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Issue 84
Friday, September 24, 2021
Prince William County
Dear Neighbors,

While our collective health focus for the last year and a half has been on the pandemic, at this moment it is important to know, there is a critical blood shortage in our area. According to the American Red Cross, every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood. Unfortunately, during the pandemic, donations have fallen. Please consider donating if you are healthy and able. People are always looking for a tangible way to help and this is it.

For those who have had the COVID-19 vaccine, the American Red Cross states it is following FDA blood donation eligibility guidance and, in most cases, there is no donation deferral time for individuals who have received the vaccine, as long as they are symptom-free and feeling well at the time of donation. You’ll need to provide the manufacturer name of your vaccine when you come to donate and are encouraged to bring your COVID-19 vaccination card with you.

You can find a blood drive and schedule your donation through the Red Cross Give Blood website or by calling 800-733-2767 (800-RED-CROSS). Even easier, download the Blood Donor app to find local blood drives and donation centers quickly, as well as, schedule and manage your appointment. You can save time by completing RapidPass® prior to your donation. The simple 4-step process takes about 10 to 15 minutes, and can be done online or in the app. You can also search for donation locations on the American Association of Blood Banks.

In Service,
Chair Ann Wheeler
Chair's Calendar
Sidewalk Project Celebrated
Monday, September 20, Chair Wheeler participated in a ribbon-cutting for the Opitz Boulevard Sidewalk Project. The $1.35 million project cleared the way for pedestrians and bicyclists to easily make their way along Opitz Boulevard between Potomac Community Library and Potomac Center Boulevard at Stonebridge. Learn more in the video below.
"Connectivity in Prince William County is really important and this is just one of the areas that represents connectivity. I’m grateful to be in Prince William County to be able to help showcase this, because it really is a wonderful place to live, work and play. I know it’s only 1,300 feet, but 1,300 feet in connection really makes a difference.” 
Ann Wheeler
Chair At-Large Board of County Supervisors
Wednesday, September 22, Chair Wheeler attended the PWC Chamber of Commerce's Virginia Economic Update event. Barry DuVal, President & CEO of the Virginia Chamber of Commerce, and Jason el Koubi, Executive Vice-President of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership were speakers. The event was moderated by PWC Department of Economic Development's Executive Director, Christina Winn.
In the last week, there have been several announcements regarding booster shots of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine (see timeline below). The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) is working with pharmacies, healthcare providers, and other partners to plan for providing booster doses of COVID-19 vaccines to Virginians, pending guidance from the Federal government. 

PWC has entered into contracts to revive leases at its former mass vaccination sites (issue 83) located in Woodbridge and Manassas. The decision was made to ensure the County is prepared to serve PWC residents.

Chair Wheeler will share on her Facebook page and Twitter account when the VDH has released information on administering booster shots to Virginians. You can also check the VDH Current COVID-19 Topics webpage for updates. You can learn about the difference between third doses and booster shots in issue 82.
Pfizer Booster Shot Approval Timeline

Friday, September 17, the FDA Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee voted in favor of recommending booster doses of the Pfizer vaccine, at least 6 months after their second dose, for individuals:
  • 65 years of age and older.
  • 18 through 64 years of age at high risk of severe COVID-19.
  • 18 through 64 years of age whose frequent institutional or occupational exposure puts them at high risk of serious complications of COVID-19, including severe COVID-19.

Wednesday, September 22, the FDA amended the emergency use authorization for the Pfizer vaccine to allow for use of a single booster dose, to be administered at least six months after completion of the primary series in all three of the recommended situations above.

Thursday, September 23, the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), voted in favor of boosters for the first two bullets above but voted against recommending booster for the the third bullet.

Friday, September 24, the CDC issued a statement that CDC Director Rochelle P. Walensky, M.D., M.P.H., endorsed the ACIP's recommendation for a booster shot for the first two bullets above and also recommended a booster dose for those in the third bullet.
PWC Snapshot
According to data from the Virginia Department of Health dashboards, as of 5:00 pm September 22, PWC had the following statistics.

Vaccines Administered (not including federal doses)
  • 547,295 vaccine doses have been administered
  • 62.9% of the population have had at least one dose
  • 56.3% of the population is fully vaccinated

Cases of COVID-19
  • 51,773 total cases, 11% of the population
  • 1,904 hospitalized
  • 534 deaths

Testing (PCR only)
  • 479,753 testing encounters only
  • 6.8% current 7-day positivity rate

The 7-day average number of new cases reported is 122. The graph below represents the daily case counts for the past 90 days in PWC.
Why You Should Get Vaccinated

In Virginia, between January 17 and September 11 of this year, unvaccinated people developed COVID-19 at a rate of 8 times that of fully vaccinated people.

