Please see a list of resources available to the community regarding a variety of services and information to help you stay informed and find assistance.
COVID-19 Pandemic Information
For information regarding the global pandemic and the latest guidance from Virginia public health officials,
- How to Protect Yourself and Others
- If You Are Sick or Caring for Someone
Information from the Virginia Department of Health has been released on home isolation and quarantine guidelines if you have been exposed to an individual with a confirmed or suspected case of coronavirus or someone that may have been in contact with those individuals.
Currently, the Roanoke City and Alleghany Health Districts will be open only to those with scheduled appointments and pre-arranged pick-ups and deliveries. If you have a need for health department services, please call your respective local health department first and we will assist you as needed. Please visit your district's website for more information.
You can also follow them on Facebook through this link.
If you need health department services, please call your respective local health department first at the number below.
Critical services will be delivered by telehealth, telephone, or other virtual means wherever possible. If an appointment is scheduled, visitors and clients will be screened for symptoms and a fever.
- Alleghany/Covington Health Department: 962-2173
- Botetourt County Health Department: 473-8240
- Clifton Forge Health Department: 962-2173
- Craig County Health Department: 864-5136
- Roanoke City Health Department: 283-5050
- Roanoke County/Salem Health Department: 387-5530
- Roanoke County/Vinton Health Department: 857-7800
ALL WIC food benefits will continue, but visits will be completed exclusively over the telephone at the scheduled appointment times through July 15, 2020.
COVID-19 testing sites are available throughout Virginia. Location sites have changed. Please check the Virginia Department of Health website for available sites.
Virginia's Department of Behavior Health & Developmental Services has information available on its website providing information for you and your family to help safeguard your mental and emotional health. A self-help and recovery support resources guide is published to its site, as well.
The American Red Cross is offering a FREE, online training related to mental health and COVID-19. Follow this link to get more information and register.
The New York Times is providing free access to the most important news and useful guidance on the coronavirus outbreak to help readers understand the pandemic. Sign up with an email address to read all the articles on this page.
Safehome provides a wide range of services to support and advocate for victims and survivors of domestic, dating, and sexual violence. If you, or someone you know, is in need of shelter, call the Crisis Intervention Hotline at 540-965-3237. Get more information if you need assistance or on how you can support Safehome at its website.
Unemployment and other Public Benefits
Visit the FAQ page for workers.
Individuals can apply online for unemployment benefits. The Governor has waived wait times and called for expedited processing of claims.
If you have filed an unemployment insurance application (UI), you must then file a weekly claim for each week or you will NOT be paid! The VEC recommends you do this on Sunday, Monday, or Tuesday of each week if you remain unemployed and want to be paid for the prior week.
You can complete and submit your weekly UI payment request by calling 1-800-897-5630. You can also find more information by visiting the website at vec.virginia.gov.
The filing website is mobile friendly and can be accessed from smart phones. It also offers Live Chat capability. The Call Centers are still accepting calls, but wait times are higher than normal.
The federal CARES Act includes a temporary program called Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), which allows individuals who are not traditionally eligible for unemployment insurance, like independent contractors and gig workers, to receive benefits.
The Virginia Department of Social Services, Virginia's Community Colleges, and MGCC have partnered to ensure that you are aware that as a college student, you may be eligible to receive SNAP benefits. To determine eligibility for this program and all social services programs, apply at CommonHelp or by phone at 1-855-635-4370. They are processing claims for assistance.
Virginia Medicaid is taking action to assist members during COVID-19.
Veterans and Family members who have a VBA overpayment.
If you are affected by the COVID-19 (CORONA VIRUS), have a VBA benefit debt and need temporary financial relief, please contact DMC at 1-800-827-0648 to request assistance.
Veteran and Family Support Program office sites are CLOSED to in-person assistance at this time. Operations ARE CONTINUING via phone and email. VVFS Regional Staff are working to meet the needs of veterans and their family members. Please note the availability of resources change daily, and we are working to maintain support at the highest level possible. Visit the Virginia Department of Veterans Services website for more information.
