Chesterfield County begins rolling back COVID-19 protocols

Chesterfield County

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Chesterfield County is making several adjustments to its COVID-19 protocols, as coronavirus cases in Virginia decline and vaccination numbers increase.

“Case rates and percent positivity test results have dropped significantly and have reached levels that we haven’t seen since fairly early on in the pandemic,” Chesterfield Health District Director Dr. Alexander Samuel said.

According to Deputy County Administrator for Human Services Dr. James Worsely, the county is going to start accepting cash payments at convenience centers once again and scale back second touchpoint cleaning in select locations.

Worsely also said that no new plexiglass barriers will be installed in the county, and the focus will shift to only repairing those that already exist and are the most critical.

Library-goers will notice a reduced hold time on returned books. During the pandemic, the county instituted a 72-hour hold time on return items before they could be touched and re-shelved. Worsely said that is being reduced to 24 hours.

“Fields have been reopened throughout the park system, and I can attest to that. I was at a ball game last night,” Worsely said.

Chesterfield County Parks & Recreation will hold its Independence Day celebration in 2021, as well, Worsely announced.

“[We are] resuming rentals of spaces at recreation centers and fairgrounds,” he said. “Once the fairgrounds closes doors for the vaccination sites, that will be back to continuing use. So I know that upcoming events there, such as the July 4th celebration and, hopefully, this year, the County Fair will be back.”

Class participation for the county’s recreational programs is currently at 50%. But Worsley said that starting June 1, classes will open fully to allow maximum participation.

As Chesterfield County employees return to work in person, Worsely said that the county is exploring options for hybrid and on-site work.

“As organizations are now beginning to roll out plans for returning employees to their work sites, the county is doing the same,” he said. “What we have learned is that the way we left the workplace in March 2020 will probably not be the same way we return in the next several months. Employees have proven across various industries that many of our jobs can be performed remotely, as well as on-site.”

Moving forward into Summer 2021, Samuel said that the Chesterfield Health District will be focusing vaccination efforts on reaching vulnerable populations by going door-to-door and working with faith-based organizations.

“We’re also working to increase the number of sites we’re offering vaccines to, beyond the three places of worship we’ve been visiting since early this month, to include parks and other frequently traveled areas,” Samuel said. “We’re exploring a model of providing vaccine locations in close proximity to groups of businesses who might employ individuals we’re reaching out to, as well as others who might want a vaccine.”

Samuel said that despite the younger populations now eligible to receive the COVID-19, supply in Chesterfield County continues to outweigh demand.

“All the signs are telling us that we’re approaching the finish line of what has been an arduous journey,” Samuel said.

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