Chesterfield County, Virginia's Weekly E-Newsletter
Tuesday, June 9, 2020
Stay Connected with Chesterfield!
Scroll to the bottom for more helpful links and resources to stay up to date on all things Chesterfield!
County Response to COVID-19
World Health Organization
Updates Information on
When and How to Use Masks
Over the weekend, the  World Health Organization   (WHO)  released updated information  on the use of both medical ( PDF / video ) and non-medical (fabric) ( PDF / video ) masks. These recommendations are now available  in addition to those previously issued  by the  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention  (CDC).
 
Visit the  WHO website  for additional information regarding mask usage recommendations.  
Virginia Announces Temporary
Moratorium on Evictions
On Monday, June 8, Governor Ralph Northam announced a  temporary statewide moratorium on all eviction proceedings  in Virginia. The Governor requested this moratorium in a letter sent to Virginia Supreme Court Chief Justice Donald Lemons this weekend.

The Chief Justice’s order issued today remains in effect through Sunday, June 28 and modifies the Court’s earlier Declaration of Judicial Emergency in response to COVID-19. The temporary moratorium will halt all eviction proceedings for a period of nearly three weeks, as the Northam administration implements a comprehensive rent relief program for the thousands of Virginians facing housing insecurity in the midst of this public health crisis.

Details of the Governor’s rent relief initiative, supported by federal  CARES Act  funding, will be announced in the coming weeks. Tenants are encouraged to know their rights and responsibilities and pay their rent on time if they are able. Please visit  StayHomeVirginia.com  for more information and resources on tenant rights.

Read  Governor Northam’s letter to Chief Justice Lemons  requesting this moratorium.


Chesterfield Emergency Operations Center Updates Call Center Hours
Effective Monday, June 8, the Chesterfield County  Emergency Operations Center Call Center  is now open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday for Chesterfield residents who have general questions about county operations and services during the COVID-19 response.  This is a change  from previous hours of 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The call center phone number is 804-751-2EOC (804-751-2362).

The call center is staffed by county employees from multiple departments. Updated information regarding county resources are made available to call center staff to assist residents who may not have internet access or need clarification on available county services.

Call center staff  will not answer questions regarding COVID-19; all such questions should be directed to the  Virginia Department of Health  (VDH) at 877-ASK-VDH3 (877-275-8343). 

Chesterfield County will remain a source for accurate and timely information for our community during the COVID-19 pandemic. Residents, businesses and guests can  connect with the county  in a variety of ways, including the following social media handles:

Take a Peak into the
Chesterfield County Government Complex
 Phase One Reopening
In this video , take a glance into the first phase of Chesterfield’s limited reopening, which began on Monday, June 1, 2020, when the Office of the Treasurer and the Office of the Commissioner of the Revenue once again opened their doors to the public. 
Chesterfield County Announces Criteria for $5M Back in Business Grant Program
Back in Business, Chesterfield BiB Grant Program
At their  May 27, 2020 meeting , the Chesterfield County  Board of Supervisors  approved   $5 million dollars  of the county’s  Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act  funding to be earmarked for a grant program to support small businesses negatively affected by COVID-19. The grant program, called  Back in Business , is a partnership between Chesterfield County and the  Chesterfield Chamber of Commerce . The $10,000 grants are designed to provide immediate relief to businesses to help them remain in business through the COVID-19 pandemic and to prepare for reopening under the guidelines of  Forward Virginia .

Criteria for eligibility  has been finalized and applications are anticipated to be open in mid-June. To be eligible for the grants a business:

  • Must be a for-profit business entity with a place of business located in Chesterfield County; 
  • Must have been in business for a minimum of 2 years; 
  • Must have at least $200,000 but no more than $2 million in annual gross revenues;
  • Must be able to demonstrate at least a 25% loss in revenue that can be attributed to COVID-19;

Franchises must be headquartered in Chesterfield County and are eligible for only one $10,000 grant regardless of the number of locations in the county.

Funds are meant to reimburse businesses for the costs of business interruption caused by required closures due to COVID-19. The grant can be used for:

  • Employee compensation (including wages and benefits)
  • Working capital
  • Equipment inventory
  • Rent
  • Other business critical operating expenses

Applicants will be required to demonstrate that they are eligible, that they were operational pre-COVID-19, and that they are suffering negative impacts from COVID-19 closures. Applicants will be asked to provide:

  • Copies of two years of their most recently filed tax returns or form 990s
  • IRS W-9
  • A financial statement of impact

Additional details on the eligibility criteria and application dates, as they become available, can be found at  www.ChesterfieldBIB.com .

