April 29, 2020

To My Hunter Mill District Neighbors:

As we move ahead in this new “normal” and keep our county government operating, I want you to know that your Hunter Mill District staff is diligently working to assist you. Despite working from seven different locations, we are meeting virtually by video every day on Microsoft Teams (you can see several of us in the photo). This has allowed us to collaborate and stay on top of issues that affect you even beyond the pandemic, including many transportation, land use, human services, and public safety issues, and more. I don't know yet when we'll be back together again in the North County Governmental Center, but I assure you that a lot of work is being done on your behalf!
Beyond the Hunter Mill District staff are the thousands of county employees who are teleworking and t housands more who continue to report to work sites while following safety guidelines, including police officers, nurses, scientists, firefighters, EMTs, 9-1-1 call takers, bus drivers, landfill employees, budget and IT staff – and many more . In many instances, they are finding new and creative ways to make sure we can continue to serve our residents. Take a look at some of these efforts to help keep Fairfax County strong .
Finally, with a nice weekend on the horizon, I encourage you again to support our restaurants in the Hunter Mill District with takeout and delivery. Our small businesses need our support to get through the pandemic. Two resources for locations, hours and other info: Reston restaurants from the Reston Citizens Association and Vienna restaurants from the Vienna Business Association. 


Today's Updates (April 29)
 Current Number of Cases in the Fairfax Health District
Daily reported numbers for the Fairfax Health District are  here through the county's new dashboard . In addition, you can get information on COVID-19 cases throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia here .  NOTE: Governor Northam announced today at his press conference that case information by zip code will be available in the next few days.

Fairfax County Now Offers COVID-19 Text Messages in Spanish 
To sign up, text FFXCOVIDESP to 888777. This is a free, anonymous service provided through Fairfax Alerts , the county’s text and email emergency alert system. Learn more .

It is well documented that COVID-19 is negatively impacting communities of color across the country. Fairfax County is no different. Enter the Health Department's Outreach Team. Learn more .
Southgate Center Food Distribution for Youth
Beginning today, Wednesday, April 29, Southgate Community Center will distribute “grab and go” supper meals for youth up to age 18. The hours are Monday through Friday, 3 to 4:30 p.m. In addition, youth can also pick up activity bags on Mondays, 3 to 4:30 p.m. Southgate Community Center is located at 12125 Pinecrest Road in Reston. For more information, please call 703-860-0676.
Public Hearings Continue Today and Tomorrow
The Board of Supervisors held our first round of virtual public hearings yesterday afternoon (April 28), with close to 30 people providing testimonies on a number of topics related to the proposed FY 2021 budget. These hearings continue today, April 29 and tomorrow, April 30 at 3 p.m. You can watch on the county's live stream or video on demand after the public hearing has concluded. Learn more about the budget .
Reston Farmers Market to Open May 9
An update on Farmers Markets from the County's Park Authority:

"Over the next two weeks, the Fairfax County Park Authority will reopen garden plots and open some seasonal Farmers Markets with conditions that allow for compliance with the Governor’s orders related to current social distancing and safety guidelines. All garden plots will reopen today, Wednesday, April 29. The gradual re-opening of Farmers Markets will begin May 9 in a phased approach for the markets and as resources allow. Garden plots and markets have been closed since mid-March. During the closure, Park Authority staff and volunteers worked to develop a plan that safely meets all social distancing recommendations aimed at limiting the spread of COVID-19.  

