The Office of Economic Development & Tourism of the City of Lynchburg has been publicizing up-to-date information throughout the COVID-19 crisis to our business community as they navigate through these challenging times. Phase 1 of Governor Northam’s Forward Virginia economic reopening plan went into effect on May 15, with Phase 2 on its way in weeks to come. As the Lynchburg community begins to make its way through the recovery process during the ongoing pandemic, we want to ensure local businesses have the resources they need to support and protect their employees and customers as this gradual reopening continues. For this reason, we have partnered with Centra Health, HealthWorks and Piedmont Community Health Plan (PCHP) to create recovery resources and consult with local business leaders and stakeholders on best practices for reopening the economy.
Our Aim With This Partnership
Governor Northam’s Phase 1 Plan includes provisions for additional testing so that COVID-19 can be strategically diagnosed, treated and boxed in, and we want the Lynchburg business community to know how to get employees tested quickly and efficiently. Regulations will need to be in place to help determine when testing should occur and when and if temperature checks and daily screening should take place to help prevent the spread of the virus. This partnership aims to address these needs to help keep our community safe and healthy.
The availability of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) will be important for businesses as they begin to reopen. Masks, gloves and cleaning supplies must be available and businesses need to have information on where and how to obtain the necessary products. Many businesses have already begun to open at half capacity and with outdoor seating, according to the guidelines of Phase 1, which makes the ready availability of PPE one of our top priorities.
These issues are where our partnership with Centra Health, Healthworks and PCHP comes in. We are collaborating with experts to develop testing plans, determine when testing is necessary, provide information and resources for testing, gain access to PPE and address any other concerns that businesses may have about reopening.
We Need Your Input
In order to assist businesses with the health and safety of their employees and customers, we are working with our partners to set up “Return to Work Safely” Town Halls. To facilitate stakeholder availability, PPE needs and questions, we are requesting this survey be completed. In the meantime, Centra Health has created COVID-19 reference guides: The Employer Covid Reference Guide and Employee COVID Reference Guide. We also recommend the CDC’s Interim Guidance page for further information. This partnership with local healthcare organizations to support our business community will go a long way to securing the health and safety of our community and help sustain a long and fruitful recovery.