Portsmouth City Manager Angel L. Jones announced a projected reopening schedule for city facilities which she presented to the Portsmouth City Council. The re-opening schedule remains subject to change should the Governor modify any of the Executive Orders issued because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some city facilities including the recreation centers and the Portsmouth Welcome Center are already opened. Facilities that have children under 12 as regular indoor visitors, such as the Children’s Museum of Virginia, will have individualized reopening plans, as necessary.
Here is the city’s re-opening timeline:
1. On May 14, 2021, the Governor announced the end of “Universal Mask Mandates” indoors in accordance with the newly released CDC guidance, Interim Public Health Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People. As a result, the wearing of masks covering the mouth and nose are no longer required for fully vaccinated individuals. New signage will be developed and deployed advising of the new rules regarding masks as well as the changes to distance separation standards as noted in item 2 below.
2. On May 28, 2021, in alignment with CDC guidance, the State’s mandated COVID-19 Mitigation Measures will be lifting thereby easing all physical distancing and capacity restrictions. Elevator capacity restrictions and most physical distance floor stickers will then be removed.
3. On June 7, 2021, City public facilities, including but not limited to City Hall, will reopen to the public subject to following the CDC guidance. Due to the low vaccination rates in Hampton Roads, we will continue to assist departments and staff in safely interacting with the public as they return to conduct business in the buildings. Additional new signage will be installed and all building closed signs will be removed.
4. On June 22, 2021, the Portsmouth City Council will return to the Council Chamber and resume in-person meetings. (Please note that this was the earliest date to ensure adherence to legal notifications and equipment tests prior to the live meetings).
5. June 30, 2021, anticipated termination of the Governor’s March 2020 Emergency Declaration.
6. July 1, 2021 – All City Boards and Commissions will return to in-person meetings with the anticipated expiration of the Emergency Declaration which authorized virtual meetings.
The City of Portsmouth will make reasonable accommodations for city employees with medical, or other reasons they are unable to return to work in-person. Recognizing that many employees have not reported physically to work for long periods of time, city officials expect to navigate through the new normal in the work space.