Changes to public transportation, trash pickup, other services affected by COVID-19

Many community services that residents rely on are being affected by the coronavirus outbreak.

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RECREATION AND CULTURAL ACTIVITIES

The Wake Forest Parks, Recreation & Cultural Resources (PRCR) Department has canceled all adult athletics activities through May 1. These activities include all adult spring softball and kickball leagues.

The PRCR Department has also postponed all youth athletics, including spring baseball and softball leagues, through at least May 1.

Full refunds will be issued for all registered programs canceled because of COVID-19, while pro-rated refunds will be issued for suspended programs that resume. For more information, call (919) 435-9560.

All Fayetteville-Cumberland playgrounds are now closed as of Friday, March 27. English and Spanish signs with this message are going up at playground locations.

"Closing the playgrounds is a major change and we need your help spreading the word about the effort to protect everyone in our community," City Manager Doug Hewett said.

Fayetteville-Cumberland Parks & Recreation said Monday, March 30 that all trails and parks are open but people should maintain proper social distancing (six feet away from someone else) and avoid social gatherings in groups of more than 10 people.

The City of Fayetteville said Thursday, March 19 that all department organized programs, activities, athletics, special events and rentals through April 30th are postponed.

Recreation centers will remain open to the public for discretionary participation only and are operating weekdays on its established abbreviated schedule (General Purpose: 10 a.m-6 p.m.; Special Purpose: 10 a.m.-4 p.m.). Weekend hours will remain the same. Building occupancy is limited according to the Governor's Executive Order and Center for Disease Control recommendations.

The Town of Hope Mills has closed Parks & Recreation; staff is working from home and a limited amount of staff is coming into work.

The Town has made the decision to close Hope Mills Lake Park effective Monday, March 30 at 5 p.m. Hope Mills Lake will remain open to kayaking and boating, with access to the kayak launch still available. Fishing will not be allowed.

At this time, the walking trails at the Municipal Park and Golfview Greenway will remain open to the public, provided citizens adhere to social distancing guidelines.

Access to the Municipal Park and Golfview Greenway walking trails will be permitted until 6 p.m. each day.

Because of crowding that does not adhere to social distancing guidelines and to support public health efforts, these state parks are CLOSED effectively Wednesday, March 25: Mount Mitchell State Park, Gorges State Park

The Boys & Girls Clubs Lucy Ann Boddie Brewer Unit in Rocky Mount closed Monday, March 23 because of safety concerns from the coronavirus.

"It's sad because we do want to stay open and serving the kids who need us the most," said Ron Green, CEO. "There are a lot of families who need us right now, but the risk has become a little too great."

The City of Sanford has closed all municipal parks effective immediately, the city announced Friday, March 20. The City of Sanford owns or operates eight parks in Sanford's city limits: Depot Park, the front section of Kiwanis Family Park, Walter McNeil Jr. Park, Third Street Park, Maple Avenue Park, Carr Creek Park, Sunset Park, and the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial.

The Endor Iron Furnace Greenway remains open to the public.

The Town of Spring Lake Parks and Recreation Department is closed as is the Multipurpose Community Center. All sports and events are canceled. The town's Senior Center is also closed.

Morrisville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources facilities will be closed, and organized events and scheduled rentals will be canceled, through April 5. We are closing our bathrooms within the parks but are not currently restricting access to open spaces, playgrounds, or greenways; we encourage all park users to keep in mind the CDC and other government guidelines around social distancing and minimizing unnecessary interactions. The Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources facilities that will be closed, include the following: Cedar Fork Community Center, Cedar Fork District Park, Church Street Park, Healthy Food Hub, Northwest Park, Morrisville Community Park, Shiloh Community Park and Luther Green Community Center. More info here.

The Lee County COVID-19 Information Hotline will change hours of operation on Wednesday, March 25th. The hotline will operate Monday through Friday from 8 AM - 6 PM. The change is a result of low call volume to the Information Hotline after 6 p.m.

Lee County Parks and Recreation has suspended the following programs until further notice: Youth T-Ball/Softball/Baseball; Adult Softball League. The following are canceled: Gymnastics Spring Session; Youth Track and Field; Tiny Tots Session III; Youth Art Session IV; Youth Dance Session III

The Town of Garner has canceled all remaining rentals at Town facilities and shelters. This includes the remaining small event rentals at White Deer Nature Center and at any Town parks. For more information, call (919) 773.4442.

