Petersburg returns to COVID shutdown: Some offices closed, work-at-home policy enacted

·2 min read

PETERSBURG — The city government is going back into a state of COVID-19 hibernation.

Officials announced late Wednesday that Petersburg would close City Hall and other select buildings, including the Petersburg Library, and require all non-essential city personnel to work from home. The policy goes into effect immediately.

“City Manager Stuart Turille is implementing a ‘work from home’ policy for non-essential city employees,” Petersburg spokesperson Joanne Williams said in a statement. “The manager emphasized continuity of service to citizens so that government services will continue as usual, however without in-person contact for non-essential services. In person service will continue for essential services such as Police, Fire, Billing & Collections, Transit service (buses operating) and limited Social Services, etc.”

City Hall and its annex, Union Train Station, the library and Petersburg’s museums are on the closed-to-public list, as are the police station, the public utilities and facility management offices, and Petersburg Area Transit headquarters.

City offices open but with mask and social-distancing requirements include the Fiscal Management Building, court clerks’ offices, Social Services, fire stations and Dogwood Trace Golf Course. Social Services’ lobby will only be open to the public, and the fire stations will open to the public for emergencies.

Meetings for City Council and the Planning Commission will return to Zoom, the city said.

City Council approved an emergency resolution authorizing Turille to implement the restrictions.

On Wednesday, the Virginia Department of Health said 56 new COVID-19 cases were reported in Petersburg. VDH said the city has averaged 86 new cases a day over the past seven days.

Williams said in the statement that Petersburg’s Emergency Management Team will work with VDH and the Crater Health District to monitor the city’s case rate and determine when it will be safe to resume normal operations.

Bill Atkinson (he/him/his) is daily news coach for USA TODAY's Southeast Region-Unified Central, which includes Virginia, West Virginia and central North Carolina. He is based in Petersburg, Virginia. Reach him at batkinson@progress-index.com.

This article originally appeared on The Progress-Index: Petersburg cites high COVID rate in decision to shutter city offices

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting