Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources

During this time of uncertainty, we should all come together to support the businesses that keep Virginia’s Blue Ridge going. Many of our partners have compiled lists of local businesses who could use your support, including:

There are also many resources available to support businesses who may be struggling as a result of the changes COVID-19 has brought to our society. We have listed some of these resources below:

For general updates on COVID-19, we recommend the following resources:

On Thursday, March 12, the Roanoke Regional Chamber hosted an information session about coronavirus (COVID-19) at the South County Library in Roanoke County. This session brought together experts from public health, emergency preparedness and business continuity. The panel included:

Dr. Laura Kornegay, Virginia Department of Health
Dr. Anthony Baffoe-Bonnie, Medical Director, Infection Prevention and Control, Carilion Clinic
Chris Turnbull, Director, Operational Continuity, Carilion Clinic

Download a copy of the business continuity presentation here.

A video of the entire session is available below courtesy of Roanoke Valley Television, RVTV-3:

Approximately 100 people were in attendance.
Dr. Kornegay provided a situational update on COVID-19 with information from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and Virginia Department of Health. As of Thursday at noon, there were 15 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Virginia and none were in the Southwest Virginia area.
“Person-to-person community-spread has not been detected at this time,” said Dr. Kornegay.
She said testing has been limited so far to people considered to be high-risk for the virus, but more testing is going to be available soon.
Dr. Baffoe-Bonnie said because the Roanoke region has not yet seen COVID-19 spread, everyone should be in a planning phase about what to do when the pandemic reaches our community.
“This is the best time to be deliberate about what to do,” he said. “We all should be planning and determining what to do for containment.”
The most important thing the public can do right now is prevention, according to Dr. Baffoe-Bonnie. He encouraged everyone to stay home from work, school or public events if they are sick. People with respiratory illness should also stay away from senior citizens, who are more susceptible to COVID-19, and people with co-morbidities. Proper hand-washing and social distancing are the best ways to prevent the virus.
Turnbull focused on how businesses should plan for the pandemic to lessen disruptions in day-to-day operations. Not having a business plan in place can put a dent in revenue, productivity and reputation, he said.
“Right now, in our region, organizations should be working to build a brief continuity plan,” Turnbull said. “They need to look at it holistically. This includes identifying critical functions, addressing staffing and HR needs, noting workflow adjustments, assessing dependencies and planning out communications.”
Turnbull said this isn’t a project, but rather an on-going process that touches every part of the organization.
After the panelists spoke, there was a brief Q&A session.
The panelists also encouraged people seeking more information to visit the following websites:

Special thanks to our partners for making this event possible:

  • Carilion Clinic
  • Virginia Department of Health
  • Virginia Department of Emergency Management
  • Botetourt Chamber of Commerce
  • Salem-Roanoke County Chamber of Commerce
  • Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce
  • Vinton Area Chamber of Commerce