All use of playground equipment at public and private parks is prohibited.

Burlington Recreation and Parks has closed all of its indoor facilities. This includes Fairchild Park Community Center, Mayco Bigelow Community Center, Forest Hills Community Center, Thataways Youth Center, Kernodle Senior Center, Maynard Aquatic Center.

All activities, youth and adult athletic registration have been frozen until further notice

All parks, greenways, marinas, and the Indian Valley Golf Course will remain open to the public. Please practice social distancing.

The Town of Wake Forest has suspended all Wake Forest Parks, Recreation & Cultural Resources (PRCR) Department-sponsored athletics programs, including all youth and adult baseball, softball and kickball leagues until April 6. All cultural programs and classes will be offered as scheduled.

Town parks and greenways will remain open to the public

Fingerprinting service and child safety seat installations offered by the Wake Forest Police Department are suspended through April 30.

Orange County libraries are closed to the public. All activities and classes are canceled until further notice.

All Orange County recreation programming/activities (classes and sports leagues) are suspended until further notice. Central Recreation Center will be closed to activities. Parks will be open on their regular schedule but shelter reservations will not be taken for the next two weeks. Existing reservations in that time period are being canceled.

Chatham County Parks and Recreation is canceling or postponing multiple programs, events and reservations.

Spring volleyball, jump rope and A Day at Camp are canceled. All other youth and adult sports programs and art classes are postponed until further notice:

All parks will remain open and operating on normal hours. Outdoor Facility reservations for recreation programming are suspended, and there will be no new indoor or shelter reservations taken at this time.

SOCIAL SERVICES

Durham County Social Services Department hours have been changed to 9 a.m. until 1 p.m., Monday through Friday, starting Thursday, April 2. Visitors to the agency will not be seen by a DSS staff person unless they are presenting a NEW application for benefits.

New applicants can apply for benefits online.

Questions? Call the agency at (919) 560-8000.

Town of Cary facilities (except for the Citizens Convenience Center) will remain closed in April, and all classes, programs, and events scheduled for the entire month are canceled.

The computer resource rooms at both Orange County Department of Social Services locations (Southern Human Services, 2501 Homestead Road, Chapel Hill, and Hillsborough Commons, 113 Mayo Street, Hillsborough) are closed to the public effective March 31..

If you need to make changes to your existing benefits or have questions, please email dssinfo@orangecountync.gov or call (919) 245-2800.

The doors to the Johnston County Courthouse remain open; however, the following offices will restrict public access effective Tuesday, March 31:

Child Support: Residents will be able to make payments, access general information and email caseworkers online. In addition, there will be a drop box on the third floor of the Law Enforcement Center outside the Child Support Office for any information that needs to be dropped off. The box will be checked hourly.

You can reach the Tax Office by mail at P.O. Box 368, Smithfield, NC 27577, email at taxoffice@johnstonnc.com by phone at (919) 989-5130 or at www.jcto.org

Effective at noon on March 31, the Moore County Health Department will begin offering services on a reduced schedule. The Health Department main building (705 Pinehurst Ave., Carthage) will be open to the public for clinic services by appointment on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. For appointments, call (910) 947-3300. Vital records (birth and death certificates) processing will be offered on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

WIC (Women, Infants, and Children Supplemental Nutrition Program) services will be offered by phone on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. For appointments, call (910) 947-3271.

The Environmental Health building (1042 Carriage Oaks Drive, Carthage) will be closed to the public. Staff will be available by phone at (910) 947-6283 Monday through Friday betweem 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. to schedule inspections, sewage & water complaints, and to answer questions.

These Moore County schedule changes will remain in effect through April 30.

The Cumberland County Department of Social Services will be closed to the public but encourages citizens to use the self-service systems to apply for new and ongoing benefits.

The Town of Hope Mills said Friday, March 27, that the front lobby of Town Hall will be locked and people will be instructed to call ahead to make an appointment or use the drive-through window; the rear of Town Hall is currently locked to the public and will remain so.

The Town of Spring Lake said Monday, March 30, that the Senior Center is closed but the center will still deliver meals. Town Hall is closed to the public. Water bills will be accepted only via phone calls, online payments or through the drive-thru.

Halifax County said county government offices will close starting Thursday, March 26 at 8:30 a.m. The tentative re-opening date will be 8:30 a.m. on Monday, April 6.