Read the  full news release
Chesterfield County Public Schools
Summer Programs Update
Chesterfield County Public Schools   (CCPS) announces information regarding summer programs:

For elementary school students:
Registration continues for CCPS summer Recovery of Learning program, which is free for all current Chesterfield County students who were in pre-kindergarten through fifth grade this school year. Find out more and  register to participate  by Friday, June 19.

Students will work in the three primary instructional applications described below. Those registered will have a licensed teacher interacting online to provide support through goal-setting, progress-monitoring, virtual office hours, and small group instruction. All courses provide students an opportunity to move through the content at their own pace and to test out of content previously mastered.


NOTE: Any student needing a school division-issued Chromebook or Internet access at home in order to participate in the summer learning program should acknowledge such on the registration form.

Special education support and assistance for English language learners is built into the Recovery of Learning program, and includes summer staff dedicated to supporting teacher and learner needs.

Participation in this program is optional. Paper packets will continue to be prepared and made available at schools or mailed twice during the month of July for students as requested.

Read the  full news release  on the  CCPS News webpage .


For middle and high school students:
Registration is underway for Chesterfield County Public Schools’ free summer Recovery of Learning opportunities, designed to provide middle and high school students with refreshers of course content and skill development taught during the 2019-20 school year.

Students will have the free opportunity to access a complete personalized curriculum for any core course (math, language arts, science, and social studies) for which they were enrolled during the 2019-20 school year.

Core content courses will have teachers interacting online to support students through goal-setting, progress-monitoring, virtual office hours, and small group instruction. Elective courses are self-guided and will not have an assigned teacher. (Driver’s Education and Behind the Wheel will not be offered this summer.)

NOTE: Any student needing a school division-issued Chromebook or Internet access at home in order to participate in the summer learning program should acknowledge such on the registration form.

Recovery of Learning opportunities will be structured through Edgenuity courseware. All courses provide students an opportunity to move through the content at their own pace and to test out of content previously mastered. The middle and high school Recovery of Learning program begins on June 29. Here are the  course opportunities  available.

Visit the  Recovery of Learning site  to register. Registration closes Monday, June 15.

CCPSONLINE
If a student wishes to register for a credit-bearing course not previously taken in order to accelerate their schedule, they should visit the  CCPSOnline website  and complete the online application.

Here are the  course opportunities  available via CCPSOnline from June 22-July 30.

CCPSOnline courses are $250/credit for Chesterfield County residents and $500/credit for non-residents.

Read the  full news release  on the  CCPS News webpage .
Chesterfield Health Department -
Free COVID-19 Testing
As part of a statewide push to increase testing across the commonwealth, the  Chesterfield Health Department  is hosting another round of free COVID-19 testing events at two locations:

Wednesday, June 10, 2020, 9–11 a.m. 
Falling Creek Ironworks Park
6407 Jefferson Davis Highway

Wednesday, June 17, 2020, 9–11 a.m. 
Stonebridge Recreation Center
230 Karl Linn Drive

Testing is for individuals who have COVID-19 symptoms and is free for uninsured or underinsured persons.
While some appointments will be reserved for walk-ups that morning, testing is limited and appointments should be made prior to arriving.

Residents who may be experiencing COVID-19 symptoms as defined by the  Virginia Department of Health  (VDH) or the  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention  (CDC), should call the Chesterfield Health Department at 804-318-8207. 

Spanish speaking staff also will be present during the testing event.
Additional Resources During COVID-19
Meet ChesterBot,
Chesterfield County's New Virtual Guide
ChesterBot Avatar - Bot
Hi everyone, I'm ChesterBot!

Who is ChesterBot?
ChesterBot is the robot descendant of the miner featured in the Chesterfield County seal. A true innovation of the 21st Century, ChesterBot is a modern-day miner, assisting  Chesterfield.gov  users in mining (searching) through all the information on the website.
See the family resemblance?
What is ChesterBot?
ChesterBot is an automated question and answer-style chatbot designed to assist visitors of the county’s Chesterfield.gov website to locate online resources across a variety of departments, resources, services, programs and events. ChesterBot is most effective when users search with keywords rather than full questions or scenarios.

Users can access ChesterBot via a button on every page of the Chesterfield.gov website – for desktop users, the button is located in the bottom-right-hand corner; for mobile users, the button is located at the top of the page under the search bar. ChesterBot is available 24/7 and provides an additional method for users to quickly obtain targeted information on the website.

