County Manager Declares Local Emergency in Response to Coronavirus

Published on March 14, 2020

Arlington County Manager Mark Schwartz signed a Declaration of Local Emergency for Arlington County in response to the public health threat posed by the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The local emergency went into effect at 7 p.m. Friday, March 13, and the proclamation was ratified by the Arlington County Board on Saturday, March 14.  

"We understand that this will disrupt the lives our residents for many weeks to come, and we are asking for our community's help as we meet these evolving circumstances," said Board Chair Libby Garvey. "This declaration will allow us to respond and adapt in the quickest way possible to keep our community healthy and safe." 

MORE: Review the list of closures, cancellations, and schedule modifications in Arlington 

The emergency declaration positions the County to request reimbursement for COVID-19-related costs through Virginia to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). It remains in effect until rescinded.  

Arlington's declaration follows actions by the state and federal government. Gov. Ralph Northam declared a state of Emergency for Virginia on March 12 and President Donald Trump declared of a national emergency on Friday, March 13. 

What does a Declaration of Local Emergency mean for the community?  Learn more in our FAQ. 

During this local emergency, Arlington County will continue to provide fire and police services, as well as critical programs like access to housing grants and food stamps. The County will continue permit, zoning and inspection services, as well as maintenance services for water treatment, streetlights, parks, and trails. 

Arlington County is also working closely with Arlington Public Schools to ensure students have access to meals while public schools are closed to support our young people and their families.   

"Arlington County's 3,900 employees will continue working and serving the community throughout this emergency, delivering essential services that are critical for the health and well-being of our community," said Schwartz. "We are committed to helping all Arlingtonians through this difficult period." 

RELATED: Arlington County Provides Guidance on Public Meetings 

How to Stay Informed 

  • Visit the County's coronavirus website for situation updates, tips on for staying safe, resources for businesses, printable fact sheets in multiple languages, and more. 

  • Go to the CDC website for extensive information and resources for different audiences. 

  • Contact the Virginia Department of Health public information line at 1-877-ASK-VDH3.