COVID-19 Updates

image of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)



Please see below for closures of city and community facilities due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

  1. Facilities
  2. Public Schools
  3. Community Closures
  • The Norton Social Services Department closed its offices to the public effective Tuesday, March 31. The department is still offering all services but is requesting the public contact the department by phone. To learn more about changes in benefits due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the public is encouraged to call the department.

  • Flag Rock Recreation Area: Due to COVID-19, Flag Rock Campground is currently only open for self contained vehicle* camping. No tent camping is allowed at this time. For a limited time, the cost per campsite per night will be $10. There is a two week stay limit. Access to water and restrooms will not be available until further notice. Access to the dump station is available. *Self contained vehicles are defined as vehicles that can function without outside resources. This means they do not need access to toilet facilities. Questions? Contact Norton Parks and Recreation, (276) 679-0754.

Cancellations & Postponements 

Please see below for details about City of Norton cancellations and postponements, including meetings, events, and other activities, due to COVID-19. 

  1. Public Meetings
  2. Events
  3. Other Activities

There are currently no public meeting cancellations due to COVID-19. Please check back regularly for updates to this list.


Please see below for changes to city services due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

  1. Facilities
  2. Services
  3. Meetings
  • Beginning Tuesday, April 7, 2020, the City of Norton will begin a limited closure of Norton City Hall and other city offices to walk-in traffic. Offices will be open during normal business hours, and residents and customers are encouraged to call (276) 679-1160 for assistance. In certain situations, appointments to meet with city staff will be made.
    Norton residents and customers are also encouraged to submit utility, tax, and other city payments by mail, bank draft, online, or by using the drop box located outside the front entrance to city hall. More details about alternate payment options can be found by visiting the city’s Payment Methods webpage. In addition, residents and customers can have a new account set up or closed by emailing or by faxing information to (276) 679-3510.

Volunteer, Assistance, & Donation Opportunities

Need help?

The below list offers contact information for local, regional, and state agencies that can provide assistance for health and human service needs.

  • Norton Social Services Department: Offers a variety of medical, food, income maintenance, and social service programs supported by federal, state, and local funds. Visit the department’s website or call (276) 679-2701. Note: At this time, the department has closed its offices to the public. The department is still offering all services to the public but is encouraging the public to contact the department by phone.
  • Family Crisis Support Services: Offers assistance to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault and for individuals experiencing homelessness. Contact: (276) 679-7240.

  • Commonwealth Catholic Charities: Offers a variety of health and human service needs. Visit the organization’s website or call (276) 679-1195.

  • Food Bank of Wise County: Contact (276) 679-3663.

  • United Way of Southwest Virginia: The organization has started a COVID-19 Relief Fund. Visit the organization’s website for more details and see below for information about how to donate to the fund.  

  • 2-1-1 Virginia: Provides referrals and information about community health and human service needs. Visit or dial 2-1-1 on your phone to use the service, which provides information on numerous community needs, such as food assistance, shelters, rent and utility assistance. The free service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Government, nonprofit, community-based agencies, and businesses that provide health and human services to Virginia residents are also encouraged to list their services by clicking on "Update/Add Your Agency" at the top of the 2-1-1 website.

Donation Opportunities

  • United Way of Southwest Virginia is accepting donations to establish the COVID-19 Relief Fund, a resiliency and social innovation initiative. United Way of Southwest Virginia is forming a regional advisory council comprised of donors to the fund, business and nonprofit organizations, and health and human service agencies to develop the response strategy for Southwest Virginia. Visit for more details. Online gifts can be made at or mailed to United Way of Southwest Virginia, COVID-19 Relief Fund, P.O. Box 644, Abingdon, VA 24212. Contact Mary Anne Holbrook, Director of Community Relations, at (276) 525-4075 for more details.

Small Business Assistance Programs

  • To assist small, locally-owned businesses in Norton impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Norton, in partnership with Norton Industrial Development Authority and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development, will offer a small business relief program for small "brick and mortar" businesses located within cities boundaries. Visit for more details.
  • Small businesses impacted by COVID-19 that are seeking assistance should also visit the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Coronavirus (COVID-19): Small Business Guidance & Loan Resources webpage for information. 

Norton Restaurants: Take-Out & Delivery Information

Please see this list of Norton restaurants for details on operational changes and delivery options due to COVID-19. Don’t see your restaurant? Need your listing updated? Please send restaurant entries and updates to Katie Dunn,

Be Alert

Check back for information regarding scams related to COVID-19 circulating in the area. 

  • At this time, law enforcement is not aware of any scams in the city tied to the pandemic. 

You Can Help Stop The Spread!

Want to know how you an help stop the spread of COVID-19? See below for some helpful links.