My button looks like this!
Why use ChesterBot?
ChesterBot gives Chesterfield.gov users access to information faster and easier than a traditional website search by suggesting answers to user questions. ChesterBot can also respond to many users simultaneously and, since many users have similar questions, save direct-contact county employee resources for more personalized needs and responses.

What’s next for ChesterBot?
As users ask ChesterBot for information, the evolving scope of what users want to know will help the development team to grow ChesterBot’s knowledge base, creating an even more optimized, expansive ChesterBot. The goal is to continue to develop ChesterBot to provide access to ever-growing data on Chesterfield departments, resources, services, programs and events available throughout the Chesterfield.gov website.

To use ChesterBot, visit any page on the Chesterfield County website, www.chesterfield.gov .
 
To learn more about ChesterBot, visit www.chesterfield.gov/ChesterBot .

Read the full news release .
Chesterfield Unveils New Community Facilities and Infrastructure Tracking Webpage
At the Monday, June 1 Audit and Finance Committee meeting, county staff unveiled a new webpage,  Community Facilities and Infrastructure , aimed at providing a one-stop shop for information related to community facilities and infrastructure. The webpage,  www.chesterfield.gov/capita l , offers a consolidation of information – pulling together content found throughout the Chesterfield.gov website and additional content, not previously available to the public.

The Community Facilities and Infrastructure page provides citizens a place to go for an overview of the capital planning process, project financing options and access to current capital projects that are underway. Furthermore, it also links to the capital mapping tool and bond referendum information and provides additional resources to connect users with specific topic areas. Topic areas include the school enrollment and capacity dashboard report, which is a dynamic tool that provides insightful information about historic enrollment and capacity trends in the school division. It’s the first time this data has been published in this format on a public platform.

Over the years, the county has refined the way it communicates throughout the budget process through Blueprint Chesterfield . The Community Facilities and Infrastructure webpage takes that process a step further by giving citizens a place to track what’s currently being done and become more informed about what’s involved to develop the next Capital Improvement Program (CIP). The CIP is long-range, program for capital facilities, infrastructure projects, land acquisition, major studies and equipment purchases. It also identifies project financing capacity while connecting with the county’s Strategic Plan and Comprehensive Plan goals.

For more information about all the data available on the Community Facilities and Infrastructure webpage, read the full news release .
Chesterfield Celebrates Volunteers at
38th Annual Senior Volunteer Hall of Fame
On Wednesday, June 3, Chesterfield County celebrated the volunteer work of seven seniors at a virtual ceremony for the 38th Annual Senior Volunteer Hall of Fame , which recognizes and celebrates local seniors who have rendered outstanding services to their community. The seven nominees have performed a combined total of over 31,000 hours of volunteer service since they each turned 60.

This year’s nominees were:

  • Janet Bishop
  • Howard Hall    
  • Thomas “Tom” Hoekstra, Ph.D.
  • Shirlely Jezierski
  • Kay Kerchner  
  • Karen Poole
  • Cheryl Williams

Of the seven nominees, Thomas Hoekstra, Shirley Jezierski and Karen Poole were inducted into the Senior Hall of Fame:
SVHOF 2020 Inductees
Tom Hoekstra  was nominated by Bruce Kozlowski. As a member and leader of the Motorist Assistance Team, Hoekstra feels this community service has been his most significant volunteer contribution. He has also volunteered as an Officer of Elections, assisted in advocacy work for the Swift Creek Reservoir Hydrilla Management Group, the Woodlake Community Association, with the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) and served as manager of landscaping teams and projects at St. Gabriel Catholic Church. Hoekstra was starting a new volunteer data analysis job for the Traffic Unit of the Chesterfield Police Department when the COVID-19 crisis arose. As a Chesterfield County resident of 20 years, he has volunteered 8,100 hours since the age of 60. Before his retirement, Hoekstra was an engineer with the Apollo Program and Bell Labs Telecommunications.

Shirley Jezierski  was nominated by Richard Patch. Ms. Jezierski has provided outstanding service to the community for 30 years as the music director of the Belles and Beaux group at St. Edward the Confessor Catholic Church. This group leads weekly sing-alongs at six area senior living facilities in addition to their rehearsals and performances for individuals in hospice care rooms, funerals and other special services. Through her leadership, she has also helped her fellow singers by providing them a meaningful way to help care for older adults in the community. Jezierski’s work has benefited residents of senior living facilities, families in times of need and the singers themselves. She works diligently to handle song selections, coordinate activities, rehearsals and communications. A resident of Chesterfield County for 50 years, Jezierski has volunteered 2,088 hours since the age of 60.

