Issue 41
Monday, November 16 2020
Prince William County
Dear Neighbors,

After a four week hiatus, the BOCS will be meeting Tuesday, November 17. Details and a link to the agenda can be found below. One item previously slated for the agenda, the Kline property rezoning, has been deferred at the request of the applicant. I would like to provide a bit of perspective on that project.

The proposed Kline Project went through many iterations with previous Boards. The most recent iteration, after five years of changes, was approved by the Planning Commission in the fall of 2019. The project was scheduled to be presented to the BOCS in December of 2019. At that time, the prior Board chose as they had with other items, to leave it hanging in the balance for the new Board to arrive at a determination.

With a change in leadership comes a fresh set of eyes. This project was designed and zoned for the Prince William of yester-year. We are a multifaceted community, with diverse perspectives, which must be reflected in our future housing options located near our pathways of entry into the county as well as our regional transit options like the VRE and OmniRide. I have faith that the Kline Project will evolve to reflect our vibrant community in the near future.

Before I conclude, I want to point out the lead article in this Wheeler Report is focused on COVID-19. Nationally, cases are rising at an alarming rate and Governor Ralph Northam announced new mitigation measures in Virginia. I know we have had a significant amount of news to digest recently, but we must remain COVID conscious. Especially as we move into colder weather and the holiday season. A life may depend on it.

In Service,
Chair Ann Wheeler
New COVID-19 Mitigation Measures In Virginia
At midnight Sunday, November 15 the following went into effect:
  • Reduction in public and private gatherings - All public and private in-person indoor and outdoor gatherings must be limited to 25 individuals. Previously the cap was 250 people.
  • Expansion of mask mandate - The requirement to wear face coverings in indoor public spaces is expanded to children age 5 and over. Previously this applied to children age 10 and older.
  • Strengthened enforcement - All essential retail businesses, including grocery stores and pharmacies, must adhere to statewide guidelines for physical distancing, wearing face coverings, and enhanced cleaning. Violations, enforceable through the Virginia Department of Health, are a Class One misdemeanor
  • On-site alcohol curfew - On-site sale, consumption, and possession of alcohol is prohibited after 10:00 p.m. in any restaurant, dining establishment, food court, brewery, microbrewery, distillery, winery, or tasting room.
Like much of the country, Virginia is seeing an increase in COVID-19 cases as illustrated by the yellow line in the first graph below. While the second graph shows an upward trend for PWC, we are not yet increasing as rapidly as Virginia is overall. However, people rarely only move about solely within the bubble of our county. We must comply with Virginia's new mitigation measures, maintain social distancing, and frequently wash our hands.
Virginia Positive Cases
PWC Positive Cases
Virginia Hospitalizations
Hospitalizations are a particularly important trend to monitor. Hospitals have finite capacity. This is one of the key reasons everyone must continue using all COVID-19 mitigation practices, like wearing face coverings. We want to avoid overwhelming our medical facilities and staff. Thankfully, PWC currently isn't seeing the increase in hospitalizations, that Virginia as a whole is experiencing, but we want to do all we can to stay this way.
The above graphs were accessed through the Virginia Department of Health locality dashboard. Select options above the graph to display Virginia or local data for cases, hospitalizations, or deaths.
For the very reasons outlined above, it has never been more important to get your flu vaccine. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends adults and children age 6 months and older be given a flu shot annually.
Monday, November 16 and Friday, November 20 from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm, Inova Cares Clinic for Families at 8051 Sudley Road in Manassas is offering FREE flu vaccines for uninsured people, while supplies last. Call 571-719-4180 to schedule an appointment.
The Prince William County Food Helpline has made the following changes:
  • The new days and times are Monday through Thursday, from 9 am to 4 pm. The phone number is still 703-794-4668 and has bilingual volunteers.
  • Home food deliveries are made within 48 hours of receiving a call. Immediate requests are referred to the Salvation Army, Hope House, or the Prince William County Community Foundation. 
The Community Feeding Taskforce, supported by the Prince William Disaster Relief Fund, is helping those in need during the holiday season by
preparing 10,000 Thanksgiving boxes for families.
Since April, the taskforce has provided over six million pounds of food (the equivalent of five million meals), made over 1,100 no-contact emergency food deliveries to families, and made over 800 no-contact food deliveries to shut-in senior citizens.
You can learn more about the taskforce in Issue 7 and Issue 9.
Virginia News
In his press conference on Tuesday, November 9, Governor Ralph Northam announced:
  • Contracts with three laboratories to participate in the new OneLab Network, the commonwealth’s coordinated COVID-19 lab testing system aimed at increasing capacity. The Network is expected to allow about 7,000 new tests per day by the end of the year.
  • We are in the process of distributing antigen (quick response) tests including 200,000 purchased through the Rockefeller testing compact. These will be distributed to nursing homes and long-term care facilities.
Governor Ralph Northam announced federal CARES Act allocations (click hyperlink for full press release) of:
  • $60 million to support municipal utility relief efforts in addition to a proposed budget amendment of $60 million for jurisdictional utilities
  • $25 million to fund services for Virginians with developmental disabilities receiving Medicaid’s developmental disability waiver services
  • $22 million to support Virginia’s private institutions of higher education
  • $7 million to Virginia food banks
Upcoming Meeting
The BOCS will meet 
TuesdayNovember 17 at
1:00 pm and 7:30 pm
NOTE: The 1:00 pm meeting will start with a closed session which may last for up to an hour

