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Mar 18

City manager's message: High Priority COVID-19 Updates

Posted on March 18, 2020 at 11:00 AM by Don Mann

A lot can change in 24 hours, as we all know ... . This afternoon the president declared a national emergency, and Gov. Northam ordered a mandatory closure of all state public schools. These announcements likely heighten anxiety among, and have major impact on, us all. 

With this news, I realize that many of you are now having to make unexpected child care arrangements for your children. Therefore, we will be offering liberal leave for all non-emergency essential personnel. As is customary, this leave needs be coordinated with your supervisor and/or department head. Please note that normal city operations depend on full workforce participation, and we cannot meet our obligations to citizens if all parents of school-age children remain out with their children for the two-week period. 

To ensure that we do our part to help slow the spread of COVID-19, and to ensure we protect our workers, I am also announcing the closure of city buildings to the general public effective Monday, March 16. This decision was not made lightly, but was easier once we concluded that virtually all public needs of officials can be met electronically or by phone. At this time, the decision will apply for the two-week period beginning Monday, March 16, and extending through Sunday, March 29. City employees are expected to work unless they are on approved leave. 

We are working on teleworking provisions and updated leave guidance relative to COVID-19 illness, and expect to share more with you on Monday. However, I wanted to get this message out to you all this evening so you would have the latest information relative our operational status. 

While this event is undoubtedly stressful, I want to assure you that we still have no evidence of community spread in Hampton, nor of any impacted City of Hampton employee, and these are all precautionary measures at this time. We will continue to do all we reasonably can to ensure public safety for our community and workforce.

— Mary

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