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Issue 71
Friday, June 25, 2021
Prince William County
Dear Neighbors,

It's hard for me to believe we're on the cusp of reaching the halfway point of 2021 and that the 4th of July is just around the corner. At the height of the pandemic, time seemed to be moving so slowly. Days felt like weeks. Weeks felt like months. Now it feels as if time is flying by.

I think it partly has to do with everyone wanting to enjoy their favorite activities once again. Moving out of the pandemic during the warmer days and the extended sunlight Spring and Summer seasons has enhanced the opportunity and desire to get out and about.

However, as we embrace this time, let's be sure to it appreciate every day. We know now, more than ever, we cannot take this time for granted.

It's also important to not lose sight of the fact that, while we are focused on the fun side of life, business still needs to be addressed. This includes the Board of County Supervisors upcoming vote on the 2021-2024 Strategic Plan at the July 13 meeting. Focusing on seven critical areas, the plan provides key policy guidance for service delivery and resource allocation decisions. In short, it is our future.

So let's appreciate every day, embrace the ability to do the things we love, and ensure the future of our County.

In Service,
Chair Ann Wheeler
Conversation With the Chair
Talking About Transit
Putting the pandemic in our rearview mirror means telework changes that impact transportation, so next week's Conversation with the Chair has been expanded! On Wednesday, June 30, at 7:00 pm, Chair Wheeler's transit focus conversation will feature Rich Dalton, CEO of Virginia Railway Express (VRE) and Dr. Bob Schneider, Director of OmniRide. Hear from them on returning to normal and exciting things to come.

The conversation will be livestreamed on Chair Wheeler's Facebook page and available after the event on-demand on her YouTube channel.
COVID-19
Vaccination Administration Locations Update
Community Vaccination Center:
  • Located at 14042 Worth Avenue in Woodbridge (former Gander Mountain Store)
  • Last day is Saturday, June 26, from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm
  • Appointments can be booked using vase.vdh.virginia.gov, enter your zip code and select 25-miles” for Distance Range
  • Walk-ins are welcome

Manassas Mall Vaccine Clinic:
  • Located at 8300 Sudley Road in Manassas
  • Appointments highly recommended using vase.vdh.virginia.gov, enter your zip code and select 25-miles” for Distance Range (adolescents aged 12-15, search for Vaccine Type “Pfizer”)

Mobile clinics:
  • 7-Eleven at 9101 Andrew Dr., Manassas Park from 9:00 to 10:30 am
  • H Mart at 8819 Centreville Rd., Manassas from 11:00 am to 12:30 pm
  • Megamarket at 8328 Shoppers Square, Manassas from 1:30 to 3:00 pm
  • Walk-ins are welcome
To find additional vaccination locations:
  • Go to vaccines.gov to find locations near you with your local pharmacies, hospitals, community vaccination, and health centers, and doctors’ offices.
  • Text your zip code to 438829 (GETVAX).
Your Feedback Needed
The Prince William Health District (PWHD) is asking the community to please take a few minutes and provide their thoughts on the COVID-19 vaccine by completing a survey. All responses are anonymous and will be compared to a December 2020 survey.
The feedback will help the PWHD and its partners better understand:
  • The community's vaccine acceptance.
  • Where they find their information.
  • What barriers exist to being vaccinated.
Halt in Evictions Extended
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky has signed an extension to the eviction moratorium further preventing the eviction of tenants who are unable to make rental payments. The moratorium that was scheduled to expire on June 30 is now extended through July 31 and is intended to be the final extension of the moratorium.
BOCS
July Meeting Schedule