Karen Poole  was nominated by Sharon Charles. Poole provides volunteer service to numerous organizations and programs, and some of her current service includes volunteering at St. Francis Hospital, driving with the American Cancer Society’s Road to Recovery Program, leading outreach programs for Trinity United Methodist Church and managing a coat collection and distribution program for families in need. In addition to these service activities, she has also volunteered for Trinity United Methodist Church, Camp Baker and the Thomas Dale High School Prom Closet. Poole donates her time generously, yet she always seems to find additional ways to help those who are less fortunate. She is a retired teacher and school administrator in Chesterfield County, where she has resided for 47 years. Ms. Poole’s volunteer hours since the age of 60 total 6,633. Since the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, she has also made and donated over 350 masks.

In addition to the virtual ceremony, the three inductees will be recognized by the Board of Supervisors with a special resolution acknowledging their volunteer services at the June 24 meeting.

The Senior Hall of Fame is managed by the Department of Citizen Information and Resources ’ Office of Aging and Disability Services, the Chesterfield Council on Aging and the Senior Volunteer Hall of Fame Committee. To learn more about the Senior Volunteer Hall of Fame, the Chesterfield Council on Aging or the services and resources offered to seniors by Chesterfield County, visit the  Office of Aging and Disability Services webpage , call 804-768-7878 or email  AgingServices@chesterfield.gov .

For more information, view the ceremony video and read the full news release .
Video Updates on Two New Chesterfield Buildings
Adoptable Pet Spotlight
Since last week's HiC edition did not include an adoptable pet spotlight, enjoy two pet spotlights this week!
Meet Pepe:
Pepe is melting hearts with those beautiful brown eyes while patiently waiting for his treats. Speaking of treats, he loves them! When asked, he will sit for them and gently take them from your hand. Pepe loves all people! He doesn't know a stranger. He will trot up to you and slobber you with kisses! Due to his calm nature, we believe he would be good in a home with children. He enjoys going on walks and exploring the outdoors. Snuggle bug? Of course! When given the chance, he will flop next to you and beg you for belly rubs! Do you have other dogs? Please bring them in to meet him! He has shown to do well when meeting other dogs here at the shelter, but he can be a little cage reactive so a meet and greet is best to ensure they get along! Pepe definitely would like a home with no kitties. He isn't a big fan of them. Call us at (804)748-1683, option 0, to schedule an appointment to meet him! He is a 7-year-old Pitbull.
Animal #568012
Meet Goldie:
It's kitten season!!! This sweet girl came in around mid-May with a minor upper respiratory infection. Goldie has received vet treated and is now searching for a new home! She loves being held and snuggling into you. She is a calm girl and she adores other cats! She perks up when she is around them. Cat toys? They grab her attention but she is still learning what they are. Goldie is a 2-month-old short-haired grey kitty. If you like Goldie, please call us at (804)748-1683, option 0, to schedule an appointment to meet her!
Animal #568828
If you're  interested in adopting  Pepe, Goldie or any other adoptable pets, contact the  Chesterfield County Animal Shelter   by   calling (804)748-1683 Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturday 7:30 a.m.-4 p.m. to schedule an appointment . You'll need a current Virginia driver's license or picture identification with current address and adoption fees in check or cash. Keep an eye on the  Chesterfield County Animal Services Facebook page  for more adoptable pet announcements!
Chesterfield - Employee Excellence:
Utilities; Fleet Services
These unprecedented times have forced innovative adaptations in how Chesterfield County continues to keep resources and services available for our citizens, businesses and employees. Those adaptations have taken multiple forms, from teleworking to completely new processes, and many employees are being redeployed in other areas to keep essential functions operating.

Over the next few weeks, we'll be gathering stories to highlight our employees’ innovative contributions and the many services that are still available to our citizens. We are all adjusting to this "new norm" in which we find ourselves, but, rest assured, Chesterfield is still open for business and serving citizens.
Utilities
Chesterfield’s  Department of Utilities  uses state-of-the-art technology to deliver high-quality public water and wastewater services to citizens and businesses. When the COVID-19 pandemic forced Chesterfield County Government to alter, and in some cases limit, its operations, Utilities knew they would have to implement new procedures to continue its services. To do so, employees had to think creatively. 

To promote employee health, Laboratory Supervisor Christina Baker at the Department of Utilities’ Proctors Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant used in-house materials to create a disinfectant because many commercial cleaning products were in short supply. Thanks to Baker, treatment plant staff were able to disinfect commonly-touched surfaces like tables and doorknobs.
Daniel Crissman (left) and
Kelly Crites (right) sanitize equipment;
Insert: Christina Baker creates disinfectant
Some of the department’s long-practiced operating procedures also had to be adjusted. Chesterfield County Utilities’ meter readers are responsible for physically visiting the properties of water and wastewater customers to get readings from meter registers, which are then used to determine the amount of water and wastewater used by customers. Senior meter readers also perform services like water turn-ons, turn-offs and checking for leaks.
  
