To the Fairfax County Community,
Today, the Governor announced more details on his Forward Virginia Blueprint to re-open the Commonwealth. The details can be read below. Though it is exciting to see a plan ahead, it is
not a declaration that things will go back to "normal". It is an easing of restrictions and a plan to slowly re-introduce certain activities into our lives when needed. "Life" will not be as it was pre-coronavirus for many more months.
Just because there are parts of the economy re-opening, does not mean you should or have to go out
It will still be safer to stay home.
As I noted last week, Fairfax County saw a spike in
. We are in the exponential growth period of our epidemic curve and will see more cases and deaths in the coming weeks. I encourage you to not change what you are doing. We can't see our friends and go to concerts yet, that's the reality.
I know this ask isn't getting easier. We are all ready for this to be over. My family and I are not immune to the stress that comes with balancing working from home while helping our kids with distance learning. Honestly, it's all difficult, but we have to do it.
See below for the full May 4 edition.
For the resources mentioned in past newsletters, visit my
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Update from the Governor's Office
- Governor Northam has extended Executive Order 53, which places restrictions on businesses and gatherings of more than 10 people, through at least May 14. He expects to begin easing restrictions soon in what he's calling Phase I.
- Phase I:
- It is still safer-at-home.
- We should continue to social distance, telework, and wear face coverings in public. Gatherings of more than 10 people will still be banned.
- All businesses will be required to ensure physical distancing, enhanced cleaning protocols, and enhanced workplace safety.
- Easing of limits on businesses and faith communities.
- Phase II:
- Vulnerable populations will be encouraged to continue to stay home.
- Social gatherings of more than 50 will be prohibited.
- Continued social distancing, teleworking, recommendation of face coverings.
- Further easing of business limitations.
- Phase III:
- This phase will only begin if there is no evidence of a rebound in COVID-19 cases for a sustained period.
- It will still be safer for vulnerable populations to stay home.
- The ban on social gatherings will be removed.
- The limits on businesses will be lifted.
- Continue to use heightened cleaning protocols.
- To see the Governor's Forward Virginia presentation, go here.
- To see the Governor's case data briefing, go here.
May and June Elections
- There are two elections coming up and Fairfax County is encouraging voters to vote by mail and select reason 2A on your absentee ballot application. You can do so here.
- You can vote absentee in-person at the Fairfax County Government Center. The Office of Elections is offering curbside absentee voting. Call 703-222-0776 upon arrival.
- Weekdays: Offices are open M-F, 8am-4:30pm.
- Saturday June 13 and June 20, from 9am-5pm.
- May 19 Election
- This election is only taking place in the towns of Vienna and Clifton.
- The deadline to request an absentee ballot is May 12.
- June 23 Democratic and Republican Primaries
- The races on the ballot will be the statewide Republican Primary for Senate and the Democratic Primary for the 11th Congressional District.
- You have until May 26 to register to vote or update your voter registration ahead of the election.
- The deadline to request an absentee ballot is June 16.
Virtual Activities and Education
- The Workhouse Arts Center has opened many of their galleries online. This Saturday, May 9, they have their Second Saturday Artwalk scheduled. Plan for visual arts performances, music and performing arts classes, as well as yoga and Pilates classes.
- The Fairfax County Public Library offers access to eBooks, eAudiobooks, eMagainzes, online classes, and more.
- Neighborhood and Community Services has a number of resources for older adults looking to stay engaged and active.
- The Virginia Chamber Orchestra offers educational videos with accompanying study guides for students. They have recently added a video to their series "Music of the Presidents".
How you can help
- Catholic Charities' St. Lucy Project has launched Friday drive-thru food drives at parishes across the region. Go here to see if there are any locations near you.
- Langley Residential Support Services, empowers adults with developmental disabilities to be more self-sufficient. Led by Executive Director Betsy Schatz since 1989, LRSS supports 55 individuals in various capacities. They need help to continue to support their clients. Learn more and support their work here.
- Computer Core helps under-resourced adults in northern Virginia acquire the technological skills needed to pursue their career aspirations. Help them provide the distance learning resources here.
- More ways to support the community can be found on my website under "how you can help".
Common Health Questions:
- People with COVID-19 have a wide range of symptoms reported - ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure. You might experience:
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Chills, repeated shaking with chills
- Muscle pain
- Sore throat
- New loss of taste and smell
- Continue to follow the health guidelines:
- Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer if that isn't an option (especially when in public places)
- Cough and sneeze into your sleeve
- Don't touch your face
- Social distance
- What it means to social distance, self-isolate, and quarantine.
- The CDC recommends wearing non-medical masks to slow the spread of COVID-19. Read here for information and to learn how to best wear a mask and how to make your own.
- The New York Times (access to COVID-19 content is free) spoke with infectious disease experts, aerosol scientists, and microbiologists to find out if COVID-19 can land on your clothing, hair, shows, and mail.
As we have more information to share, my office and Fairfax County Government will continue to update residents.
Thank you for your support and patience as we work to manage this challenging, complex, and rapidly evolving situation.
Jeffrey C. McKay