Suffolk Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates

Covid-19 Community Testing - June 5, 2020  10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
 Health and Human Services Building, 135 Hall Avenue
 Call (757) 514-4700 for more information
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click for full press release)

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Covid-19 Symptom Checker - telehealth and online risk assessment tool that allows people to check their symptoms, find a location to be tested and get answers about next steps to take. (click for link)

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State of Virginia - Forward Virginia Guidelines - Safer at Home: Phase 1 (click for link)

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Guidance for Flushing Building Plumbing Systems after Prolonged Shutdown (click for link)

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Virginia’s Statewide Stay at Home Order - Frequently Asked Questions (click for link)

The City of Suffolk leadership team is continuing to actively monitor coronavirus/COVID-19 and assess City operations based on developments. We are coordinating with the Western Tidewater Health District/Virginia Department of Health as it relates to City activities and services. Updates will be posted to this page as well as our social media platforms including Facebook and Twitter.  For the latest information on COVID-19 and safety tips, visit the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) websites.

Information As of Tuesday, May 26

  • INFORMATION HOTLINES: The Health Districts of Hampton Roads COVID-19 Hotline: 757-683-2745 (8 AM - 6 PM, Mon-Sat, 11 AM to 4 PM, Sunday). The Virginia Department of Health hotline: 877-ASK-VDH3 (1-877-275-9343).
  • DRIVE-THRU TESTING EVENT - The Western Tidewater Health District in partnership with the City of Suffolk will be offering drive-thru community testing for COVID-19 in the Downtown area of Suffolk on June 5. Testing is for any individual including children who comes to the testing site on a first come, first served basis. Residents who wish to be tested are encouraged to either drive-up to the testing site, or walk-up directly. All testing offered at this location is free. Social distancing in the walk-up portion of the facility will be required. Testing will be June 5, 2020 from 10 am-2 pm at Health and Human Services Building, 135 Hall Avenue, City of Suffolk Downtown. For more information, call (757) 514-4700.
  • CITY OFFICES: All City of Suffolk facilities as well as the Treasurer’s Office and the Commissioner of the Revenue’s Office inside City Hall and their satellite offices at the North Suffolk Library will be closed to the public starting on Monday, March 16, 2020 until further notice. City of Suffolk employees will continue to report to work during this time. Essential services, including trash pick-up, will continue as normal. All City-managed events will be cancelled. The Suffolk Police Department 1st and 2nd Precinct lobbies are also closed to the public. Suffolk Police Headquarters and Suffolk Fire & Rescue Station 6 lobbies will remain open to the public with limited service.To conduct City business, visit the City’s website or call 757-514-4000 for assistance.
  • CITY COUNCIL:  The Suffolk City Council Electronic Emergency Management Meeting from Wednesday, May 20, 2020 can be viewed via this link. The Suffolk City Council Electronic Emergency Management Meeting from Wednesday, May 6, 2020 can be viewed via this link. The Suffolk City Council Electronic Emergency Management Meeting from Wednesday, April 15, 2020 can be viewed via this link. The Suffolk City Council Special Meeting from March 31, 2020 can be viewed via this link.
  • COURTS: In response to the judicial emergency declared by the Supreme Court of Virginia which became effective March 16, 2020, requiring the Mills E. Godwin Courts Complex to close to the public with the exception of emergency matters, please note that effective May 18, 2020, there will be a transition to a partial opening. Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court and Clerk’s Office will be open. The General District Court Clerk’s Office will be open and the Court will hear selected matters. Suffolk Circuit Court will be open and the Court will hear selected matters. The Suffolk Circuit Court Clerk’s Office is closed to the public thru June 7, 2020. Limited matters are being handled by appointment only. Please call the Suffolk Circuit Court Clerk’s office for assistance. Questions should be directed to the Clerk’s Office associated with the Court matter:

             Suffolk Circuit Court 757-514-7800

             Suffolk General District Court 757-514-4850

             Suffolk JDR Court 757-514-7790

             Any other questions may be directed to the Suffolk Sheriff’s Office at 757-514-7840.

