Tuesday, December 6, 2022

James City County offers paper information for those without internet access

James City County is now providing locations throughout the area that offer paper information about the coronavirus and community resources. (WYDaily/James City County Facebook)
James City County is now providing locations throughout the area that offer paper information about the coronavirus and community resources. (WYDaily/James City County Facebook)

With information regarding the coronavirus coming to residents everyday, James City County is now providing a paper source for those without access to the internet.

Starting this week, James City County residents can find paper copies of important information regarding the local community and the coronavirus at various locations throughout the county.

“We all know there are citizens in our community that do not have access to the internet or not on social media so we wanted to make sure that we could take all the information we’re sharing and provide it for them,” said Renee Dallman, the county’s spokeswoman.

Latara Rouse, communications manager for James City County, said the goal is to be as inclusive as possible and to ensure that lack of internet access is not a barrier to information.

The paper distribution lists information about the virus, available community resources such as housing and employment services, the Citizens’ Guide to Services and flyers about the Williamsburg Regional Library’s mobile WiFi Hotspot program.

While the goal is to provide the information for people without internet access, it is still difficult to find ways to let them know this new resource is available to them.

Rouse said the county is providing information through its hotline, 757-564-2140, as well as through the James City County Television network.

In addition, Dallman said the county is promoting the new paper resource through public transit and social services. But a large part of spreading the word involves residents letting others know it’s now available to them.

“We’re relying on folks who do have access to the internet to let everyone know,” she said. “We’re aware that most people know at least a few [residents] who don’t have access and are hoping they’ll reach out to them.”

The county decided not to distribute the information by mail because there would be a large expense associated with that process, Rouse said.

“It’s also difficult because there’s no real way of knowing who we would need to mail to,” she said. “You don’t know whether people have the internet so it’s hard to know who exactly we would need to target, but beyond that this is a much more cost effective way to reach people.”

The new paper information cost the county $546 to print and the newspapers boxes in which they are placed were donated, Rouse said. The packets also include Citizen Guides, which did not cost anything additional for the county because they were already being printed regularly. 

Dallman added that there is no specific goal of how many people the county wants to reach, but rather the aim is to provide information through as many avenues as possible.

While the locations do encourage people to leave their homes, the thought process was to place the information in locations where it can be easily accessed while people are already running necessary errands or exercising.

“We are placing them in strategic locations where people might be walking by,” Rouse said. “So not necessarily people going out of their way to pick up materials.”

The new paper information can be found at the following locations:

  • Abram Frink Jr. Community Center, 8901 Pocahontas Trail
  • Grove Christian Outreach, 8800 Pocahontas Trail
  • Human Services Center, 5249 Olde Towne Road
  • Legacy Hall, 4301 New Town Ave.
  • James City County Library, 7770 Croaker Road
  • Satellite Services Office, 3127 Forge Road

Since people have to physically touch the distribution boxes to open them, Rouse said there are signs reminding residents to wash or sanitize their hands before and after accessing the information. However, she said there is not a current plan for cleaning and sanitizing the boxes regularly. 

For more information, visit James City County online. 



Alexa Doiron
Alexa Doironhttp://wydaily.com
Alexa Doiron is a multimedia reporter for WYDaily. She graduated from Roanoke College and is currently working on a master’s degree in English at Virginia Commonwealth University. Alexa was born and raised in Williamsburg and enjoys writing stories about local flair. She began her career in journalism at the Warhill High School newspaper and, eight years later, still loves it. After working as a news editor in Blacksburg, Va., Alexa missed Williamsburg and decided to come back home. In her free time, she enjoys reading Jane Austen and playing with her puppy, Poe. Alexa can be reached at alexa@localvoicemedia.com.

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