On Wednesday, March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic, and we recognize that this raises questions and concerns for our community. COVID-19 is the disease caused by the novel coronavirus that was first detected in China and has now been identified around the world, including here in the United States and on the Virginia peninsula.
What We're Doing…
To ensure that Newport News is prepared for and able to respond to COVID-19, we established a working group of city and schools staff along with representatives from the Virginia Department of Health and local healthcare systems. The group is monitoring the spread of the disease and its impact on the city and coordinates response efforts, including the dissemination of timely and relevant information.
Closings & Cancellations
In an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, the city is enhancing its social distancing measures. The following actions are effective immediately, and will remain in effect until further notice.
- All city offices, facilities and buildings are closed to the public. This includes city hall, offices at city center, Treasurer’s Office, Commissioner of the Revenue’s Office, Voter Registrar’s Office, Visitor Center, public libraries, recreation centers, and senior centers.
- All city sponsored events, programs, classes and activities scheduled during this time are canceled.
- Four Oaks Day Service Center is closed.
- The Brooks Crossing Opportunity Center and iLab are closed.
- Solid waste collections will continue to take place as scheduled; however, the Recovery Operations Center is closed to the public.
- The Peninsula Regional Animal Shelter will remain open normal hours for adoptions, as well as owner surrenders, reclaims and stray drop offs.
- Newport News Police Department headquarters lobby and all three precincts will remain open. Fingerprinting and the retrieval of property and evidence has been suspended.
- Newport News General District Court, Circuit Court and Juvenile & Domestic Relations Court are operating with restricted dockets until April 6. For more information, see the Newport News Courts section below.
- The Newport News Sheriff's Office has suspended physical visitation, but video visitation is still available. The weekender and volunteer programs are canceled until at least April 3.
- Newport News Juvenile Services has suspended in-person visitation.
- Codes Compliance trades inspections will continue based on availability, but property maintenance inspections will only occur where there is an immediate life/safety issue. Permit applications, building and equipment plans are available online. Permit and inspection fees can be submitted via mail or placed in the Treasurer's drop boxes at City Hall and their satellite office in Denbigh.
- The Department of Human Services will have limited access during this time, and clients should call 926-6300 for more information. Calls to the Child and Adult Protective Services and family care hotline (757-926-6161) are still being answered.
- The City’s 311 Call Center is available for residents and can be reached at 933-2311, email@example.com or www.nnva.gov/311.
City 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.
During the closure, residents are encouraged to use online resources for services and payments available at www.nnva.gov.
Newport News Waterworks
It is essential that people have access to clean water during the coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19). As such, Newport News Waterworks has suspended all service disconnections, except for customer-generated requests and to make a repair. This suspension is effective immediately and will remain so until further notice. Waterworks Customer Service Center is available by phone (926-1000), email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or online at www.nnva.gov/waterworks.
Your Tap Water is Safe
Your tap water is safe from coronavirus (COVID-19). Our community is understandably concerned about the health risks associated with COVID-19, but rest assured that the procedures Newport News Waterworks has in place to protect our water quality are effective and keep it safe from viruses, including coronavirus. Your drinking water is treated and tested using state-of-the-art equipment and advanced procedures, and it meets state and federal standards for quality.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says, “The COVID-19 virus has not been detected in drinking water. Conventional water treatment methods that use filtration and disinfection, such as those in most municipal drinking water systems, should remove or inactivate the virus that causes COVID-19.” You can view the CDC’s COVID-19 health department resources on their website.
Parks and Recreation
- Parks remain open at this time; however park restrooms are closed.
- The golf course is open.
- Picnic shelter reservations will not be taken until at least mid-April; additional guidance will be provided when the city resumes normal operations.
- Out of an abundance of caution, we recommend that parents and children avoid using city playgrounds at this time.
May 5 General Election; Absentee Voting
The Newport News Voter Registrar’s Office is urging citizens to utilize online services for the upcoming May 5 General Election. Citizens can register to vote, update voter registration information or request an absentee ballot through the Virginia Department of Elections website. The deadline to register or update registrations for the May 5 General Election is Monday, April 13, and the deadline to request an absentee ballot by mail is 5 p.m. Tuesday, April 28. Voters may request an absentee ballot by using the “2A My disability or illness” choice if none of the other qualifying reasons apply.
Newport News Court Information
Newport News General District Court, Circuit Court and Juvenile & Domestic Relations Court are operating with restricted dockets until April 6. All civil, traffic and criminal matters, including jury trials subject to a defendant's right to a speedy trial, are continued until April 6. Exceptions to this are emergency matters, including but not limited to quarantine or isolation matters, arraignments, bail reviews, protective order cases, emergency child custody or protection cases, and civil commitment hearings. Judges are using their discretion with regard to proceeding with ongoing jury trials and in cases where the defendant is incarcerated. For questions, please contact the appropriate court at the number below.
General District Court
- Civil Division: 757-926-3520
- Criminal Division: 757-926-8811
- Traffic Division: 757-926-8725
Circuit Court: 757-926-8561
Juvenile & Domestic Relations Court: 757-926-3603
Guidance for Staying Healthy
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. Peninsula residents are urged to avoid gatherings of more than 10 people. This includes church services, civic/social organization meetings, and public events and festivities. Those critical needs such as grocery shopping, fueling vehicles, and other essential tasks should not be neglected. 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.
Peninsula Health Department Hotline: 757-594-7069 from 8 AM to 6 PM seven days a week or visit www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus.
Newport News 311 Center
Health related questions?
Peninsula Health District Hotline
Online City Resources
Newport News Public Library - Apply for an e-Membership and receive immediate access to the Library’s online collection of eBooks, digital audiobooks, online courses, streaming movies, TV and music.
Codes Compliance - Permit applications are available online.
Human Services - Visit CommonHelp to apply for benefit programs and/or child care.
Police Department - Report non-violent crimes through NNPD Online.
Treasurer's Office - Make payments online for taxes, fees and fines, including parking tickets, stormwater fees, Vehicle License Fees, taxes and more.
Newport News Waterworks - View a list of payment options.