  • LIBRARIES: All Suffolk Public Libraries are CLOSED to the public starting on Monday, March 16, 2020 until further notice. For more information and virtual learning opportunities, visit their website www.suffolkpubliclibrary.com 
  • PARKS & RECREATION: All Recreational Centers and the Suffolk Art Gallery are closed starting on Monday, March 16, 2020 until further notice. The playgrounds at Suffolk Parks & Recreation parks will close to the public at 6 a.m., Saturday, March 28, 2020, until further notice due to the City’s response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) and the need for social distancing. All other amenities within the parks including, but not limited to, skate parks, dog parks, tennis courts, kayak and boat launches, and trails will remain open for public use. (new 4/3/20) Consistent with best practices and recommendations from national, state, and local health officials regarding the potential of community spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and the Governor’s Executive Order for all individuals in Virginia to remain at their place of residence and the requirement to avoid public gatherings of more than ten individuals, the following changes have been made to Parks & Recreation athletic programs and parks:  All outdoor basketball courts will be closed effective immediately, All Spring sports (youth outdoor soccer, tee ball, adult softball, adult basketball) are canceled,  Cypress Park Pool opening will be delayed until Saturday, June 13th, unless other Orders are in place, Adult and youth tennis lessons (beginner and intermediate) will be postponed until after June 10th, unless other Orders are in place. Citizens are encouraged practice social distancing of six (6) feet or more while using the parks. For more information, visit us on Facebook @SuffolkParksandRec, or visit the website at www.suffolkva.us/parks . For more information, call 757-514-7250.
  • POLICE: The Suffolk Police Department is changing the way it responds to non-violent incidents due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The new response procedures are designed to reduce citizen’s and Officer’s exposure to the coronavirus in the line of duty. Further, Officers will be using social distancing and personal protective equipment to limit contact as much as possible in accordance with recommendations by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Police may not respond to non-violent offenses.  Incidents that can be adequately handled by telephone reporting will not have an Officer response. Citizens are encouraged to call Non-Emergency Dispatch at 757-923-2350, Option 8, to make telephone reports. Responses to serious incidents and threats to public safety will continue to receive priority responses.
  • PUBLIC UTILITIES:  The Public Utilities Department has suspended water cutoffs effective Monday, March 16, 2020.
  • PUBLIC UTILITIES: The City of Suffolk’s G. Robert House, Jr. Water Treatment Facility Laboratory typically provides water testing services to our citizens who have well systems. However, due to National, State, and Local Emergency Declarations regarding COVID-19, and out of an abundance of caution, the laboratory will not be accepting water samples until State and City Offices reopen to the public. The Department considers these restrictions necessary due to the evolving nature of the COVID-19 virus. In the interim, you may wish to contact the local independent laboratories listed below:

          James R. Reed and Associates, Newport News, VA – 757-873-4703

          Universal Laboratories, Hampton, VA – 757-865-0880

  • SUFFOLK ANIMAL CONTROL:  While the shelter is closed to the public, staff will still report to care for the animals and are available for surrendered animals, pet adoptions or to claim a lost pet by appointment only. For information, call 757-514-7855.
  • SUFFOLK EXECUTIVE AIRPORT: The Suffolk Executive Airport will continue under normal operations.
  • SCHOOLS: For information on Suffolk Public Schools, please visit the SPS website. 
  • SUFFOLK TRANSIT: Suffolk Transit will continue under normal operations. Suffolk Transit is continuing its stepped-up campaign of enhanced cleaning of facilities and equipment following the disclosure that coronavirus infections have appeared in Virginia. All buses and paratransit vehicles are being cleaned more thoroughly to include railings, handholds, stanchions, windows and the drivers’ compartments of buses. Buses have also been outfitted with additional paper towels and disinfectant spray for operators to wipe down shared surfaces at each hub arrival or as time allows throughout the day. Staff encourage everyone to keep in mind that maintaining good, personal hygiene habits is essential to controlling the spread of any disease.
  • TOURISM: The Suffolk Visitor Center and the Seaboard Station Railroad Museum are closed starting on Monday, March 16, 2020 until further notice.
  • TRASH & RECYCLING COLLECTION: There are no changes to collection schedules.
  • UPDATES FROM VIRGINIA GOVERNOR RALPH NORTHAM: Visit this website for the latest from the Governor.

