Issue 46
Saturday, December 19, 2020
Prince William County
Dear Neighbors,

This will be my last Wheeler Report issue of 2020. Until next year you can still stay in the know through my social media accounts. You'll find news on my Twitter account, what's happening in the area on my Facebook page, county lifestyle information on my Instagram account, and relevant videos on my YouTube channel. As always, feel free to reach out to my office directly, via phone or email with any questions or concerns.

Once we have said our goodbyes to 2020, you can expect to see The Wheeler Report back in your inbox the first week of January 2021. Of course, should there be a reason, I will send out a Special Issue before then if needed.

I wish each and everyone of you a happy and healthy holiday season. May the New Year bring us all some peace. I truly value your support of The Wheeler Report and your desire to keep informed. So until our next issue, I ask that you please stay COVID-conscious and continue practicing all safety measures for yourself and others. There is a light at the end of the tunnel but for now we must still remain vigilant.

Stay well,

Chair Ann Wheeler
Vaccine News
On December 14 and 15, Virginia welcomed 72,150 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. By the end of December, Virginia health systems currently expects to receive an estimated 370,650 doses of vaccine from two manufacturers, Pfizer and Moderna, which is down from the previous estimate of 480,000. This week's initial allocation began the inoculation process for Virginia's nearly 500,000 health care personnel and long-term care facility residents.
The Virginia Department of Health's Unified Command oversees the Commonwealth's response to COVID-19. They have established a Vaccine Unit to coordinate COVID-19 vaccination efforts. Information about the COVID-19 vaccination program is changing frequently so please be encouraged to check their website often for updates.
The Prince William Health District is asking community members to take a few moments to share their thoughts on the COVID-19 vaccine. This will help the Prince William Health District and partners to understand the community's acceptance of the COVID-19 vaccine and where they find their information. Please take a few moments to let your voice be heard and take the survey.
Other Resources To Check Regularly
Updated on Mondays, the Northern Virginia Regional Commission interactive map shows testing rates per 10,000, percent positive cases, and long-term COVID-19 test sampling sites by zip code.
PWC's COVID-19 testing webpage provides current information on testing locations and times. Testing is no longer available once the test kits are depleted so please arrive before or as close as possible to the start time. The PWC Twitter Account provides daily updates on closures and capacity.
Help For Those Who Need It
Housing Assistance
The Emergency Housing Assistance Program will provide all eligible households who have experienced financial hardship due to COVID-19 with up to six months payments of emergency mortgage, rental, and utility housing assistance to prevent homelessness. Applications can be submitted through three methods in English or Spanish. The Housing & Community Development office can be reached at 703-792-7530.
Food Insecurity
The Community Feeding Taskforce continues to provide services to community members experiencing food insecurity. The Food Help Line number is 703-794-4668, operating with bi-lingual volunteers Monday through Thursday, 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. Food distribution sites can be found on PWC's interactive map.
Managing Anxiety And Stress
If you, or someone you care about, are feeling overwhelmed with emotions like sadness, depression, or anxiety; feel like you want to harm yourself or others; or are struggling with substance abuse please:
  • Call 911
  • Call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Disaster Distress Helpline 1-800-985-5990 for free, multilingual, and confidential support
  • Text TalkWithUs to 66746 to connect with a trained crisis counselor or “Hablanos” to 66746 for a Spanish counselor
Additional resources can be found at PWC's COVID-19 Resources webpage
County News
The Service Authority is offering assistance for unpaid bills from March 1 - December 30, 2020 if you or a person in your household has experienced a loss of income due to the COVID‐19 Pandemic. All applications must be received by the Service Authority by 5:00 p.m. on January 21, 2021. The Service Authority will apply relief funds to customer accounts by January 29, 2021. 
The BOCS recently accepted, budgeted, and appropriated a $1.3-million grant which will go to the county's Department of Social Service (DSS). The funding was provided by the federal COVID Homelessness Emergency Response Program (CHERP), which is aimed at assisting localities with rapid re-housing services and homeless shelter operations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
DSS will:
  • Retain $500,000 to staff 10 temporary positions needed to safely operate the 48-person emergency, temporary homelessness shelter at the Dr. A.J. Ferlazzo Building.
  • Distribute $363,470 to Action in Community Through Service (ACTS) and $368,470 to Northern Virginia Family Service (NVFS) for the rapid re-housing services they both provide.
  • Use the remaining $110,886 to augment a previous administrative CHERP grant. 
PWC School Food and Nutrition Services Director Adam Russo has earned the 2021 Foodservice Achievement Management Excellence (FAME) Silver Leadership Award. Each year, four food service leaders from across the country are selected to receive FAME awards from Basic American Foods. Under Adam's leadership, PWCS has won two Virginia School Boards Association Food for Thought Awards, been a Virginia Breakfast Challenge Division Gold Category Winner, and, in 2020, was the first school division to ever win Foodservice Director Magazine’s “Operation of the Year.”
The Silver Leadership Award recognized Russo for his outstanding leadership, dedication, fiscal achievement, and innovation in “menuing” and merchandising in a school nutrition program. Under his direction, PWCS School Food and Nutrition Services has:
  • Increased breakfasts by 6,000 students a day and 165,000 suppers a year
  • Maintained an entire workforce during the pandemic
  • Reimagined the Summer Food Service Program menu to provide bulk grocery items to families for multiple days at a time
  • Increased the benefit for families receiving meals, from 3,000 to 30,000 overnight
  • Served more than seven million meals this school year alone
The BOCS recently accepted, budgeted, and appropriated $25,000 in grant funding from U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The funding will be used by the Virginia Cooperative Extension—Prince William to support staff salary and benefits needed to keep their education programs going through March 31, 2021. The Cooperative Extension, a HUD-certified agency with HUD-certified volunteer and staff counselors, provides education and housing counseling services to the residents of Greater PWC.
People who might need financial, rental or housing counseling assistance, are in foreclosure, or might potentially enter foreclosure in the near future should contact the Cooperative Extension through email or call 703-792-6287. You can learn more about the Cooperative Extension and their free services on their website.
On Tuesday, December 15, the BOCS recognized and congratulated the PWC Commercial Development Committee volunteer members and staff with a commending resolution for their 20 years of dedicated service to the County. The committee was originally formed as a task force by the BOCS on March 16, 1999 to identify development services process improvements and recommendations for commercial projects. Over the last decade, it has initiated approximately 20 commercial development process improvement efforts.  
"It is with a depth of gratitude that we recognize the men and women who have volunteered in supporting the commercial development of Prince William County, which has virtually doubled in population since 1999."  
Ann Wheeler
Board of County Supervisors Chair At-large
This Saturday
If you are interested in supporting Winter Wonderhands, call or text them at 571-353-9075 or email them at You can also donate via Cashapp: $Winterwonderhand or Zelle: 571-398-1836.
The BOCS will next meet in 2021 on
Tuesday, January 12

More details will be shared in a future
Wheeler Report
State News
Governor Ralph Northam ceremonially signed legislation this week establishing the ‘Marcus Alert.’ The legislation creates a mental health awareness response and community understanding services (Marcus) alert system and creates teams of mental health service providers and peer recovery specialists to promote a behavioral health response to individuals in crisis, including those with substance abuse disorder and developmental disabilities. State Senator Jeremy McPike, who represents a portion of PWC, sponsored Senate Bill 5038 and was at the signing.
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.