Public Health: (Health Department, WIC, Animal Control, Environmental Health) will be offered on a limited and essential basis via appointment only, by calling the main number at (252) 583-5021. DSS is open for appointments made in advance only on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Any resident with a book checked out from one of the five Halifax County Library branches is asked to keep the book until the branches are re-opened.

Lee County Libraries Main and Broadway Branches will be closed to the public and employees, effective March 27.

Wayne County Department of Social Services is encouraging clients to apply for benefits online at ePass.nc.gov. Staff will also be present upon entry to Wayne County DSS to provide paper applications for Adult Medicaid, Family and Children's Medicaid, Food and Nutrition, and Work First programs. Individuals may complete the paper applications and drop the application off in the secured Social Services Mail Box, located in the parking lot.

If individuals need to report changes for Food & Nutrition Services and Program Integrity, please call the change line at (919) 731-1126. For Medicaid, Work First, and Child Care Services change line, please call (919) 731-1022. The face to face interviews for the Crisis Intervention Program (CIP) or the Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP) applications are waived and you can do a telephone interview for applications. To apply, call (919) 731-1577.

The Town of Mount Olive said Wednesday, March 18, that all town officers will be closed until further notice. Online payments are now being accepted.

FOOD-RELATED SERVICES

The Town of Spring Lake said Monday, March 30, that the Senior Center is closed but the center will still deliver meals.

The Enrichment Center of Lee County will be closed to the public and employees and the Home Delivered Meals and Congregate Meal Service programs will be suspended, the county said March 27.

From March 23-April 3, Meals on Wheels Durham will NOT be delivering. Beginning April 6, Meals on Wheels plans to deliver once a week with food for the week. Get updates here.

In Wake County, Inter-Faith Food Shuttle is working in cooperation with Wake County Public Schools to identify and serve vulnerable populations. On Friday, March 20, they will provide 500 emergency meals to families with children in some of the highest poverty communities in the county. Additionally, they will provide 300 bags containing multiple days of various nutrient-rich, kid-friendly, blast-frozen meals to families in critical need in Wake County. Another approximate 500 emergency meal boxes will be delivered on Friday to S.E. Raleigh Promise, a community development project, for distribution to families in need in their service area surrounding the Rock Quarry Road Corridor.

Community Food Pantries are open across Wake County to help provide food for families during the COVID-19 outbreak. Please call your nearest pantry before you arrive to confirm their hours and availability: Find your nearest community pantry information here.

To assist families in Durham County, the Food Shuttle will provide 250 family-style meal boxes to the community served by the East Durham Children's Initiative. These boxes will contain blast-frozen casseroles, Brunswick stew meal kits and assortments of shelf-stable food items.

In Johnston County, the Food Shuttle has connected a local church with a meal ministry to distribute food to those in need. The Temple Table Feeding Ministry in Raleigh of Temple Baptist Church has joined up with Princeton Church of God in Johnston County to provide 500 bagged lunches to feed children affected by school closures on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

The BackPack Buddies program which provides 6 meals and 2 snacks to children who normally get the bulk of their nutrition through free and reduced-price school meals are still being delivered to schools in districts outside of Wake County. That includes Durham, Orange, Chatham, and Nash counties.

For those who rely on the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina, the food bank plans to change to more shelf-sustainable items such as dry goods to ensure people have access to food.

The Meals on Wheels grab-and-go service at the Garner Senior Center will operate on Friday, March 20. However, the Meals on Wheels program is evaluating future service. Please check the organization's website for details and updates.

The Food Bank also urges volunteers to stay home if they are sick and wash their hands

A Touch of the Father's Love Inc. Ministry & Food Pantry in Spring Hope has an urgent need of commercial refrigerators and freezers, operating funds and volunteers.

The ministry works to alleviate hunger in Nash County and is a partner with the Raleigh-based Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina. this area. It serves primarily Nash County but also serves Edgecombe, Wilson, Halifax, and Franklin counties.

In Raleigh, Grocery Bags for Seniors, Inter-Faith Food Shuttle's longest-running program, will continue as normal. Because of the nature of the population that the program serves, Inter-Faith said it is taking extra precautions in the preparation and delivery of the bags. Volunteers are wearing gloves and limiting exposure to the recipients at delivery.