Local State of Emergency

City Manager Patrick Roberts declared a State of Emergency this afternoon, Friday, March 13, 2020, at 2:00 p.m. in advance of any potential impacts due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).  A State of Emergency declaration ensures that our City will have the appropriate level of assistance and allows us to coordinate with the Commonwealth in our response and recovery efforts as it relates to any potential impacts from COVID-19.  

Information on Staying Healthy

For official up-to-date information on COVID-19 and protection tips, visit the Virginia Department of Health’s information page.

UPDATES FROM CITY OF SUFFOLK

UPDATE - 4-3-20 - 11:30 a.m.

SUFFOLK PARKS & RECREATION SPORTS AND AQUATIC PROGRAM CANCELLATIONS AND POSTPONEMENTS AND BASKETBALL COURTS CLOSURE 

Consistent with best practices and recommendations from national, state, and local health officials regarding the potential of community spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and the Governor’s Executive Order for all individuals in Virginia to remain at their place of residence and the requirement to avoid public gatherings of more than ten individuals, the following changes have been made to Parks & Recreation athletic programs and parks: 

•All outdoor basketball courts will be closed effective immediately 

•All Spring sports (youth outdoor soccer, tee ball, adult softball, adult basketball) are canceled. Staff will be contacting all customers that are currently registered. All participants will be issued a full refund. 

•Cypress Park Pool opening will be delayed until Saturday, June 13th, unless other Orders are in place. 

• Adult and youth tennis lessons (beginner and intermediate) will be postponed until after June 10th, unless other Orders are in place. 

For more information, contact Athletic Supervisor William Berryman at (757) 514-7270, or wberryman@suffolkva.us. 

UPDATE - 4-2-20 - 2:45 p.m.

SUFFOLK FIRST RESPONDERS ACCEPTING DONATIONS OF PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT

Suffolk’s first responders are reaching out to our community and local businesses for their assistance in donating unused Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to support them in their COVID-19 pandemic response. 

While they have been especially creative in seeking ways to increase their supplies, including working with the Suffolk Library to utilize their 3D printers to print face shield head bands, the need is becoming even more urgent as a shortage of PPE equipment exists across the entire nation.

Donations of any quantity of the following items are encouraged, preferably commercial-grade and in original packaging:

  • N95 Masks – large, medium, universal
  • Nitrile Exam Gloves – XL, large, medium, small
  • Eye protection (safety glasses and goggles)
  • Surgical masks with or without Fluid Shield Protection / Face Shields
  • Protective Surgical Gowns
  • Hand Sanitizer (unopened, gel and wipes)

Donations will be shared between Suffolk Fire & Rescue and Suffolk Police, and may be dropped off by appointment only at Suffolk Fire & Rescue Station 6, located at 300 Kings Fork Road, with the point of contact Captain Leon Ratliff, who can be reached by phone at 757.514.4544. 

They would like to remind all citizens to heed Governor Northam’s executive orders and of the vital importance of social distancing in that it is probably the simplest, most effective thing people can do to help prevent transmission of COVID-19, other than washing your hands.

Their individual departmental mottos say it all, but bear repeating especially now, as they are certainly our “Hometown Heroes”, and, in a slight change of wording from “Our Family, Protecting Yours”, it is definitely, “Their Families, Protecting Ours”.

UPDATE - 3-30-20 - 5:00 p.m.

IMPORTANT UPDATE - SUFFOLK CITY COUNCIL TO CONDUCT SPECIAL MEETING

As previously advised, Suffolk City Council will conduct a Special Meeting on Tuesday, March 31, 2020, at 1 p.m. in City Council Chamber located inside Suffolk City Hall, 442 West Washington Street, for the purpose of discussing the COVID-19 emergency.

While these are certainly trying times for all of our citizens, the business of local government must continue so that the needs of all citizens can be met now and in the future.  While we are all fully aware of the health concerns surrounding COVID-19, the adherence of requirements by law for public meetings must still be followed.  One of those requirements is that the meeting must be advertised as being open to the public.  It is of course at the public’s discretion as to whether they wish to attend.   