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, meter reading staff would pick up their equipment and truck keys from inside the Field Services section of the Utilities Building in the government complex. Now, staff keep their keys on them and use their trucks to drive up to the building’s employee entrance to pick up their equipment while social distancing. Field Services Manager Daniel Crissman and Field Services Supervisor Kelly Crites sanitize and distribute the hand-held meter readers each work day in this new drive-through format.
 
Beyond these innovations, the Department of Utilities also deployed a work-from-home call center, created alternating shift schedules for operations and maintenance employees and worked to waive penalties and interest on delinquent utilities bills until 30 days after the conclusion of the county’s local state of emergency declaration. 

According to Utilities Director George Hayes, adapting and innovating were vital to continue providing essential services to the community.
 
“The safe and reliable water and wastewater services that our employees provide are essential for our community to comply with best practices to combat COVID-19,” said Hayes. “I am extremely proud of how our managers, supervisors and employees worked together to provide these essential services while implementing safe work practices for all our employees. There is no doubt that our employees’ contribution to the department in serving our citizens is helping to combat this virus and is ultimately saving lives.” 

To learn more about the Department of Utilities, visit their webpage available at  www.chesterfield.gov/utilities
Clockwise, from top left: Morice Fulton; Ernest Spratley; Ernest Spratley and Mindy Ritchey; Morice Fulton
Fleet Services and Waste and Resource Recovery (WARR)
When Chesterfield County Government responded to the dangers presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, safeguards and solutions took many forms: some services were scaled back while others were expanded, a large shift to mass-teleworking occurred and new safety precautions were implemented. But perhaps one of the most important measures taken was the redeployment of employees to departments and divisions in need of additional support. 

Ernest Spratley and Morice Fulton are school bus technicians with  Fleet Services , a part of the  Department of General Services . In more normal circumstances, both men are tasked with the repair and upkeep of Chesterfield County Public School buses. 
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, however, Chesterfield’s schools closed as students began learning from home, and the school buses ceased to run. So, once all pending repairs were completed, Spratley and Fulton were redeployed to the  Waste and Resource Recovery Division  (WARR) which has several responsibilities including operating the county’s two convenience centers, administering curbside recycling throughout the county, managing three landfills and more. 

With WARR, Spratley and Fulton have taken on new responsibilities, such as operating heavy machinery like the backhoe, front-end loader and tractor trailer. In addition, the men assist with daily inspections, tire repair, flagging and have taken on customer service responsibilities like cashiering and briefing citizens on operational changes.
 
Much of Spratley and Fulton’s work with WARR is overseen, in part, by Mindy Ritchey, an assistant operations manager. Ritchey supports the operations manager in overseeing the daily operations of the county’s convenience centers, which includes staffing, scheduling, customer relations, training, contractor management, environmental and safety compliance, maintenance and much more. 

But according to Ritchey, WARR’s responsibilities go beyond simply being operational or mechanical. "Ernest, Morice and all redeployed employees have been a tremendous help to our operations, especially during this busy time when we are seeing record-breaking numbers at our sites,” said Ritchey. “But a majority of citizens just want someone to listen to them and empathize, so we have been lending an ear six feet of social distancing away, letting them know we care and we are here to help and support in any way that can.” 

She continued, “Many of the interactions or stories have nothing to do with trash, but citizens just want someone to talk to about the troubles the pandemic is causing them. We do our best to let them know we hear them, we care and we will continue to support them."

By working together, WARR and Fleet Services have allowed General Services to continue operating at a high level. To learn more about WARR, Fleet Services and the Department of General Services, visit:  www.chesterfield.gov/626/General-Services .
Remember to Complete Your U.S. Census!
While April 1 was Census Day, Chesterfield encourages residents who have not yet completed their 2020 U.S. Census to do so as soon as possible.

Completing the Census is easy!
Households should have received official U.S. Census Bureau mail with detailed information on how to respond to the 2020 U.S. Census online, by phone or by mail.

Pay close to attention to the unique number given to your household and be prepared to use it during your response.

The 2020 U.S. Census is mandatory and responses are based upon the members of a household as of April 1 (Census Day).
To learn more about the 2020 U.S. Census, visit the official website at 2020census.gov
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