If you have a veteran client or family that has a need which requires a face-to-face meeting (i.e. an urgent or emergency situation), please advise when you speak with the Region Director or staff at the time of initial contact. Please be sure to state your name, your agency name, and a return phone number and someone will return your call ASAP.
If you know someone who’s out of work due to the Covid-19 pandemic, some companies are still hiring right now. Get more information through this link.
Small Business Assistance: If you own or operate a small business, you may be able to apply for small business loan assistance specifically related to the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. More information is available through the US Department of Treasury.
In addition, your local Chamber of Commerce may be able to provide additional resources and services to business and individuals.
- Alleghany Highlands Chamber of Commerce and Tourism
- Botetourt County Chamber of Commerce
- Chamber of Commerce Serving Lexington, Buena Vista, and Rockbridge County
- County of Bath Chamber of Commerce
Student Loan Information
If you are already making payments on your student loan accounts, the president signed the CARES Act into law on March 27, 2020, which, among other things, provides broad relief for federal student loan borrowers. For more information, and answers to questions, visit the U.S. Department of Education (ED) office of Federal Student Aid website.
Online Connectivity for Students Who Lack It
The FCC has created an agreement stating that providers will waive late fees, not cutoff service for lack of payment, and open hot-spots.
• Comcast COVID-19 response: offers free WiFi for 2 months to low income families plus all Xfinity hot-spots are free to the public during this time
• Charter Free Internet offer for 2 months
• AT&T COVID-19 response: offers open hot-spots, unlimited data to existing customers, and $10/month plans to low income families
• Verizon COVID-19 response: no special offers, but following the FCC agreement.
• Sprint COVID-19 response: follows FCC agreement, provides unlimited data to existing customers, and, starting Tuesday, 3/17/2020, will allow all handsets to enable hot-spots for 60 days at no extra charge (I expect others will follow).
• T-Mobile COVID-19 response: follows FCC agreement, plus unlimited data to existing customers, and, coming soon, will allow all handsets to enable hot-spots for 60 days at no extra charge (I expect others will follow).
• Altice/Suddenlink response: offers 30 MB internet to any new subscriber free for 60 days. No late fees or terminations for existing customers. Applicable to some rural localities
Minimizing Your Risks of Getting COVID-19
What students can do in the wake of a natural disaster.
Resources to help you cope emotionally in the wake of a disaster
Print and social media materials for the CDC’s Life is Better with Clean Hands campaign, which can be printed and hung around campuses and/or posted online.
You’ll probably still need to go to the store and open doors. Here are 10 ways to help avoid Coronavirus when you must leave the house.
Anthem is providing tips and important information on how you can help protect yourself and your loved one.
Mountain Express Service
As a provider of public transportation, our primary concern is the health of our operators, staff, passengers and neighborhoods we serve. To help reduce hand to hand fare exchanges and to help protect against the spread of COVID-19, The Mountain Express transportation system will be fare free until further notice. Our operators will continue disinfecting and sanitizing the vehicles during their morning vehicle inspection and in the evening when returning vehicles. Spot cleaning will occur throughout the day as time permits.
At this time, we plan to continue normal operations until further notice. Any changes to service level will be distributed by normal means (Facebook, TV, Radio, etc.). We will continue to closely monitor the ongoing developments and safety information related to the Coronavirus (COVID-19).
The route schedule is posted on RADAR’s website – www.radartransit.org.
For more information, please contact Joseph Baker, Director of Regional Transit, RADAR at (800) 964-5707 Ext. 125.
If you’re feeling stir-crazy from being cooped-up and cut off from the outside world, these next few links offer some sanity relief: access to some of the world’s most beautiful art galleries and natural parks via online virtual tours. Here are a few links to get you started:
- Visit the five top world art galleries
- Watch 12 amazing livestreams of animals around the world
- Virtually Tour These U.S. National Parks
- The Smithsonian Institution’s 19 museums, galleries, gardens and National Zoo have temporarily shut their doors as a public health precaution aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19. But while these brick-and-mortar buildings may be closed, the Smithsonian remains active in the digital sphere, making it easy for museum lovers, creatives and lifelong learners alike to experience its offerings from the comfort of their couch.
Voter registration is available online at the Virginia Department of Elections.