Items on the Agenda for the Special Meeting include a Resolution to confirm the Declaration of Local Emergency which was previously issued; an Emergency Ordinance to effectuate temporary changes in certain deadlines and to modify public meeting and public hearing practices and procedures to address continuity of operations associated with the pandemic disaster; and an Update to note that the City Council will have an electronic or regular meeting on the regularly scheduled City Council meeting date of April 15, 2020, at 7:00 p.m., unless cancelled.  The decision of the type of meeting will be governed by the state of the local emergency or any federal or state order.  Notice of the meeting will be provided to the public as soon as practical.  Instructions on how citizens may participate in scheduled public hearings for electronic meetings will be provided in the public notice of the electronic meeting. 

Members of City Council and City Staff that will be in attendance during the Special Meeting will also adhere to all social distancing recommendations. 

Local government is excluded from Governor Northam’s 10-person gathering limitation.  Social distancing initiatives have been put into place for any members of the public that wish to attend the advertised Special Meeting.  Additionally, in keeping with CDC recommendations, staff have and will continue to increase sanitizing of common surfaces. 

As previously advised, the meeting will be aired live on the Suffolk Municipal Channel (Spectrum Channel 190) and live streamed at http://suffolkva.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?publish_id=2 so that the public is aware of all actions taken.

The health and safety of all of our citizens is our top priority.  We appreciate your understanding and patience as together we navigate these unprecedented challenges now facing our nation.

SUFFOLK CITY COUNCIL TO CONDUCT SPECIAL MEETING

UPDATE - 3-27-20 - 5:45 p.m.

SUFFOLK PARKS & RECREATION PLAYGROUNDS TO CLOSE

The playgrounds at the following Suffolk Parks & Recreation parks will close to the public at 6 a.m., Saturday, March 28, 2020, until further notice due to the City’s response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) and the need for social distancing:

Bennetts Creek Park

Booker T Washington Recreation Center

Boston Park

Coulbourn Park

Cypress Park

East Suffolk Recreation Center

Holland Park

Ida Easter Park

Lake Meade Park

Lake Kennedy Park

Lakeside Park

Lone Star Lakes Park

Magnolia Park

Mary Estes Park

Planters Park

Pughesville Park

Sleepy Hole Park

Turlington Park

Tynes Park

Whaleyville Recreation Center

White Marsh Park

All other amenities within the parks including, but not limited to, skate parks, dog parks, tennis courts, kayak and boat launches, and trails will remain open for public use. Citizens are encouraged practice social distancing of six (6) feet or more while using the parks.

For more information, visit us on Facebook @SuffolkParksandRec, or visit our website at www.suffolkva.us/parks . For more information, call 757-514-7250.

UPDATE - 3-27-20 - 4:20 p.m.

SUFFOLK CITY COUNCIL TO CONDUCT SPECIAL MEETING 

Suffolk City Council will conduct a Special Meeting on Tuesday, March 31, 2020 at 1 p.m. in City Council Chamber located inside Suffolk City Hall, 442 West Washington Street, for the purpose of discussing the COVID-19 emergency.

Suffolk City Hall will be accessible to the general public for this limited purpose ONLY.

The meeting will be aired live on the Suffolk Municipal Channel (Spectrum Channel 190) and live streamed at http://suffolkva.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?publish_id=2.


UPDATE - 3-25-20 - 10:35 a.m.

CITY OFFICES TO CLOSE TO PUBLIC UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE 

Following Governor Ralph Northam’s statewide order which became effective at 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, March 24, 2020, to protect the health and safety of Virginians and reduce the spread of the Coronavirus disease, or COVID-19, Suffolk City Offices and facilities, which have been closed to the public since March 16, 2020, will remain closed to the public until further notice.  The initial closure was to have been through March 27, 2020. 

Executive Order Fifty-Three orders the closure of certain non-essential businesses, bans all gatherings of more than 10 people, and closes all K-12 schools for the remainder of the academic year. Governor Northam also urged all Virginians to avoid non-essential travel outside the home, if and when possible.  The order will remain in place until 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, April 23, 2020.

This extended closure includes all Recreational Centers, Libraries, Visitor Center, Suffolk Art Gallery, Suffolk Seaboard Coastline Railroad Museum, Suffolk Animal Care, as well as the Treasurer’s Office and the Commissioner of the Revenue’s Office inside City Hall and their satellite offices at the North Suffolk Library.  The Suffolk Police Department 1st and 2nd Precinct lobbies are also closed to the public.  Suffolk Police Headquarters and Suffolk Fire & Rescue Station 6 lobbies will remain open to the public with limited service. 

