July 2020

July 31 Update - Emergency Shelter Operations during COVID-19; Libraries Reopening August 4; Tourism Development Reports Additional Safety Measures on Trolley; National Night Out Moved to October 6

Emergency Shelter Operations During COVID-19 Pandemic

  • As the activity during this hurricane season has already proven to be quite active, and we have one storm – Isaias – that could impact our region early next week, the County and the City of Poquoson have been actively working to adjust shelter operations to incorporate safety measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. When an emergency situation threatens that requires the opening of a shelter, the County typically opens schools as those disaster shelters. If sheltering is necessary during this hurricane season or for any emergency, the plan will include certain school facilities and potentially state-supported shelters and other resources. The County, along with all other localities in Hampton Roads, is working on contingencies and in coordination with the Commonwealth of Virginia and the American Red Cross due to the current unique situation. As is normal practice, if and when it becomes necessary to open a shelter, specific information will be shared with the public at that time. Residents should review their personal preparedness plans. Helpful information is available on the Ready York County website. 
  • When a tropical storm or hurricane is forecast to impact our area, information and updates are posted on the County’s Emergency Alert Center located on our home page, as well as the County’s Facebook page and WYCG TV 24/7 Announcement Channel (Cox 48, Verizon 40). Media notices are sent to local television and radio stations. York County has partnered with WXGM FM 99.1 to broadcast county-specific information at a time designated by the station. Citizens are encouraged to register to receive emails or text messages from York Alert, our emergency notification system. Preparedness information for storms and other emergency situations is available on our Ready York County website. 

York County Public Libraries Reopening August 4

  • York County Public Libraries will reopen to the general public on Tuesday, August 4, with modified hours of operation:  10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Tuesday through Thursday; and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday and Saturday. Both libraries will be closed on Sunday and Monday.  The first hour of each day (10-11 a.m.) will be reserved for senior citizens and at-risk individuals.
  • Patrons are required to wear a face covering or mask and practice social distancing guidelines while in the library.
  • All returned items will continue to be quarantined for 72 hours. 
  • Book drops will be open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • In-house programs, study rooms and meeting rooms will not be available at this time.
  • Curbside pickup remains available to those who are not able to enter the building. 

Tourism Development Reports Yorktown Trolley COVID-19 Safety Measures in Place; Ridership has Increased 

  • The Yorktown Trolley Service continues to run daily, though the operations look a little different these days due to COVID-19. Since the delayed season start on June 15, policies and procedures have been put in place to ensure the safety of both passengers and drivers. Those added measure include the requirement of face masks, limited access and egress to the rear doors of the trolley (to reduce passenger/driver contact), the installation of hand sanitizing stations, a reduction in capacity by 50%, and the postage of signage encouraging social distancing and adherence to these requirements. In spite of the safety measures put in place, the trolleys have seen a steady increase in ridership as we move through the summer months.  Additionally, we have contracted with a company to perform weekly electrostatic sanitizing of the interiors, which keeps surfaces sanitized for seven days. The treatment reduces the hourly interruption in services it would have required to have drivers manually sanitize those same high-touch areas. Equipment and materials have been ordered to bring the weekly sanitizing of the trolleys in-house in an effort to reduce costs.  We look forward to the delivery of our newest trolley, which is scheduled to arrive in mid to late August.   

National Night Out Moved to Tuesday, October 6

  • National Night Out, an annual community-building campaign that promotes law enforcement and community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie (official website), is typically held on the first Tuesday in August.   Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s National Night Out has been rescheduled for Tuesday, October 6. Please contact the York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office at (757) 890-3630 if you would like deputies to join your neighborhood for National Night Out. 

Board of Supervisors Work Session August 4  

  • The next meeting of the Board of Supervisors is Tuesday, August 4, at 6:00 p.m., and is a work session.  The agenda is available online.  This meeting is being held remotely and broadcast live on WYCG-TV (Cox 46, Verizon 38) and on the York County website.

