Issue 55
Friday, March 5, 2021
Prince William County
Dear Neighbors,

Sunday, March 7, marks the one-year anniversary of the first known COVID-19 case in Prince William County. Since then, the Virginia Department of Health's locality dashboard on March 4 tells us 39,667 residents have tested positive, 1,396 residents have been hospitalized, and 442 souls have been lost to the virus. Yet, we all know this is just part of what our community has endured the last twelve months.

Incomes, jobs, and businesses have been disrupted. Housing has been lost and meals missed. Many have felt isolated and fought depression. Plans for graduations, weddings, and other significant life events have been upended. Work and school have needed to be accomplished in a whole new way. And while now it's comical in light of everything that followed, part of the story we'll share with future generations is, for a brief time, people hunted for toilet paper and hand sanitizer like it was buried treasure.

Through it all, the County, our community partners, and you have stepped up time and time again to help each other in so many ways. Just a few of those ways are highlighted in this issue.

Fortunately, the news is getting better. On February 26, the 7-day positivity rate was 8.4%, the lowest since the November 8 rate of 8.5%. All other trends continue to show improvement. At the same time, as several sections below outline, we are receiving more vaccines and significantly increasing our capacity to administer them.

All indications are in that the next weeks we will see a significant uptick in vaccinations across the County. Until then, especially in light of continued variant cases being identified in Virginia, keep yourself and others safe through wearing face coverings, hand washing, and social distancing.

In Service,
Chair Ann Wheeler
Additional Vaccine Approved
The single-dose Janssen COVID-19 vaccine from Johnson & Johnson has been given Emergency Use Authorization for people 18 and older by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. In Virginia, for the first several weeks the Johnson and Johnson vaccine will be used at mass vaccination clinics. There are now COVID-19 vaccines available from three different drug manufacturers, which means more vaccine supply. Read more about the vaccine here.
The Virginia Department of Health does not recommend one vaccine over another. You are encouraged to take the first vaccine that is made available to you.
Vaccination Expansions
Large Vaccination Site Opened in Woodbridge

A new large vaccination site has opened at the former Gander Mountain retail store in Woodbridge. The clinic:
  • Is located at 14041 Worth Avenue near Potomac Mills Mall.
  • Has capacity for over 100 vaccination stations.
  • Will utilize the state pre-registration list and vaccines will be administered by Walmart in a new pilot program.
More are Eligible

Virginia has opened up vaccine eligibility to the following two groups in Phase 1b:
  • Clergy/Faith Leaders
  • Janitorial/Cleaning Staff

These groups will be placed in line behind previously eligible groups in Phase 1b that have yet to receive their vaccination.
Additional Pharmacies are Vaccinating

Seven pharmacies in PWC have been added to the Federal Pharmacy Partnership Program:
  • Safeway in Braemar Village Plaza (Bristow)
  • Safeway in Cheshire Station Plaza (Dale City)
  • Safeway in Merchant Plaza (Woodbridge)
  • Manassas Pharmacy (Manassas)
  • Giant (Merchants View Square in Haymarket)
  • Giant (Sudley Road in Manassas)
  • Giant (Dale Blvd. in Woodbridge)

These additional pharmacies are:
  • Vaccinating those 65 and older.
  • Using Virginia’s centralized pre-registration system to contact individuals and schedule appointments.

The CVS Pharmacy in Gainesville continues to participate in the Federal Pharmacy Partnership Program. Appointments are added as additional doses are received and scheduled on the CVS website.
Vaccine and COVID-19 Resources
Town Hall Video
If you missed this week's virtual Town Hall, or want to watch it again, the video recording is now available. It features Dr. Alison Ansher, Director of the PWHD, and Dr. Fabian Sandoval, CEO and Research Director of the Emerson Clinical Research Institute. The video is in English and Spanish. You can view the video here.
Vaccination and COVID-19 Resources
A Few of the Ways we Have and Continue to Help Those Most Impacted
The Economic Recovery Taskforce is operating three recovery programs through June 30:
The Community Testing Taskforce:
  • Has administered more than 22,747 free tests since July 13.
  • Continues to operate seven testing sites across the county.
  • Has a capacity for 200 tests per day.
BOCS Upcoming Meeting
TuesdayMarch 9
2:00 pm - Budget Work Session
7:30 pm - FY 2022 Proposed Budget Public Hearing