Suffolk Transit and the Suffolk Executive Airport will continue under normal operations.

Suffolk’s many acres of outdoor parks, walking trails, boat ramps, as well as kayak and canoe launches remain open to visitors.  We do encourage recreational users to practice social distancing, regularly wash hands, and follow all CDC and State Health Department Guidelines.

City of Suffolk employees will continue to report to work during this time. Essential services, including trash pick-up, will continue as normal. 

During this time all City-managed events will be cancelled.

The public is encouraged to use the many online options to access City services and to call the main line at 514-4000 with any questions.   

City leadership will continue to actively monitor COVID-19 and assess City operations based on developments.   Extensive information is available to our citizens on our website at www.suffolkva.us/1399/Suffolk-Coronavirus-COVID-19-Updates.

UPDATE - 3-24-20 - 5:10 p.m.

MEETING CANCELLATION NOTICES DUE TO COVID-19

The City Council Work Session and Meeting scheduled for Wednesday, April 1, 2020, have been cancelled.  

 Following the cancellation, the next Suffolk City Council Work Session will be held on Wednesday, April 15, 2020, at 4:00 p.m., unless otherwise noted, and the next Regular Meeting will take place at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 15, 2020.

 The Economic Development Authority (EDA) Meeting scheduled for Wednesday, April 8, 2020, at 4:00 p.m. has also been cancelled.  

 Following the cancellation, the next EDA Meeting, unless otherwise noted, will take place at 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, May 13, 2020.

UPDATE - 3-20-20 - 3:46 p.m.

PARKS & RECREATION FACILITY RESERVATIONS

Suffolk Parks & Recreation will continue to take facility reservations during the COVID-19 closure. Citizens wishing to tentatively reserve the Planters Club, a picnic shelter, or rooms in the Recreation Centers may do so over the phone at 757-514-7250. Once normal operations resume, applicants will be contacted and will have seven (7) business days to bring any deposits, fees, and other documentation due to the Administration Offices or Recreation Centers. Reservations will not be complete until the Rental Agreement is signed.  Parks & Recreation recommends that applicants not make any other financial obligations associated with the facility reservation that cannot be refunded until normal operations resume and the Rental Agreement is signed.

For more information, visit us on Facebook @SuffolkParksandRec, or visit our website at www.suffolkva.us/parks.  


UPDATE - 3-20-20 - 2:40 p.m.

SUFFOLK ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ROLLS OUT WORKFORCE COMMUNICATION TOOL 

In response to the rapidly changing economic climate with COVID-19, Suffolk Economic Development Department has created an online resource aimed to support job seekers. 

The new online directory, found on the www.YesSuffolk.com homepage, features Suffolk and surrounding area businesses who are currently hiring and looking to fill open positions.  Special emphasis is placed on job openings that are entry-level and above.

The Department is now actively encouraging the Greater Suffolk business community to supply current employment status information.  The information will populate the directory tool, which will be updated regularly.

All businesses that are actively recruiting and would like to be included, please reach out by Email to: Terry A. Smith, Suffolk Economic Development, at Tasmith@suffolkva.us, or call 757-514-4045. Click here to access the guide. 

Impacted employers and workers are also encouraged to continue to interact with the following workforce partners: 

Suffolk Workforce Development Center 757-514-7730 

Hampton Roads Workforce Council  757-314-2370

Virginia Career Works 757-629-4702

Virginia Employment Commission  866-832-2363 

Hampton Roads Veterans Center 757-807-0423

UPDATE - 3-20-20 - 9:40 a.m.

SUFFOLK POLICE TO CHANGE RESPONSE TO NON-VIOLENT INCIDENTS DUE TO COVID-19 

The Suffolk Police Department is changing the way it responds to non-violent incidents due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The new response procedures are designed to reduce citizen’s and Officer’s exposure to the coronavirus in the line of duty. Further, Officers will be using social distancing and personal protective equipment to limit contact as much as possible in accordance with recommendations by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Police may not respond to non-violent offenses.  Incidents that can be adequately handled by telephone reporting will not have an Officer response. 

Citizens are encouraged to call Non-Emergency Dispatch at 757-923-2350, Option 8, to make telephone reports. 

