News Flash

News Releases

Posted on: March 22, 2020

March 22, 5 p.m. Update – How Pandemics Work Video; FEMA Rumor Control Hotline

Coronavirus covid19 update news flash 2020

Updates

For more information about COVID-19 including case counts, please continue to visit the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus or call 877-ASK-VDH3 or the Peninsula Health District Call Center 757-564-7069, 8 a.m.-6 p.m.

This video shared with us by the Virginia Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is a good explanation of how pandemics work and why we need to follow preventative guidelines https://youtu.be/fgBla7RepXU.

A message from the federal government’s Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA): Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations that requires social distancing, quarantine, or isolation. Check out "Tips For Social Distancing, Quarantine, And Isolation During An Infectious Disease Outbreak" for use during this time. https://www.samhsa.gov/sites/default/files/tips-social-distancing-quarantine-isolation-031620.pdf

For More Information
We have a hotline for the most recent updates on County information: 757-564-2140. The hotline recording will be updated as needed.

The Peninsula Health District call center is available for questions about the Coronavirus at 757-594-7069 from 8 a.m.-6 p.m., seven days a week. For up-to-date information on numbers of cases and transmission, please visit the Virginia Department of Health’s web page at www.vdh.virginia.gov.

If you think you have been exposed to the Coronavirus and develop a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, such as cough or difficulty breathing, call your healthcare provider immediately.

FEMA has established a Rumor Control website to help the public distinguish between rumors and facts regarding the response to Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Rumors can easily circulate within communities during a crisis, stay informed with our updated myth vs. facts related to the federal (COVID-19) response. https://www.fema.gov/coronavirus-rumor-control 

Previously Shared Information
On March 17, Governor Ralph Northam announced new measures to combat the spread of COVID-19 including the avoidance of non-essential gatherings of 10 or more people, per federal guidelines. This does not apply to essential services such as grocery stores, pharmacies, medical facilities, airports, bus and train stations and manufacturers. James City County would like to encourage you follow the Governor’s order and limit the number of individuals in popular gathering spots – restaurants, gyms – to no more than 10. We all recognize the hardship this places on everyone – from business owners to employees to citizens – and applaud you for the creative steps you are taking to continue providing services to the community. By working together and implementing social distancing today, we may reduce the incidence of this virus tomorrow.

Board of Supervisors Special Meeting 
The James City County Board of Supervisors held a Special Meeting March 17. Video from the meeting can be found at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CCowspQGb_g&feature=youtu.be&t=457

County Offices
As a reminder, all James City County offices, facilities, playgrounds, sports courts, recreation centers and libraries are closed to the public through Sunday, March 29. All essential services remain available. The intent of this action is to try to slow the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. During this closure, citizens are encouraged to use online resources such as ePayment through the County’s website, https://jamescitycountyva.gov. Essential County services to the public will continue.

Social Services
Citizens may reach the agency by calling the main office number at 757-259-3100. Citizens may use the agency drop box located in the parking lot to leave paperwork or applications, 5249 Olde Towne Road. Citizens may apply for Benefit Programs by calling 855-635-4370 or online at www.commonhelp.virginia.gov. If citizens have additional questions regarding Benefit Programs, they can call 757-259-3131 during the hours of 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Friday. If citizens have additional needs that need to be addressed, they can call 757-259-3115 during the hours of 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Friday. If you need immediate assistance from the Housing Office please call 757-259-5340.

Fire Department
The County’s Fire Department continues to respond to emergency calls for service in an all-hazards mitigation response posture. In conjunction with the County’s current operations, all Fire Department buildings are closed to the public through March 29. This stance includes the County’s five (5) fire stations; however, this statement does NOT preclude anyone that is experiencing an emergency from coming to a fire station if that is the closest, best option. If needed, citizens can contact Fire Administration at 757-220-0626 or via email at fire@jamescitycountyva.gov for general information, fire training inquiries, or items related to the Fire Marshal’s Office.

With guidance from the various governmental agencies as well as the Department’s Operational Medical Director, the Fire Department and Emergency Communications Center have instituted more defined call taking and personal protective equipment procedures in order to identify potential COVID-19 patients, and if identified, to protect our citizens and providers. Other than responding to calls and in an effort to limit potential exposures, the Department has limited our employees’ movement outside of our stations. With that and the potential increase in call volume due to the spread of COVID-19, citizens should be aware that some non-emergent, public assist call types may not receive a response or the response may be significantly delayed.

We highly encourage all citizens to maintain social distancing and to practice good preventative hygiene.

Police Department
Police services remain available 24/7. Citizens may reach the Department by calling the office at 757-253-1800. Please contact the Emergency Communications Center at 757-566-0112 to speak to an officer or 911 in an emergency. Project Lifesaver clients will continue to be served.