For Public Comment Time options visit 
SpeakUp! Prince William.
Advance sign-up is required by
5:00 pm on Monday, November 16.
County News
Good news! The Prince William Service Authority rescinded their 2021 and 2022 rate increases. Also, if you sign up for e-Bill paperless billing before January 31, 2021, and you will be eligible to win one of two Kindle Paperwhite e-readers courtesy of Invoice Cloud, the Service Authority’s online bill payment service provider. Not only is e-Bill a faster and more convenient, it’s friendlier to the environment.
Wednesday, November 18, from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm the Prince William Chamber of Commerce is collecting toy donations for their holiday toy drive. Visit their 'Chamber Cheer Week' webpage to see the five locations where you can drop off your donation, as well as learn about all their activities through November 20.
A construction project to build accessible parking modifications at the James J. McCoart Administration Building at 1 County Court Complex in Woodbridge is underway. The front and middle parking lot area is closed for parking until the project's scheduled conclusion in the third or fourth week of December. Temporary parking for individuals with a disabled parking permit is available in the outer lots. See an aerial photo of the impacted area here.
The PWC Development Services Building has launched a Drop-Off Program to provide customers 24/7 access to deliver eligible project submissions and permit applications for processing by a respective department or agency. The large, blue, metal weather-resistant mailbox is located at the front door of the Plaza entrance of the Development Services Building at 5 County Complex Court in Woodbridge. Please review the list of eligible drop-off submissions prior to utilizing the program.
When human trafficking survivors are recovered, they often have few personal belongings. This is why the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children established the "hope bag" project to give them a simple cinch sack or backpack filled with basic clothing, hygiene items, and snacks. PWC is asking for donations to support the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services' (DCJS) effort to collect "hope bags" this month. The bags will be distributed to law enforcement partners who are first responders to these situations.
See the list of requested donation items. Please contact Phyllis Jennings-Holt in the PWC Department of Social Services by Monday, November 30 for drop-off location information.
The Prince William Human Rights Commission is still accepting nominations for its annual Human Rights Awards (Issue 37) to honor individuals, schools, community groups, and businesses for outstanding accomplishments toward the advancement of human rights. The nomination form deadline is Monday, November 30 and nominees must reside in PWC.
Online nomination forms for the PWCS Principal of the Year and Teacher of the Year Awards are open! Nominations are due by 11:59 pm on Wednesday, December 16. Details and an outline of the nomination criteria for each can be found on the online forms. Once selected, they will be finalists in "The Washington Post’s" Principal of the Year and Teacher of the Year Award Programs next year.
A Grand Opening
Oh! Market is scheduled to open its new, international food market on Friday, November 20 (rescheduled from Saturday the 14th). Located at 7412 Stream Walk Lane in Manassas. The 47,000 square foot store stocks a variety of international grocery items from the Caribbean, Europe, Africa, Mexico, Central and South America, Southeast Asia, India, the Middle East and more. The store will also have a mini food court and a walk-in fish market.
“Our international supermarket model was designed to serve the diverse population of Northern Virginia, where we sell food for a variety of palates and ethnicities, and if we don’t have what you’re looking for, we know how to get it for you.”
Man Oh
Oh! Market International Food Founder and President
A Celebration
Diwali, or Deepavali, is the 'festival of lights' and many consider the start of the new year. It is celebrated by all communities in India and in some countries around the world. On Diwali houses are decorated in every corner with lights, lamps, diyas and candles to help people clear their shadows of doubt, cast away their inner negativity, and usher in everything positive. People will also decorate the floors of their homes with rangolis, intricate patterns made from colored powder, rice, or flowers. Traditional sweets and savory foods are a major part of the holiday as well.
In most of India, Diwali consists of a five-day celebration that peaks on the third day. In other places where Diwali occurs, often only the main day is celebrated and it will coincide with the new moon because it is the darkest day of the lunar month. This year, the third day was celebrated on Saturday, November 14.
Chair Wheeler had the privilege of speaking at the Diwali celebration at the Sikh Center of Virginia the evening of Saturday, November 14.
As is the customary practice, the Virginia State Board of Elections will meet Monday, November 16 at 1:00 pm to certify the results of the November 3 General Election. You can find unofficial result details for the Commonwealth and specific localities on their webpage.
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.