Suffolk Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates


The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) has an interactive COVID-19 Testing Sites Map which provides information of known locations of various COVID-19 test sampling sites and does not constitute endorsement by VDH. There may be additional sites that offer test sampling that are not included on the map and the status of listed sites are subject to change (may no longer perform COVID-19 testing services). 

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State of Virginia - Forward Virginia Guidelines - Phase 3 

(click for link)

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State of Virginia - Forward Virginia Guidelines - Phase 2 -- Executive Order 65 (click for link)

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Governor Northam Announces Face Covering Requirement and Workplace Safety Regulations:  Face coverings required in public settings starting Friday, May 29, 2020 (click for press release) Executive Order 63 (click for link)

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

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Guidance for Flushing Building Plumbing Systems after Prolonged Shutdown (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. The VDEM website includes all executive orders and relevant guidance in English, Spanish, Korean, Mandarin, and soon to be Vietnamese and Tagalog.

Information As of Thursday, July 9

  • INFORMATION HOTLINES: Health Districts of Hampton Roads COVID-19 Hotline: 757-683-2745 (8 AM - 6 PM, Monday-Friday). Virginia Department of Health hotline: 877-ASK-VDH3 (1-877-275-9343).
  • 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.
  • 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. Business is being conducted by phone, mail, e-file, drop-box and appointments. 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.

  • LIBRARY: All Suffolk Public Libraries are CLOSED to the public starting on Monday, March 16, 2020 until further notice. (new 6/9/20) - Suffolk Public Library is excited to announce that contactless curbside pickup service for Library items on hold will begin on Monday, June 22, 2020. Curbside Pickup will be available at Morgan Memorial Library and North Suffolk Library between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Library cardholders must place items on hold in advance and then come to the Library after they have received the text or e-mail notification letting them know their items are ready. Once they arrive to the Library, customers will drive or walk up to one of the two designated spots and call the Library to let staff know what spot they are in. Library staff will bring items out and place them on a table and indicate when the customer can approach the table to retrieve their items. Any items customers bring back to the Library must be returned to the item drops and will not be accepted on the tables. In anticipation of Curbside Pickup, people are encouraged to review their accounts and cancel any holds they no longer need. Library cardholders can place items on hold through their account online, virtual chat, or by calling the Library. For those without a Library card, there is an option to sign up for a card online through the library’s website.To learn more about the Suffolk Public Library, visit www.suffolkpubliclibrary.com. Follow the Library on Twitter @SufPubLib, and check for updates on Facebook at Facebook.com/SuffolkPublicLibrary.
  • PARKS & RECREATION: Recreational Centers and the Suffolk Art Gallery closed to the public starting on Monday, March 16, 2020 until further notice. The East Suffolk Recreation Center and Whaleyville Recreation Center ONLY reopened to the public on Monday, June 15th. To comply with the Governor’s Executive Order 65 and the guidelines in the Forward Virginia Phase II Plan, there have been changes to Fitness Center rules and procedures. Masks must be worn when entering the building, but may be removed while exercising. All customers will be asked health screening questions regarding COVID-19 symptoms, and temporal no-touch body temperature scans will be taken. No one with a temperature at or above 100.4 degrees will be permitted in the building. A maximum of 12 customers will be allowed in the Fitness Center at any time. Patrons may be required to wait to enter the facility during peak times. All customers will be required to maintain 10 feet of social distancing while inside the Fitness Center. Fitness Centers are open from 6 a.m. to 12 p.m. (Noon), and 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.(Noon) on Saturdays. The Fitness Centers will close weekdays between 12 p.m. (Noon) and 1 p.m. for equipment disinfecting, however, enhanced cleaning and disinfecting protocols will be in place throughout the entire time the Fitness Centers are open. Fitness Center memberships for residents are $10 per month for adults, $7 per month for teens, and $5 per month for seniors ages 55 and up. All Fitness Center members must also possess an Active Annual Recreation Center membership. Additionally, the playgrounds at Suffolk Parks & Recreation parks closed 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. Additionally, all outdoor basketball courts are closed, Adult and youth tennis lessons (beginner and intermediate) will be postponed until further notice, unless other Orders are in place. Citizens are encouraged practice social distancing of six (6) feet or more while using the parks. Cypress Park Pool, located at 2001 Arizona Avenue, will open on Wednesday, July 1st.  The pool for both Public Open Swim and Swimming Lessons. Public Open Swim will be Tuesdays through Sundays, 2:00 p.m. to 6 p.m., beginning Wednesday, July 1st, and ending Sunday, September 6th. To comply with the Governor’s Forward Virginia Phased Plan, there will be additions to existing pool rules and procedures. For all customers age 10 and up, masks must be worn when entering the pool facility, but may be removed while swimming. All customers will be asked health screening questions regarding COVID-19 symptoms, and temporal no-touch body temperature scans will be taken. No one with a temperature at or above 100.4 degrees will be permitted in the pool facility. Everyone entering the pool facility, including swim lesson participants, will be required to maintain 10 feet of social distancing between non-family members at all times.For more pool information, call 757-514-7250 or 514-7270, or email tpledger@suffolkva.us.  Consistent with best practices and recommendations from national, state, and local health officials regarding the potential of community spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) at large community gatherings, the Summer Concerts scheduled to be held in Downtown Suffolk at the Constant’s Wharf Park & Marina on Saturday, July 11th, and Saturday, July 18th are cancelled. Stay up to date by following us on Facebook for virtual activities and events @SuffolkParksandRec. Visit our website and Virtual Recreation Center at www.suffolkva.us/parks, or call 757-514-7250 for more information.
  • 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. Face coverings are now required when using Suffolk Transit. You will not be allowed to board the bus without one. Children under the age of 10 and those with medical exceptions are excluded. Remember, Suffolk Transit is for essential travel only. Link to video regarding RIDER SAFETY GUIDELINES: Link to video
  • 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 7-9-20 - 2:50 p.m.