Online resources available:
Heads Up: https://jamescitycountyva.gov/690/Heads-Up-Program
CONECT: https://jamescitycountyva.gov/3719/CONECT
P2C (includes accident reports and house check requests): https://p2c.jamescitycountyva.gov/main.aspx

The following services and programs are temporarily unavailable: Citizens Forensic Academy, Citizens Police Academy, Coffee With a Cop, Coloring With a Cop, Fingerprinting services, Ride-along program, Volunteers in Police Services (VIPS) events

Parks and Recreation
James City County has closed all use of public basketball courts, tennis courts, pickleball courts, volleyball courts, skate park and athletic fields, playgrounds and recreation centers through Sunday, March 29. This includes any courts at local schools. In accordance with federal guidelines to curb and mitigate the spread of Coronavirus, or COVID-19, gatherings of 10 or more people in any park area will be asked to separate or leave the facilities.


Economic Development & Tourism
Business owners may reach the agency by calling the main line at 757-253-6607 or sending an email to yesjcc@jamescitycountyva.gov. County businesses are encouraged to review a list of business resources on the Economic Development website https://jamescitycountyva.gov/civicalerts.aspx?AID=3751.

The Virginia Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity is asking that business owners take a moment to complete a short survey so they can share the results with State and Federal partners. They would like to receive responses as soon as possible but will be leaving the survey open through Friday, March 27 at 5 p.m. to capture responses. https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/7RMY8SH

A disaster declaration was approved by the Small Business Administration (SBA) for a number of Virginia localities including James City County. The declaration can be viewed online. https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/Declarations/ Businesses can now apply for SBA Disaster Loans online. https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/ If a business does not have access to a computer or smartphone, please call SBA at 1‐800‐659‐2955 for assistance.

The Hampton Roads Small Business Development Alliance will offer webinars about SBA disaster loans next week. Registration information will be provided once it is received.

Human Resources
To apply for a position please visit the James City County Career center at https://jobs.jamescitycountyva.gov. For questions or coordination of material pick up please contact HR by calling the main office number at 757-253-6680 or email at HR@jamescitycountyva.gov.

Community Development
All Permitting and Inspection requests can be done remotely via JCC PermitLink https://jamescitycountyva.gov/permitlink. JCC PermitLink replaces traditional paperwork and gives you the opportunity to submit requests through a fully automated system. Upload plans, schedule inspections, check on plan reviews, receive real time inspection results and respond to comments from County staff. Permit and re-inspection fees can also be made with a credit card or e-check through the secure JCC PermitLink system.

Stormwater and Resource Protection: Site Inspections. We are currently performing inspections. Staff will be maintaining a minimum separation of 6’ from anyone that may be on site. For more information call 757-253-6670.

Building Safety and Permits: Building Inspections. We are currently performing inspections. However, staff will be calling ahead to each job site before arriving to see if rescheduling the inspection is possible. If it is not possible to reschedule an inspection, staff will inquire to see if anyone on site has signs of respiratory illness. If so, staff will not conduct the inspection, but will reschedule the inspection for two weeks out. For more information call 757 253-6882.

General Services
Citizens may reach General Services by calling the main office number at 757-259-4080 during the hours of 7:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday or via email at general.services@jamescitycountyva.gov.

All Convenience Centers are operating under normal business hours. Questions? Call 757-565-0971. Beginning March 23, Convenience Center coupon books may be purchased in person (by check only) at the Jolly Pond Solid Waste Office from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. daily. Coupon books can also be purchased online or by calling the Treasurer’s Office at 757-253-6705 to purchase via phone and the coupon book(s) will be mailed. Please allow 3-7 business days for delivery. All three Convenience Centers also accept credit/debit cards.

Curbside Recycling service continues to follow a normal pickup schedule. Questions? Call 757-253-6700.

The County’s Division of Stormwater and Resource Protection is still currently performing site inspections. Customers can drop off payments and other documents that cannot be completed online in the box on the parking lot side of Building E at the James City County Government Center, 101-E Mounts Bay Road. Please include a case number and address on the document and notify us at 757-253-6670, 757-253-6643, or 757-253-6866 so that we can retrieve the information as soon as possible. Plan review drop off and packages can be delivered to the tote outside of Building A.

JCSA
Call 757-253-6800, Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. for questions regarding bills, starting or stopping service, tap fees, sub-meters and other billing related matters.

JCSA Engineering & Operations is available Monday-Friday, 7 a.m. -3:30 p.m. at 757-229-7421 to answer questions on engineering, inspections and other non-billing matters.

Water and sewer bills can be paid online or over the phone. To pay by phone call 1-844-257-6063. Information on bill payment methods is available here: https://www.hrsd.com/payment-methods. Submeter Readings can be submitted online: https://jamescitycountyva.gov/3607/Submeter-Reading-Form. Customers can call JCSA Customer Service at 757-253-6800 for assistance in calculating tap fees. Tap fee payments via check can be mailed to JCSA, 119 Tewning Road, Williamsburg, VA 23188.

Williamsburg Regional Library
Williamsburg Regional Library has purchased an additional 9000 e-book titles and 3000 new downloadable audio titles for people to access through the library webpage. We have set up a “No Card No Problem” digital library card application, waived fines while we are closed, and are offering many other online resources such as “Ask a Librarian”, informational databases including genealogy, learn a language, digital magazines, and much more available through www.wrl.org. Check it out!