July 24, 2020: Fire & Life Safety COVID-19 Update; Economic Development Announces Small Business Grant; Summer Concerts Coming to You Live-Streamed; and more

Fire and Life Safety COVID-19 Update

  • Eleven Fire & Life Safety personnel who had tested positive for the COVID-19 virus and quarantined per policy, have returned to duty along with other staff under quarantine as a health and safety precaution. In the past 24 hours, two additional staff have tested positive, are in the process of being quarantined, and the department is working to identify additional personnel who may be in need of quarantine. Additional information is available in the press release.

Economic Development Announces COVID-19 Small Business Grant that Joins York CARES Grant in Assisting Local Businesses

  • York County Economic Development has announced an additional grant to small businesses – those with under 20 employees.  The COVID-19 Small Business Grant offers up to $5,000 in recovery funding for eligible businesses as reimbursement for purchase of protective supplies, tools, equipment, or inventory; cleaning services or supplies; property improvements or renovations to accommodate social distancing or outdoor dining, recreation, services, etc.; payment for rent or mortgages during times of required business closure and/or modification; and other qualifying expenses incurred following the State reopening requirements. Visit the website for more information including eligibility requirements.  This grant is in addition to the York CARES Grant (see below).
  • York County set aside funding received from the government’s CARES ACT to establish the York CARES Grant.  The County and Economic Development Authority are offering one-time financial assistance to eligible for-profit small businesses up to $3,000. The application and eligibility requirements are available on the Office of Economic Development website.

Tourism Development Awarded Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC) DMO WanderLove Grant 

  • York County Tourism Development is pleased to announce that it is the recipient of a $10,000 Recovery Grant awarded by the Virginia Tourism Corporation for destination-marketing organizations (DMO) across the Commonwealth. The funding will be used to increase awareness and visitation to our destination through the WanderLOVE campaign, which aims to stimulate economic activity and travel “road trips” across the state. These funds will support creating WanderLOVE videos, digital assets, and participation in the VTC Google search and digital banner campaigns. As part of the grant, and to help celebrate National Farmers Market Week, York County is excited to once again host the VTC’s life-sized LOVE letters, this time for the special August 8 market. The letters are an extension of the “Virginia is for Farmers Market Lovers” variation of the state’s iconic motto. The annual event provides an opportunity for the community to learn more about how their food is grown and harvested, and to celebrate our farmers and other local small businesses. The letters will be on display for photo opportunities from August 1 through August 9.
  • The show will go on… virtually. Tourism Development is bringing you the Sounds of Summer Concert Series live online! While in-person Sounds of Summer concerts have been cancelled up to this point as a result of the pandemic, the Tourism Development Office is excited to announce three upcoming real-time concerts that will be live-streamedfor the community! These performances are Thursday nights on a closed set inside the Freight Shed. Viewers may tune in at 7 p.m. via York County’s YouTube page and the Visit Yorktown Facebook page to see 90 minutes of music from some of our area’s most popular bands. This series is a collaborative effort between York County’s Tourism Development, WYCG-TV, and Department of Information Technology. A special thank you to James River Audio Visual for their support and services. Upcoming Line-Up: 
    • Thursday, July 30 – Slapnation
    • Thursday, August 6 – WOAH
    • Thursday, August 13 – Tidewater Drive Band

Parks and Recreation’s Movies in the Parks Continues

  • Movies in the Parks continues this weekend with a family-friendly movie showing just after sunset at New Quarter Park.  Two of these movie showings have taken place – July 10 at Charles Brown Park and July 18 at New Quarter Park – and have attracted approximately 60 people at each event.  These outdoor movies are an opportunity for families to enjoy a movie, spend time outside, and socially distance all at the same time. 

York County Fire & Life Safety Awarded Regional Peninsulas EMS Awards

  • The Department of Fire & Life Safety received two awards – one for Outstanding EMS Call for its response to the 75-car pileup on Interstate 64 in December of 2019, and another for Outstanding Contribution to EMS Preparedness and Response given to Sherl Emerson, Senior Administration Services Manager (now retired) for her 39 years of service to the department. The Innovation Excellence in EMS award was given for the Peninsulas COVID-19 Operations Center, of which York County Fire & Life Safety is a partner. For additional information, please see the press release.