2020 SUMMER CONCERTS CANCELLED THROUGH JULY 18

Consistent with best practices and recommendations from national, state, and local health officials regarding the potential of community spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) at large community gatherings, the Summer Concerts scheduled to be held in Downtown Suffolk at the Constant’s Wharf Park & Marina on Saturday, July 11th, and Saturday, July 18th are cancelled.

Stay up to date by following us on Facebook for virtual activities and events @SuffolkParksandRec. Visit our website and Virtual Recreation Center at www.suffolkva.us/parks, or call 757-514-7250 for more information.

UPDATE 6-24-20 - 3:50 p.m.

SUFFOLK PARKS & RECREATION OPENING LIMITED SUMMER CAMPS

Suffolk Parks & Recreation is pleased to announce the opening of limited Summer Camps.

In keeping with Forward Virginia Phased guidelines, limited Summer Camp spaces and sites will be available for rising Kindergarten to rising 6th graders. Four-year-olds must have completed the Suffolk Public School’s Pre-K4/Early Start program.

Precautions will be in place to ensure the safety of children and staff to include daily screening procedures.

Summer Camp will occur at three Joint-Use sites:  Booker T. Washington, Creekside, and Mack Benn, Jr. Recreation Centers. Drive-up registration will occur by appointment only.  Please call Recreation Supervisor Shanta Bynum, at (757) 514-4502, for a registration appointment.

Once an appointment is made, customers will be directed to registration sites at either Mack Benn, Jr. or Creekside Recreation Center. Customer must bring check or money order for payment, proof of residency, proof of child’s grade, and information for two emergency contacts. Staff will assist customers with registration forms.

Mack Benn, Jr. Recreation Center is located at 1253 Nansemond Parkway.

Booker T. Washington Recreation Center is located at 204 Walnut Street.

Creekside Recreation Center is located at 1000 Bennetts Creek Park Road.

Planet Recreation (June 29 - August 14, 7am – 6pm, Monday-Friday) This program is filled with fun activities, arts & crafts, and clubs.  Your child will have an awesome time and adventure participating in this program. The cost is $42.50 for the first one-week session, and $85 per two-week session, with a onetime $35 registration fee.

For more information, contact Recreation Supervisor Shanta Bynum at (757) 514-4502 or sbynum@suffolkva.us.

SUFFOLK PARKS & RECREATION CYPRESS PARK POOL 2020 OPENING FOR PUBLIC OPEN SWIM AND SWIMMING LESSONS 

Suffolk Parks & Recreation Cypress Park Pool, located at 2001 Arizona Avenue, is opening on Wednesday, July 1st.  The pool is ready for both Public Open Swim and Swimming Lessons.

Public Open Swim will be Tuesdays through Sundays, 2:00 p.m. to 6 p.m., beginning Wednesday, July 1st, and ending Sunday, September 6th. The pool will be closed Friday, July 3rd, but will be open on Saturday, July 4th.

Beginning Monday, July 6th, Swimming Lessons will be offered for both youth and adults. Registration is available online at www.suffolkva.us/266/Parks-Recreation.