As of September 11, only .5% of the almost 5 million Virginians fully vaccinated have developed COVID-19
Get the Shot
  • Visit PWHD's websiteFacebook page, or Twitter account for mobile clinic locations, dates, and times.
  • Visit to find COVID-19 vaccination by location.
  • Make a vaccine appointment by calling Virginia’s Call Center at 877-829-4682 Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm.
  • Visit to schedule your vaccination appointment with the Prince William Health District.
  • Text your zip code to 438829 (GETVAX).
If You Need to Be Tested
If you think you may have COVID-19, ways you can be tested include:

The Uninsured and Underinsured can receive free testing at
The next meeting will be
Tuesday, October 5, at
2:00 pm and 7:30 pm

Links to the Agenda and SpeakUp! Prince William will be in the next issue of The Wheeler Report.
September 21 BOCS Proclamations
PWC School Teacher Melissa Alexander and her daughter, childhood cancer survivor and PWC student, Julia Alexander
 Proclaimed September as National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month to honor the lives of children taken too soon, as well as the ever-growing number of youth cancer survivors. Childhood cancer is the leading cause of death by disease for American children between infancy and 15 years of age. While a growing number of childhood cancer patients are experiencing longer life expectancies, many face significant long-term physical, emotional, and cognitive effects due to their cancer and treatment.
Holly Morello
Program Manager
Proclaimed September 22 as Car Free Day encouraging residents to telework and try alternative forms of transportation such as bicycling, walking, transit, and “car-lite” methods such as carpools and vanpools. Car Free Day supports PWC’s Strategic Plan Mobility goal of an accessible, comprehensive, multi-modal network of transportation infrastructure. It also improves air quality, mobility, energy conservation, and reduced parking demands.
Sergeant Nathan Thomas and Officer Truman Paul
of the PWC Police Department
Proclaimed October as Crime Prevention Month and called upon all PWC citizens to join the PWC Police Department in supporting the “38th Annual National Crime Prevention Month.” Police-community partnerships and neighborhood safety, awareness, and cooperation are important themes of the program. During October, the Police Department will join forces with other state and local law enforcement agencies and citizen communities to promote crime fighting efforts.
Crime Prevention Month Weekly Themes:

September 27: Crime Prevention Month Kick-off!
October 3: Home Safety Week
October 10: Anti-Counterfeiting Week
October 18: Public Health and Safety Week
October 25: Community and Law Enforcement Relations Week
Chief Timothy L. Keen, Chris Brothers, and Kim Highlander
PWC Fire and Rescue
Proclaimed October 3 as Fire Prevention Week, committing to ensuring the safety and security of those living in and visiting our county, while recognizing the value of fire prevention education for all. The 2021 theme, “Learn the Sounds of Fire Safety” is to remind us it is important to learn the different sounds of smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. Residents need to make sure their smoke and carbon monoxide alarms meet the needs of all their family members, including those with sensory or physical disabilities and everyone knows how to respond.
County News
Earlier this year, the PWC Government partnered with Streetsense Consulting, LLC and asked residents, business leaders and community stakeholders to share their feedback and ideas on how the County can best adapt, differentiate, and expand economic growth (issue 59). Residents were also asked their thoughts on the County’s brand identity to get feedback that will help craft important messaging blueprints for County government staff and leadership.

Throughout the research, the following common themes emerged:
  • Residents bragged about affordable family-friendly neighborhoods and good schools.
  • Business leaders talked about infrastructure and access to a highly qualified workforce.
  • Visitors and tourists appreciate the County's deep connection to history.
  • Others mentioned the County's rich culture and diversity, beautiful parks, open spaces, outdoor activities, and entertainment and dining options.
Click on the hyperlinks below for a full summary of each District's session, as well as data from the online survey (Gainesville was not available at the time of issue publication):
Next Steps

Streetsense is currently conducting panel research from representative external audiences, including potential visitors and economic development influencers and decision makers. Once this phase is complete, they will provide recommendations on tone/personality, authenticity, reasons to believe, value propositions, and key messages that carry the essence of what makes PWC unique. Opportunity for community feedback will be provided and will be shared in future issues.
Honoring Those Who Gave the Ultimate Sacrifice
On Wednesday, October 6, at 7:00 pm, PWC will hold a memorial, tribute service, and candlelight vigil for fallen law enforcement officers. The event is open to the public and sponsored by the Prince William County Citizen Police Academy Alumni Association. It will be held in the Dr. A.J. Ferlazzo Government Building, located at 15941 Donald Curtis Drive in Woodbridge. An annual event, it will honor the lives and service of the 18 men and women who lived, or served, in Greater PWC and died in the line of duty since 1922
What is the Community Police Academy?

