April 8, 2020

To My Hunter Mill District Neighbors:

One of the silver linings during this pandemic is the beautiful spring weather we have had this month. During these very challenging days, I am trying to find time to spend outside with my family and exercising, including a long bike ride I recently took with my wife Kristina. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), regular exercise is one of the best ways to cope with stress during the pandemic. The CDC also recommends these other ways to cope:

  • Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting.
  • Take care of your body.
  • Take deep breaths, stretch or meditate.
  • Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals.
  • Exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep.
  • Avoid alcohol and drugs.
  • Make time to unwind. Try to do some other activities you enjoy.
  • Connect with others. Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.

For more information on stress and coping, I encourage you to go to the CDC web page . In addition, the Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board has many resources for residents.

Virtual Budget Town Hall is Tonight!
A reminder that I am hosting a virtual budget town hall tonight, Wednesday, April 8 at 7 to 9 p.m. You can view the event live via Crowdcast at the link below. You'll be able to ask questions live over video (you need headphones/earbuds), or submit written questions during the discussion. The link to the revised proposed FY 2021 Budget and key takeaways is below.

Register Now:

Not Able to Attend?
If you are not able to attend you can still submit your questions by email to huntermill@fairfaxcounty.gov and you can watch the recording, which will be posted on the Hunter Mill District web page on Thursday, April 9.

More Opportunities for Providing Input
We had been working under a much tighter budget deadline and coordinating with county staff, which meant scheduling the town hall for tonight. We found out last night that the budget timeline has changed and public hearings are being moved to April 28-30, which does give us more time to get input on the budget. I am looking into another opportunity to hold a virtual town hall meeting and I will promote those details when available. You may also consider participating in the budget public hearings. You can find those details here: https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/clerkservices/ways-provide-public-hearing-testimony


Respectfully,
Walter

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Today's Updates (April 8)
Current Number of Cases in the Fairfax Health District
Daily reported numbers as reported by the Virginia Department of Health are here .

Gov. Ralph Northam Requests the General Assembly Move the May General Election (includes Town of Vienna) Scheduled for May 5 to the Nov. 3 General Election
Read news release .

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 .


6 Key Takeaways from
Revised FY 2021 Proposed Budget
  1. This budget is essentially a continuation of tax rates and spending levels from the current fiscal year, and because it does not take into account inflation or growth in school population or demand for services, the effect is similar to an across-the-board reduction
  2. The updated budget proposal focuses on only those items that are critical to maintaining the health and safety of our residents and the continued function of essential services. 
  3. All proposed tax rate and fee increases have been eliminated, which maintains the current Real Estate Tax rate of $1.15 per $100 of assessed value and eliminates the proposed three-cent increase – including the two cents that was proposed to balance the General Fund and the one cent for affordable housing.
  4. The revised proposal also removes the recommended 4 percent Admissions Tax.
  5. Spending adjustments include the elimination of compensation increases for county employees. 
  6. The increase in the transfer to the Schools Operating Fund is reduced from $85.52 million to $7.31 million and represents an increase of 0.34 percent over the current FY 2020 budget. Including support for Schools Debt Service, which remains unchanged from the $0.20 million increase included previously, total Schools support totals $7.51 million and Schools represent 52.7 percent of total General Fund disbursements.

Resources and Updates

Small Business
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 business@virginia.gov If you have a specialized question you can contact the Fairfax County Department of Economic Initiatives at DEI@fairfaxcounty.gov . 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 .

Census
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 .

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.

 Trash and Recycling Changes Effective Monday, March 30
Effective Monday, March 30, the county's Solid Waste Management Program is changing collection requirements for trash and recycling haulers and changing service levels at the county’s two disposal sites. These changes included 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 are making new 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 .


Health
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
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.

How to Help Your Neighbors in Need in Hunter Mill District
I encourage everyone who can to consider volunteering or donating to assist our local community organizations noted below or through your own faith community or civic organization. Here's how to help.

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
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 .


Transportation
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 .

Seven Fairfax Connector Routes Changing Today Due to McLean and Van Dorn Metro Station Closures
While Fairfax Connector continues to operate at full service, the bus system will alter its routes that serve the McLean and Van Dorn Metro stations starting today, March 26. Learn more. Learn more .  


Utilities
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 .  

Stay Informed