Cypress Park Pool 2020 Swim Lesson Schedule

Swimming Classes are Monday through Thursday with make-up classes on Fridays.

7/06/20-7/16/20       8a.m.-8:50a.m.          Intermediate Swimming (Ages 5-17)

7/06/20-7/16/20       9a.m.-9:50a.m.          Beginner Swimming (Ages 5-17)

7/06/20-7/16/20       10a.m.-10:50a.m.     Beginner Swimming (Ages 5-17)

7/06/20-7/16/20       11a.m.-11:50a.m.     Beginner Swimming (Ages 5-17)

7/20/20-7/30/20       8a.m.-8:50a.m.          Intermediate Swimming (Ages 5-17)

7/20/20-7/30/20       9a.m.-9:50a.m.          Beginner Swimming (Ages 5-17)

7/20/20-7/30/20       10a.m.-10:50a.m.     Beginner Swimming (Ages 5-17)

7/20/20-7/30/20       11a.m.-11:50a.m.     Beginner Swimming (Ages 5-17)

To comply with the Governor’s Forward Virginia Phased Plan, there will be additions to existing pool rules and procedures. For all customers age 10 and up, masks must be worn when entering the pool facility, but may be removed while swimming. All customers will be asked health screening questions regarding COVID-19 symptoms, and temporal no-touch body temperature scans will be taken. No one with a temperature at or above 100.4 degrees will be permitted in the pool facility. Everyone entering the pool facility, including swim lesson participants, will be required to maintain 10 feet of social distancing between non-family members at all times.

For more pool information, call 757-514-7250 or 514-7270, or email tpledger@suffolkva.us.

Visit the Suffolk Parks & Recreation website at www.suffolkva.us/266/Parks-Recreation, or call the Suffolk Parks & Recreation Administration Office at 757-514-7250 for additional information.

UPDATE 6-11-20 - 5 p.m.

SUFFOLK PARKS & RECREATION RE-OPENING FITNESS CENTERS

 Suffolk Parks & Recreation is pleased to announce the Fitness Centers located at East Suffolk Recreation Center and Whaleyville Recreation Center will reopen on Monday, June 15th.

To comply with the Governor’s Executive Order 65 and the guidelines in the Forward Virginia Phase II Plan, there will be changes to Fitness Center rules and procedures.

Masks must be worn when entering the building, but may be removed while exercising. All customers will be asked health screening questions regarding COVID-19 symptoms, and temporal no-touch body temperature scans will be taken. No one with a temperature at or above 100.4 degrees will be permitted in the building. A maximum of 12 customers will be allowed in the Fitness Center at any time. Patrons may be required to wait to enter the facility during peak times. All customers will be required to maintain 10 feet of social distancing while inside the Fitness Center.

Fitness Centers are open from 6 a.m. to 12 p.m. (Noon), and 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.(Noon) on Saturdays. The Fitness Centers will close weekdays between 12 p.m. (Noon) and 1 p.m. for equipment disinfecting, however, enhanced cleaning and disinfecting protocols will be in place throughout the entire time the Fitness Centers are open. 

Fitness Center memberships for residents are $10 per month for adults, $7 per month for teens, and $5 per month for seniors ages 55 and up. All Fitness Center members must also possess an Active Annual Recreation Center membership.

The East Suffolk Recreation Center is located at 138 S. 6th Street, and the Whaleyville Recreation Center is located at 132 Robertson Street.

For more information regarding membership and/or updated rules at East Suffolk Recreation Center, contact Jason Jones at (757) 514-4507, or for the Whaleyville Recreation Center, contact Jessica Taylor at (757) 514-7101.

UPDATE - 6-10-20 - 4:40 p.m.

SUFFOLK EDA UNVEILS NEW SMALL BUSINESS SUPPORT

The Suffolk Economic Development Authority (EDA) today approved a new Grant Program designed to support businesses facing economic hardship due to the outbreak of the coronavirus COVID-19.

The EDA has allocated up to $200,000 for the COVID-19 Small Business Assistance Grant Program in emergency relief to support local businesses with a commercial presence in the City.  Via the new Grant Program, qualifying business may be eligible to receive a one-time grant up to $5,000.

Applications will be accepted beginning June 11, 2020 and can be found, along with information about how to apply, on the Suffolk Economic Development website under COVID – 19 Resources.

The new Program focuses on businesses that have been impacted the hardest by the outbreak and associated Executive Orders.  The Grants will provide for a wide range of applicable uses to support varied needs, such as support to pay private utilities (gas, power, cable), rent, insurance, or operating expenses.

