Special Called BOS Meeting

Report on the Special Called Board of Supervisors Meeting
Posted on 04/24/2020

Eastville Court Green
April 23, 2020

Eastville-The Northampton County Board of Supervisors held a Special Called Meeting on Thursday April 23, 2020 at 3 PM. The meeting was conducted electronically and was for the purposes of discussing matters related to the ongoing pandemic.

County Administrator, Charles Kolakowski reported on the continuity of government operations and how the business of the County can proceed with remote meetings specifically for boards that deal with Planning and Zoning.

Sheriff David Doughty, reported that emergency procedures were in place for his officers and the stock Personal Protective Equipment was still holding. Two employees have self quarantined and one has tested positive. Calls to the Sheriff’s office were on the rise due to the stress of the pandemic. There were no problems at the jail and inmates participating in the Re-entry program have planted spring crops in the Jail Garden.
The courts continue to operate through video conferencing and social distancing protocols are in place for those who need to show up in the courtroom. Doughty advised those who are called to court should remain in their vehicles until their case is heard. For more information about visiting the Courthouse please see, the Judicial Emergency Declaration.

Sheriff Doughty reminded citizens to stay at home and only travel for necessary business. No more violations of Governor Northam's Executive Order #55 were reported. Also, due to the increased number of Coronavirus cases on the Eastern Shore, the Virginia Department of Health will no longer advise on who has been infected with the virus. First responders should treat everyone they come into contact with as a test positive and proceed with the virus protocols.

EMS Director, Hollye Carpenter followed up details of reports from Eastern Shore Health District, who will no longer be reporting details of every case of the virus due to the influx of cases. Numbers will still be reported on the VDH website: http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus/ which updates the number of cases daily at 10 AM. Data sets and demographics are also available on the website under “Data Download.”
ESHD is overwhelmed at the moment with tracking down other individuals who may have had contact with those who have tested positive for Coronavirus.
To date widespread testing is not available. Tests are reserved for those who are showing specific signs and symptoms of the virus and people who are in congregate settings- jails, nursing homes, etc.- who may have been exposed to the virus. Symptoms include fever, dry cough and difficulty breathing. If you are showing symptoms of the virus please contact a healthcare practitioner. Tests are available through doctor’s offices, Riverside Hospital and the Health Department. Citizens are urged to practice social distancing and stay home if they are sick. Carpenter said we are moving out of flu season and into allergy season which also mimics some of the symptoms of Coronavirus. For further guidance please read, Steps to Take to Slow the Spread of COVID-19.

Director of Department of Social Services, Mozella Francis reported the DSS is working diligently. There has been a significant increase of applications for SNAP benefits and an increase in Medicaid applicants as additional funds for families have become available for those who haven’t received full benefits. DSS is helping to meet the needs of the homeless and Child and Adult Protective Services are still going out into the field with protective protocols in place to take care of children and the elderly.

There was some concern over the suspension of the NCPS Meal Program due to two employees being exposed to COVID-19. Clarification came later in the evening with an announcement from Superintendent, Eddie Lawrence about restarting the program in the future. In the meantime, meals will be provided by partners who can fill the void. Please see the Meal Program Updates.

The Board of Supervisors ended the meeting by discussing ways to enforce or encourage all citizens to wear masks in public places such as grocery stores. Governor Northam has issued guidelines regarding social distancing and wearing masks and gloves to owners, employees and customers of businesses. Hollye Carpenter reminded everyone we have not reached the peak of this pandemic yet and there are many challenges ahead of us. Stay home and do your part to flatten the curve.