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City offices closed to public, meetings canceled

Suffolk city offices will be closed to the public until further notice, officials announced on Wednesday.

This comes in the wake of increasing numbers of positive COVID-19 cases around the state. There are now 391 reported positive cases, according to the Virginia Department of Health, up from 290 Tuesday. Three of those positive cases are in the Western Tidewater Health District — two in Isle of Wight County and one in Suffolk.

The extended closure includes recreation centers, libraries, the visitor center, Suffolk Art Gallery, Suffolk Seaboard Coastline Railroad Museum, Suffolk Animal Care as well as the treasurer’s and the Commissioner of the Revenue’s offices at City Hall and at the North Suffolk Library.

The Suffolk Police Department’s first and second precinct lobbies are also closed to the public, while Suffolk Police headquarters and Suffolk Fire & Rescue Station 6 lobbies will continue to be open, but with limited service.

Suffolk Transit and the Suffolk Executive Airport will continue operating under normal conditions. City parks, walking trails, boat ramps and kayak and canoe launches are still open for visitors, though all city-managed events have been canceled.

Employees will continue to report to work during this time. Essential services, including trash pick-up, will continue as normal.

City leaders are actively monitoring the coronavirus pandemic and will assess city operations based on developments.

In addition, the April 1 meeting of the City Council and April 8 meeting of the Economic Development Authority have also been canceled. City Council, which also canceled its March 18 meeting, is next scheduled to hold a work session at 4 p.m. April 15, and a regular meeting at 7 p.m. that same day.

The EDA does not have another scheduled meeting until 4 p.m. May 13.

The Planning Commission canceled a March 17 meeting and is not scheduled to meet again until April 21.

The city’s Economic Development Department has rolled out an online directory to help job seekers on its website, www.YesSuffolk.com.

It features city and surrounding area businesses that are hiring and looking to fill open positions, with special emphasis on entry-level openings.

The department is encouraging the greater Suffolk business community to provide current employment status information. The directory will be updated on a regular basis. Those wanting to be included should email Terry Smith at tasmith@suffolkva.us or call 514-4045.

The city is encouraging affected employers and workers to contact the following workforce partners should they need to reach out:

  • Suffolk Workforce Development Center — 514-7730
  • Hampton Roads Workforce Council — 314-2370
  • Virginia Career Works — 629-4702
  • Virginia Employment Commission — 832-2363
  • Hampton Roads Veterans Center — 807-0423