A sample of criteria to qualify includes:

Businesses must have no more than 50 Full–Time employees as of March 24, 2020

For-Profit

Must have been operational prior to Jan 1, 2020

Impacted by Governor Northam’s Executive Order 53 and associated directives

Other conditions apply: see the full list of requirements.  The Program will continue until funds are fully depleted.

Contact Gregory Byrd,  757.514.4042, or SuffolkEDA@suffolkva.us with questions.

UPDATE - 6-2-20 - 9:45 a.m.

SUMMER CONCERTS AND EVENTS CANCELLED THROUGH JULY 4

Consistent with best practices and recommendations from national, state, and local health officials regarding the potential of community spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the Summer Concerts scheduled to be held in Downtown Suffolk June 13, June 20 & June 27 are cancelled. A decision on all future summer concerts will be made at a later time. 

Additionally, the fireworks and festivities for the City’s Stars & Stripes Spectacular scheduled for Saturday, July 4th, at Constant’s Wharf Park & Marina are cancelled.

Check us out on Facebook for virtual activities and events @SuffolkParksandRec, visit our website and Virtual Recreation Center at www.suffolkva.us/parks, or call 757-514-7267 for more information.

UPDATE - 5-29-20 - 3:40 p.m.

SUFFOLK CITY COUNCIL MEETING SCHEDULED FOR JUNE 3RD 

Suffolk City Council will conduct their regularly scheduled City Council Meeting on Wednesday, June 3, 2020, at 7 p.m. in City Council Chamber located inside Suffolk City Hall, 442 West Washington Street.  There will be no Work Session preceding the Council Meeting. 

While these certainly remain 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.  

Suffolk City Hall will be accessible to the public for this limited purpose ONLY.  Interested parties should arrive at City Hall as early as possible due to less available seating due to social distancing requirements.  Members of City Council and City Staff that will be in attendance during the Council Meeting will also adhere to all social distancing recommendations. 

Local government is excluded from Governor Northam’s 10-person gathering limitation.  Additionally, in keeping with the Governor’s most recent Executive Order and CDC recommendations, face coverings will be required for this public indoor setting to help contain the spread of the novel coronavirus. Staff have and will continue to increase sanitizing of common surfaces. 

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.

UPDATE - 5-28-20 - 5:10 p.m.

CITY OF SUFFOLK PARTNERS WITH WESTERN TIDEWATER HEALTH DISTRICT TO PROVIDE FREE COVID-19 DRIVE-THRU TESTING

The City of Suffolk, in partnership with the Western Tidewater Health District, will be offering two FREE drive-thru community testing events for COVID-19 on Friday, June 5th, and on Wednesday, June 10th

Testing on Friday, June 5th will take place from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. (or until tests run out), and will take place at the Health & Human Services Building located in Downtown Suffolk at 135 Hall Avenue.

Testing on Wednesday, June 10th will take place from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. (or until tests run out), and will take place at Bennett’s Creek Park, located at 3000 Bennetts Creek Park Road in North Suffolk. 

Testing is for any individual, including children, who comes to the testing sites 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 these locations is FREE.  Social distancing in the walk-up portion of the facility will be required. 

The tests are a nasopharyngeal swab that tests for current presence of the virus.  Asymptomatic carriers may test positive if they have the virus.  This is not an antibody test, and unless you currently have the virus, cannot tell if you have previously been exposed to it.  Test results will be provided within 3 to 4 business days.  Those testing positive will be contacted by phone.  Those testing negative will be sent results via U.S. Mail to the address provided.

For more information, call 757.514.4700.

UPDATE - 5-13-20 - 9:45 a.m. 

REMINDER FROM SUFFOLK TRANSIT REGARDING PUBLIC TRANSPORT  

Suffolk Transit would like to remind the public to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and State guidelines by limiting use of public transport to essential travel only.  Suffolk Transit is an essential service for helping other essential workers get to work, as well as for people buying groceries and other necessities.  Please do not ride if you have any indication that you may have been exposed to COVID-19. or you are experiencing any symptoms, such as fever, coughing, or sneezing.  If you need emergency transportation to a medical facility, please call 911.

Suffolk Transit would like to reassure passengers that all buses and paratransit vehicles are sanitized multiple times a day, and shared surfaces such as railings, handholds, stanchions, windows and the driver’s compartment, are routinely disinfected.  Passengers are encouraged to wear a mask and gloves, and to limit the amount of surfaces they touch.  Social distancing on the bus and at bus stops is required, and passengers are not to sit directly behind the driver.

