November 10, 2020
To the Fairfax County Community,

Tomorrow is Veteran's Day - a day to honor our military veterans who have served this country. Fairfax County is currently home to almost 80,000 veterans. This year, we are proud to be able to celebrate with the opening of the National Museum of the United States Army on Fort Belvoir.

This is the first and only museum to tell the entire history of the U.S. Army since its establishment in 1775. The Museum will engage visitors through first-person Soldier stories, interactive exhibitions, and over 766,000 works of art, artifacts, and documents. Because of COVID-19, the museum is requiring timed tickets and has a reduced total capacity.

See below for the full November 10 edition of my newsletter. For COVID-19 resources mentioned in past newsletters, visit my website. If you have a friend who would like to sign up for this newsletter, they can do so here.
  • Our cases are increasing, however we have not yet seen the surge in disease transmission that has occurred across the country.
  • Our community transmission level has increased from low to moderate.
  • Why has this increase occurred?
  • Our case investigators are seeing more exposures occurring in work places, at celebratory events and gatherings, and within households.
  • This trend is similar to those found in research by the CDC, which suggests that household contacts and indoor gatherings are common sources of COVID-19 transmission.
  • What can you do?
  • People are experiencing COVID fatigue, which is understandable, but this is when spread occurs.
  • We must continue to stay home when sick, social distance, wear masks, and hand wash frequently.
  • This is particularly important as the holidays near. Controlling COVID cases will be crucial to continuing to allow the economy and schools to open.
  • See Fairfax County's guidelines for a safe Thanksgiving.
Fairfax County Percent Positive COVID-19 Cases
Percent Positives Tests

  • For the past two weeks the percent positivity rate has been above 5%.
  • For the week of October 25, the percent positivity is 5.22%.
Fairfax County Hospitalizations

  • Hospitalizations for COVID-related illness remain low, however, a recent small increase has been observed.

  • Since early July, testing totals have remained above 10,000 tests per week among Fairfax Health District residents.
  • 15,912 tests have been reported that were collected during the week of October 25.

Contact Tracing

  • As of November 4, 382 of 404 contract COVID response staff have been hired. 
  • Additional cohorts will occur as necessary to fill vacancies and address response needs.

Hospital Beds and Intensive Care

  • Overall available hospital beds were at 18%. This is a 6% decrease from the October 19 report.
  • A fluctuating trend averaging near 20% in available adult critical care beds has been observed. 

Personal Protective Equipment

  • PPE for hospitals appears to continue to be adequate.
  • PPE for outpatient/private practice/long term care facilities continues to be a challenge. 
Fairfax County Economic Recovery Framework
  • Today, the Board had a meeting of the Economic Initiatives Committee.
  • We were presented with an update on a study we requested to support the development of an economic recovery strategy. This is in response to the economic impacts of COVID-19. You can read the presentation here.
  • Economic impacts by the numbers:
  • Fairfax County experienced a job loss of about 48,200 jobs. 30,500 jobs have been regained. However, the labor force has shrunk by 22,000 workers and unemployment is above 2019 levels.
  • In the graph above you can see that job losses have not been experienced evenly across industries. The majority of job losses were concentrated in just a few sectors including Accommodations and Food Services – which lost more than 12,000 jobs or 26% of its entire workforce – as well as Health Care, Retail Trade, and Administrative Services.
  • Residents in Fairfax County are still primarily working remote and spending 40% less time at their workplaces.
  • Residents are spending 22% less time visiting retail shops and restaurants, and consumer spending has decreased by 14%.
  • In the DC area, 38% of small businesses have either temporarily or permanently closed. For businesses that remain open, revenue is down 55%.
  • Total passenger activity at National and Dulles Airports is down 64%.
  • Just as the COVID-19 virus has had greater impacts on communities of color and low-income households, economic impacts are similar.
  • Job losses were disproportionately concentrated in sectors with relatively low wages, which means that workers who were already relatively more vulnerable were the most likely to lose employment. 90% of all job losses in the County took place in industries with average annual wages less than 80% area median income. 
  • Job losses were also disproportionately concentrated in sectors with relatively more diverse workforces and higher concentrations of workers of color. 63% of all job losses in Fairfax took place in industries with higher-than-average shares of workers that represent people of color.
  • What's next?
  • The study has identified patterns of challenges and needs in establishing an equitable economic recovery. Those are outlined in the image below.
  • The contractor performing the study will develop strategies that are responsive to identified needs and challenges and supported by economic analysis. Strategies will then be prioritized based on capacity, cost, implementation complexity, and alignment with County goals. 
  • You can also see this in the timeline below.
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:
  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • 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. It is now required in Virginia.
  • The New York Times (access to COVID-19 content is free) speaks with infectious disease experts, aerosol scientists, and microbiologists to find out if COVID-19 can land on your clothing, hair, shoes, and mail.


  • Fairfax County Health Department
  • To view the number of cases in Fairfax County this page is updated at noon daily.
  • Visit the County site on COVID-19, Health Department Website, and see their FAQs.
  • To view multilingual health materials visit the County's Language Portal.
  • Sign up for text message alerts: text FFXCOVID to 888777. Para inscribirse, textear FFXCOVIDESP a 888777.
  • Call the Health Department from 9am-7pm weekdays and 9:30am-5pm on weekends: 703-267-3511
  • Email: This account will be staffed Monday through Friday, 8am-8pm.
  • Inova has a helpful FAQ.
We recognize that we are in very trying times, but I hope you see in these newsletters that positive change has occurred over the last several months.

As I often say, we are truly lucky to live in Fairfax County where we have the resources to overcome challenges and a community who rises to the occasion.

Jeffrey C. McKay
Contact the Office | 703.324.2321 |