On May 9, the gradual opening of Fairfax County Farmers Markets will begin. Openings will be based on our ability to properly resource staff and volunteers and conduct markets in a manner that supports the guidelines of the Governors’ safety boundaries. These include social distancing, group size limits, minimizing touch and sanitation restrictions geared to protect the customer and market staff and volunteers.  
The schedule for market openings:
  • Reston Farmers Market, Lake Anne Shopping Center, Saturday, May 9, 8 a.m. to noon
  • Burke Farmers Market, Saturday, May 16, Burke VRE Parking Lot, 8 a.m. to noon
  • Mount Vernon/McCutcheon Farmers Market, Wednesday, May 13, 8 a.m. to noon. 
Following this initial opening of the three markets we will evaluate operations, staffing needs, volunteer resources, and our ability to procure personal protective equipment. We remain hopeful that initial success, subsequent review and the flexibility to make any needed changes will allow us to open all our markets in a timely fashion.  
A public announcement providing further details about Farmers Market openings will be shared on Friday, May 1. This announcement will contain operational details regarding pre-orders, plans for limited contact sales and distribution and other mechanisms by which we can help ensure safe operation of these markets. SNAP will not be offered initially in order to determine how it can be safely administered. Farmer’s Market information can be found online .
Beginning today, April 29, all 671 garden plots will be open from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. Access to the plots will be available via nearby and adjacent parking lots that will be staffed and will open only to accommodate gardeners. Other park amenities currently closed, remain closed. All garden plot rules apply except for active gardening deadlines. For example, gardeners must self-sanitize water hydrants after use and no tools may be shared. Enhanced guidelines are intended to protect both gardeners and our staff. Gardeners will be notified of the impending opening and the above guidelines via email and gardeners will be expected to comply with all COVID 19 health and social distancing requirements.  
We are thankful these phased openings will begin in earnest as they provide our community another source of healthy food and support small business and the agricultural community. These are the first of several system re-openings we anticipate in the coming weeks and months."  

Thank you Fairfax County Park Authority Board and staff!
Resources and Updates
Small Business
Apply for Small Business Microloan Program beginning April 28. Fairfax County is offering a $2.5 Million fund to support small business recovery. Along with the Federal CARES programs, the Small Business COVID-19 Recovery Fund and associated counseling will help our business community with needed relief.  Learn more

Updated Information for Businesses Impacted by the Coronavirus
This county web page provides the latest resources and information specifically for businesses and their employees. For questions that you may have on business restrictions, email [email protected] If you have a specialized question you can contact the Fairfax County Department of Economic Initiatives at [email protected] . Learn more .

Support Local Restaurants with Takeout or Delivery
Visit Fairfax is now providing a restaurant Take Out Trail Guide; check it out and help support local businesses:  Learn more .

Have you filled out your 2020 Census yet? The U.S. Constitution requires that each decade we take a count of the nation's population. For each resident who does not respond to the census, Fairfax County could lose $12,000 in potential funding over the course of a decade. Please take a few minutes to fill out yours today! #FFXCounts

County Operations
Residents Discouraged from Taking Yard Waste to Fairfax County Transfer Station or Landfill 
Fairfax County residents are strongly discouraged from taking their yard waste to the I-66 Transfer Station or I-95 Landfill Learn more .

 Trash and Recycling Changes Effective Monday, March 30
Effective Monday, March 30, the county's Solid Waste Management Program changed collection requirements for trash and recycling haulers and changing service levels at the county’s two disposal sites. These changes include the suspension of the collection of yard waste and glass recycling at purple containers countywide . Learn more .

Fairfax County Courts Further Postpone Dockets Due to the Coronavirus
The Fairfax County courts have made changes to their schedules and procedures in response to the coronavirus, including further postponing dockets.   Learn more .

To help limit the spread of the coronavirus, Fairfax County closed all  government buildings and facilities  to the public until further notice. However, the county government remains open for business online and by phone and mail and some specific services will continue to be provided in-person. Learn more .
Fairfax County Extends Tax Payment Deadlines for Personal Property and Real Estate Taxes
The  Board of Supervisors  approved a one month extension for filing vehicle and business personal property taxes and paying the first installment of real estate taxes. The board took action today at its  March 24 meeting  to assist taxpayers during the coronavirus outbreak. Learn more .

County Fire Stations Close to Public
In order to protect the health of firefighters and medics, Fairfax County Fire and Rescue is closing all fire stations to the public, effective Friday, March 27, at 5 p.m. These closures are in coordination with the decision to close county government buildings  to the public. Learn more .

Animal Shelter Service/Program Updates
The Animal Shelter has cancelled activities and implemented temporary changes for several programs and services. Learn more.
Park Authority Closes All Parks; Trails Remain Open
All county Park Authority parks and amenities are closed to the public until further notice. This change is in response to Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s order to close public access to recreational facilities. Park Authority closures include parking lots, athletic fields, sport courts, restrooms, nature centers, visitor centers, golf courses, historic sites, picnic areas, playgrounds, amusements, boat launches, skate parks, off-leash dog areas, outdoor fitness equipment and any areas for open recreation. Learn more .

What Apartment Residents and Building Owners Can Do to Limit the Spread of Coronavirus
P eople who live in apartments or condos should consider additional steps they can take to limit the spread of the COVID-19. Learn more .

