To the Fairfax County Community,
It's amazing how much can change in a week. As you likely know, the CDC updated their masking guidance for fully vaccinated individuals
advising that it was safe to resume most activities that you did prior to the pandemic, without a mask. The chart below outlines this. Virginia's (and Fairfax County's) masking and social distancing guidelines have been updated as a result, more on that included in this newsletter.
This is great news for all who have been vaccinated and who have been so diligent this past year with masking, social distancing, and protecting our community. I hope this change serves as an incentive for those who have not yet been vaccinated, to get vaccinated. Find an appointment here.
All three available vaccines
are safe, effective, and will allow us to return to normal.
While I understand that there are concerns about this change, we will continue to follow the data to make sure the community is safe. For some perspective, our COVID-19 case numbers continue to drop. For the week ending on May 9, our percent positivity rate was 1.59% and the week before that was 2.66%. At the same time, over 53% of the Fairfax County population has received at least one vaccine dose.
In addition, the Board met today. You can review the full package here
and some highlights are below.
FCPS and the Fairfax County Health Department are offering COVID-19 vaccination opportunities for students (ages 12-18) at several high school locations. Vaccine events will take place:
Tuesday, May 25, Bryant High School, 2709 Popkins Lane, Alexandria, 22306
Wednesday, May 26, South Lakes High School, 11400 South Lakes Drive, Reston, 20191 Thursday, May 27, Annandale High School, 4700 Medford Drive, Annandale, 22003
Friday, May 28, Mount Vernon High School, 8515 Old Mt. Vernon Road, Alexandria, 22309
There will be additional school vaccination sites beginning Tuesday, June 1.
- Transportation to and from the vaccination clinic will be provided to all students from their base school.
- Virtual students will need to be dropped off and picked up at the base school.
- In-person students will participate in their normal daily schedule before and after the appointment and will still ride their normal bus to and from school for the day.
- Appointments will be scheduled between 9:30am-1:30pm.
- Students will receive vaccinations during the school day.
- Parents/guardians must register their students for their vaccination with the Fairfax County Health Department.
Parent/guardian consent must be received by 8 pm on Thursday, May 20 for your student to participate. Please register now.
- If maximum capacity is reached, families will be referred to the nearest vaccine clinic for an appointment.
Remember, you may schedule a vaccine appointment for your child at any location across the County. Learn more here.
COVID-19 Health Restrictions
Last week, Governor Northam updated his executive order to align with recent announcements by the CDC.
- Masks are no longer required for fully vaccinated individuals in most indoor settings.
- Exceptions are: public transit, health care facilities, and congregate settings.
- Remember: A person is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the second dose of Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or two weeks after receiving the single-dose vaccine from Johnson & Johnson.
- Anyone who is not yet vaccinated is strongly encouraged to wear masks in all settings.
- Employees who work in certain business sectors—including restaurants, retail, fitness, personal care, and entertainment—must continue to wear masks unless fully vaccinated, consistent with CDC guidelines.
- Masks will continue to be required in K-12 school settings.
- Businesses will retain the ability to require masks in their establishments if they choose to, and individuals will continue to be permitted to wear masks if they choose to.
Social distancing and capacity restrictions will be lifted on May 28, instead of June 15 as previously planned.
- Virginia’s state of emergency will remain in effect at least through June 30.
Read the full announcement here and the updated Executive Order here.
Background? In May 2020, the Board passed an ordinance that provided flexibility to restaurants and exercise facilities so that they could more easily pivot their services and operations in response to COVID-19 restrictions. For example, this made it easier for businesses to apply for permits allowing outdoor dining space or expanded outdoor dining space. Because I advocated for legislative change in the General Assembly, this flexibility can be utilized for up to a year following the end of the State of Emergency.
What happened today? The Board voted to get a team together across our agencies involved in the land development process (Land Development Services, Zoning, the Fire Marshal, Health Department, Building Code, Inspections) to find ways to efficiently aid businesses as they shift their operations back indoors in response to lifted COVID-19 restrictions and broader recovery efforts.
Why? As we enter this next phase of the COVID-19 pandemic and indoor activities become more feasible for our businesses impacted by COVID-19, we need to ensure that the County is ready to help these business owners navigate how to again shift their service delivery models. Considerations for the hospitality industry in this recovery stage include everything from continued expanded outdoor dining, to adjusting indoor configurations to address the health and safety of staff and customers, to considering allowable activities for the various business sectors. We want to ensure that our business community is able to shift to this next phase in a way that is safe, efficient, and within County code.
What happened? The Board was provided information on the Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority's FY22 Moving to Work Plan. This plan will be submitted to the U.S. Department of Housing and Development.
What does the plan do? The Moving to Work plan allows public housing agencies the opportunity to design and test innovative, locally designed housing and self-sufficiency strategies by allowing exemptions from existing Public Housing and tenant-based Housing Choice Voucher rules.
Anything else? As part of the FY22 Moving to Work Plan, the FCRHA intends to update goals of the plan by a engaging their participants/getting feedback from the community. You can read the plan here.
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
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
- Follow mitigation practices:
- 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
Wear a mask (Which is required in Virginia.)
- What it means to social distance, self-isolate, and quarantine.
- If interacting with others outside of your household, being outside is safer than inside. You can make your home safer by increasing ventilation and filtration.
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: email@example.com. This account will be staffed Monday through Friday, 8am-8pm.
- Inova has a helpful FAQ.