Virginia Department of Veterans Services Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update
As Governor Northam has declared a State of Emergency due to the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, all divisions of the Virginia Department of Veterans Services have implemented measures to help “flatten the curve” to reduce the spread of this disease. These measures are currently in place, but could change as circumstances warrant. Please visit the DVS website (www.DVS.virginia.gov) for the latest status.
DVS Benefit Offices
All DVS Benefits Offices statewide will continue operations. However, all are closed to personal visits. Veterans and family members may contact their local office by telephone or email. Veteran Service Representatives will be available to provide assistance during normal business hours. For more information, visit www.dvs.virginia.gov/benefits
Virginia Veteran and Family Support (VVFS) program
VVFS continues to assist veterans and families through phone and email during normal business hours, even though offices are closed to personal visits. VVFS team members are maintaining constant contact with their network of resource providers and all are ready to provide assistance. Please contact 1-877-285-1299 and your call will be routed to the appropriate region for assistance. Please be sure to state your name, a return phone number, and your location clearly.
Education, transition, and employment programs
All DVS team members in the education, transition, and employment programs are teleworking, but are connected via phone and e-mail, and can perform almost all direct-service activities for Veterans and their families during normal business hours. Visit https://www.dvs.virginia.gov/education-employment to connect to a DVS team member in these program areas.
Veterans Care Centers
The Virginia Veterans Care Center in Roanoke and the Sitter & Barfoot Care Center in Richmond are closed to all visitors. All group events are cancelled. Resident trips – except to outside medical facilities – are cancelled. Residents can be contacted by email or telephone, and video chats can be arranged. The only exception to visitation is for family members who wish to visit a resident in an end-of-life stage and these exceptions must be approved by care center staff. Details may be found at www.dvs.virginia.gov/veterans-care-centers
State Veterans Cemeteries
The Virginia Veterans Cemetery in Amelia, the Albert G. Horton, Jr. Memorial Veterans Cemetery in Suffolk, and the Southwest Virginia Veterans Cemetery in Dublin are open for direct burials and interments. The administrative offices at each cemetery are closed to visitors but staff members remain available to assist by telephone to schedule direct burials. For the safety of our staff and visitors, we are no longer able to offer memorial services at this time. Consistent with U.S. Veterans Administration guidelines, up to ten (10) family members and friends may accompany the funeral home to the cemetery to observe burials at a distance from the inside of their vehicles. We understand that some families may prefer to proceed with a direct interment of their loved one now and schedule a larger, more formal, committal service with military honors at a later date. The Virginia Department of Veterans Services will accommodate these preferences and work closely with families to schedule a memorial service for their loved one when it is safe to do so. Info and updates are available at www.dvs.virginia.gov/cemeteries
Virginia War Memorial
The interior portions of the Virginia War Memorial in Richmond (the Paul and Phyllis Galanti Education Center, C. Kenneth Wright Pavilion, and underground parking deck) – are closed until further notice. All school groups, tour groups and individual tours and all previously-scheduled programs and events are cancelled until further notice. The outside portions of the Memorial – the Shrine of Memory-20th Century, the Shrine of Memory-Global War on Terrorism and Beyond, and the Walkway of Honor, plus the surface parking lot, are open for visitation. For the latest information, visit www.dvs.virginia/virginia-war-memorial or www.vawarmemorial.org
We apologize for the inconveniences that these changes and closings may cause to our Virginia veterans and their families. Please know that everyone at DVS is working to provide the best possible service during this time. We will do this while taking all recommended measures to help prevent the spread of this disease during this state emergency.