For Public Comment Time options,
visit SpeakUp! Prince William.
Remote speakers must sign-up by
5:00 pm on Monday, March 8.
In-person speakers can sign up at the meeting.
You can find an overview of the County's budget process in Issue 53 and more detailed information on the PWC Budget webpage.
A Public Hearing on the FY2022 Proposed Budget will also be held on Tuesday, April 13, at 7:30 pm.
Visit the Budget Calendar webpage for the full list of meetings.
Some Key Items from the March 2 BOCS Meeting
Funding budgeted and appropriated to the PWC Schools' Operating Fund:
  • $461,350 from Federal CARES Act funding.
  • $39 million from Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations (CRRSA) Act and Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) II Fund allocations
Route 1 widening project in Town of Dumfries
  • Authorized execution of an agreement with the Town of Dumfries for the administration of the project.
  • Authorized execution of a standard project agreement between PWC and the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority for funding of the project.
  • Budgeted and appropriated up to $4 million to the project.
You can learn more about this project on the Town Of Dumfries website and in the Proposed Main Street Pattern Book (picture source).
2021 Redistricting Timeline
  • April 30 is the earliest date Census data will be delivered to the President. 
  • September 30 is the latest date for redistricting data to be made available to states.
  • December is when the BOCS must adopt redistricting measures by ordinance.
If you are interested in more details, you can view the full presentation slide deck here.
The BOCS also heard detailed updates on vaccinations and
COVID-19 which are included in the other sections of this issue.
More Jobs in PWC
Ceres Nanosciences, Inc., a life sciences company that makes innovative products to improve diagnostic testing, has completed the build-out of a new 12,000-square-foot Advanced Particle Manufacturing Plant in PWC's Innovation Park. The new facility, an expansion of existing operations, was constructed with funding support from the National Institutes of Health Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics initiative. The rapid construction of fewer than four months was possible with the support of PWC.

The expansion will be capable of generating a supply of Ceres’ Nanotrap® Magnetic Virus Particles to enable more than 10 million COVID-19 tests per month, with room for added capacity in the future. The method reduces sample processing time for COVID-19 tests, as well as, improving diagnostic testing for influenza virus, RSV, and variants of SARS-CoV-2.

The project will create up to 50 new jobs in the engineering, advanced manufacturing, and materials sciences fields over the next three years. The facility's operations will help establish a stable supply of testing reagents to respond to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and ensure future readiness.
“As the first graduate of the Prince William Science Accelerator in 2018, Ceres Nanosciences continues to expand and bring highly skilled jobs to Innovation Park. We are a prime destination for inventors and innovators in the life sciences sector, and we are thrilled to see companies like Ceres Nanosciences thrive in our bioscience hub.”
Ann Wheeler
Chair At-Large Board of County Supervisors
Equity News
On March 1, Maria Burgos stepped into the role of PWC's new Equity and Inclusion Officer. A County resident, Ms. Burgos most recently was the Supervisor of Global Learning and Culturally Responsive Instruction with PWC Public Schools Office of Professional Development. She earned a master's degree in Educational Leadership from George Mason University and a bachelor's degree in Early Childhood K/6 from Fayetteville State University.
In addition to her prior position with the PWC School System, Ms. Burgos has an impressive history of serving our community. In 2017, her contributions to human and civil rights were acknowledged with the Human Rights Award from the Prince William Human Rights Commission.

She was named to Governor Northam's Commission on African American History Education in 2019 to make recommendations for improving the student experiences and instructional support for teachers. In that role, she created the Division's Educational Equity Framework.

Most recently, she was appointed by the Virginia Department of Education to serve on the 2021 Culturally Relevant and Inclusive Education Practices Advisory Committee.
PWC Comprehensive Plan
Staying informed and getting involved in the County's Comprehensive Plan (issue 49) is easy with the County's Pathway to 2040 website. The 2040 Comprehensive Plan will guide the future growth, redevelopment, and preservation of the County, as well as guide investment in future public infrastructure. The small area plans component will provide detailed, geographically focused visions for the Yorkshire, Fairgrounds, and Bethlehem Road areas.
Get involved now!

Residents are encouraged to complete an initial poll on their priorities for PWC's future regarding land use, mobility, and housing.
Citizen involvement is critical in developing the Comprehensive Plan. Upcoming opportunities to participate in the planning process will be on the dedicated website and shared in future issues. You can also subscribe to receive Comprehensive Plan emails. Simply go to PWC Alerts, sign in or sign up, and select Pathway to 2040 under Planning and Development.
A Special Acknowledgement
Women’s History Month's origins date back to the 1970s, a time when women’s history was virtually an unknown topic in the K-12 curriculum. To address this situation, in 1978 the Education Task Force Commission on the Status of Women in Sonoma County, California, initiated a “Women’s History Week.” The celebration included special programs at dozens of schools, a "Real Woman" essay contest, and a celebratory parade and program held in the center of downtown Santa Rosa, California.

The idea caught on in communities, school districts, and organizations across the country. President Ronald Reagan's Proclamation 5619 declared March 1987 as "Woman's History Month" which opens with:
"From earliest times, women have helped shape our Nation. Historians today stress all that women have meant to our national life, but the rest of us too should remember, with pride and gratitude, the achievements of women throughout American history."
Visit the US's dedicated Woman History Month website to learn about the many ways the Library of Congress, National Archives, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution, and Holocaust Memorial Museum are commemorating and encouraging the study, observance, and celebration of the vital role of women in American history.
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.