The Orange County Department on Aging is suspending activities at both senior centers (Passmore Center in Hillsborough and the Seymour Center in Chapel Hill) and any off-site classes. Registered Lunch Program participants are encouraged to pick-up a carryout lunch Monday-Friday between noon and 12:30 p.m

The Chatham County Council on Aging said that beginning Monday, March 16, it will suspend its congregate meals program and other activities offered at its Eastern and Western Senior Centers (in Pittsboro and Siler City. The centers will be closed to participants and visitors.

Also effective Monday, March 16, the Council will suspend its home-delivered (Meals on Wheels) program. This action is being taken to protect both the homebound meals recipients and the volunteer drivers, many of whom are seniors themselves.

TRANSPORTATION

Orange County Public Transportation will operate the Hillsborough Circulator from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily effective April 1. Transportation to medical appointments will be provided by appointment only. These services will be provided fare-free until further notice.

The Orange-Alamance and Orange-Chapel Hill Connectors remain suspended until further notice.

For medical appointments, reservations are required. Non-Medicaid Trips: Call Reservation Line (919) 245-2004. Medicaid Trips: Call Orange County Department of Social Service Voicemail (919) 245-2774 or Fax (919) 732-2137.

Beginning Tuesday March 31, bus and FASTTRAC Paratransit services in the City of Fayetteville will end at 7 p.m every evening. All customers should use the rear door when boarding a bus, unless the use of a ramp or lift is needed. Social distancing reminders are posted on buses and bus seats are marked to encourage social distancing.

Effective Monday, March 30, Wake Forest Loop B and the Wake Forest-Raleigh Express are suspended until further notice. Loop A will continue to operate as scheduled. Please note: Since only the Loop A bus will be running, service time will be increased from 30 minutes to one hour. Riders should utilize the A bus stops, which may be on the opposite side of the street.

Riders are asked to board GoRaleigh buses using the rear doors in an effort to promote greater social distancing. Front door access will be available for persons with disabilities.

Beginning March 25, GoRaleigh Access pickups will be limited to life-sustaining trips. These trips include medical appointments, trips to the grocery store and other essential errands. GoRaleigh Access will also suspend fares during this time.

GoRaleigh Access provides transportation for persons with disabilities who have already completed the application and evaluation process. These temporary measures are being implemented to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

The County of Lee Transit System (COLTS) will operate Dialysis and Local Medicaid Medical service only beginning Monday, March 30; call (919) 776-7201.

SERVICES FOR VETERANS

Lee County said Friday, March 27 that the Veterans Services office will be closed but the staff remains available by phone at (919) 776-0501 x. 2210.

To reduce the exposure and spread of COVID-19, VA facilities in southeastern North Carolina will postpone non-urgent procedures for a minimum of 60-days and implement strict visitor restrictions as of March 19, 2020, at 8 a.m.

This affects VA facilities in Brunswick County, Cumberland County, Goldsboro, Hamlet, Jacksonville, Lee County, Fayetteville, Robeson County and Wilmington.

"Following CDC's recommendations, clinical leadership is reviewing all non-urgent elective surgical procedures with a plan to minimize, postpone or cancel until the coronavirus is better controlled nationwide," said Dr. Jeff Morgan, Chief Medical Officer, Fayetteville VA NC Coastal Health Care System. " At this time, our goal is to reduce the risk of exposure and keep our staff safe and ready to respond to COVID19." In the following days, staff will be contacting the patients of scheduled surgical procedures to discuss their care plans and appointments during this time.

To limit exposure, get your prescription refills by mail by doing any of the following: Use MyHealtheVet or use the call center at (800) 771-6106, the local pharmacy line: (910) 488-2120, ext: 5702 (Mon-Fri from 8-4:30). If you are out of medication and refills, please call the call center for assistance at (800) 771-6106.

Chatham County's Veterans Service Officer will not be available at the Western Center in Siler City as long as the Western Center remains closed to participants and visitors. For assistance, veterans should contact David Kennedy at (919) 545-8334 or (919) 357-4999 or at david.kennedy@chathamnc.org.

VISITATION AT PRISONS

Visits to inmates are suspended, the North Carolina Division of Prisons announced.

"We have made this difficult decision in light of the DHHS recommendations and to reduce the risk of this disease getting into prisons and spreading," said Todd Ishee, Commissioner of Prisons. "This was a difficult decision. I know this will not be good news to offenders and their families, but this is being done with everyone's health and safety in mind."

The suspension will be reviewed every 30 days.