Treasurer
Staff is available at the Treasurer’s office to assist with any tax related questions. Additionally, mail is still being delivered and drop boxes are available at both the Government Center and the Satellite Services office. If a due date arises during the closure, post mark will continue to be accepted as a payment date. Convenience fees (charged and collected by our third party vendor) still apply for any payments made online or by telephone. Questions? Call 757-253-6705.

Commissioner of the Revenue
Any documents required to be filed can be deposited in the Treasurer’s drop box. Questions? Call 757-253-6695.

Courts
The Courts will record information on their status at the following telephone numbers: Circuit Court: 757-564-2242; General District Court: 757-564-2400; Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court: 757-564-2200. The Clerk of the Circuit Court’s office is open and working with a limited amount of staff. They continue to process marriage license, provide notary service, concealed handgun permits, civil and criminal filings and recording deeds.

Census
All field operations from the U.S. Census Bureau have been suspended, but citizens are encouraged to take the census online.
https://www.facebook.com/uscensusbureau/photos/a.231246012363/10156697024907364/?type=3&theater

What You Can Do
To lower the risk of respiratory germ spread, including COVID-19, the Virginia Department of Health encourages the following effective behaviors:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer only if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Avoid contact with sick people.
  • Avoid non-essential travel.
  • Avoid contact with sick people.
  • Practice social distancing. Maintain at least six feet of space between yourself and other individuals when out in public.
  •  Avoid crowds of more than ten people.

Where to go for more information
We will continue to provide local updates through:

For information on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19):

Cancellations

The following events have been canceled:

  • March 23 Community Participation Team (CPT) Listening Forum has been postponed. The CPT encourages local community organizations to submit input for the County’s Engage 2045 Comprehensive Plan update online at jamescitycountyva.gov/3748/Listening-Forums. The Listening Forum will be rescheduled for a future date.
  • March 23 Firearm Safety Course
  • March 25 Planning Commission Development Review Committee (DRC)
  • March 25 Ooey, Gooey, Fun-Sensory Play
  • March 26 Historical Commission Meeting
  • March 26 Child Abuse Prevention Candlelight Ceremony
  • March 27 Sensory Friendly Movie Night
  • March 27-28 42nd Annual Countywide Spring Cleanup - postponed
  • March 28 CRASE & Stop the Bleed
  • March 28 Stargazing with NASA
  • March 29 National Vietnam War Veterans Day Event
  • April 18 Bikes Out of Hibernation
  • April 25 DEA Drug Take Back
  • March/April Every 30 Minutes

Managing Anxiety and Stress
From the Centers for Disease Control (CDC): Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations like COVID-19. You may feel anxiousness, anger, sadness, or overwhelmed. Find ways to reduce your stress to help yourself and the people you care about.

• Learn the common signs of stress.
• Make time to unwind and do activities you enjoy.
• Talk with family and friends by phone, text, or email.
• If you or a loved one is feeling overwhelmed, get support 24/7 by calling 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746.

Learn more about stress and coping during the COVID-19 outbreak on the CDC website.


Guidance for parents/caregivers to help families cope from The National Child Traumatic Stress Network:

  • Even if your family is isolated or quarantined, realize this will be temporary.
  • Keep your family’s schedule consistent when it comes to bedtimes, meals and exercise.
  • Make time to do things at home that have made you and your family feel better in other stressful situations, such as reading, watching movies, listening to music, playing games or exercising.
  • Have children participate in distance learning opportunities that may be offered by their schools or other institu­tions/organizations.
  • Recognize that feelings such as loneliness, boredom, fear of contracting disease, anxiety, stress and panic are normal reactions to a stressful situation such as a disease outbreak.
  • Help your family engage in fun and meaningful activities consistent with your family and cultural values.


Scams
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is cautioning the public to be on the lookout for scammers taking advantage of fears surrounding the Coronavirus. The FTC and U.S. Food and Drug Administration have jointly issued warning letters to seven sellers of unapproved and misbranded products, claiming they can treat or prevent the Coronavirus. Please visit the FTC website for more information. https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/features/coronavirus-scams-what-ftc-doing 

Price-gouging protections are in effect now that Virginia is under a State of Emergency. If you see excessive price increases for COVID-19 necessities, report it to Attorney General Mark Herring’s office https://oag.state.va.us/consumer-protection/index.php/file-a-complaint?fbclid=IwAR2ZwzYjS5zXBd0n6470X9p62Nr9-Wh6aMuSxWRDMzlkGjLhFX_Fukh5SkM

Want to be the first to know what’s going on by receiving County news releases in your inbox? Subscribe to our email distribution list.
https://jamescitycountyva.gov/list.aspx?ListID=167

Media Contact:
Renee Dallman, Public Information Officer
757-272-3337; renee.dallman@jamescitycountyva.gov


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