Thursday, March 19, 2020

Update on COVID-19 in Fairfax County from Jeffrey McKay - BOS Chairperson


To the Fairfax County Community,

Almost 40% of our residents speak a language other than English at home. The fluidity of our current situation has made it difficult to ensure everyone in the County is receiving the most up-to-date information. That ability shouldn't be impacted by the language you speak. That's why the County's COVID-19 website (along with every other page on the website) and the emergency blog can be translated. The County's site in particular can be translated in about 160 languages. The two pictures below show how to do that.

There is also a lot of new information below, so please read carefully. If you have a friend who would like to sign up for this newsletter, they can do so here.
Changes to next week's Board meeting

  • The Board will be meeting next week with an altered agenda and in a different meeting space to accommodate social distancing guidelines.
  • The meeting will begin at 3:30 pm on March 24 in Conference Room 11 of the Fairfax County Government Center.
  • The Board will still vote on Administrative and Action Items. There will be no presentations or Board Matters. Here is the agenda.
  • All public hearings will be postponed except for those that require immediate attention. Those two are:
  • Public Hearing to Consider an Ordinance to Amend and Readopt Fairfax County Code Section 7-2-13 and Relocate the Polling Places for the Lorton Precinct in the Mount Vernon District and the Nottoway Precinct in the Providence District
  • Public Hearing on the Draft Consolidated Plan One-Year Action Plan for FY 2021 
  • Should you wish to testify on those two items, your options are as follow:
  • Submit written testimony via email, fax, or mail
  • Provide in-person testimony in Conference Room 6 in an appropriate, socially-distanced environment, which will be streamed to Conference Room 11
  • Submit a maximum 3-minute video testimony via email
  • All written and video testimony should be sent to: clerktotheBOS@fairfaxcounty.gov

Information on Fairfax County Services

The Health Department has a number of resources on COVID-19:


If you have further questions or are in need of services, below are some good references:

Coordinated Services Planning provides access and referrals to both government and community-based resources for assistance with, but not limited to: food, shelter, employment, financial assistance, and healthcare.
  • Call: 703-222-0880, TTY 711
  • Monday-Friday, 8 am – 4:30 pm

Community-based resources for food assistance can be found here. Fairfax County and FCPS developed a searchable map which includes food distribution sites, food pantries, and other related services.

The Fairfax County Office for Children maintains an up-to-date online child care search that lists all child care centers and family child care homes that are licensed or regulated in the County. If you need support for finding child care in your neighborhood, visit Child Care Assistance and ReferralChild care financial assistance may be available. 

For small businesses in need of relief, we have created a web page that we will continue to update with guidance. Now that our jurisdiction has made a Declaration of Emergency, businesses can apply for emergency loans from the Small Business Administration.

How you can help:


Fairfax County Animal Shelter 


Fairfax County Government

  • All County agencies have been directed to identify core functions that we must continue to carry out. We are shifting resources to those essential functions, as needed.
  • We strongly encourage residents to conduct County business online if possible.
  • Boards, Authorities, and Commissions should postpone indefinitely any planned meetings that do not involve time-sensitive activities. BACs can only meet electronically if they are discussing the COVID-19 emergency itself, per state law.

Fairfax County Parks, Libraries, and Community Facilities 


Fairfax County Public Schools

  • All FCPS school buildings are now closed until further notice. 
  • All FCPS administrative offices are closed until further notice.
  • Only essential personnel as defined by FCPS will be asked to report to work until further notice. All other employees will work remotely. 

Food distributions will continue through the closures, now at dozens of locations all across the County. Breakfast will be available from 8 am to 10:30 am and lunch will be available from 10:30 am to 2 pm, Monday-Friday. All locations are listed here.

All students enrolled in FCPS and other County children 18 years and under receive one meal at no-cost; and, may have additional meals at no-cost upon request. Adults may purchase breakfast and lunch meals at a cost of $2.00.

For more information on FCPS's response to coronavirus click here. For more on food distribution and other community based resources that offer food assistance for students and families click here.

Fairfax County Senior Centers and Adult Day Health Care Centers


Department of Motor Vehicles

  • All DMV offices and mobile sites are closed.
  • Online services will remain available.
  • For those who cannot renew online, or whose license or registration expires before May 15, the DMV will grant a 60-day extension.

Affected workers and employers

  • The Virginia Employment Commission will waive the one-week waiting period to ensure workers can receive unemployment benefits as soon as possible.
  • Virginia is enhancing eligibility for unemployment and allowing for fewer restrictions to receive unemployment insurance.
  • Employers who slow or cease operations will not be financially penalized for an increase in workers requesting unemployment benefits.
  • Read more.

Childcare Services

  • This morning, Governor Northam announced the Virginia Department of Social Services will soon be releasing guidelines for child care programs.
  • This will meet the directive of avoiding gatherings of more than 10 people.
  • We will update you when this guidance comes.

Courts

  • The Supreme Court of Virginia has declared a judicial emergency.
  • All non-essential state court proceedings are suspended through April 6, 2020.
  • The Fairfax County Sheriff's Office is working to temporarily suspend home evictions. We will update you when this guidance comes.

Mass Gatherings, Community Events: 

  • Governor Northam recommended that Virginians avoid non-essential gatherings of more than 10 people. This does not include normal operations at essential services such as manufacturers, distribution centers, airports, bus and train stations, medical facilities, grocery stores, or pharmacies.
  • Fairfax County now recommends cancelling public events with 10 or more people, per the CDC and Governor Northam.
  • For events of any size (public or private), organizers and participants each have a responsibility to reduce the chance of disease transmission.
  • Persons considering attending any event, regardless of the number of people attending should consider the risks and benefits in deciding to attend. In particular, those who are at high-risk of severe disease if they become infected – persons who are older than 60 years old, have chronic illness, have a compromised immune system, are pregnant - should know the status of COVID-19 in the community and not attend the event if local infection is widespread.
  • Here are County guidelines for those planning an event.

Restaurants, fitness centers, and theaters

  • Fairfax County cannot tell a private business how to operate, change its hours, or force it to close.
  • Per Governor Northam, all restaurants, fitness centers, and theaters are mandated to significantly reduce their capacity to 10 patrons, or close. 
  • Restaurants are encouraged to continue carry-out and takeaway options.

Taxes

  • The deadline for seniors and people with disabilities to apply for tax relief has been postponed to June 1.
  • The following programs have been extended:
  • Real Estate Tax Relief for the elderly (65+)
  • Tax Relief for People with disabilities
  • Personal Property or "Car Tax" Relief 

Transportation 

  • There have been no changes to Fairfax Connector services.
  • Metro and Metro Access has reduced their service. The most up-to-date service information is here. WMATA asks that customers do not use Metro unless absolutely necessary.
  • The remaining community meetings for the 2020 Paving and Restriping Programscheduled for March 2020 have been cancelled. Residents can view the meeting presentations online for each district and give feedback through April 14, 2020. 

Utilities

We have reached out to area utility companies to assure that they are working to protect those at risk of utility disconnection. We have received confirmations from:

Health

Not every case of coronavirus has symptoms, but those that do may appear 2-14 days after exposure:

  • Cough 
  • Fever 
  • Shortness of breath
As we have more information to share, my office and Fairfax County Government will continue to update residents.

Thank you for your support and patience as we work to manage this challenging, complex, and rapidly evolving situation.

Jeffrey C. McKay
Contact the Office

chairman@fairfaxcounty.gov | 703.324.2321 |

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