Responses to serious incidents and threats to public safety will continue to receive priority responses. 

UPDATE - 3-19-20 - 3:20 p.m.

SUFFOLK EATERIES CARRY ON BY CARRYING-OUT

 Suffolk Tourism has partnered with locally owned and operated restaurants to offer daily updates as to changes in services amid the COVID-19 virus restrictions. Due to the ten-person limit for public gatherings, several Suffolk eateries have transitioned to curbside service, delivery, and take-out offerings only.  As part of our ongoing “Love Local, Buy Suffolk” initiative, Suffolk Tourism will continue to share any updates available as to Suffolk restaurants’ services via VisitSuffolkVa.com and various social media pages such as facebook.com/VisitSuffolkVa and facebook.com/LoveLocalBuySuffolk. Any questions or additions to the information shared should be directed to the Suffolk Visitor Center at 757.514.4130, or VisitSuffolk@suffolkva.us.

UPDATE - 3-19-20 - 12:30 p.m.

CITY TO TEMPORARILY SUSPEND ONLINE TRANSACTION CONVENIENCE FEES

Please be advised that, until further notice, convenience fees for all transactions made online at the Suffolk Treasurer’s payment portal (www.suffolkvatax.us) have been temporarily suspended in order to assist our citizens as we all deal with the uncertainties related to the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19). 

This includes credit/debit card transactions, e-check transactions, and PayPal transactions. This has been done as a courtesy to Suffolk citizens as City Hall is currently closed to the public. The Suffolk Treasurer’s Office is available by phone at 757-514-4275, or by email at citytreasurer@suffolkva.us.

Check or money order payments may be deposited into the payment drop box located outside of City Hall and the North Suffolk Library. Payments may be made via telephone by calling 1-866-791-4845. Additionally, payments may still be mailed to the Suffolk Treasurer’s Office, PO Box 1583, Suffolk, Virginia 23439.

UPDATE - 3-17-20 - 5:25 p.m.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION FROM PUBLIC UTILITIES REGARDING COVID-19

The City of Suffolk’s G. Robert House, Jr. Water Treatment Facility Laboratory typically provides water testing services to our citizens who have well systems.  Temporarily, however, due to National, State, and local Emergency Declarations regarding COVID-19, and out of an abundance of caution, the laboratory will not be accepting water samples for at least a two-week period.  The laboratory will begin accepting samples again on Tuesday, March 31, 2020, unless further restrictions are necessary due to the evolving nature of the COVID-19 virus. 

In the interim, you may wish to contact the local independent laboratories listed below:

  • James R. Reed and Associates, Newport News, VA – 757-873-4703
  • Universal Laboratories, Hampton, VA – 757-865-0880

To alleviate any potential concerns about your drinking water, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the World Health Organization (WHO) have advised that COVID-19 has not been detected in any drinking water supplies and encourages the continued use of tap water.  In addition, the City of Suffolk follows and meets all drinking water regulations established by EPA in the treatment of our customers’ potable water.  Established treatment regulations and processes prevent waterborne pathogens, such as viruses, from contaminating the drinking water.    These processes include filtration and disinfection which are effective at removing and inactivating viruses including the virus associated with COVID-19.

 For more information, please visit https://www.epa.gov/coronavirus

UPDATE - 3-17-20 - 3:50 p.m.

THERE’S VIRTUALLY NO REASON NOT TO STAY ACTIVE!

Suffolk Parks & Recreation is proud to announce the debut of Virtual Fitness Classes on Facebook live. 

Due to the current closure of our Recreational Facilities amid concerns about the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and social distancing as recommended by the CDC, today we began offering our first ever Virtual Fitness Classes. The Classes offered will be announced on Facebook the morning of the Class per the availability of our Instructors. The Facebook live Classes will follow the normal schedule of Class offerings at the East Suffolk Recreation Center and Whaleyville Recreation Center and include offerings for all ages. We encourage you to tune in to our Facebook live Fitness Classes.

For more information, visit us on Facebook @SuffolkParksandRec, or visit our website at www.suffolkva.us/parks, or call 757-514-7250.

UPDATE - 3-17-20 - 12:45 p.m.

