BLUEFIELD, WV (WOAY) – The City of Bluefield is continuously monitoring the spread of COVID-19 in the United States. While we are fortunate in that there have not yet been any confirmed cases in West Virginia, we must act responsibly to protect the public and our workforce. On March 15, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued guidance suggesting that in-person events of 50 people or more be cancelled or postponed for at least two months. In accordance with that guidance, the City is taking the following actions:
First, the City Board meeting scheduled for March 24, 2020, at 6:00 p.m. will be moved to 8:30 a.m. and converted to a very limited meeting for the sole purpose of taking statutorily required action on the budget, and the presentation of a brief update on the City’s response to the virus. This meeting will be closed to the public but will be livestreamed on the City’s website as usual.
The Bluefield Building Commission scheduled for March 24, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. is cancelled. Building Commission proceedings set for March 24 will be moved, for now, to April 28 at 2:00 p.m.
Bluefield Municipal Court is cancelled for both March 25 AND April 8. Matters set for those days will be reset for future dates. At this time, we do not have new dates set.
With respect to Parks and Recreation, the FitRec Center will be closed as of 12:00 noon, March 16, 2020, and continuing until March 31. For FitRec members, your membership will be extended to compensate for the closure. During the closure, we will conduct an extensive cleaning of the facility.
THE AFTER-SCHOOL DAYCAMP PROGRAM WILL REMAIN IN OPERATION and we will continue to keep that program going as long as possible. Please be advised, however, that parents and guardians of participating children should have a childcare plan in place should circumstances dictate that the program be closed. If that occurs, we will provide as much advance notice as is possible in light of the circumstances, but sudden closure may be necessary.
Lotito Park will be closed to vehicular traffic and shelter rentals, and the restrooms will be closed as well. The Park will remain available for pedestrian traffic and general recreation.
The City will continue to deliver essential municipal services. Trash pickup will remain as currently scheduled, and we currently are maintaining normal staffing in the police and fire departments and are able to respond to emergencies as usual.
We will update this information each Monday at 12:00 p.m. and more frequently if necessary. Please consult the websites of the Centers for Disease Control (cdc.gov) and the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (dhhr.wv.gov) for general information about COVID-19. The best precautions remain frequent hand-washing and social distancing.