TuesdayJuly 13
2:00 pm and 7:30 pm

Tuesday, July 20
2:00 pm and 7:30 pm

Details will be provided in future Wheeler Reports.
County News
Transportation Update
Work is underway to create an auxiliary lane on southbound I-95 from Route 123 (Gordon Boulevard) to the Prince William Parkway (Route 294). This project is part of the I-95 Corridor Improvement Plan (issue 59) and will convert about a mile and a half of the existing shoulder to a travel lane. The new lane will start at the end of the existing entrance ramp from Route 123 onto I-95 and go to the beginning of the exit ramp from I-95 to the Prince William Parkway.
Nighttime Lane Closures
Saturday, June 26, through Wednesday, June 30, southbound I-95 between Route 123 and the Prince William Parkway lanes will be closed:
  • 10:00 pm Saturday, June 26 to 7:00 am Sunday, June 27: Left lane and center lane closed
  • 10:00 pm Sunday, June 27 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, June 28: Right lane and center lane closed (the Route 123 and Prince William Parkway ramps will remain open)
  • 9:30 p.m. Monday, June 28 to 6 a.m. Tuesday, June 29: Right lane closed
  • 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 29 to 6:00 a.m. Wednesday, June 30: Right lane closed
Flood Map Public Review and Comment Time
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has initiated the required 90-day appeal period for the proposed updates to PWC's Flood Insurance Rate Maps (issue 63). During this time, residents can appeal the map changes if they perceive the maps are technically or scientifically incorrect. Appeals must include technical information, such as hydraulic or hydrologic data, to support the claim. Additionally, incorrect information, such as a missing or misspelled road name, can be submittedEmail appeals and comments to floodmapchange@pwcgov.org by August 11.  
Concern for our Birds
In May, wildlife managers in Washington D.C., Virginia, Maryland, and West Virginia began receiving reports of sick and dying birds. The mostly juvenile birds have eye swelling and crusty discharge, as well as neurological symptoms. No definitive cause is identified at this time. The Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources, along with the other impacted agencies, are coordinating testing to hopefully learn more. If you encounter sick or dead birds in Virginia, please submit an event report.
Until then, because birds congregate at feeders and baths, the disease could be transmitted readily. Therefore, the agencies are recommending that the public in the outbreak area, which includes PWC, do the following:

  • Cease feeding birds until this wildlife mortality event has concluded.
  • Clean feeders and bird baths with a 10% bleach solution.
  • Avoid handling birds, but wear disposable gloves if handling is necessary.
  • Keep pets away from sick or dead birds as a standard precaution.
Recruiting Information Session
The PWC Police Department is hosting a recruiting information session to learn more about becoming an officer on Saturday, July 3, 2021, from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon at the Charlie T. Deane Station, 5036 Davis Ford Road in Woodbridge. Speak one-on-one with recruiters about the qualifications, hiring process, benefits, incentives and more. Families are welcome. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, all attendees must wear masks and observe social distancing. More information on joining the force can be found here.
Enjoying Independence Day
Planning Your July 4 Weekend
It's not too early to begin planning the upcoming Fourth of July weekend and Visit PWC is a great place to start. Here are a few of its highlights.

The popular event returns for its 50th year! Held on Saturday, July 3, the patriotic march will launch from Kirkland Drive and end at Center Plaza along Dale Boulevard. The lineup starts at 9:00 am and steps off at 10:00 am.

Signal Hill Park in Manassas will have a variety of food trucks and a fireworks show at 9:15 pm to celebrate Independence Day. Free shuttles from VRE beginning at 5:30 pm (NOTE: the VRE will not be running July 4).

Starting at 1:00 pm, July 4, Sinistral Brewing Co. in Manassas will have live music, food from Puccio's Pizza, and fireworks to end the day.

Starting at 3:00 pm there will be fun, including food concessions and novelty vendors, in the streets and parking lots surrounding the Manassas Visitor’s Center and the Harris Pavilion in downtown Manassas. The day is capped off with one of the largest fireworks displays in Northern Virginia!

Beginning at 8:30 am at Freedom Aquatic and Fitness Center in Manassas, this family-friendly event is a fun and festive celebration of Independence Day! A portion of the proceeds will go to Hero's Bridge, an organization dedicated to serving elderly veterans, age 65 and older, through six distinct programs which offer practical and essential services.

Grab the family and your best red, white, and blue gear and join a special Stroller Strides class at 9:00 am in River Mill Park in Occoquan. Register to participate here.

