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Issue 98
Friday, January 7, 2022
Prince William County
Dear Neighbors,

The numbers in the first article of this issue of The Wheeler Report are compelling. Our COVID-19 community transmission rate and positivity rate are staggering, especially when compared to less than a month ago. This is not unique to Prince William County. Virginia and the rest of the country are facing similar spikes in new cases and positivity rates.

While the percentage of the County's population who have received at least one dose and are fully vaccinated is high, unfortunately less than 1 in 3 have received the booster. If you and your family members are eligible, please get the booster shot if you haven't already (see article below on expanded booster eligibility).

Before I close, I would like to thank all those who worked tirelessly during this week's significant storm. This includes the many Good Samaritans and nice neighbors who checked on each other and helped those in need.

In Service,
Chair Ann Wheeler
COVID-19 and Vaccination Snapshot
PWC Community Transmission Rate
The level of community transmission in PWC, as well as all of the surrounding counties, remains high.

Graph from the Prince William Health District (PWHD) COVID-19 Dashboard. As of January 3, there have been 1,343 new cases per 100K persons in the last seven days and a 43.6% positivity rate (on December 13 it was 160 new cases and 6.7% positivity rate (issue 96).
Virginia Cases by Vaccination Status
Graph and data from VDH Dashboard.
PWC Vaccination Status
Data from VDH COVID-19 Dashboard, updated on January 7.
COVID-19 News
Vaccine Recommendation Update
On Wednesday, January 5, the Virginia Department of Health announced it was immediately adopting the following recommendations of the CDC that:
  • Individuals ages 12–17 years should get a Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine booster dose five months after finishing their two-dose primary series.
  • All individuals ages 18 years and older should get any COVID-19 Vaccine booster dose five months, rather than six months, after finishing their two-dose primary series of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
  • 5–11-year-old vaccine recipients who are moderately or severely immunocompromised be eligible to receive a third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine 28 days after the second dose.

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is the only vaccine that has been authorized for use in children and adolescents, ages 5 years and older, and the only vaccine with a booster interval of five months after completion of the initial two-dose series.

Moderna and J&J are authorized only for persons 18 years of age and older. The booster dose interval for Moderna remains unchanged at six months after the completion of the initial two-dose series and J&J remains unchanged at two months after completion of the initial one-dose series.
New Testing Centers to be Opened
Governor Northam announced Thursday, January 6, that the Virginia Department of Health will open nine new Community Testing Centers (CTCs). The locations will be near or on the same property as existing VDH Community Vaccination Centers (CVCs), including the one at 14011 Worth Avenue in Woodbridge.
The Centers will be funded with an initial $5 million from the Virginia Department of Health, which is seeking FEMA funding to reimburse expenses and continue testing deployment. The new testing centers will offer Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests, the most reliable form of testing. Learn more about testing at the VDH COVID-19 Testing webpageFind a testing site at the VDH COVID-19 Testing sites webpage
When to Test After Exposure Guidelines
The Virginia Department of Health provides the following guidelines on testing for COVID-19 after close contact with someone with COVID-19.
Vaccination, Testing, and Treatment Resources
To learn where you can get vaccinated:

For information on where to get tested if you have been exposed or think you may have COVID-19, visit the PWHD COVID-19 testing webpage and the VDH COVID-19 testing webpage.

If you are at high risk of developing serious disease, you may be eligible for COVID-19 treatments which can help prevent severe illness and help keep you out of the hospital. Learn more here.
Next Meeting
Tuesday, January 11
Organizational Matters Meeting
at 2:00 pm