The Division of Prisons plans to increase efforts to allow increased phone calls to families and friends.

In Moore County, the sheriff's office said that effective Monday, March 16, it would suspend all on-site inmate visitation, all inmate programming, such as religious services and parenting classes, and also suspend court-ordered DNA collection.

The Nash County Sheriff's Office said that beginning Tuesday, March 17, all regular visitation and special visits are canceled. All attorney visits will be by phone only.
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OTHER COMMUNITY SERVICES

The Lee County Animal Shelter will be closed to the public, the county said Friday, March 27. Please contact the Sheriff's Office at (919) 775-5531 if you have an animal to surrender or stray to report.

The Raleigh Rescue Mission has put a temporary hold on volunteers and tours in all areas of the Mission (kitchen, thrift store, children, chapel, etc.)

"We are first and foremost concerned for the health of our clients, volunteers, staff and donors. We have not experienced any health concerns to date, but want to continue acting with wisdom and thoughtfulness," RRM said.

The Partnership for Children of Cumberland County is halting all meetings, training, events, gatherings, support groups as of Tuesday, March 17. All business and services will be by phone or email.

TRASH AND WASTE DISPOSAL

Cumberland County Solid Waste Management said Wednesday, April 1 that it will implement additional operational changes starting Monday, April 6, to help reduce the spread of the coronavirus.

Ann Street Landfill operational hours:
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday: 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Wednesday: 6:30 a.m. to 12 noon
Saturday: Closed

Wilkes Road Landfill operational hours:
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday: 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Wednesday: 8 a.m. to 12 noon
Saturday: Closed

Container sites will close at 12 noon on Saturdays until further notice. The Warren site will be closed all day on Saturdays starting April 4 until further notice.

Household Hazardous Waste Collection Site will be closed until further notice.

All Solid Waste facilities will be closed on April 10 in observance of Good Friday.

For social distancing, only one lane at the scale house will be open. Please be patient as there may be delays. NO yard waste, mattresses, or furniture will be accepted at convenience sites starting on April 11.

Chatham County Solid Waste & Recycling will be closing its Swap Shops. The Electronics Recycling program will also be suspended until the processor can reopen. Electronics accepted in the recycling program are banned from disposal in landfills, so they cannot be thrown away. Residents will need to hold onto those items until the Electronics Recycling program is back up and running.

Starting March 31, the Main Facility will suspend some services. The Main Facility is at 28 County Services Road, Pittsboro. Electronics Recycling for both residents and commercial businesses will be suspended. Yard waste disposal and inert debris disposal for residents will also be suspended.

All of these changes will be in effect through April 30.

Wake Forest Public Works has suspended bulk waste collection effective Monday, March 30 until further notice. Wake Forest residents are urged not to place any bulk waste behind the curb until the suspension is lifted. In response to the closing of the Raleigh Yard Waste Center, Public Works will suspend yard waste collection until further notice effective 5 p.m. Friday, April 3. The week of March 30) offers Wake Forest residents one last chance - until the suspension is lifted - to leave yard waste behind the curb by 7 a.m. on their normal collection day.

Durham County is making some changes regarding waste disposal, officials said Thursday, March 19. More people at home means more trash generated. Bulky item disposal is being suspended at the County's Convenience Sites. Bulky loads include large unbagged items such as furniture, debris from do-it-yourself projects, broken appliances, large toys, etc. Residents with bulky loads are encouraged to seek a private transfer station to dispose of items.

Customers disposing of trash, such as household garbage at a Durham County Convenience Site should note that those items must now be bagged. Unbagged trash, or loose trash, will no longer be permitted. Sites will be open Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. until 6 p.m. Hours have been adjusted to 7 a.m. until noon on Saturdays. Questions? Call (919) 560-0433.

Moore County said Friday, March 27, that the Cameron Collection Site at 276 Cranes Creek Road will be temporarily closed effective March 30. All residents are asked to take their material to one of the six remaining collection sites.

The Village of Pinehurst said Friday, March 27 that trash pickup is continuing but with modifications. The Public Services team will not be collecting any materials placed outside of carts beginning Monday, March 30. This implementation includes white goods, flattened cardboard boxes, and all other recycling or trash bags placed outside of your provided containers.

"We apologize for any inconvenience these changes may cause," said Public Services Director Mike Apke. Questions? Call (910) 295-5021.

ABC11 will update this information as updates becomes available.
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