Behind the scenes look: How City of Virginia Beach operates during pandemic

Posted at 1:59 PM, Apr 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-22 16:38:49-04

Virginia Beach, Va - News 3 got a behind the scenes look at how the City of Virginia Beach is operating through this difficult time.

City officials say thousands of vehicles need maintenance and buildings need extensive cleaning.

While being covered head to toe, a city employee sprays a disinfectant at city vehicles coming into the Fleet Maintenance Center to be worked on.

Any possible germs should be killed on any city vehicle that’s coming into the Fleet Maintenance Center to get worked on.

Jeffery Dickens, the Operations Coordinator for the city, says city vehicles could be exposed to the coronavirus when EMS and police officers are transporting people.

Dickens said there are usually 50 to 60 vehicles that come through the center per day and over 7,000 vehicles and pieces of equipment throughout the entire city.

Now, they said each vehicle is cleaned thoroughly before being worked on which is a new procedure in reaction to the coronavirus outbreak.

Dickens said the employees that work here play a huge role in keep the operations of the city moving.

“If our guys are impacted by this virus and not able to maintain this level of service then the other departments – fire, EMS, police, would suffer and they wouldn’t have the tools that they need to do their jobs,” said Dickens. “It’s been difficult. We’re trying to maintain a level of service and protect the people that operate vehicles and the people that work on them so it’s been challenging. Luckily, the people that are employed here with the city at this facility are really stepping to the challenge.”

Keith Pearl, the Custodial Supervisor for the City of Virginia Beach, says his crews are in charge of keeping all the buildings clean. He said there are about 50 buildings. Pearl has 54 employees, but said they hired an additional 20 temporary employees to be able to maintain the cleaning levels where they need to be.

“We’re sanitizing bathrooms three times a day and we’re constantly going back-and-forth up and down the halls sanitizing any public space,” said Pearl.

Pearl said it’s difficult for his workers dealing with all the impacts of the coronavirus.

“Most of them are scared. We’ve got them as much safety equipment as we can,” said Pearl. “They’re on the frontline just like everybody else that’s working right now.

“They’re coming to work. They’re doing the best they can while they’re here. They’re taking it very seriously and protecting themselves. I have to give a lot of credit to the people that are employed here that are actually making this happen,” said Dickens.

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