March 16, 2020

Winston-Salem Braces For COVID19

The City of Winston-Salem recently announced that it was closing public facilities and suspending meetings in an effort to address the looming Coronavirus/COVID19 crisis. All recreation centers will be closed until further notice. All public assembly facilities including the Winston-Salem Fairgrounds, the Benton Convention Center, BB&T Ballpark and Bowman Gray Stadium are closed. City Hall and the Bryce A. Stuart Municipal Building will operate under normal business hours for critical city business only that cannot be done online or over the phone. Previously planned City of Winston-Salem meetings and events have been canceled.

Desperate times require politicians to respond to the people’s needs. Water disconnections have been temporarily suspended. A local housing advocacy group (which I am a member of), Housing Justice Now is calling for an “immediate moratorium on evictions and mortgage foreclosures and a plan for delivering housing and medical treatment to the homeless population.” If the WSPD department can stop responding to non-life threatening traffic accidents during the Corona-crisis, surely the Forsyth County Sheriff’s department can stop throwing tenants out of their homes.

City of Winston-Salem news release:

Mayor Allen Joines, Mayor Pro Tempore Vivian H. Burke and the members of the Winston-Salem City Council have approved additional measures to keep the community safe and ensure delivery of essential services while COVID-19 remains a threat in Winston-Salem.

City Manager Lee Garrity has formed a COVID-19 task force to manage the city’s response in order to maintain essential city services and promote the safety of the public and city employees as outlined in the city’s Continuity of Operations Plan.

City officials anticipate that the closure of schools and day-care centers will impact some city employees with children who are not able to find alternative child-care arrangements. Department heads have been given the discretion to develop alternate work schedules and shifts to ensure sufficient staffing to maintain essential city services.”

Water Disconnections Temporarily Suspended:

In response to COVID-19, effective March 13, 2020 and until further notice, Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Utilities is suspending all water account disconnects due to non-payment of WSFC Utilities bills. During this time, we want to ensure that all customers have access to our clean and safe drinking water and are able to practice good hand hygiene. Please note that this is a temporary grace period and customers will still be responsible for payment of their total water bill.”

Housing Justice Now’s press release:

Press release-Housing Justice Now.docx

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Winston-Salem Journal’s Coronavirus/COVID19 Coverage.

The Journal has graciously removed the paywall from all Coronavirus/COVID19 articles

March 12

Triad sees first cases of coronavirus as major events get canceled or postponed due to pandemic fears

Schools suspend proms, other gatherings in Winston-Salem/Forsyth system  

March 13

Court cases being continued for 30 days in NC; courthouses to remain open

Public visitation to the Forsyth County Jail has been immediately suspended out of concern over the new coronavirus (March 13) 

The latest COVID-19-related cancellations and postponements

Lack of helpful information handcuffing those who aim to help

School system has plans to feed children should COVID-19 force school closure 

Legislators plan to be active working from home in combating coronavirus

City declares state of emergency as DHHS reports 8 more COVID-19 cases statewide  

March 14

Governor Cooper orders public schools to close statewide in face of COVID-19 pandemic  

Local restaurants, businesses heighten preventive measures to combat coronavirus 

From Broadway to the Rhodes Center, theaters are shuttering against COVID-19

Coronavirus disrupts daily life in Winston-Salem and Forsyth County with cancellations of public and private events, meetings and local sports leagues  

People who want to get tested for the coronavirus must first show symptoms, health officials say   

March 15/March 16

Recreation centers close. Police won’t respond to minor wrecks. Here’s a list of COVID-19 measures taken by the City of Winston-Salem  

Schools open hotline, prepare for remote learning in Winston-Salem/Forsyth

Displaced by flood, threatened by virus, residents band together at Hosanna House in Winston-Salem

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