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Issue 126

Friday, July 22, 2022

Prince William County

Dear Neighbors,

This issue of The Wheeler Report is full of great information, so I'll let you get to reading! I do want everyone to stay safe this Summer, so please be sure to look at the Extreme Heat article in the Health Information section.  

In Service,

Chair Ann Wheeler

Chair's Calendar

Investiture Ceremony 

Friday, July 15, Chair Wheeler attended the investiture of the Honorable Robert P. Coleman to the General District Court of the 31st Judicial District of Virginia. An investiture is a ceremony where the position of Judge is formally conferred on a particular person.

Renaming Ceremony

Saturday, July 16, Chair Wheeler participated in the Sign Unveiling Ceremony renaming Jefferson Davis Highway to Richmond Highway (issue 125).

Funding Announcement

Tuesday, July 19, Chair Wheeler participated in announcing that funding to open the Crisis Receiving Center (CRC) has been secured. The CRC will be housed in the old Gander Mountain building in Woodbridge and is expected to be completed next year. The $11.9 million to open the CRC, came from federal, state, and local sources. You can watch a video of the event below.

The first phase of the CRC will have eight crisis beds and eight 23-hour observation recliners for adults. As on-going funding is secured, the current vision is to have sixteen crisis beds and sixteen observation recliners for adults, and eight crisis beds and eight 23-hour observation recliners for adolescences.

The CRC will provide a Crisis Stabilization Unit, a trauma treatment program, and 23-hour monitoring for those in the middle of a mental health crisis. It will be a place where citizens and police officers can bring people experiencing mental health crises or substance use disorders, instead of jails or emergency rooms. 

Last year in PWC, nearly 1,000 people were temporarily detained for mental illness. About 40% had to be taken to mental hospitals in other parts of the Commonwealth because there were no beds for them in Northern Virginia. 

“The Crisis Receiving Center, or CRC for short, will increase local service, access and capacity, reducing execution of temporary retaining orders and will provide for timely access to services for those who experiencing acute behavioral health care needs.” 

Ann Wheeler

Chair At-Large Board of County Supervisors

Farmer's Market

Thursday, July 21, Chair Wheeler visited the Prince William Farmers Market. New this year, it is held every Thursday between 3:00 pm and 7:00 pm at Pfitzner Stadium at 7 County Complex Court. In the pictures below you can see the manager on duty Steve, Alexis Neumann at the You Snap, We Match booth, and Lesley's Garden's booth where Chair Wheeler purchased some wonderful flowers and vegetables.



The Virginia Department of Health Variant Dashboard dated Monday, July 18, provides a case breakdown by variant in Virginia from Saturday, June 25 through Saturday, June 9. During this time, 46.3% of the cases were the BA.5 Omicron Variant.

The Virginia Department of Health UVA COVID-19 Modeling Weekly Update is posted weekly by 5:00 pm on Fridays. The model provides Key Takeaways such as historical comparisons and subvariant activity.

The Virginia Department of Health COVID-19 Cases Dashboard for the Prince William Health District dated Friday, July 22, showed a slight decrease in case numbers from last Friday. The 7-day average on Friday, July 22 was 182. On Friday, July 15, it was 193.9 (issue125).

The CDC Community Level Tool dated Thursday, July 21, showed Prince William County's community level continues to be medium. This tool looks at hospital beds being used and hospital admissions, as well as number of new cases. The CDC advises when the community level is medium to:

You can check the community levels in other areas here

Protecting Yourself and Others:
Latest Data:
How to Get Vaccinated:
How to get tested:

Next Meeting

Tuesday, August 2, at 2:00 pm

Links to the agenda and to register to participate in Public Comment Time remotely will be shared in issue prior to the meeting.

At the Tuesday, July 19, work session meeting, the PWC Office of Management and Budget presented a detailed 2021-2024 Strategic Plan Update to the Board. The 2021-2024 Strategic Plan, adopted by the BOCS on July 20, 2021 (issue 75), helps our community realize its long-term vision by establishing and working toward goals in a systematic, incremental manner.

How the Plan was Developed

Community outreach consisted of an online survey and virtual community conversations with residents, business owners, and non-profit organizations. The County also hired a consultant to conduct individual telephone interviews with the Board to collect each member's input on strategic priorities. The Strategic Plan Development Team devoted over 1,350 hours to development of this Strategic Plan.

County News

PWC Nationally Recognized

PWC received second place in the 2022 Digital Counties Survey sponsored by the Center for Digital Government and the National Association of Counties in the 250,000 to 499,999 population category. The annual survey identifies the best technology practices among U.S. counties, including initiatives that streamline delivery of government services, encourage collaboration, enhance cybersecurity, and apply innovative and emerging technologies to county priorities. Last year, the County received third place.

