York County Closes Public Buildings to the General Public Effective Immediately
Closings in place now through close of business Friday, March 27; employees report to work as usual
March 15, 2020
York County officials are continuing to monitor and respond to the coronavirus outbreak. In an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, and at the request of Governor Northam, the County is coordinating with our neighboring Peninsula jurisdictions to enhance our social distancing actions and has enacted the following measures that are effective immediately and remain in effect through close of business Friday, March 27:
- All County offices, facilities and buildings are closed to the public. This includes those facilities located in historic Yorktown, on Goodwin Neck Road, libraries, offices located in the Washington Square Shopping Center, and the Griffin-Yeates Center in the upper County.
- County employees are to continue to report to work as usual; however, liberal leave is in effect for non-essential employees.
- Those who have urgent business with a York County department/agency are asked to call that office’s phone number directly. If needed, phone numbers are available at www.yorkcounty.gov or by calling 890-3300. (Note: This number may change in the near future.)
- All county-sponsored events, programs, classes, and activities, including those outdoors, are canceled. However, parks remain open at this time. For more information, call 890-3500 or visit www.yorkcounty.gov/parksandrec.
- The Senior Center of York is closed for 30 days effective immediately.
- Solid waste/recycling collections will continue as scheduled.
The closures/cancellations listing is regularly updated on the County’s website - www.yorkcounty.gov – and is being shared on the County’s Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/yorkcountyva/.
County officials will re-evaluate these actions based on the status of the outbreak and guidance from the Virginia Department of Health before reopening facilities to the public.
On Friday, March 13, County Administrator Neil Morgan declared a local state of emergency due to the public health threat associated with COVID-19. The declaration allows the County to be able to respond quickly and effectively, and is an accounting mechanism that may allow the County to be reimbursed for virus-related costs.
In a joint press release issued Saturday, March 14, the Peninsula’s County Administrators and City Managers urged residents to avoid gatherings of more than 50 people, including church services, civic/social organization meetings, and public events and festivities. Critical needs such as grocery shopping, fueling vehicles, and other essential tasks should not be neglected.
Early this month, County Administrator Neil Morgan established a COVID-19 task force, made up of employees across county departments/functions including the York County School Division, to monitor the spread of the disease and develop contingencies to help better address the impact of the virus on our community. The team will continue to meet via teleconference and make recommendations to the County Administrator.
Symptoms of COVID-19 – fever, cough, shortness of breath – have ranged from mild to severe, and like other respiratory illnesses, it is spread through coughing and sneezing. There is currently no vaccine to prevent the disease, and the CDC recommends that we take the following steps to help prevent the spread of not only this virus, but the flu and other respiratory diseases as well:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or 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.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
York County officials continue to monitor COVID-19 and are in regular contact with regional officials and representatives of the Virginia Department of Health. Citizens are reminded to ensure they seek up-to-date information from reliable sources, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) and local city and county websites (James City County, City of Williamsburg, and York County).