jr. talks with Barry Lee, 92.5 WINC FM about the City's COVID-19 response and recommendations.​
  • March 19, 2020 - The Winchester Circuit Court ORDERS, pursuant to the Court's authority, to close the Clerk's office when conditions would constitute a threat to the health and safety of the Clerk's office personnel and the general public, that the Clerk shall no longer issue marriage licenses or process passport applications to non-residents of Virginia until further notice of the Court.

  • March 17, 2020
    • Released a COVID-19 Update Newsletter. Read
    • City Council approved a resolution (R-2020-13) to direct the City Treasurer and Commissioner of the Revenue to not impose penalties and interest upon certain local taxes (meals, transient occupancy and admission taxes) during the pandemic. This will allow businesses additional time to pay certain taxes without penalty, interest and collection activities. Council also strongly recommended that the City Treasurer not undertake collection actions upon any business that fails to pay any of the taxes subject to this relief. 
    • Interim City Manager declares State of Emergency as a proactive measure (no confirmed cases in Winchester at this time). Read News Release
  • March 16, 2020 - City buildings will close to the public beginning March 17, 2020. Please conduct business with the City via online, phone, email, mail or drop box. Several City events have been canceled (KidzFest, Old Town Easter Egg Hunt, Inclusion Volleyball Tournament, Family Movie Night at the Park, Easter Egg Hunt, Eggcessible, Egg Splash).
  • March 13, 2020 - All public meetings through March 27 have been canceled. City Council will hold a special meeting on March 17 at 5 pm to discuss the City's response. The March 24, 2020 City Council meetings have been rescheduled to March 31 at 6 pm.

City's Response

City staff and especially public safety personnel have been monitoring the outbreak and meeting regularly with state and local officials. The VA Department of Health is the lead agency in the Commonwealth’s response. Our Senior Management Team discusses operations, the pandemic and precautions regularly. Staff is sanitizing areas frequently and our cleaning crew is taking extra precautions when they clean our public buildings. First responders have a supply of masks and gloves and Emergency Management is reviewing the City’s Continuity of Operations Plan and the City’s Pandemic Plan and updating both as needed. We are also working closely with the Winchester Public Schools and will provide any assistance needed.

When you want information or updates, rely only on the CDC, Virginia Department of Health, the City of Winchester (or your local government), Valley Health, the Lord Fairfax Health District, or the World Health Organization as there is a lot of misinformation circulating. We get our information directly from conference calls with and memos from state officials and will pass it along to our community via our social media pages, website, newsletters and more.

City Council and Other Board Meetings

All non-regulatory public meetings have been canceled until further notice. The City requests that community members who are interested in watching Council meetings, do so remotely and watch live or any time after the meeting via the City’s online agenda portal: https://winchesterva.civicweb.net/Portal/. (Not available live or for replay on Comcast Cable Channel 6.)

For those who’d like to address Council or the Planning Commission for the public comments section or public hearing item on the agenda, please do so using the online public comment form at https://www.opentownhall.com/portals/311/forum_home?phase=open. All comments submitted will be provided to Council or Commission members. Please submit by 8 am on the Monday prior to the meeting.


My Community Worksheet

We are living through history. Kids: Mark this moment in your community's history and your life by completing this worksheet. It's a fun way to remember where and who you were during the COVID-19 pandemic.

My Community Worksheet


Sources: CDC, Virginia Department of Health, Virginia Governor Northam's Office, Lord Fairfax Health District, World Health District (Since 3/5/2020 and updated daily)