The Community Police Academy gives residents an overview of the PWC Police Department. Graduates of the course will have a better understanding of the operation of the Department, and a greater awareness and appreciation of the challenges and decisions faced by police officers each day. The eight-week program meets one night a week and consists of classroom and hands-on instruction. Learn more and how to apply here.
Rabies Warning
Prince William Health District (PWHD) has advised a fox found near the intersection of Bethel Church Drive and Smoketown Road, in the 22192 zip code area of Woodbridge, tested positive for Rabies. If you have come in contact with wildlife acting strangely in or around this area, call the health district at 703-792-5363, or the Prince William Animal Control Division at 703-792-6500.
An Important Reminder

The PWHD is reminding the public to avoid contact with bats, feral cats, stray dogs and wild animals, particularly in the area where the sick fox was found. If you are bitten by a wild or stray animal, wash the wound(s) thoroughly with warm soapy water and contact animal control, your doctor, or the PWHD for further recommendations.
Tips for Closing Your Pool
The PWC Department of Public Works encourages residents draining their pools to:
  • Let your pool sit untreated for at least 10 days to allow any chlorine in the water to evaporate.
  • Drain your pool at a slow rate in a grassy area and not all at once.
  • Emptying pools into stormwater drains is strongly discouraged.
Upcoming Change Reminder
Beginning Friday, October 1, PWC's new curbside collection program (issue 82) requires yard waste is:
  • Collected separately from trash and recycling.
  • Placed in biodegradable paper bags or containers labeled “Yard Waste.” Labels are available at the PWC Landfill and Balls Ford Road Compost Facility. Self-made labels are also acceptable
  • Not be placed plastic bags.
County Happenings
Experience Vintage Baseball
Saturday, October 2, from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm, visit Ben Lomond Historic Site, located at 10321 Sudley Manor Drive in Manassas, to learn about the origins of America’s pastime, baseball. Visitors can participate in 19th century baseball games at 11:00 am and 2:00 pm, build their own 19th century baseball, visit with local baseball mascots, and enjoy lunch from a local food truck. A joint event by PWC's Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism and Historic Preservation Division, tickets are $5 per person and advanced registration is recommended.
The Jubilee Returns
Saturday, October 2, from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, the Fall Jubilee will once again be held in Historic Downtown Manassas. The annual event, returning after a hiatus in 2020, will include an assortment of fun for both kids and adults with over 100 craft and community booths, live music and entertainment, and more! The Fall Jubilee is free to the public. Learn more, including the schedule of events, here.
More Fall Activities
Whether its ghost tours, leaf peeping, browsing farmers markets, shopping for a new sweater, or enjoying small town celebrations, there is no shortage of things to do this Fall in PWC. VisitPWC has made it easy by rounding-up 10 Fall activities to get you started! If you don't find something of interest on the list, simply use the search tool to find plenty of other options.
Reminders for this Weekend
Saturday, September 25, from 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm, the PWC Police Department Inaugural Community Fair (issue 80).
Saturday and Sunday, September 25 and 26, from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, PWC's Tank Farm's Americans in Wartime Experience (issue 82).
Saturday and Sunday, September 25 and 26 from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, Occoquan's Fall Arts and Crafts Show (issue 83).
County Kudos
Congratulations to Mary Flores on her well-deserved retirement following a distinguished forty-nine-year career with PWC Government. Ms. Flores began her career in May of 1972 in the Department of Finance and was promoted and transferred to the Office of Human Resources in November of 1999. At the meeting on Tuesday, September 21, the BOCS recognized, expressed its appreciation, and commended Ms. Flores for demonstrating the highest level of character, professionalism, and lifelong selfless dedication to public service. They wished her many years of happiness as she begins this exciting new chapter in life. Born and raised in PWC, Ms. Flores continues to be a proud and steadfast resident.
Congratulations to Daania Sharifi, Gainesville High School, Charlotte Flynn, Woodbridge High School, and alternate Mekelet Suraphel, C.D. Hylton High School, the 2021-2022 PWCS Student School Board Representatives! Following a robust application and selection process, the non-voting members will serve for one term.

Their role is to:
  • Solicit the opinions and views of other PWCS high school students concerning issues before the School Board.
  • Act as a conduit between the student body and the School Board through the Student Representative Senate (see below).
  • Attend open sessions of regular School Board meetings

The Student Representative Senate, established in 2019, is made up of students from each high school who applied for the representative position.

Hear from the new Student School Board Representatives below.
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 482,000 residents.