Update: Facebook live event planned, handwashing still crucial
March 31, 2020 — City officials plan a Facebook Live event today at 7 p.m. to answer questions about COVID-19 and how Hampton is dealing with it. City Manager Mary Bunting and Mayor Donnie Tuck also taped a special message for residents Monday evening, following the stay-at-home order issued by Gov. Ralph Northam. You can watch it online. Meanwhile, the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 rose to 1,250 Tuesday, and the number of deaths statewide hit 27.
In line with the governor’s order, Hampton beaches are closed to swimmers and sunbathers. City staff will periodically monitor Hampton’s beaches (Buckroe, Grandview, Salt Ponds, Fort Monroe) to break up groups of more than 10. Residents are reminded to continue social distancing by staying 6 feet apart, to continue hand-washing, and to keep disinfecting surfaces. Other updates:
Two new dropboxes have been installed near City Hall (one on Lincoln Street near the Postal Service mailboxes and the other on the opposite side of the building at the foot of the stairs leading to City Hall). These boxes can be used to submit applications and other documents for Public Works, Community Development and other departments at City Hall.
Community Development said that yard sale permit are not being issued at this time in order to encourage social distancing.
Although Hampton’s Voter Registrar’s office is among those closed to the public, residents can register to vote online or by mail. The registration deadline for the May 5 local election for mayor, City Council and School Board is April 13. Online applications will be accepted through 11:59 p.m. that day, and applications by mail must be postmarked by that date. More information.
Effective Tuesday, March 31, Hampton Roads Transit will begin an "Essential Service Plan" because of the pandemic. Many routes will be suspended and run on an hourly schedule except certain MAX and commuter routes. In most cases, routes will start later and end earlier. Details.
The city has closed all 81 playgrounds, including the ones located at schools. Also basketball and volleyball courts are closed, as those sports require close contact. The city skate park on Woodland Drive has also been closed.
Because of continuing concern about the coronavirus, FEMA is extending the grace period to renew flood insurance policies from 30 to 120 days. To avoid a lapse in coverage, there is typically a 30-day grace period to renew National Flood Insurance Program policies. This extension will allow additional time for policyholders who may be struggling financially to pay insurance premiums and ensure their policies are not cancelled for nonpayment of premium due to circumstances beyond their control. More information.
The Virginia Peninsula Foodbank has scheduled a mobile food pantry for those in need. It will take place Friday, April 3, from 10 a.m. to noon at Darling Stadium, 4111 Victoria Blvd. Drive-through only; food will only be placed in trunk.
Dominion Power has announced it will suspend shutoffs due to non-payment, and says that customers who were disconnected previously can call 866-366-4357 and get service restored. "People rely on us to meet critical needs, and they should not have to worry about losing service during this critical time," said a company statement.
Newport News Waterworks has suspended all service disconnections, except for customer-generated requests and to make a repair, according to a post on the Waterworks website.