Issue 53
Friday, February 19, 2021
Prince William County
Dear Neighbors,

I hope this issue finds everyone safe and warm. When Punxsutawney Phil predicted six more weeks of winter, he wasn't kidding. I'm seeing snowflakes on next week's forecasts, so please continue to be careful on the roads. Unfortunately, the weather is impacting local and national vaccine distribution and logistics. Fortunately, Spring is in our future.

This week, Virginia's statewide vaccination COVID-19 pre-registry online system became operational. The statewide call center was also activated. You'll find the key details in the lead article. Other COVID-19 related important details and updates follow.

While I know vaccination information is foremost on everyone's mind, I encourage you to also read the County Budget and Renaming Route 1 articles. Both have upcoming community meetings, which I encourage you to attend.

In Service,
Chair Ann Wheeler
Vaccination Updates
Virginia's statewide vaccination waitlist registration system went live earlier this week. Over 1.6 million previously registered individuals were migrated into the system prior to the launch and more have been added throughout the week.

If you are already in the system, please do not submit another form because this might delay the process. To confirm your registration status, use the online check the list tool.

Additionally, the statewide call center (877) 829-4682 (VAX-IN-VA) opened. The call center has a staff of approximately 750. 10% of them speak Spanish and more are being added. The call center is open 7-days a week from 8 am to 8 pm.
For those needing their second dose:
  • The Prince William Health District (PWHD) will contact you 3-7 days before the second dose is due.
  • If you are less than 3 days before your second dose is due or are overdue, call the PWHD Call Center at 703-872-7759 and select option 4 in the telephone menu (open 7-days a week 9 am to 4:30 pm).
Additional Vaccination Updates
Vaccination Progress:
  • Over 51% of Virginia residents are eligible for Phases 1a and Phase 1b.
  • Currently Virginia is administering 130,000 first doses a week.
  • Virginia is positioned to administer its goal of 350,000 first doses a week as supplies from the federal government increase.
  • All PWC school personnel should have received their first vaccine dose by the end of this week.
Federal Retail Pharmacy Program Update:
  • Requests have been made to add CVS locations on the eastern side of the county.
  • The addition of other pharmacies is anticipated in approximately 3-4 weeks.
  • Efforts are underway to add small, independent pharmacies.
Vaccination and COVID-19 Resources
COVID-19 Assistance Programs
Tenants and Landlords
Tenants and Landlords in PWC can now apply for rent assistance through the Virginia Rent Relief Program (RRP). Funded through the Emergency Rental Assistance program in the recent federal stimulus package, the $524 million will assist households and landlords with rent payments to avoid eviction amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 

Tenants may be eligible for rent payments past due beginning April 1, 2020 and onward with opportunity for renewal based on funding availability, household need, and household eligibility. The Department of Housing and Community Development is administering this program.
How to Apply
Tenants interested in applying should check their eligibility by completing the self-assessment at Virginia RRP Eligibility, or by dialing 2-1-1 from their phones.

Landlords can begin a landlord-initiated application at Virginia Housing Rent Relief. Virginia law requires landlords to work with their tenants to apply for this assistance.
Mortgage Holders
The Emergency Housing Assistance Program provides eligible households in PWC and the cities of Manassas and Manassas Park emergency mortgage housing assistance. Eligible households who have experienced financial hardship due to COVID-19 can receive up to six months of assistance.

Ways to apply:

Please note, while the county website mentions rent, all rent assistance requests are handled via the new statewide program in the above article.
Upcoming Meetings
TuesdayMarch 2
at 2:00 pm and 7:30 pm

County Budget
The Proposed Fiscal Year 2022 Budget was presented at the Tuesday, February 16 BOCS meeting. Visit the Budget Calendar and Information to learn more about the budget process and the key dates from now until April 27, when the budget will be adopted by the BOCS.
Community Budget Meeting
You are encouraged to attend the Office of Management & Budget's virtual community meeting on the Proposed FY2022 Budget tomorrow Saturday, February 20 at 9:00 am.

This is your opportunity to learn and ask questions about the proposed budget and Capital Improvement Program.
You do not have to pre-register.

Renaming Route 1
Since 2019, local jurisdictions in Northern Virginia have undertaken efforts to rename Route 1 as Richmond Highway. In September of 2020, the BOCS approved a resolution requesting the Virginia Commonwealth Transportation Board to change the name in PWC from Jefferson Davis Highway. On Nov. 24, 2020, the request was unanimously approved to rename Route 1 in PWC to Richmond Highway. Revenue from the recordation tax collection will be used to ease the transition for impacted businesses located along the roadway. 
Renaming Route 1 Town Hall
As the County moves forward with the name change process, public engagement is a central focus in this effort. You are invited to attend a virtual town hall regarding the Route 1 Renaming project on February 24, from 6 pm to 8 pm.

This informational meeting will inform residents and businesses, specifically those impacted, of the project background, efforts to date, status, and next steps. The public is invited to ask questions after the presentation and to provide feedback.

If you are unable to attend, a recording of this meeting and the accompanying presentation will be posted on the County's Renaming Route 1 website
How to Participate
  • Register to attend.
  • You will receive both a meeting link and an audio-only dial-in number.

You can submit questions, comments, or feedback by:
. Submissions received before Monday, February 22, can be addressed during the meeting. All questions will be responded to promptly.
The Hylton Performing Arts Center is brining you the 2020 Grammy® Award-winning quintet, Ranky Tanky! When their outdoor concert was canceled in October, the Hylton Center sprang into action to record their concert onstage. With a sound that’s both playful and spiritual, the Charleston-based band specializes in jazz-influenced arrangements born from the Gullah culture of the southeast. You can get a quick sample in the video below. Buy your access pass, starting at $17.50, for the show this Saturday, February 27 at 8 pm.
State News
Governor Ralph Northam has invited Virginia students, educators, and families to participate in the second annual Black History Month Historical Marker Contest. This initiative offers opportunities to learn about African Americans who have made important contributions to Virginia history, provides teachers with resources to guide history discussions, and includes a contest where students can submit ideas for new historical markers to the Department of Historical Resources.
Suggested historical markers must be submitted by Monday, March 15. Learn more about the submission process here.
Did You Know
Virginia’s Historical Highway Marker Program began in 1927 with the installation of the first markers along U.S. Route 1 and is considered the oldest such program in the nation. Since then, Virginia has erected more than 2,600 markers along its roadways, but as of January 2020, only 350 markers honor African Americans. Last year on Juneteenth, Governor Northam announced 20 newly approved state historical highway markers addressing topics of national, state, and regional significance to African American history in the Commonwealth.
Nominations are being accepted for the 2021 Governor’s Volunteerism and Community Service Awards, an annual program that recognizes the outstanding contributions of individual volunteers and organizations across the Commonwealth.

Nomination categories for individuals include youth, young adults, seniors, and adults. For organizations, the nomination categories are faith-based organizations, families that volunteer together, community organizations, small businesses, educational institutions, and corporations. One award is presented in each of the ten categories.

The nomination period ends Friday, April 23 at 5 pm.
Nomination forms are submitted online and require two letters of support.
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.