Safety Tips for Employees and Employers
While many of us are able to work from home during the pandemic, some of us still must report to an office, store or job site to do our work. Employees and employers can take steps to stay healthy and limit the spread of the coronavirus .   Learn more .

CDC Recommends Wearing Simple Cloth Face Coverings in Public
Information on COVID-19 Case Reporting in the Fairfax Health District 

COVID-19 and Kids: The Problem with Playdates
If your kids go outside, it is important to maintain social distance of at least six feet from anyone from outside their own household. Learn more .

Video: What Should You Do if You Get Sick from the Coronavirus?
In this video, two nurses from our Health Department provide guidance on what you can do at home to take care of yourself if you get sick with COVID-19. Watch

New Health Department Call Center Hours
The Health Department’s Coronavirus Call Center has changed it hours.The Call Center, which can be reach at 703-267-3511 with coronavirus questions, is now open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays and 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends. Learn more .

Social Distancing, Self-Isolating and Quarantine: What Do These Terms Mean?
We’ve all been hearing terms like “social distancing,” “self-isolating” and “quarantine” — but what do these terms mean and how do we use them to protect ourselves and others? Learn more .

Explaining the Increase in Positive Cases; 4 Ways We Can Stop Coronavirus from Spreading Right Now
Our COVID-19 case numbers will continue to increase, but we do have some control over how fast that increase occurs and how high it goes. Experience from other disease pandemics and from other countries that have already experienced COVID-19 outbreaks show that several measures can make an enormous difference. Learn more

Three Inova Respiratory Illness Clinics Open 
Inova Urgent Care locations at Dulles South, North Arlington and Tysons are staffing Respiratory Illness Clinics to evaluate all patients with respiratory illness symptoms. The three clinics also collect COVID-19 vehicle-side samples that have been ordered by physicians. Learn more .

Health Care Options for the Uninsured 
The county has a list of resources for the nearly 8% of residents without health insurance, including a list of clinics that offer low-cost or free medical care and pharmacies during the coronavirus outbreak. Learn more .

Human Services
50+ Podcast on Coping with Social Isolation
Listen to this helpful podcast with Phyllis Miller Palombi, a Reston-based marriage and family therapist, who is the Hunter Mill district representative on the Fairfax Area Commission on Aging. Listen .

County Adds Four More Ways to Help You Get Assistance from a Distance
Four new options are being added to the menu of Assistance from a Distance opportunities provided by the county to help ease strain and stress on residents and staff. Learn more .

Spiritual Support by Phone Available for Older Adults
To provide support during these unique times, the Fairfax County Spiritual Support Team is now offering spiritual support by telephone for adults age 60 and over in our community. Learn more.

New Language Portal
The county has created a portal with vital COVID-19 related information in one place and includes translation content in our top seven non-English languages, Spanish, Vietnamese, Korean, Chinese, Arabic, Urdu and Farsi.  Learn more .

Geospatial Resources Platform
The Geospatial Resources Platform highlights applications with data relevant to the COVID-19 pandemic in Fairfax County. Some examples are:
  • Food resources with food pantries, FCPS grab-n-go locations, and other nonprofit sites.
  • Healthcare resources with hospital, urgent care, respiratory clinic, and pharmacy locations.
  • Grocery stores that support seniors shopping during special hours. 

This v ideo play list  provides access to nearly a dozen videos presented in American Sign Language, including "When to Get Medical Care" at left. Learn more .

Social Security Administration Updates on COVID-19
Get updates on Social Security payments and how to get assistance here .

Consider Alternate Means to Celebrate Religious Observances
With many major religious observances approaching and evidence of community spread of COVID-19, residents are encouraged to consider alternative means of celebrating religious observances Learn more.

Legal Advice for COVID-19 Issues 
Legal Services of Northern Virginia provides free legal advice to low-income, older adults and individuals with disabilities and is prepared to provide consultation on issues related to COVID-19 including unemployment claims, housing evictions and foreclosures and protective orders. Learn more .

4 Things to Know About Tenant-Landlord Rights
While many things remain uncertain, here are some things to remember about tenant-landlord rights that may provide guidance. Learn more .

Answers to Many Basic Needs Questions (Food, Utilities, Evictions) Can Be Found Online
Residents in need of assistance for the first time may not know where to start. Coordinated Services Planning provides resources including food/utility/rent. Learn more .

