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Norfolk further reduces staffing, furloughs 550 part-time employees in response to COVID-19

The City of Norfolk said it was following Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam's message that people stay at home as much as possible to fight the spread of coronavirus.

NORFOLK, Va. — The City of Norfolk said it was cutting down on its staffing and service delivery to critical levels at the urging of Virginia Governor Ralph Northam. The step to fight the spread of COVID-19 included the furloughs of 550 part-time city employees.

Northam repeatedly has asked people in the state to stay at home as much as possible, leaving it only for essential needs.

The city said its additional reductions in response to the coronavirus situation were in effect Monday, March 30 through Monday, April 13.

“We heard the Governor loud and clear and we are responding to his direction. Team Norfolk will continue to serve as a model in the community and do what we can to encourage social distancing. My expectation is our employees will stay home and stay healthy so we can return to 100% staffing levels when the time comes,” said Dr. Chip Filer, City Manager.

The city said trash and recycling collection will continue. Bulk and yard waste collection will stop during this time because it takes two employees in one truck to collect materials. All trash must be in the green can with the lid closed. The driver will not get out of the truck to pick up any trash not in a can. Any bulk waste requests scheduled during this two-week period will be canceled. Residents must reschedule their request when city operations return to normal.

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In addition to one-hour free parking at all metered spaces, parking garages will open to the public free of charge.

Police, Fire-Rescue and 9-1-1 operators will remain fully staffed.

The 550 part-time employees who are furloughed will receive two paychecks in April and are asked to return when city operations return to normal. Additional resources are being made available to help these employees.

Norfolk asked people who live in the city to use MyNorfolk online or mobile app for all service requests versus calling Norfolk Cares and experiencing longer than normal wait times.

Staff will continue to respond to emergency requests. Any requests that are not considered an emergency will be handled as soon as staffing levels return to normal.