COVID-19 FAQs, Updates and Resources for local Building Departments

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Division of Building and Fire Regulations

In an effort to provide updates, resources and guidance to building departments, contractors and all stakeholders, DHCD is developing a page for information related to frequently asked questions, contact information for local building departments and best practices, ideas and suggestions as we all try to keep our communities operating as normally as possible during this unprecedented COVID-19 situation.

FAQs

Is the requirement to conduct inspection within 48-hours still in place?

We recommend that any legal questions be directed to your county/city attorney. While an emergency declaration is in effect, the regulations have not been suspended statewide, therefore, localities will have to determine what emergency measures they are able to implement. 

However, you do have options. Remember that if you cannot get out in 48-hours, the contractor can choose to use a private third-party that you have approved (as required by section 113.7 of the USBC).

Additionally, jurisdictions can choose to incorporate technology in order to determine compliance with regulations.  

Some things to consider as you seek options to continue operations as normally as possible:

  • Is it necessary to physically visit the site in order to determine compliance? 

  • Is the site open air or confined where people are living or working? 

  • Would a live video feed be able to convey the same information?

  • Is the contractor willing to do the extra work and put in the extra time necessary to ensure a thorough video?

  • Do you have policies and procedures in place to govern the use of technologically approved inspections?  (i.e. is there a requirement to verify the physical location of the site you are seeing? Is there a policy governing the archiving of video inspections?; etc.).

How can I find out what my local Building Department is doing?

A list of all building officials (by jurisdiction) can be found HERE. This directory contains contact information for the building official for each jurisdiction, links to the jurisdiction's website, building department site, and if applicable, COVID-19 updates from the locality.

Check out the operating status document located on the VBCOA website.

What about time limits for appeals?  

The time limit for appeals are set statutorily, and DHCD does not have the authority to waive these requirements. We recommend that you consult with the county/city attorney to discuss emergency operations at this time.  

Can I still obtain Amusement Device stickers if I need them?

Yes, building officials can request amusement device stickers, if needed, by emailing sbco@dhcd.virginia.gov. The stickers will be mailed to the building official.   

Additional Information

For additional information on COVID-19, visit the Virginia Department of Health or CDC.