SUFFOLK LIBRARY VIRTUALLY COMING TO YOU 

You can still take advantage of the wonderful classes and events offered by the Suffolk Public Library as we all work together to help slow the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) by self-isolating and practicing social distancing as recommended by the CDC. 

Especially with schools closed and many wondering how to keep children engaged and entertained for an extended period while at home, the Library is here to help and has kicked off their first round of virtual classes and events this morning at 10:00 a.m. with Storytime Rhymes & More with Mrs. April. Additional events are scheduled throughout the day, and this information is also posted to both their Facebook page and their YouTube channel. (YouTube playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLpkh_vhPHfCzYyztYx0psTJ8j0UD8bS-8).

April Watkins, Early Childhood Services Senior Librarian, notes, “Offering Storytime online is fantastic. A lot of what we do in Storytime is not only to entertain and engage the kids, we’re really modeling ways for parents to engage in early literacy strategies at home. That is always my goal for Storytime. My hope is that all kids will have participated in early literacy activities before entering kindergarten, because that will make them much better readers in the long run.”

With these virtual opportunities in which to learn, the Suffolk Public Library can cast a wider net for sharing early literacy with the children and families of our community, especially while facilities are closed to the public.

Schedules are currently being finalized, but every weekday will include the posting of virtual classes on topics ranging from virtual Storytimes to DIY classes.  Additional content already filmed includes DIY Slime, How to Make Your Own Sensory Bottles, and Fandom Crafts using everyday objects at home.  Additional services and announcements will be made moving forward.

The Library is also offering assistance to citizens by phone at 757-514-7323, Monday through Friday, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and online through an Ask Us form. Information is available at www.suffolkpubliclibrary.com/askus.

UPDATE - 3-16-20 - 6:45 p.m.

From Sheriff E.C. Harris, Suffolk Sheriff’s Office:

In response to the judicial emergency declared by the Supreme Court of Virginia, effective March 16, 2020, the Mills E. Godwin Courts Complex will be closed to the public from March 17, 2020 through April 3, 2020 with the exception of Emergency matters.

All civil, traffic and criminal matters including jury trials are continued until after April 3, 2020.

Any defendant with a speedy trial concern should contact their attorney and the court for further direction.

Questions regarding this release should be directed to the clerk’s Office associated with the court matter: Suffolk Circuit Court 757-514-7800, Suffolk General District Court 757-514-4850, Suffolk JDR Court 757-514-7790.

UPDATE - 3-16-20 - 2:30 p.m.

CITY OFFICES TO CLOSE TO PUBLIC FOR TWO WEEKS 

Following National, State, and our local Emergency Declarations regarding COVID-19, and out of an abundance of caution, all City of Suffolk facilities except as detailed below will be closed to the public on Monday, March 16, 2020 as previously advised, with those closures to the public now extended through Friday, March 27, 2020. 

The Mills Godwin Jr. Courts Building and related Courts have advised that they will remain open under their normal schedule.

This closure includes all Recreational Centers, Libraries, Visitor Center, Suffolk Art Gallery, Suffolk Seaboard Coastline Railroad Museum, Suffolk Animal Care, as well as the Treasurer’s Office and the Commissioner of the Revenue’s Office inside City Hall and their satellite offices at the North Suffolk Library.  The Suffolk Police Department 1st and 2nd Precinct lobbies are also closed to the public.  Suffolk Police Headquarters and Suffolk Fire & Rescue Station 6 lobbies will remain open to the public with limited service. 

Suffolk Transit and the Suffolk Executive Airport will continue under normal operations.

City of Suffolk employees will continue to report to work during this time.  Essential services, including trash pick-up, will continue as normal. 

During this time all City-managed events will be cancelled.

Due to the fact that City facilities will be closed to the public, all scheduled meetings of City Council, Planning Commission, Boards, and Commissions are also cancelled for the next two weeks. 

The public is encouraged to use the many online options to access City services and to call the main line at 514-4000 with any questions.   

City leadership will continue to actively monitor COVID-19 and assess City operations based on developments.

UPDATE - 3-15-20 - 6:30 p.m.

CITY OFFICES CLOSED MONDAY 

Following National, State, and our local Emergency Declarations regarding COVID-19, and out of an abundance of caution, all City of Suffolk facilities except as detailed below will be closed to the public on Monday, March 16, 2020, so that determinations regarding operations moving forward can be reviewed and established. 

