Declaration of Local Emergency Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

In response to the spread of novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, County Manager Mark Schwartz signed a Declaration of Local Emergency for Arlington County, effective at 7 p.m. on March 13, 2020. The County Board consented to the declaration on March 14, 2020.

The President of the United States declared a national emergency, and the Governor of Virginia declared a state of emergency in the Commonwealth of Virginia (March 2020). 

What does a Declaration of Local Emergency mean for the community?

  • The declaration of a local emergency allows the County to request additional resources from the state and federal governments as available to assist in response and recovery efforts.
  • Local and State governments share the responsibility for protecting their citizens from disasters, and for helping them to recover when a disaster strikes. In some cases, a disaster is beyond the capacity of the local government to respond. In these instances, they may request additional resources through the state to help them respond to an emergency event.

Will a Declaration of Local Emergency make businesses eligible for state or federal assistance funding?

  • The emergency declaration does not guarantee funding, but helps the County pursue requesting assistance from the state and federal government.
  • The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is offering designated states and territories low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). More info.
  • SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans offer up to $2 million in assistance and can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing. For additional information, please visit the SBA.
  • Find more information on the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans at:
  • Contact the SBA disaster assistance customer service center, call 1-800-659-2955 (TTY: 1-800-877-8339) or e-mail

Where can residents go for more information?