City officials and Dr. Steven Julian of the Peninsula Health District took part in a Facebook Live event Wednesday to answer questions about the coronavirus and Hampton’s response.
"I want everyone to understand that this is a serious health problem, but it is one that working together we can all defeat," Julian said. "We have a very active team of professionals in the health department ... working to contain this virus."
Julian went on to talk about symptoms of the virus and efforts being taken to understand and treat COVID-19 because it is a “novel,” or new, disease. He said the health district is currently tracking more than 350 people who have had contact with someone who had the virus. And, he encouraged residents to make sure they continue to practice social distancing (by staying 6 feet from others whenever possible) and “follow all the handwashing guidelines so that we can defeat this together.”
City Manager Mary Bunting reminded residents during the Facebook Live event that while all city buildings remain closed to the public, emergency services are still available, including firefighters and police officers. She also noted that plans are in place for teleworking by city employees, and special leave benefits are available for city employees. Mayor Donnie Tuck, Police Chief Terry Sult, and Fire Chief Jason Monk also answered questions during the event. Although all city offices, facilities, recreation centers, and libraries are closed, residents are encouraged to go online or to use the telephone to take care of business with the city.
Hampton’s Commissioner of the Revenue said Thursday that residents can make excise and business license tax payments by phone or by dropping them off in the dropbox outside the Ruppert Sargent Building at Franklin Street and Queens Way. For more details, visit www.hampton.gov/revenue.
The Treasurer’s Office started accepting tax payments by telephone as well as online this week. The city is waiving the $1 fee for online transactions. For more details, visit www.hampton.gov/treasurer.
Hampton’s Community Development Department continues to accept online permit and inspection requests, and the city is working on a plan that would allow residents to use a dropbox outside of City Hall for the submission of other documents and applications.
While all Parks buildings are closed, city beaches and outside parks remain open and available to the public. Residents are reminded to practice social distancing by staying six feet away from each other.
The Public Works Department continues with regular trash and recycling pickup, stormwater inspections and other regular activities.
In the place of studio interviews, we will be airing the city’s Facebook Live Q&A about the novel coronavirus. Mayor Donnie Tuck, City Manager Mary Bunting, Dr. Steve Julian from the Health Department, Fire Chief Jason Monk and Police Chief Terry Sult answered questions from the public.
"Round Robin” airs on the Hampton City Channel — Cox 47, Fios 22 in Hampton — daily at 8 a.m., noon, 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. Round Robin is hosted by Robin McCormick, from the city’s marketing department. You can also watch these shows — as well as archived interviews — on the YouTube playlist: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL3761D4B106784B15.