Whether you're new to hiking or an avid trailblazer, PWC has a wide variety of hikes to enjoy. Hike through hallowed grounds, challenge your stamina, or enjoy a family-friendly excursion.
Don't want wait for next week to see fireworks? Tim's Rivershore Restaurant and Crabhouse in Dumfries is hosting its annual “Not on the 4th” Fireworks Show Saturday, June 26. The professionally managed fireworks show is launched from a barge in the Potomac River. Learn more about this very popular event, including shuttle bus information, here.
County Kudos
Honoring a Legacy of Service
The community of Old Bridge Elementary School honored former principal Anita Flemons by dedicating a wing of the school in her name. Ms. Flemons served as principal of Old Bridge Elementary for more than 16 years. Old Bridge Elementary School has received the Prince William County School of Excellence Awards for 19 consecutive years, the longest record for this award for any school in the district. The Anita G. Flemons Wing stands as a testament to Ms. Flemons' legacy of outstanding leadership and commitment to Old Bridge Elementary. See the ribbon-cutting ceremony and Ms. Flemons' impact in the video below.
Agency Receives National Reognition
The PW Area Agency on Aging has received an Aging Achievement Award from the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging for its
Adult Day Health Care (ADHC) program for individuals with cognitive impairments and dementia. The program was recognized for its sensitivity in recognizing a potentially underserved group and its creativity in meeting the group’s needs prior to and during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Beginning in 2014, the ADHC hosted outings once each month, which provided participants the opportunity to engage in both familiar and new leisure excursions, learn life skills, and be contributing members of the community. When the pandemic hit in March 2020, the Agency on Aging introduced self-directed programming that caregivers could perform in their homes with their loved ones. In addition to the in-home programming, the ADHC provided drive-through activities that participants and their caregivers could participate in without leaving their cars.
The Prince William Area Agency on Aging provides Adult Day Healthcare for qualifying residents of the tri-jurisdictional area of Prince William County, the City of Manassas and the City of Manassas Park. The program includes group-based activities, personal care, and health monitoring for adults aged 18 and older who cannot, or should not, remain at home alone during the day. Licensed through the Virginia Department of Social Services and contracted through Medicaid, the program also provides essential respite for caregiving families.
Virginia News
Focusing on Economic Recovery
Governor Ralph Northam announced this week an allocation of more than $11.1 million in Growth and Opportunity for Virginia (GO Virginia) grants to help advance economic recovery efforts across the Commonwealth. This funding will support 20 projects focused on expanding workforce development and talent pipelines in key industries, growing startup businesses and entrepreneurial ecosystems, and increasing Virginia's business-ready sites portfolio.
Included in this round of GO Virginia funding is one statewide project, 16 regional projects, and three projects through GO Virginia’s Economic Resilience and Recovery Program. The awarded projects will leverage an additional $7.1 million in local and other non-state resources.
Important Acknowledgement
PTSD Awareness
There are currently about 8 million people in the United States with PTSD. June is PTSD Awareness Month. Help spread the word that effective PTSD treatments are available. Everyone with PTSD, whether they are veterans or civilian survivors of sexual assault, serious accidents, natural disasters, or other traumatic events, needs to know that treatments can lead to a better quality of life. During PTSD Awareness Month and throughout the entire year, help raise awareness about the many different PTSD treatment options.
Ways to Get Help
  • ACTS Helpline is a free crisis listening service for all residents of the greater PWC area. The helpline’s highly-trained Crisis Listeners are available 24 hours a day. Connect by calling 703-368-4141.
  • If you're a veteran in crisis, or concerned about one, connect with the Veterans Crisis Line for qualified responders and confidential help. Many responders are veterans themselves. The service is private, free, and available 24 hours a day. You can connect by calling 800-273-8255 and selecting option 1, starting a confidential chat online, or texting 838255.
Ann B. Wheeler was elected Chair At-Large of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors during the 2019 General Election and assumed office on January 1, 2020. Prince William County is located 25 miles south of Washington, D.C., and is the Commonwealth of Virginia’s second-most populous county with approximately 470,000 residents.