Key Initiatives Cited as Contributing to the Recognition Included:

  • A new, automated agency budget request system using the ServiceNow platform that improves decision-making and speeds approvals, including requests for $90 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding.
  • Measurable progress on the County’s Technology Inclusion Initiative, including detailed canvassing of areas unserved or underserved by broadband that will be used to prioritize and eliminate gaps; expanded broadband service through public/private partnerships; and a successful pilot project offering free technology classes.

“Prince William County’s recognition two years in a row as a top 10 digital county is an honor and is evidence of the commitment and investment the county has made in technology to better serve all our residents, businesses and workforce.” 

Ann Wheeler

Chair At-Large Board of County Supervisors

A Legacy of Service

Fire and Rescue System Chief Timothy L. Keen has announced his retirement after 40 years of service to PWC. Chief Keen began his career in the County as a volunteer in January of 1982. For the past three years, he has led the Fire and Rescue System (issue 105) as chief. His retirement date is effective September 1. The Acting County Executive and BOCS will discuss the next steps regarding the transition in leadership and the future selection process for the Fire and Rescue System Chief position.

Student Pass Sale

Sunday, July 31, is the last day to take advantage of the PWC Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism Student Summer Pass Sale at the Sharron Baucom Dale City Recreation Center or Chinn Aquatics and Fitness Center. Must present valid Student ID. Savings Bundles go from 30 days to 120 day and include all amenities and group fitness classes to center of your choice.

Upcoming Transportation Events

Bus Route Public Hearings

Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission (PRTC) is hosting a series of public hearings (Español) in mid-August on proposed changes to many OmniRide bus routes. The proposals would support the opening of the I-66 Express Lanes, expand service into some neighborhoods that currently lack direct transit service, and streamline operations for more efficient service. 

Proposed Changes Include

OmniRide Express

I-66 routing changes to reflect the anticipated opening of Express Lanes.

New route from Manassas to Dulles/Reston.

Multiple routing changes to I-95 routes.

OmniRide Metro Express

Additional service and routing changes on Route 60.

Route 61 becoming a shuttle between multiple western commuter lots.

OmniRide Local

Additional hours and routing changes for Route 65 and Route 67

OmniRide Access

Additional hour

Additional details about the proposed changes will be available at OmniRide prior to the public hearings. 

Public Hearing Details

Monday, August 15, 5:30 pm

Manassas Mall Community Room

8300 Sudley Road in Manassas

(Use the mall entrance near IHOP and turn right for Community Room)

Tuesday, August 16, 6:00 pm

OmniRide Transit Center

14700 Potomac Mills Road in Woodbridge

Wednesday, August 17, 5:30 pm

Georgetown South Community Center

9444 Taney Road, #100 in Manassas

Ways to Participate

Comments will be accepted during the public hearings or may be emailed to Written comments also may be mailed to PRTC Public Hearing, 14700 Potomac Mills Road, Woodbridge, VA 22192. All mailed/emailed comments must be received no later than August 24, at 5:00 pm.

Individuals who require special assistance to participate in the public hearings (such as a sign language interpreter, foreign language interpreter, or the presentation in an alternate format such as Braille) should contact OmniRide no later than July 29, at 5:00 pm, at or 703-580-6122.

Virginia Railway Express (VRE) passengers will ride free systemwide during September and between certain stations during October. The decision to suspend fares will make VRE a more attractive and viable option for Metrorail riders during the closure of Blue and Yellow Line stations south of Reagan National Airport, from September 10 through October 23. 

When and Where Details

Fare-free rides in September will be systemwide. In October they will be limited to travel between the six VRE stations most impacted by the Blue Line station closures: Backlick Road on the Manassas Line, Franconia-Springfield on the Fredericksburg Line, and Alexandria, Crystal City, L’Enfant, and Union Station on both lines.

Health Information

Extreme Heat

Summer hot temperatures and high heat indexes can cause ill health effects. Prolonged exposure to heat can cause cramping, heat exhaustion, heat stroke and even death. It is important to stay hydrated and seek cool temperature environments until the heat subsides. The Virginia Department of Health has compiled the following information to help you cope with extreme heat and heat-related illnesses.

Understanding Heat-Related Weather Terms

  • Heat Index: A measure of how hot it feels when relative humidity is added to the air temperature.
  • Excessive Heat Outlooks: Issued when the potential exists for an excessive heat event in the next 3-7 days.
  • Excessive Heat Watches: Issued when conditions are favorable for an excessive heat in the next 24 to 72 hours.
  • Excessive Heat Warning/Advisories: Issued when an excessive heat is expected in the next 36 hours.

