Reston, VA

With social distancing protocols in place, the Herndon Town Council unanimously passed a local emergency declaration due to growing concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic.

The declaration, which was passed Tuesday night, follows a similar move by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors last week and State Gov. Ralph North’s declaration on March 12.

The move allows the council to activate the town’s emergency management plan and seek aid as needed. Town departments, agencies, and volunteer organization can also develop a more coordinated response to handle the public health crisis.

The council also formally adopted its Emergency Management Plan, a 93-page document that outlines emergency roles, coordination responsibilities, and recovery options.

Lesa Yeatts, the town’s attorney, said that although the town used the plan since 2015, it had never been formally considered by the council.

The formal adoption of the plan on Tuesday night also makes Police Chief Maggie DeBoard the emergency management coordinator for the town.

Yeatts said the town is working “feverishly” to meet the needs of residents and ensure continuity of service.

Councilmembers thanked the town’s staff and the police department for their tireless work during the pandemic.

Vice Mayer Sheila Olem also urged town residents to practice social distancing as much as possible.

“This is really serious. Please stay away from each other as much as you can.”

Photo via Town of Herndon

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