Board of Supervisors July 21 Meeting Online, TV

  • The Board of Supervisors July 21 meeting was held remotely. Meeting details are available here.  Meeting replays are always available to view online and are shown on WYCG-TV (Cox 46, Verizon 38). The Board does not hold a meeting on the first Tuesday in July. The next meeting is August 4.  The meeting agenda will be posted online during the previous week. 

July 17, 2020: Fire/EMS COVID-19 Update; Blues, Brews & BBQ Cancelled; and more

York County Fire & Life Safety COVID-19 Update

York County Fire & Life Safety recently reported 11 COVID-19 positive cases among its Fire/EMS personnel. As of July 16, 2020, seven have been released from quarantine with the other four expected to be released by Saturday, July 18. In total, 23 staff members are quarantined with 18 scheduled for release by Saturday, July 18. We appreciate the outpouring of support from the community following the news of the positive test results. We continue to monitor and test our personnel for their safety and the well-being of the citizens needing emergency services. 

Tourism Development’s Blues, Brews & BBQ Event Cancelled

Due to several factors, the most important of which being public safety, this year’s Blues, Brews & BBQ Festival has been cancelled. The initial spring date had been pushed back to August with hopes the pandemic might be better under control by now. Unfortunately, the latest tracking numbers from the Virginia Department of Health illustrate that is simply not the case. Given the social nature of this event and the inclination to gather in groups while consuming alcohol and listening to music – this seemed the most responsible decision to help protect the community. Organizers of the event were also challenged to find volunteers. Any tickets already purchased will be refunded. We look forward to making the return of this annual festival in May of 2021 a resounding success!

The Gallery at York Hall invites visitors and citizens to beat the heat by celebrating Christmas in July! Beginning July 17 through the end of the month—shoppers can enjoy 10% off their purchases. The Gallery features ornaments, paintings, pottery, jewelry, stained glass, quilts, and other Yorktown Memorabilia. Hundreds of local artists utilize the Gallery to sell their items and a portion of the proceeds goes to the Celebrate Yorktown Committee to help offset the cost of several special events in town that take place throughout the year. 

Tuesday, July 21 Board of Supervisors Meeting Agenda is Online

The Board of Supervisors’ next meeting is Tuesday, July 21. The meeting begins at 6 p.m. and will be broadcast live on WYCG-TV (Cox 46, Verizon 38) and live streaming at www.yorkcounty.gov/tv. This is an electronic remote meeting. There is one public hearing item on the agenda and a citizen phone line has been established for the public hearing and the meeting’s citizen comment period. You can view the agenda and phone-in instructions here. 

Neighborhood Litter Pick-up Kits Available from York County Public Works and Beautification Committee

Individuals and families interested in helping to keep York County clean and green may register with our Waste Management Center and check out a free clean-up kit to help you safely collect and dispose of litter. Everything you need is available in the kit: gloves, bags, safety vests, litter grabbers, and more. These kits are available for one week and the County will make arrangements to pick up the bagged litter that you have collected! More information about community clean-ups are available online or by calling (757) 890-3780. This program is made possible through a partnership with the York County Department of Public Works and the York County Beautification Committee, and is funded by grants from the VA Department of Environmental Quality and the Chesapeake Bay Restoration Fund Advisory Committee. 

Community Services Grants Advisory Committee Seeking Applicants

The Board of Supervisors is seeking applicants to serve on the Community Services Grants Advisory Committee. This committee administers a grant program through which eligible civic and cultural organizations apply for funding from the County. The committee is responsible for reviewing requests and recommending funding approval to the Board of Supervisors. Interested citizens can submit a Board Bank application available online or by calling (757) 890-3320. York County has over two dozen boards, committees, and commissions that depend on citizen volunteers to serve as members. When vacancies occur, applications are forwarded to the Board of Supervisors for appointment. 

