Issue 14
Friday, May 29, 2020
Prince William County
Dear Neighbors,

As we reach a new milestone by entering into Phase I, it is important to take a moment to acknowledge the toll of this pandemic. As of 5:00 pm yesterday, there have been 5,157 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Prince William County. Of those, 439 have been hospitalized and sadly 101 of our fellow residents have lost their battle with the virus.

These are not just numbers. Each one represents a life disrupted. Some mildly and some tragically. Additionally, behind each number there are many more effected. Families, friends, neighbors, co-workers, care-givers, first-responders and volunteers connected to those directly impacted have also felt the brunt of this virus.

While the last three months have been challenging for all of us, for every one of these people it has been even harder. This is why, even though we are easing restrictions, we must continue to take precautions to limit to the highest degree possible any further spread.

In this issue I have included video message and important COVID-19 updates on several topics. I also have shared details on provided feedback on a road project, how you can help others, a special acknowledgement, the next BOCS meeting, education news, a census update and a food distribution event this weekend.

In Service,
Chair Ann Wheeler
A Message From Your Chair
Check out my YouTube Channel, The Wheeler Connection,
to view additional recently added informative videos.
Opportunities for free, drive-thru testing will continue throughout the County. These are typically first-come, first-serve so stay informed by visiting the PWC's COVID-19 website frequently and following my Facebook page.
Employment Opportunity
The Virginia Department of Health is hiring 1300 contract employees for COVID-19 positions in PWC and statewide. To learn more about the various openings and how to apply visit Virginia Department of Health.
Entering Into Phase I
What's New
Important updates from the State Capitol:
  • Executive Order declaring a state of emergency due to COVID-19 is extended
  • Northern Virginia enters into Safer At Home: Phase I today, Friday, May 29
  • A new Executive Order requires wearing face coverings in public indoor settings
Division Of Motor Vehicles Update
Customer service centers are reopening slowly and require appointments. Due to the demand for license and ID services, the time to renew expiring driver’s licenses or ID cards is extended. If a license or ID expires before July 31, you have until August 31 to renew it.
Phase I Snapshot
What Stays The Same
  • Entertainment and Public Amusement, Overnight Summer Camps and Schools - Closed
  • Gatherings - 10 person limit
  • Teleworking and Face Coverings - Strongly encouraged
  • Child Care - Open for working families
What Is Different
  • Non-Essential Retail - Open with 50% capacity limit
  • Beaches - Open for recreational activities, social distancing required
  • Restaurants and Beverage Services - Outdoor seating at 50% capacity (see article below)
  • Fitness and Exercise - Open only for outdoor fitness classes
  • Places of Worship - Services up to 50% capacity
  • Personal Grooming - Open by appointment only
  • Private Campgrounds - Open
  • State Parks - Overnight in some places
Governor Northam is now holding his press conference updates on Tuesday and Thursdays at 2:00 pm. You can view them live on local network television stations and learn more at Virginia Governor website.
County Announcement
Summer Closure
Prince William County-owned outdoor pools and water parks will not open during the 2020 summer season due to health and operational concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Federal Relief Money
Assistance For The County
On May 19, the BOCS accepted its first installment from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. To date $15,738,628 of the $41,034,915 has been distributed. Next week, the Board will determine how to spend the remaining $25,296,287.
Breakdown Of The $15,738,628 Distributed
  • Small Business Micro-Grants $5,000,000 (see article below)
  • Emergency Housing Grants $8,000,000
  • Homeless Services $2,000,000
  • Towns of Dumfries, Haymarket, Occoquan and Quantico $738,628
The CARES Act funds can only be used to cover specific expenses which are:
  • Necessary due to the public health emergency with respect to COVID–19
  • Not accounted for in the budget most recently approved as of March 27, 2020 (CARES Act enactment date)
  • Incurred during the period beginning March 1, 2020, and ending December 30, 2020
Small Business
Money Available
Starting in early June, eligible small businesses impacted by COVID-19 will have 5 days to apply for up to $10,000 from the Small Business Relief Micro-Grant Program. Applications will be reviewed by the Department of Economic Development and the COVID-19 Economic Recovery Task Force.
To Help During Phase I
On June 16, the BOCS will hold a public hearing to establish a new simplified and expedited process for issuing a  Temporary Activity Permit for new or expanded outdoor seating . Businesses with a current Alcohol and Beverage (ABC) license who want to act sooner, have an option through the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority.
Road Feedback Opportunity
Interchange Project
Our Department of Transportation invites you to participate in a virtual presentation on the Route 234-Brentsville Road Interchange Project. Visit the presentation website to learn about the $55-million NVTA funded project ( Issue 12 ) and submit feedback to assist in the design process. The deadline to submit comments is  Monday, June 1, 2020. 
You Can Still Help
How You Can Make A Difference
While we have moved into Phase I, there are still so many in our County who need help. Find out how you can get involved at Volunteer Prince William.
In prior Wheeler Reports we've shared some specific ways to help:
Be The SPARK For Our Schools
Supporting Partnerships and Resources for Kids (SPARK) is the Education Foundation for PWC Public Schools. Through community and business partnerships, it provides programs and initiatives which they may not otherwise have. Visit their website to donate time, resources, or funds during COVID-19.
Asian Pacific American Heritage Month
Every May, Asian American and Pacific Islanders are celebrated. Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have a rich heritage thousands of years old and have both shaped the history of the United States and had their lives dramatically influenced by moments in its history.  During this time we pay tribute to the generations who have enriched America's history and are instrumental in its future success.
The month of May was chosen to commemorate the immigration of the first Japanese to the United States on May 7, 1843, and to mark the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869. The majority of the workers who laid the railroad tracks were Chinese immigrants.
Board of County Supervisors
The BOCS will meet June 2 at 2:00 pm.
Public Comment Time is available by remote participation. Advance sign-up  through SpeakUp! Prince William is required. Deadline to sign-up is
5:00 pm Monday, June 1
2020 Summer School Program Dates
The online only offerings will be:
  • The Elementary and Middle School Program is July 6–24
  • English Learner High School Academy is June 22–July 31
  • Operation Graduation-Grad Academy (current seniors only) is June 22–July 31
The Virginia Department of Education helped create the teacher-led classroom instruction, VA TV Classroom . It airs live weekdays from 9:00 to 11:00 am on Comcast Channel 18, Verizon Channel 36 and the PWCSTV website. The lessons, spanning a variety of subjects and grade levels, are rebroadcast from 2:00 to 4:00 pm and will run until at least the end of the school year, June 12.
Imagine Your Story
PWC's Summer Reading Program kicks off June 15! Open to all ages (adults too!), register online or via the Beanstack Tracker app on your smart phone. The program is completely virtual and by tracking your progress you can become eligible for prizes.
Census Update
We Still Have Work To Do
Our response rates have risen to 70%. While this is progress, we are still behind exceeding our 2010 final rate of 72%. Please continue to tell others the importance of everyone completing the census. Higher rates means more federal funding which has a direct impact on the lives of our residents.
This Sunday
Food Pantry
Humanity first is hosting a food distribution at
Masroor Masque
5640 Hoadly Road in Manassas
Sunday, May 31, from 12:00 to 1:30 pm.
Orders must be submitted by 5:00 pm today, Friday, May 29.
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.