For Public Comment Time options, visit SpeakUp! Prince William.
Remote speakers must sign-up by 5:00 pm on Monday, January 10. In-person speakers can sign up at the meeting.
County News
New Deputy County Executive of Public Safety
Daniel Alexander has been hired as the Deputy County Executive of Public Safety for PWC. He is the first person to hold this newly created position in the County. The announcement comes following a national and international search of 80 applicants and competitive hiring process. His expected start date is February 1.
Mr. Alexander has served in five different local governments and brings thirty-two years of diverse experience with more than 17 as a department director or agency chief. He has specific and extensive experience in Fire and Rescue, Police, 9-1-1 communications, and Emergency ManagementMost recently, he was the Chief of Police with the School District of Palm Beach County in West Palm Beach, Florida. He previously led the Cape Coral Police Department for four years and served as the Chief of Police in Boca Raton for over 13 years.
He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Florida and a Master of Arts Degree in Public Administration from the University of Florida. He also attended the FBI National Academy.
“I am excited to join the team to help move the County forward in its mission, vision, and values. I appreciate the opportunity to serve the citizens of Prince William County. I look forward to working with various community stakeholders.”
Daniel Alexander
future Deputy County Executive of Public Safety
New Mortgage Relief Program for Virginians
Governor Ralph Northam has launched a program to provide assistance to Virginia homeowners experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19. The Virginia Mortgage Relief Program helps prevent and/or ease mortgage delinquencies, defaults, foreclosures and displacement. Financial hardship can include an increase in living expenses, childcare, change in household size, job loss or reduction in income. Learn more about eligibility requirements, what is covered, required documents, and how to apply here.
Business Grant Program Still Accepting Applications
The PWC Department of Economic Development is still accepting applications for Restore Retail grants (issue 94). The $6 million grant program aims to cushion the ongoing crunch felt by restaurants, event spaces, and storefront retail businesses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Eligible businesses must either own or lease their facility. Grant levels are determined by the size of commercial space, with grants up to $25,000. Learn more and submit your application here.
Basic Eligibility Requirements:
  • A physical business address in PWC. 
  • Open and operating as of December 31, 2020, with a 2021 PWC Business License.
  • Commercial location under 25,000 contiguous square feet OR standalone entertainment venue with more than 1,100 permanent seats.
  • Primary business operations in Arts, Entertainment, Event Venues, Recreation, Child Enrichment, Personal Services, Restaurants/Food Services, and Retail.
  • Must have experienced financial hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The $4 million Lift Up Lodging (issue 94) grant program is also still accepting applications. The program includes hotels, motels and inns and offers $750 per guest room with a required minimum of 10 guest sleeping rooms. Short term rentals are excluded. Learn more and apply here.

Sunday, January 9, is the last day to register to volunteer in the annual Point-in-Time (PIT) (issue 96) count of persons experiencing homelessness to take place the evening of Wednesday, January 26 (inclement weather back-up date is Thursday, January 27).

Saturday, January 15, at 10:00 am, the PWC Human Rights Commission will virtually celebrate Universal Human Rights Day (issue 96). If you would like to attend, RSVP to the Human Rights office by calling 703-792-4680 or emailing Prior to the ceremony, a link will be provided to participate.
County Kudos
National Award
The Brentsville District High School Turf Management Program has earned the SportsTurf Managers Association award for Field of the Year for their work in maintaining their school’s Donald Lambert Field. This award is the industry’s highest honor and is awarded to recognize leaders who manage sporting playing surfaces at the professional, collegiate, schools, and recreation levels.

The Brenstville program was developed to give students the opportunity to learn what it takes to be a Turfgrass manager. The class is a hands-on learning experience where students demonstrate the different cultural practices that industry professionals use daily. Learn more about the program and see it in action in the video below.
The students in the program are proud of their achievement. Carly O’Leary, a senior in the program, recounted the long hours, freezing early mornings, and the teamwork required of them.

“The students in our program work not only for each other but with each other. Without the structure and guidance, we have received within the Brentsville Turf Program, we would not be where we are today, as the home of the country's best natural grass playing surface.”
Important Acknowledgement
Korean American Day
Thursday, January 13, is Korean American Day and marks the day in 1903 when just over 100 Korean immigrants first arrived in the United States and settled in Hawaii. Over the next two years, roughly 7,500 more Korean immigrants arrived in the country. Those Koreans served the country during World Wars I and II and the Korean War. During that time, more Koreans left their homeland to immigrate to the United States, some as wives of American service members and others as adopted children. Korean culture brought food to the United States including bibimbap, bulgogi and kimchi. K-Pop tunes have made their way into popular culture as well.
In 2003, President George W. Bush proclaimed January 13 as the Centennial of Korean Immigration to the United States and called upon all Americans to observe the anniversary with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities honoring Korean immigrants and their descendants for their countless contributions to America. In 2005 the House passed a resolution "supporting the goals and ideals of Koren American Day" and the Senate passed a resolution "recognizing the contributions of Korean Americans to the United States and encouraging the celebration of Korean American Day."
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.