July 10, 2020: Yorktown Day events cancelled with some ceremonies still pending; Adopted FY21 budget now online; Fire and Life Safety COVID testing

Yorktown Day Cancels Some Events; Decisions on Ceremonies Pending

At the meeting of The Yorktown Day Association last week, they voted to make changes to the 2020 event. The information was shared in a memo from the National Park Service, outlining which events will be cancelled and how they might proceed with some of the ceremonies.

The COVID-19 pandemic has created unique challenges for everyone as we go through everyday life. This has proved especially true for conducting special events in our park. As we prepared to enter Phase III, there were several discussions on the safest and most prudent approach to celebrate Yorktown Day in October. In accordance with guidance from Governor Northam, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and state and local public health authorities, an in agreement with our Yorktown Day Association partner, we made the following decisions for the Yorktown Day Commemoration this year:

The Yorktown Day Dinner and reception luncheon have been cancelled

The Yorktown Day Parade has been cancelled

The French Wreath laying ceremonies at the cemetery and memorial will be conducted with minimal attendance

The Yorktown Day Patriotic wreath laying ceremony at the monument will be conducted with minimal attendance; program details have yet to be determined

Brian Fuller, Director Community Services and County Liaison to the Committee, sent a memo to Neil Morgan that was shared with the Board of Supervisors. 

York County Adopted Budget and CIP Documents Now Available Online

The Fiscal Year 2021 adopted budget and CIP have been posted on the County website. Both are available on the budget webpage and are formatted to be ADA compliant. 

Eleven York County Fire and Life Safety Personnel Test COVID-19 Positive;
Department Takes Pro-Active Steps

There have been reports with varying numbers of COVID-19 positive results within the York County Department of Fire and Life Safety. As of today, there have been 11 positive cases. Although this situation has affected some members of the department, services to the community have not been impacted. Read the press release. 

Mosquito Control Ground Spraying Resumes as Weather Conditions Permit

 York County Mosquito Control has begun spraying around the County. If you would like to have notice of where and when the spraying will occur, sign up for text or email alerts. As always, our Mosquito Control trained staff are available for a free home visit to inspect your yard and offer their expertise. Call 757-890-3790

July 2, 2020 - Library delays reopening/expands curbside service; Summer Concert Series postponed; CARES Act Grant Funds for Local Businesses; Moves in the Parks Returns July 10

Library Expands Curbside Service to Yorktown Branch; Reopening Delayed 

  • Our York County Public Library is continuing curbside service for the pickup of books, DVDs, and Summer Reading Program materials, and is extending the service to the Yorktown branch beginning Monday, July 6. The curbside service is available from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. Once patrons “check out” their items on the library’s website, they are notified by staff when the items are available. Upon arrival at the branch, patrons park in a numbered space and follow the posted instructions to notify staff of arrival. Materials are delivered to the individual by library employees following social distancing and protective guidelines. Book drops remain open for the return of materials. For more information, visit the library website
  • The previously announced reopening of the libraries has been postponed as a precautionary measure.

Tourism Development’s Summer Concert Series Postponed

  • After evaluating Phase 3 guidelines released by Gov. Northam and as a precautionary measure, York County has made the difficult decision to further delay the start of its Sounds of Summer concert series in the interest of public safety. This decision means the cancellation of both the July 9 performance featuring The Uptown Band and the July 16 performance featuring Strictly Bizzness. The additional two-week window provides the opportunity to re-evaluate the logistics of navigating the newest restrictions, including the 1,000-person capacity for outdoor entertainment. These waterfront summer concerts typically draw much larger crowds. Any further announcements will be posted to Visit Yorktown’s social media channels as well as the Visit Yorktown website.
  • In addition, following discussions with the Episcopal Diocese, the Celebrate Yorktown Committee has decided to cancel its 2020 August music series at Grace Church. Additionally, the Committee says the annual Virginia Symphony concert scheduled for the Saturday of Labor Day weekend will not take place.