Tips to Avoid Heat-Related Illness 

  • Drink plenty of water. Avoid drinks that contain caffeine, large amounts of sugar, or alcohol because they can cause dehydration.
  • Keep cool by staying indoors. If your home is not air conditioned, try to spend the hottest hours of the day in a cool public place such as a library, movie theater, or store.
  • Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing and wear hats or use an umbrella. Always apply sunscreen to exposed skin.
  • Avoid excessive physical exertion, especially in the middle of the day. If you work outdoors, drink 2-4 glasses of water each hour and take frequent breaks in a cool place.
  • Do not keep children or pets in cars (issue 122). Temperatures inside a car with windows up can reach over 150 degrees quickly.
  • Check on your neighbors. People aged 65 or older are particularly susceptible to heat-related illnesses and complications.

Signs & Symptoms of Heat-Related Illness

  • Dehydration caused by the excessive loss of water and salts from the body can become a life-threatening condition if not treated.
  • Heat Cramps are painful, involuntary muscle spasms, often in calves, arms, abdominal wall, and back, that usually occur during heavy physical activity. Rest for several hours and drink clear juice or an electrolyte-containing sports drink.
  • Heat Exhaustion occurs when the body loses too much water and salt from sweating. The elderly, people who work outside, and people with high blood pressure are most at risk.
  • Heat Stroke is when sweating has usually stopped, and your body temperature becomes too high. Heat stroke is a life-threatening condition and needs immediate medical attention.

Additional Resources

Suicide Prevention

Saturday, July 16, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, now known as the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline, can be more easily reached by calling or texting 988. The three-digit code serves as a universal entry point so that no matter where you live in the U.S., you can easily access 24/7 emotional support. You do not have to be suicidal to reach out. The trained crisis counselors can help you through whatever mental health challenges you are experiencing. You can also connect via live chat on (the previous 1-800-273-TALK (8255) number will continue to function indefinitely.) 


Monkeypox is a rare contagious rash illness caused by the monkeypox virus. Most people have mild illness and recover without treatment. As of July 19, there have been 47 cases in Virginia, with 37 of those were in Northern Virginia. Below is some key information for the general public from the Virginia Department of Health. Additional and more detailed information can be found in its Monkeypox Fact Sheet and webpage

Risk of Contracting

  • Anyone can get and spread monkeypox.
  • The risk to the general public is considered low at this time. 
  • Many, but not all, cases have been among gay, bisexual, or other men who have sex with men, particularly multiple sex partners. 


  • Usually start 6-13 days after exposure.
  • Initial symptoms can include fever or chills, headache, muscle aches, backache, tiredness, and/or swollen lymph nodes
  • For some people, this rash may be their only symptom. 

County Happenings

Annual Community Event

Tuesday, August 2, from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm, the PWC Police Department is participating in the annual National Night Out (issue 125) celebration. County residents are encouraged to lock their doors, turn on outdoor lights, and spend the evening outside with their neighbors. The event is Coordinated by the Community Engagement Section of the Police Department.

The evening creates healthy neighborhoods block by block by helping neighbors know one another, celebrate community, and take steps to make neighborhoods safer for all residents. Watches throughout the County will host motorcade stops and invite police officers and other law enforcement personnel for refreshments.

Through Friday, September 30, you become a Prince William Parks Explorer with the Prince William Parks Explorer pass. It's a fun, free, and easy to use way to discover our parks this summer. Visit each of the 11 parks included, use your phone or mobile device to ‘check in’ at each park and then answer a trivia question about the park. 

Once you visit each park on the list and complete the challenge, visit the PWC Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism administration building at George Hellwig Memorial Park in Manassas to pick up your PWC Parks Prize Pack from the front desk. No admission or fees needed to participate, and you can earn a PWC Parks Prize Pack. Learn more and how to get in on the fun here

County Kudos

Local History Projects Awarded Funding

Last week, the Prince William Historical Preservation Foundation and the Manassas Museum were two of the organizations awarded Commonwealth History Fund (CHR) grants. Proposals from 60 history organizations across Virginia were submitted to the Virginia Museum of History & Culture (VMHC) for the inaugural CHF grants. Ultimately, 12 projects were selected and awarded a total of $402,500. Learn about the two local projects awarded below. 

Prince William Historic Preservation Foundation

Potter’s Field Cemetery: Delineation and Restoration

Detect gravesites and delineate the boundaries of Potters Field (issue 96), a historically African American cemetery within Throughfare Historic Park dating back to the 19th century.

Manassas Museum

Manassas Means a Native Legacy: Research and Exhibition Development Support the research and development of an exhibit that will explore the culture of Native Virginians.

More About the CHF

The CHR was established by the VMHC to support and encourage meaningful history education and preservation projects throughout the Commonwealth. Made possible by generous funding from Dominion Energy and others, the VMHC intends to award up to $2 million in the next five years, making the CHR one of the largest initiatives of its kind. The next grant cycle for CHF will occur October 1, 2022, through October 31, 2022. Award recipients will be announced in early 2023

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 482,000 residents. 
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