Message from Winchester Public Schools Superintendent Jason Van Heukelum:
Interim City Manager Mary Price has declared a State of Emergency for the city following a statewide declaration by Governor Northam on March 12, 2020.
"As of today, we are not aware of any confirmed cases in the Lord Fairfax Health District, but we need to be prepared in case of an outbreak in Winchester,” stated Ms. Price. “To prepare for potential future impacts on the City in costs and resources, I declared a state of emergency for the City at 8:00 am. This will allow us to be eligible for potential federal and state aid should the damage threshold be reached for the state.”
To help slow the spread of germs as recommended by the CDC and Virginia Department of Health, ALL City buildings and facilities will close to the public beginning Tuesday, March 17, 2020. City services will continue, and staff will be available via phone and email during regular business hours.
“Maintaining City services at all times is important to us and we will continue providing essential services to our residents during this closure,” stated Interim City Manager Mary Price.
The Winchester Commissioner of the Revenue and Treasurer’s Offices are moving from Rouss City Hall to the Creamery Building (21 S. Kent Street, Winchester) this week. Both offices will be closed on Friday, March 13, 2020 for the move and will reopen to the public at the Creamery Building on Monday, March 16 (8 am-4:30 pm). A drop box for payments and other items for the Commissioner and Treasurer will be available at the new location.
City staff and especially public safety personnel have been monitoring the outbreak and meeting regularly with state and local officials. The VA Department of Health is the lead agency in the Commonwealth’s response. Our Senior Management Team have met to discuss operations and precautions and will continue to discuss the outbreak, proper hygiene, and the City’s response on a regular basis. We have implemented glove wearing for those who handle money or work directly with the public.
Beginning Monday, March 23, 2020 and continuing through October (weather permitting), the City’s Utilities Division will be testing and flushing all of Winchester’s 1,200 fire hydrants as part of an annual maintenance program. The process of periodically “flushing” fire hydrants is an important preventive maintenance activity and is necessary to maintain a high quality and reliable water system. It is also helps make sure the fire hydrants are fully operational in the event of a fire.
For the fourth consecutive year, Winchester Parks and Recreation will host and co-sponsor the Inclusion Volleyball Tournament to benefit local area Special Olympics (Area 13). This co-ed volleyball tournament for adults (ages 18+) will be held on Saturday, March 14 at John Handley High School in the gymnasium.
Registration dates for the Winchester Police Department’s ‘Junior Academy’ announced
The Winchester Police Department (WPD) will reprise its popular children’s program for ages 5-8, the Junior Academy, with three dates in 2020. Session dates, with their respective registration dates, are as follows:
The City of Winchester’s farmers market, located at the Taylor Pavilion off the Loudoun Street Mall, will soon return to Old Town Winchester and is currently seeking vendors, musicians and volunteers. The 2020 season will bring a renewed energy to the market and in recognition of the artisan vendors who contribute to its vibrancy, the market will now be known as the Old Town Farmers and Makers Market. The Farmers and Makers Market will be held on Saturdays from 9 am-1 pm, May 9-September 26, 2020.
The popular tourism ambassador training program, offered twice yearly by the Winchester-Frederick County Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) since 2018, is sporting a new name and will provide even more information beginning this spring.