York County Planning Commission Meeting is Wednesday, July 8

  • The Planning Commission meeting begins at 7 p.m. and is broadcast live on WYCG-TV (Cox 46, Verizon 38) and also live-streamed. This is an electronic remote meeting.  Participation information is available on the meeting agenda.

York County CARES Grant for Local Businesses

  • York County set aside funding received from the government’s CARES ACT to establish the COVID-19 Business Recovery Assistance Grant.  The County and Economic Development Authority are offering one-time financial assistance to eligible for-profit small businesses up to $3,000. The application and eligibility requirements are available on the Office of Economic Development website.

 Movies in the Park Returns; Parks and Recreation Programs Update

  • Where else can you enjoy being outdoors with your family while watching a free movie AND social distancing all at the same time?!  The County’s “Movies in the Parks!” series returns with nine-weekends of movies on Fridays and Saturdays at three County parks:  Charles Brown Park, McReynolds Athletic Complex (MAC), and New Quarter Park. Visitors are encouraged to bring lawn chairs or blankets for seating. Concessions are available at the movies. Just some of the favorites being shown this year are: Frozen 2, The Lion King, Aladdin, Dumbo, and so many more! Visit the press release or website for complete details and a schedule of showings.
  • York County Parks and Recreation recently announced it is accepting registrations for two summer programs:
    • Summer Adult Fitness Classes being July 13 and are Monday and Wednesday evenings, and Saturday mornings, and include Hi/Lo Combo, Yoga, Cardio Combo, and Strength Training. Fees, class dates, and details are available online.
    • Registrations are now being accepted for Summer Adult Tennis Lessons at Back Creek Park on Tuesday evenings beginning July 28. Lessons focus on varying levels of fundamentals, technique, and strategy.  Details online.

Reminder:  York County offices and courts are closed Friday, July 3, in observance of Independence Day.  Garbage and Recycling are NOT affected by the holiday.  The Transfer Station, Drop-off Site, and VPPSA Compost Facility are closed Saturday, July 4.

July 1, 2020 - Celebrating the 4th of July at Home! -- A look back at fireworks shows past and a special Independence Day tradition to enjoy on TV

While York County’s 4th of July activities have been cancelled this year due to COVID-19 and its financial impact, Yorktown is still the place to be this coming holiday weekend…even if you “visit” from the comfort of your own home. Watch WYCG-TV (Cox 46, Verizon 38) on Saturday, July 4, at 7 and 9 p.m. for a special highlight reel of prior fireworks shows over the York River! And you can be guaranteed there will be no rain cancellation.

Following the fireworks program, at 7:30 and 9:30 watch the traditional Yorktown Bell Ringing Ceremony put on video this year for a virtual experience. This excellent one-of-a-kind Independence Day program produced by the York County Historical Museum features a recitation of the Declaration of Independence and Bell Ringing Ceremony with appearances by state and local elected officials, military leaders, and public safety representatives. At 2 p.m. on the 4th of July, residents are invited by the York County Historical Museum to step outside their homes and ring a bell in recognition of the 13 original colonies and the sacrifices made by the men and women who fought for and secured our nation’s independence.

The Yorktown Beach, Fishing Pier, Beach Picnic Area, and Riverwalk Landing Piers are open with social distancing strongly encouraged and signs placed throughout the waterfront reminding visitors to practice safety measures. Hand sanitizing stations are placed on sidewalks at Riverwalk Landing and we ask individuals to maintain six feet of distance between themselves and others. For complete details about the Yorktown restaurants, shops and attractions open on the 4th, please click over to www.VisitYorktown.org.

As a reminder to our residents and visitors, the possessions, sale, and/or use of all fireworks is illegal in York County.

With the transition into Phase 3, many businesses, restaurants and attractions in York County are opening or expanding their services. The public is strongly encouraged to follow safety guidelines to minimize the potential impact of COVID-19 on our community, region, and state.