Mental health resources
March 25, 2020 Facebook post from Councilor Lloyd Snook
Lloyd Snook - March 25
I have a lot of people asking me, "What is the Charlottesville government actually DOING with regard to the coronavirus pandemic?"
First, there is a meeting every morning with staff from the City, staff from the County, the TJ Health District, and representation from UVA. They are developing, refining, and implementing a "Regional Incident Action Plan."
Yesterday, the working group was planning on how they might:
1. Conduct a COVID-19 screening and COVID-19 testing site within the region. 2. Prepare to serve needs of vulnerable regional populations, including front-line health care workers, first responders, home healthcare, and homeless or shelter-housed citizens. 3. "Provide tiered housing options", an unclear term to me. I THINK it refers to how to deal with degrees of isolation for people who may have been exposed. (If you know, please feel free to set me straight in the comments.)
Second, the City's financial folks have been working to try to understand the financial impact, and what adjustments we will need to make to the budget:
1. With the City's largest gas and water customer -- UVA -- shut down, how is this going to affect our gas, water and wastewater utility funds?
2. The Commissioner of Revenue’s office continues to process meals and lodging reports and payments that were due on Friday (for taxes collected in February). Apparently a lot of businesses are taking advantage of the penalty and interest reprieve. Commissioner of Revenue Todd Divers hopes to have a better picture of February filings/payments by April 1st. That will affect the 2019-2020 budget (the current fiscal year).
3. Based on efforts to read the tea leaves, rather than any specific information, we're going to have to figure out how our budget projections for next fiscal year are likely to look.
Third, on Friday, the City sent out letters to all (about 1,700) multi-family property owners in the City, asking that they be forgiving of tenants who can't pay their rent because of pandemic-related layoffs, and asking that they hold off on evictions. [Note -- we have no authority to prohibit evictions, as some people have asked us to do.]
Finally, yesterday City Communications Director Brian Wheeler hosted the first of what will be a series of webcast interviews, talking first with Fire Chief Andrew Baxter, who is helping to lead the City's response to the COVID-19 crisis. There were a few technical glitches, which is why it is being referred to as a "pilot" program. The next program will be a session with City Manager Tarron Richardson and Mayor Nikuyah Walker; I'm not sure of the details, but I'll pass them along when I am sure, including instructions on how to participate.