News Flash Home
The original item was published from 4/20/2020 8:19:00 PM to 4/22/2020 2:19:03 PM.

News Flash

News Releases

Posted on: April 8, 2020

[ARCHIVED] April 8, 5 p.m. Update - Helping Children Cope, Guidance on Face Coverings, and Updates to ABC Laws

Coronavirus covid19 update news flash 2020

The National Helpline is a FREE, confidential, 24/7/365 treatment referral and information service for those seeking help with mental illness and substance use, like alcohol. Available in English and Spanish

New Call-in Option for Public Meetings
Beginning with the April 14 meeting of the James City County Board of Supervisors, citizens now have a call-in option for public comment and public hearings. To participate, call 757-253-6762 to record a comment that will be played during the meeting. Recorded comments must be submitted no later than noon on the day of the meeting. Please give your name and address for the public record and limit comments to five minutes or less. Questions? Call 757-253-6609.

Social Services
Have you lost your job or had your hours reduced due to COVID-19? You may be eligible for assistance through the Department of Social Services. 

Virginia Department of Health
COVID-19 is a new virus and we are learning as much as we can about it every day. Considering the growing evidence of asymptomatic persons carrying the virus, it’s wise to take additional precautions. Wearing a non-surgical mask could help prevent a sick person, exhibiting no symptoms, from accidentally infecting others. VDH continues to urge all citizens to heed Governor Northam’s stay at home order and to practice social distancing (staying 6 feet apart from others) during any essential trip outside of the home. Read more about CDC’s guidance on wearing non-surgical masks:  

Scott Stevens, County Administrator for James City County; Andrew Trivette, City Manager for Williamsburg; and Neil Morgan, County Administrator for York County met with Dr. Steve Julian from the Peninsula Health District on April 7. Using questions provided by citizens, the 35 minute conversation covered testing, tracing, information sharing and more. 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 
As public conversations around COVID-19 increase, children may worry about themselves, their family and friends getting ill with COVID-19. Parents, family members, school staff and other trusted adults can play an important role in helping children make sense of what they hear in a way that is honest, accurate, and minimizes anxiety or fear. CDC has created guidance to help adults have conversations with children about COVID-19 and ways they can avoid getting and spreading the disease. 

As communities across the United States take steps to slow the spread of COVID-19 by limiting close contact, people are facing new challenges and questions about how to meet basic household needs, such as buying groceries and medicine, and completing banking activities. 

Business Updates
The Treasury Department has compiled a list of FAQ about the Paycheck Protection Program.

Information regarding ABC laws and licenses for restaurants and ABC license holders: Today, Governor Northam issued an Executive Directive authorizing Virginia ABC to take actions to help alleviate conditions caused by COVID-19. As of Friday April 10, mixed beverage restaurants, limited mixed beverage restaurants, distillers and limited distillers with an agreement with ABC will be able to sell product samples and cocktails to go or for delivery, subject to limitations imposed by Virginia ABC. Additionally, this directive allows ABC to defer license renewal fees for 90 days from original expiration date for licenses expiring in March, April, May and June. These deferrals will allow businesses to continue to operate without concern over choosing between keeping an employee or renewing a license. More information is available online:

Business owners are encouraged to sign up for the Economic Development Emergency Information newsletter. Subscribe online: Previous messages are available online:

For more information for businesses, please visit

Previously Released Information
Governor Ralph Northam issued a statewide Stay at Home order on March 30 to protect the health and safety of Virginians and mitigate the spread of the novel Coronavirus, or COVID-19. The executive order takes effect immediately and will remain in place until June 10, 2020, unless amended or rescinded by a further executive order.

Link to full release: 
Link to Executive Order Fifty-Five:

From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: To slow the spread of COVID-19, stay at home except to get groceries, medications or other essentials. Avoid outings you don’t have to take. Visit the FAQ for more tips: 

Child Care for Essential Personnel
With the recent long-term closures of the public schools, many families who work in the medical field and other essential jobs in the community must find child care for their children. There are a large number of child care centers currently open and ready to enroll children of these essential personnel. Child Care Aware of Virginia has the most up-to-date information about the child care options in the regionEssential employees in need of child care can call 1-866-KIDS TLC (1-866-543-7852) for assistance. Full news release:

Community Resources
Williamsburg Community Health Foundation has a great resource for anyone looking for community resources in the area: 

Questions About Medicaid?
Virginia Medicaid is taking steps to improve access to care for Medicaid and FAMIS members.

Library Mobile Hotspots
Williamsburg Regional Library has purchased additional WiFi hotspots, each of which allows for 15 simultaneous connections and will be deployed to various locations around the Williamsburg area for set time periods beginning this week. Library staff will use the Mobile Library Services vehicles to take the hotspots to parking lots and neighborhoods where users can drive up, park, and take advantage of free internet access from the comfort and safety of their own cars.

The library has also set up several long-term WiFi hotspot locations where users can park and access WiFi from their cars 24/7. In the case of both the long-term and rotating WiFi access points, the internet signal put out by the hotspots will be sufficiently strong to be projected 30-foot distance around the MLS vehicle and to be used by up to 15 devices simultaneously. It is not necessary to have a library card to access any of the hotspots.

Please Don’t Litter
Just a friendly reminder to properly dispose of masks and gloves you may be wearing in public.

From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
While social distancing for COVID-19, take the time to check in on friends and family to see how they are doing. Set up a daily phone or video call to touch base and share the best and most challenging parts of the day.

Need help or know someone who does?
Contact the Disaster Distress Helpline or call 1-800-985-5990
Contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline or call 1-800-799-7233 and TTY 1-800-787-3224

County Offices and Services
As announced on March 23, all James City County offices, facilities, public basketball courts, tennis courts, pickleball courts, volleyball courts, sports courts, athletic fields, playgrounds, skate park and recreation centers and libraries are closed to the public until further notice. This includes any courts at local schools. The County continues to provide most services and staff are available for assistance by phone or email. Visit for more information on individual departments and services.

All County parks continue to be open; however, all restrooms in County Parks are closed. The Chickahominy Riverfront Park Campground and restrooms will close on Friday, March 27 and will remain closed until further notice. 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.

For more information
Hotline: 757-564-2140

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Information:
- Virginia Department of Health (VDH):, Phone: 1-877-ASK-VDH3 or Peninsula Health District Call Center: 757-564-7069, Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-6 p.m.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): 
- FEMA Rumor Control: 

Media Contact:
Renee Dallman, Public Information Officer

Facebook Twitter Email