Making Home a Safer Place for Domestic Violence Survivors During the Pandemic
With the unemployment rising and bills mounting, these additional pressures during the already stressful coronavirus pandemic could lead to an increase in domestic violence. Learn more .

For those affected in our community, job seekers and employers have access to Virginia Career Works Centers a comprehensive system of employment and training services and resources delivered and coordinated through one-stop employment resource centers. Services are being offered online and by phone, so please reach out if you need assistance. Learn more .

Human Services: Assistance From a Distance
There are many online and phone/hotline services available for residents in need of human services support, including for domestic/sexual violence services, older adults and people with disabilities. Get help .

Interactive Map to Find Food Resources, Services
Some of our neighbors in Hunter Mill District may have food assistance needs. To make it easier for you to find food resources, the county has developed a searchable map that includes all food distribution sites, including Fairfax County Public Schools, community meal distribution sites, food pantries and other related services. Please share this information with your neighbors and organizations. Learn more .
Housing Resources
Many residents may have concerns about mortgage payments and assistance. Here are suggested resources:
·     Fannie Mae
·     Freddie Mac

Public Safety
For some people, home is not safe. For victims of domestic violence, child abuse and elder abuse, the isolation and stress of being trapped at home with their offenders puts them at increased risk of serious harm. Learn more .

Scam Slam Audio Series: Unfortunately, More Coronavirus Scams You Need to Know About T here are more scams we should be aware of including those related to shopping, mortgage relief and personal loans. Learn more

Fire Department Reminds Businesses To Maintain Clear Access To All Exits During the pandemic, businesses are rightfully taking a variety of safety measures to maintain physical distancing and reduce exposures. However, the county's Fire and Rescue Department is receiving messages of concern that exits are often being blocked, locked or otherwise restricted while the store is occupied. Learn more

Fire Chief Addresses Concerns 
In video at left, Fairfax County Fire Chief John S. Butler addresses the coronavirus situation and how the county’s fire and rescue personnel are addressing it — and what you can do to help.

Video: Police Chief Addresses Coronavirus (COVID-19) Concerns 
Watch video at left; learn more .

Keeping Public Safety Employees Safe During the Coronavirus 
Please help us keep our public safety employees safe! Note that there are changes in processes if you seek help from Police, Fire and Rescue, 9-1-1 call takers or Sheriff’s deputies. Learn more .

Beware of Door-to-Door Coronavirus Scams 
As the coronavirus public health emergency continues, scam artists are taking advantage the situation. This includes everything from selling products that supposedly will prevent, treat or cure the virus to asking for donations to aid people who are sick.  Learn more .

How to Report Non-Emergency Incidents
In order to responsibly maintain social distancing, the Fairfax County Police Department is asking residents to report eligible non-emergency incidents by using the online reporting system or calling the non-emergency number at 703-691-2131. Learn more .

Fairfax Connector Service Relocated as Construction at Herndon-Monroe Park and Ride Begins May 4 Learn more

Fairfax Connector Announces Service Reductions due to Impacts of COVID-19
Effective Saturday, April 11, temporary adjustments will be made to Fairfax Connector bus service due to reduced ridership from the impacts of COVID-19 and to protect the health and safety of passengers and operators. Learn more.

The community meetings for the Preferred Plan for Herndon-Reston Area Bus Service have been postponed and will be rescheduled at a later date. Residents can provide input via an online survey at https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/connector/reston-herndon-bus-service-review-survey-preferred . The survey will be open until further notice. Comments can also be mailed to Fairfax County Department of Transportation, 4050 Legato Road, Suite 400, Fairfax, VA 22033. You can also email feedback.

Metro to Close Additional 17 Stations and Selected Entrances
Amid low-ridership and the need to conserve critical cleaning supplies during COVID-19 response, Metro announced the  strategic closing of 17 additional stations , effective Thursday, March 26. Learn more .

List of Utilities Suspending Service Disconnections, Offering Other Billing Options
As COVID-19 impacts continue, area utility companies are taking actions to help offer relief during this time.  Learn more .  

Town of Vienna Updates
Get the latest information on town operations and more here .

Help Your Community, Take a Vacation and Learn Something New — All Without Leaving Your House 
There’s lots you can do and learn without ever leaving the house, as shown by this young man on the left! Try a science experiment, volunteer in your community or take a virtual vacation. Learn more .

Wellness Resources for You and Your Family 
To aid you, the people you care about and our community, the county has compiled a range of resources and information on a newly created Wellness Resources web page .
Stay Informed