The Mills Godwin Jr. Courts Building and related Courts have advised that they will remain open under their normal schedule.

This closure includes all Recreational Centers, Libraries, Visitor Center, Suffolk Art Gallery, Suffolk Seaboard Coastline Railroad Museum, as well as the Treasurer’s Office and the Commissioner of the Revenue’s Office inside City Hall and at the North Suffolk Library. 

Suffolk Transit and the Suffolk Executive Airport will continue under normal operations.  All local outdoor parks and playgrounds remain open and social distancing is recommended. 

City of Suffolk employees will report to work during this time. 

The public is encouraged to use the many online options to access City services and to call the main line at 514-4000 with any questions.   

City leadership will continue to actively monitor COVID-19 and assess City operations based on developments.

UPDATE - 3-13-20 - 3:30 p.m.

CITY EVENT CANCELLATIONS AND OPERATIONS 

As coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) continues to affect the way people interact and conduct business, the health and safety of our citizens and employees is our top concern. 

Due to the volume of previously scheduled City events and activities, please check the City of Suffolk Departmental websites and social media platforms as to their current status.  Consistent with best practices and recommendations from national, state, and local health officials regarding large public gatherings and the potential of community spread, and out of an abundance of caution, City-sponsored events and activities are being closely reviewed and determinations are being made on a daily basis.     

Additionally, while City offices and facilities remain open at this time, citizens may wish for their own convenience to conduct business online (www.suffolkva.us), where offered, or contact the individual Departments or the City’s main line at 757.514.4000. 

Protecting ourselves will require all facets of the community to work together.

UPDATE - 3-13-20

CITY MANAGER DECLARES STATE OF EMERGENCY

City Manager Patrick Roberts declared a State of Emergency this afternoon, Friday, March 13, 2020, at 2:00 p.m. in advance of any potential impacts due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).   

A State of Emergency declaration ensures that our City will have the appropriate level of assistance and allows us to coordinate with the Commonwealth in our response and recovery efforts as it relates to any potential impacts from COVID-19.  

UPDATE - 3-12-20

SPECIAL EVENT CANCELLATIONS AND POSTPONEMENTS DUE TO COVID-19

Consistent with best practices and recommendations from national, state, and local health officials regarding large public gatherings and the potential of community spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and out of an abundance of caution, the City of Suffolk advises of the following cancellations or postponements of upcoming special events and activities:

  • Suffolk Parks & Recreation Youth Indoor Soccer Tournaments, Saturday, March 14th at Mack Benn, Jr. Recreation Center, and Saturday March 21st at King’s Fork High School – Cancelled.  Champions will be awarded through regular season records and trophies distributed accordingly at a later date.
  • Suffolk Parks & Recreation Youth Basketball League Tournaments, Saturday, March 14th at Oakland Recreation Center – Cancelled. Champions will be awarded through regular season records and trophies distributed accordingly at a later date.
  • Suffolk Parks & Recreation Volunteer Youth Sports Coaches Banquet scheduled for Thursday, March 19th is postponed until further notice. 
  • IconiCon, North Suffolk Public Library, Saturday, March 28, 2020 – Postponed.  Event to be rescheduled and additional information will follow at a later date.
  • Suffolk Parks & Recreation Eggstravaganza, Bennett’s Creek Park, Saturday, April 4th – Cancelled.  This seasonal event will not be rescheduled.
  • Senior Programs at the East Suffolk Recreation Center and Whaleyville Recreation Center, cancelled effective Monday, March 16th, until further notice in order to protect those most vulnerable and at-risk (elderly and potentially medically compromised).  While the Senior Program activities and associated transportation are cancelled, the Recreation Centers will remain open.  

As we are all aware, COVID-19 is a rapidly evolving health concern and potential issues are being reviewed and determinations made daily.

A link to the latest information available from the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) and the Department of Health & Human Services Center for Disease Control (CDC), is available on the City of Suffolk website at: www.suffolkva.us/SuffolkCoronavirusUpdates.

Citizens are reminded of the simple things you can do to help keep yourself and others healthy, including:  Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food.  Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.  Stay home when you are sick.  Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

By practicing these healthy habits, you will be doing your part to protect yourself and your family and to help prevent the spread of flu.