Some Richmond city employees now deemed ‘essential’ after being listed ‘non-essential’

Richmond

RICHMOND, Va (WRIC) — Some employees for the City of Richmond who were previously listed as non-essential are now having to go back to work.

Various employees with city codes, planning and development review and public affairs are returning to work after previously being sent home as concerns mounted over the coronavirus spread.

8News obtained a letter addressed to an employee with city codes, indicating the recipient is an essential employee and designated critical to the continuation of city operations. The recipient’s name was darkened.

The letter goes on to note to administrative regulation allows for any position to be designated essential when the city declares an emergency, even if the position was not designated essential before. On Friday, Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney confirmed the city’s action.

“So parks and public works are essential. Parts of department of planning and review are still also considered essential as well as construction continues in the city too,” Stoney said.

Mayor Stoney said the city maintains plenty of staff for fire, police and emergency communications. An exact number of city employees who are now deemed essential was not immediately available.

“Government will have to adapt to the changing environment as well. We’re going to be as nimble as possible. But also our number one priority is going to be to keep our employees safe,” Stoney said.

Richmond City Hall was closed through April 12 to non-essential staff. Stoney says it’s likely that date will be extended, however, an announcement will be made down the road.

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