HENRICO, V.A. — U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger today announced that her offices will begin serving constituents remotely, and physical locations in Washington, DC, Henrico County, and Spotsylvania County will be temporarily closed to visitors in an effort to protect Central Virginians and prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Central Virginia.
Beginning today, Spanberger’s team members will be principally teleworking during normal business hours. The office has instituted continuity of operations procedures (COOP) to ensure that Central Virginians do not experience interruptions to constituent services during this time. Calls will continue to be answered and messages returned, and constituent correspondence will be responded to in a timely manner. To facilitate a quick response, constituents are encouraged to use email or phone in place of physical mail when possible, as physical mail delivery may be delayed.
“Taking proactive steps to prevent the spread of coronavirus in our communities is essential to protecting not only our families, but the many seniors, immunocompromised individuals, and other people with underlying health conditions who have a serious interest in avoiding exposure to the disease,” said Spanberger. “Based on the guidance we are receiving from public health officials and healthcare experts, temporarily conducting most of our work remotely and limiting physical contact is one of the best ways we can contribute to stopping the spread of this pandemic in our communities. We are taking every possible step to ensure that our work on behalf of Central Virginians, including responding to constituents and assisting them with federal casework, is not interrupted.”
District coordinators will continue serving all constituents with new and existing casework concerns involving federal agencies, programs, or benefits. Legislative team members will continue to be available by phone to discuss policy issues, and will continue to work on ongoing efforts to address the public health and economic impacts of the coronavirus outbreak.
Rep. Spanberger is working with all groups, advocates, and businesses with scheduled appointments to ensure that meetings are kept in line with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s current public health guidance. The remaining four sessions of mobile office hours scheduled in March have been postponed. Please stay tuned to spanberger.house.gov/events/mobile-office-hour.htm for updates to the mobile office hours schedule.
The CDC provides the following guidance for Americans who want to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
On Friday, Spanberger held a telephone town hall on the coronavirus outbreak with local healthcare experts from the University of Virginia, Virginia Department of Health, and Mary Washington Healthcare. The event provided constituents with an opportunity to ask questions, seek clarity, and learn more about how best to protect themselves and their families during the continued spread of coronavirus across the Commonwealth. More than 2,000 Central Virginians dialed in to participate in the town hall remotely.
Last week, Spanberger voted with a bipartisan majority of the House to pass an appropriations bill that provides for coronavirus tests for all Americans with no copay or deductible cost, emergency sick leave for those who do not have that option through their employer, and strategic efforts to feed all children who may have a school closure but rely on school nutrition programs for their daily food.
Earlier this month, Spanberger attended a White House meeting with Vice President Pence and White House coronavirus response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx to discuss U.S. containment and treatment efforts. The next day, she helped pass a bipartisan legislative package that provides funding for research and vaccine development, reimbursements for state and local health departments, and financial assistance to small businesses that may face challenges as the pandemic continues.