March 19, 2020 - The Virginia Health Department says the number of people tested for the coronavirus is up to 1,923, while 94 have tested positive. Also, residents can now use the telephone to pay some city taxes. Here are the latest news updates regarding the coronavirus, city services, and more.
The Virginia Department of Health
Numbers released Thursday afternoon by the Virginia Department of Health show that nearly 2,000 people have been tested for the coronavirus, and 94 have tested positive. To lower the risk of spreading germs, including COVID-19, the department continues to encourage residents to:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer only if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Avoid contact with sick people.
For more health information and updates, go to http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus/ or call 757-594-7069 from 8 a.m.-6 p.m., seven days a week. If you think you have been exposed to the coronavirus and develop a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, such as cough or difficulty breathing, call your doctor or personal healthcare provider immediately. If it is life-threatening, call 911 immediately.
Gov. Ralph Northam Thursday increased access to health care for Medicaid members and low-income residents, released new guidelines for child care providers to slow the spread of the coronavirus, said businesses impacted by COVID-19 can request to defer the payment of state sales tax due March 20, and told State Police to suspend enforcement of motor vehicle safety inspections for 60 days. Go online for the news release.
The City of Hampton
City officials and Dr. Steve Julian of the Peninsula Health District took part in a Facebook Live event Wednesday to talk about the coronavirus and Hampton’s response. "I want everyone to understand that this is a serious health problem, but it is one that working together we can all defeat," Julian said. "We have a very active team of professionals in the health department that are working to contain this virus." Julian went on to explain efforts being taken to understand and treat the coronavirus. He said the health district is currently tracking more than 350 people who have had contact with someone who had the virus. City Manager Mary Bunting reminded residents that all city buildings remain closed but emergency services are still available, including firefighters and police officers. She also noted that plans are in place for teleworking by some city employees, and special leave benefits are in place for employees who might get sick. To watch the full event, go online. Also this week, Hampton’s Commissioner of the Revenue and the Treasurer’s office began accepting tax payments by telephone.
All City Offices
As a reminder, all city offices, facilities, playgrounds, recreation centers, and libraries are closed to the public through at least Sunday, March 29. All essential services remain available. The goal is to slow the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). While city offices are closed, residents are encouraged to use online or telephone systems. Hampton is also installing dropboxes outside City Hall, 22 Lincoln St., where residents can submit applications, plans, and other documents. Public Works will continue to pick up trash and recycling as scheduled.
Human Services (Social Services)
Residents can contact Hampton’s Department of Human Services by calling the main number at 757-727-1800.
Residents can go online to pay taxes at https://hampton.virginiainteractive.org/Account/Login. While the Treasurer’s Office is closed to the public, Hampton is waiving the $1 fee for online transactions:
- To drop off payments, there is a box outside the Ruppert Sargent building at the corner of Franklin Street and Queens Way
- To mail payments, send to Hampton Treasurer, PO Box 638, Hampton, VA 23669
- To pay by phone with a credit card (Visa, Mastercard, American Express or Discover) call 877-277-6341. The phone system will require the customer to have an account number for personal property and an RPC number for real estate. If a customer needs an account number or their RPC number they can call 757-727-6374.
DMV Select and passport services at the Treasurer’s Office have been suspended. Visit www.hampton.gov/treasurer to learn more.
Commissioner of the Revenue
Excise and business license tax payments can now be processed:
- By phone at 757-727-6700 (credit card)
- Using the Treasurer’s Office drop box outside the Ruppert Sargent building at Franklin Street and Queens Way. (no cash payments)
- By mailing the payment to the Commissioner of the Revenue, PO Box 636, Hampton VA 23669
The deadline for February excise tax payments has been extended until March 25, 2020. Visit www.hampton.gov/revenue to learn more.
Hampton’s online permit and inspection center lets you go online to apply for permits, request inspections, check the status of your inspection request and pay associated fees 24 hours a day from any computer or mobile device. The city is working on a plan that would allow residents to use a drop box outside of City Hall for the submission of other documents and applications.
Both Fire and Police continue to respond to emergency and other calls 24 hours a day, although they are trying to maintain "social distancing" whenever possible. Some non-emergency calls may be delayed or handled differently to ensure the safety of the public and city personnel.
Parks and Recreation
While all Parks buildings are closed to the public through at least March 29 – including community centers golf courses – city beaches and outside parks remain open and available to the public. Residents are reminded to practice “social distancing."
The State Supreme Court has closed all circuit and district courts – except for emergencies – through at least April 6.
Although city libraries are closed, the ebook program is still available. More information.
All city events scheduled through March have been canceled or postponed.
Questions about a city service not answered here? Call the department listing on hampton.gov or call 757-727-8311.