News Flash


Posted on: March 14, 2020


Closures in place at least through Sunday, March 29; employees are to report to work as usual

Newport News officials are continuing to monitor and respond to the coronavirus outbreak. 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 at least through Sunday, March 29.

  • 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.
  • City employees are to continue to report to work as usual; however, liberal leave is in effect for non-essential employees.
  • All city sponsored events, programs, classes and activities scheduled during this time are canceled.
  • NNPD headquarters lobby will remain during the closure.
  • The Peninsula Regional Animal Shelter will remain open normal hours for adoptions, as well as owner surrenders, reclaims and stray drop offs.
  • Parks, including campgrounds and golf course, remain open at this time. For more information, contact 926-1400 or
  • 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 online.
  • The Department of Human Services will have limited access during this time, and clients should call 926-6300 for more information.
  • The City’s 311 Call Center will still be available for residents and can be reached at 933-2311, or
  • Newport News Waterworks Customer Service Center will also be available by phone at 926-1000, email ( or online at
  • Solid waste collections will continue to take place as scheduled.

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 Citizens can visit the Newport News Public Library website at to apply for an e-Membership and receive immediate access to the Library’s online collection, which includes eBooks, digital audiobooks, online courses, streaming movies, TV and music.

Peninsula residents are urged to avoid gatherings of more than 50 people, including church services, civic/social organization meetings, and public events and festivities; however, critical needs such as grocery shopping, fueling vehicles, and other essential tasks should not be neglected.

Earlier, Newport News established a working group of city and schools staff along with representatives from the Virginia Department of Health and local healthcare systems to monitor the spread of the disease and coordinate efforts, including the dissemination of timely and relevant information.

On Friday, March 13, City Manager Cindy Rohlf declared a local state of emergency due to the public health threat associated with COVID-19. This was a precautionary step that allows the City to be able to respond quickly and effectively to changing situations.

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.

For more details on COVID-19, including preparation and prevention guidelines, citizens can visit the Virginia Department of Health or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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