Giving Back

We’re featuring stories of residents giving back to their communities during COVID-19. Have a story you’d like to suggest? Contact Katie Dunn at

Norton City Schools, community bring Easter cheer to students

Photo of Easter Bunny and Norton Elementary staff

 NORTON —Students enrolled in Norton City Schools’ meal distribution program received an Easter surprise with their meals last Friday. 

As Easter celebrations and community egg hunts were canceled or moved online due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Norton City Schools’ employees wanted to bring some Easter cheer to students. 

“I was talking last week with our counselors about how we could make Easter special for our students without being able to have Easter egg hunts and with the social distancing and 10 or less in a gathering guidelines,” noted Gina Wohlford, Norton City Schools’ superintendent. School counselors Melissa Cook and Stephanie Gross hatched the idea for the Good Friday surprise, she explained. 

“We emailed the teachers about the idea and it took off,” said Wohlford. “Not only teachers, but many community and business partners heard about it and were quick to respond with donations and volunteer efforts.”

The campaign yielded 300 Easter baskets filled with notepads, pencils, seeds and dirt for planting, small toys, chocolate bunnies, candy, plastic eggs, coloring books, crayons, and stuffed animals. In addition to the basket deliveries, the Easter bunny made an appearance at several sites in Norton last Friday.

The school system began its meal distribution program in March after Gov. Ralph Northam announced all schools across the Commonwealth would close in an effort to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Meal deliveries began March 16 and have continued every weekday since then, serving between 250 and 275 students.

Wohlford said the school system is thankful for the teachers, businesses, and community organizations that helped organize the Easter basket deliveries. She thanked CVS Pharmacy, First Church of God, Freedom of Worship, Norton Parks and Recreation Department, Wells Fargo, and the City of Norton for providing donations for the baskets, as well as the many volunteers that assisted in filling and delivering them. 

Wohlford also gave a shout-out to the school system’s cafeteria workers and bus drivers for “their continued dedication to the students and to Norton City Schools,” as well as to school counselors Gross and Cook for organizing “this special blessing and for inviting the Easter Bunny to the City of Norton.”

The school system continues to provide daily meal deliveries for all children ages 2-18, noted Wohlford. The deliveries are made on the city’s bus routes and via a pick-up option at John I. Burton High School. Wohlford also noted that on Fridays, the school division is able to provide additional weekend food for students through a program with United Way of Southwest Virginia called Backpacks Unite that is also supported by Wells Fargo. 

Wohlford said donations for this program are welcome. “We may have a need this upcoming Friday for our Backpacks Unite as Wells Fargo is currently closed,” she noted. “We still plan to deliver additional weekend non-perishable food through donations and support within the community. We can take donations at the School Board Office or at John I. Burton Cafeteria.”

Girl Scout troop, community donate cookies to healthcare providers

Photo of Girl Scout donating cookies

Girl Scout Troop 389 member Lindsay Stallard, front, poses with Norton Community Hospital’s Dusty Cowden, left, and Tracy Hylton, right, after delivering several cases of donated Girl Scout cookies. (Photo Provided By: Dave Stallard)

WISE - When 180 boxes of Girl Scout cookies arrived at 9-year-old Lindsay Stallard’s house in early March, she and her fellow Troop 389 members had every intention of selling them door-to-door and outside local storefronts. 

That all changed when the COVID-19 pandemic prompted state and federal leaders to recommend limiting social interactions in order to help stem the spread of the virus. 

Unsure of how to offload 15 cases of the popular seasonal cookies, Lindsay’s father, Dave Stallard, said an idea emerged to start a community fundraiser that would pay for the cookies to be donated to area healthcare professionals. 

The family announced the campaign on social media on March 19. The response was swift. Within five hours, Stallard posted on Facebook that all boxes had been purchased and would soon be delivered to Wise County health organizations. 

The cookies were delivered to two doctor’s offices in Norton, Norton Community Hospital, and Heritage Hall in Big Stone Gap. Lindsay said the inspiration for delivering the sweet treats to healthcare professionals stemmed from them being on the frontlines of the pandemic. “We picked the hospitals because the nurses and doctors are staying there and taking care of the patients,” she said. She added,“they were all excited” to receive the cookies.

Asked how it felt to help boost the morale of local healthcare workers by bringing them cookies, Lindsay grinned and said, “It made me feel good.”

Dave Stallard said six or seven people purchased the cookies through the fundraiser. Four cases were even purchased for Wise County healthcare workers by Mary Immaculate Hospital in Newport News. “A good friend of mine saw my initial post and bought a case,” he explained. “Three more of her hospital friends did the same.” 

Stallard noted that the Wise County campaign has since inspired a similar effort in Northern Virginia. His friend from Mary Immaculate Hospital told her sister, who is also involved in girl scouts, about the Wise County campaign. Stallard said this inspired her sister to start a similar effort in her own community in Northern Virginia.

If you have story ideas that feature local Norton community members or groups giving back during the COVID-19 pandemic, we’d love to hear them. Please send ideas to Katie Dunn,