Rider Safety Guidelines are clearly posted on every vehicle, and passengers are required to adhere to them.

Transit Manager Maria Ptakowski, says, “We have gone to extreme lengths to make sure our drivers and passengers are safe while they are out on the roads.  Thank you to our passengers for following our Rider Safety Guidelines.  I’d also like to thank our exceptional Suffolk Transit team.  Our drivers and office staff are fantastic, and we will continue to provide an outstanding service during this time.  Remember to use this service for essential travel only.”

For more about Suffolk Transit, and up to date information about responding to COVID-19,  please visit www.Suffolktransit.org, or call (757) 214-6442.

UPDATE - 4-16-20 - 2:30 p.m.

SUFFOLK PUBLIC LIBRARY VIRTUAL CHAT SERVICE, EVENT INFORMATION AND AT HOME RESOURCES

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, all Suffolk Public Library locations will be closed to the public and all events will be cancelled until June 10 or unless other Orders are in place. During this time, the Library is offering a variety of exciting new services and online content.

On April 15, Suffolk Public Library launched a virtual chat option available through the Library’s website which allows community members to live chat, text and e-mail with library staff. This service will be available Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and can be accessed at suffolkpubliclibrary.com/ContactUs or by choosing the Contact Us button on every page of the website.

“We are excited about another avenue to connect with our community and to be able to continue to offer resources during this time,” says Tiffany A. Duck, Manager of Library Locations.

While the doors may be closed, the Library is connecting with its community through engaging virtual classes for all ages and interests ranging from storytimes, cooking demonstrations, a Beyond High School series, live trivia nights and much more. The public can access previously recorded content through the Virtual Classes & Events playlists on the Library’s Facebook and YouTube pages. Upcoming live events can be found online at suffolkpubliclibrary.com/virtualevents.

The Ready Reads subscription service, which launched earlier this year, received some modifications as well this month.

“We’ve expanded our Ready Reads subscription book bundle service to now include digital titles,” says Bill Edwards-Bodmer, Collection Strategy Senior Librarian. “Subscribers can now get a curated list of eBooks and/or eAudiobooks each month based on their preferences. We’re doing this as a way to continue a personalized service even with our physical locations closed. It’s another way Suffolk Public Library has adapted to continue offering services while our locations are closed and people are at home.”

Suffolk Public Library’s Spring into Reading Challenge continues to offer new activities each week to encourage people to access free digital content, check on their neighbors, practice self-care and more. Participants can earn points by completing activities and logging reading materials to be entered into a weekly drawing with a new and exciting prize each week. Previous weeks’ prizes include a bundle of books mailed to the winner’s home and a one-on-one virtual experience with a library staff member.

The Print from Anywhere service continues to be offered for no-contact pick-up at Morgan Memorial Library and North Suffolk Library. This allows people who do not have a printer at home to get access to important documents they may need for new jobs and other purposes. Call 757-514-7323 or contact the Library through the website’s chat service for details on arranging a pick-up.

Books will continue to be automatically renewed, holds have been extended and no bills are being issued while the Library is closed. WiFi2Gos will not be deactivated if currently checked out. If a book has a hold on it, it will not be auto-renewed but customers can still hold onto those books as no bills will be issued.

While Library2Go visits and Pop-Up Library stops are on hold, library staff are still getting books into the community in alternate ways. Little Libraries are being stocked at Holland Hardware Store, Tyne St Playground, Lake Meade Park and Paul D. Camp Community College campus where people can take free books and leave books they’ve already read. Library2Go sites including Belleville Meadows, Hoffler Apartments, Colander Bishop and Cypress Manor/Parker Riddick will receive weekly bins of free books dropped off on Tuesday mornings and collected on Wednesday mornings to be refreshed for the next week. The surface of all bins and books will be sanitized prior to drop off.

To learn more about the Suffolk Public Library, visit www.suffolkpubliclibrary.com. Follow the library on Twitter @SufPubLib and check for updates on Facebook at Facebook.com/SuffolkPublicLibrary.

UPDATE - 4-30-20 - 11:50 a.m.

PUBLIC COMMENTS ON PROPOSED BUDGET DURING SUFFOLK CITY COUNCIL MAY 6TH MEETING 

Suffolk City Council will once again conduct an Electronic Emergency Management Meeting on Wednesday, May 6th, at 2:00 p.m., during which, as previously advertised and announced, a Public Hearing on the proposed Fiscal Year 2020-2021 Operating and Capital Budget will be held. 

This Meeting is in lieu of the regularly scheduled City Council Meeting for Wednesday, May 6, 2020, at 7:00 p.m.  During these uncertain times, it is imperative that the business of local government continue so that the needs of all citizens can be met now and in the future.

On March 12, 2020, Governor Ralph Northam declared a State of Emergency for the Commonwealth of Virginia due to the rapid spread of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).  Following that declaration, City Manager Patrick Roberts declared the City of Suffolk to be in a State of Emergency.  Because of the catastrophic nature of the declared emergency, it is impractical and unsafe to assemble a quorum of City Council in a single location.  In accordance with the Code of Virginia and Suffolk City Code, this Emergency Meeting of Suffolk City Council will be held via video and video conference.  Council Members will be individually participating electronically from other City facilities. 

Citizens who wish to share their views on the proposed Fiscal Year 2020-2021 Budget should send written comments by email to 2021budget@suffolkva.us, or by regular mail to Attention: Budget Division, City of Suffolk, P.O. Box 1858, Suffolk, Virginia 23439. Citizens must provide their name and address with the written correspondence. Written comments received prior to the start of the public hearing will be included in the official public hearing record. All comments received will be provided to Suffolk City Council.

The Meeting will be aired live on the Suffolk Municipal Channel (Spectrum Channel 190) and live streamed at www.suffolkva.us/tv so that the public is aware of all actions taken. 

UPDATE - 4-21-20 - 4:10 p.m.

SUFFOLK FARMERS’ MARKET ANNOUNCES MARKET-TO-GO 

Suffolk Tourism is pleased to announce the opening of the Suffolk Farmers’ Market-To-Go in lieu of the traditional Farmers’ Market held at the same site, 524 North Main Street.

Beginning Tuesday, April 28, 2020, customers may order directly from participating market vendors via phone or email, picking up their orders on Saturday, May 2, 2020, at the Suffolk Visitor Center parking lot. This new system will provide the community with the opportunity to purchase garden-fresh fruits and vegetables, baked goods, jams and jellies, meats and poultry, plus personal care products from many of their favorite market vendors each Saturday.  We can financially support these small businesses while enjoying their fresh and oftentimes unique offerings.  Product lists will be available every Tuesday at SuffolkVaFarmersMarket.com and facebook.com/SuffolkFarmersMarketVirginia

Order pick-ups are scheduled for Saturdays, from 9 a.m. until noon, in a drive-thru process only, circling through the Suffolk Visitor Center parking lot with vendors situated according to recommended social distancing safety practices in light of the COVID-19 crisis. Customers are to enter and exit the parking lot using the Constance Road access only. Pre-payment is required for orders as no additional on-site sales, cash transactions, or walk-up customers are allowed.

Once social distancing restrictions are relaxed, the Suffolk Farmers’ Market will proceed as a regular Market, offering Market-to-go products, as well as arts, crafts and additional items. Stay updated at Facebook.com/SuffolkFarmersMarketVirginia.

The Suffolk Farmers’ Market is produced by the City of Suffolk Division of Tourism. VisitSuffolkVa.com 757.514.4130

UPDATE - 4-10-20 - 3:30 p.m.

SUFFOLK CITY COUNCIL TO CONDUCT ELECTRONIC EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT MEETING
 

Suffolk City Council will conduct an Electronic Emergency Management Meeting on Wednesday, April 15, 2020, at 2 p.m. This Meeting is in lieu of the regularly scheduled City Council Meeting for Wednesday, April 15, 2020, at 7:00 p.m.  There is no Work Session on Wednesday, April 15, 2020.  During these uncertain times, the business of local government must continue so that the needs of all citizens can be met now and in the future.

On March 12, 2020, Governor Ralph Northam declared a State of Emergency for the Commonwealth of Virginia due to the rapid spread of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).  Following that declaration, City Manager Patrick Roberts declared the City of Suffolk to be in a State of Emergency.  Because of the catastrophic nature of the declared emergency, it is impractical and unsafe to assemble a quorum of City Council in a single location.  In accordance with the Code of Virginia and Suffolk City Code, this Emergency Meeting of Suffolk City Council will be held via video and video conference.  Council Members will be individually participating electronically from other City facilities. 

The Meeting will be aired live on the Suffolk Municipal Channel (Spectrum Channel 190) and live streamed at www.suffolkva.us/tv so that the public is aware of all actions taken. 

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.