Issue 50
Friday, January 29, 2021
Prince William County
Dear Neighbors,

You may notice this is the 50th issue. Our first issue was sent on March 16, 2020. That very same day, PWC Executive, Chris Martino issued a local Declaration of Emergency. We didn't know that day all that would lie ahead of us. I hope over the course of the time from then to now, you have found The Wheeler Report a source of not only information but also support, reassurance and solace.

Our first article spotlights a letter to our Governor sent earlier this week jointly from local government leaders including myself. While there wasn't a direct response from the Governor to us, I believe you will see in several subsequent articles, our concerns are starting to be addressed.

You'll also find this issue is full of Vaccination, COVID-19, County and State news and updates. Be sure and check out the County News section to learn about some new volunteers. I am continually amazed by the many ways members of our community have stepped up to help during the challenges we have faced in the last year.

In Service,
Chair Ann Wheeler
Regional Vaccination News
On Monday, January 24, the Mayors and Chairs of the jurisdictions that comprise the Northern Virginia Regional Commission (NVRC) sent a letter to Governor Ralph Northam regarding transparent and equitable distribution of the COVID19 vaccine. The letter requested a streamlined process to release doses directly to our area, provide the ability to see who has doses, and allow our region priority to vaccinate our large numbers.
"I am committed to the safety and well-being of all residents. Ensuring an equitable and transparent vaccine distribution process is of the utmost importance. I will continue to work with the state and the federal government to address the vaccination distribution shortage and move past this pandemic safely and return to a healthy and vibrant community,"
Ann Wheeler
Chair At-Large Prince William Board of County Supervisors
The NVRC is a regional council of thirteen member local governments in Northern Virginia. Each member jurisdiction appoints one or more representative(s) from its governing body to serve on NVRC’s Board of 24 Commissioners. Only elected officials may be appointed, and the number of representatives per jurisdiction is population-based.

Currently, representing PWC on the Board are Supervisors Victor S. Angry, Andrea O. Bailey and Kenny Boddye. The NVRC focus has been on providing information, performing professional and technical services for its members, and serving as a mechanism for regional coordination.
Vaccination Updates
More Vaccines and Vaccination Sites
The PW Health District was notified that it will receive 5,000 additional vaccines doses next week, in addition to its weekly allocation of doses. With the goal to administer these vaccines as quickly as possible, the health district is opening two additional vaccination sites next week:
'We are surprised and grateful that we got extra doses of the vaccine. Our goal is to administer these vaccines as quickly as possible, to get as many Prince William area residents vaccinated and off the waitlist as we possibly can.”
Dr. Alison Ansher
Health Director of the Prince William Health District
Vaccination Allocation
The Virginia Department of Health has issued clear guidance to health districts on how to use the limited supply of doses available for Phase 1b. Roughly half of available doses should be allocated for people age 65 and older. The other half should be used for eligible frontline essential workers, people in congregate settings, and individuals aged 16-64 at increased risk of severe illness. These large groups are about the same size.
For Veterans
If you are a Veteran, the Washington DC VA Medical Center has COVID-19 vaccines. According to the COVID-19 vaccines at the VA website, the facilities with vaccines determine when veterans can receive it based on availability, local needs, as well as the strict storage and handling requirements. If you are an eligible individual in Phases 1a and 1b, you can call the DC VA COVID-19 Vaccine hotline at 202-745-4342 to ask if you can recieve the vaccination at their facility and schedule your appointment.
State COVID-19 Briefing
On Wednesday, January 27, Governor Ralph Northam held a COVID-19 briefing. Several items from the briefing are featured articles in this Wheeler Report. A few additional key items covered are highlighted below. The full briefing can be viewed on the Governor of Virginia Facebook page.
  • Temporary reallocation of unused inventory by hospitals making an additional 40,000 doses available this week
  • Increasing transparency via a newly launched vaccine doses received and administered dashboard that has additional information about distribution and usage by health district, facility type, and first and second doses
  • Streamlining vaccine registration by creating a single state-wide vaccine sign-up system which will be launching soon
  • Working to dramatically increase the size of call center
Other Vaccination Timing
The CDC recommends individuals do not receive multiple vaccines, including COVID-19, within a 14 day period. Therefore, the PW Health District is unable to vaccinate individuals who have received another vaccination, such as flu or shingles, within 14 days before scheduled their COVID-19 vaccination. PWHD recommends patients do not schedule other vaccinations within 14 days after receiving the COVID-19 vaccination.
NOTE: Patients may receive emergency vaccinations (such as rabies and tetanus) within 14 days after COVID-19 vaccination. However, if a patient receives an emergency vaccination before their COVID-19 vaccination, the PW Health District will require them to wait 14 days.
If you are currently an eligible individual in Phases 1a and 1b within the PW Health District, please use the waitlist form to request a future COVID-19 vaccine appointment. Completing this form will add you to a waitlist for when additional vaccine appointments become available. It does not automatically schedule you for an appointment.
If you need assistance filing out the online waitlist, or do not have an email address, you may contact the PW Health District at (703) 872-7759.
Additional Resources
Virginia Department of Health
Prince William Health District
COVID-19 News
Temporary Restrictions Extended
At his Tuesday COVID-19 briefing mentioned above, Governor Northam announced he is extending the temporary restrictions currently in place to the end of February. The extension included that "every Virginian must continue to practice measures that are proven to keep people safe: avoid gatherings with anyone outside your household, practice hand sanitation, maintain physically distance from others, stay home when possible, and wear face coverings indoors and in public."
In the Governor's amendment extending the temporary restrictions, several data points in Virginia as of January 25 Virginia's were cited to underscore the need to continue the mitigation measures:
  • Seven-day moving average of new COVID-19 cases was still more than 4,000 per day
  • PCR percent test positivity rate is at 12.5%, an increase from 11.1% approximately one month ago
  • Rate of COVID-19 ICU hospitalizations rate is 6.1 per 100,000, is well above the threshold of concern of 3.5 per 100,000
In PWC, as of 5:00 pm Thursday, January 28, the current 7-day:
  • Positivity rate is 13.9%
  • Average number of new cases reported is 268
United Kingdom Variant Identified
On Monday, January 26, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) announced Virginia has identified the first case of the COVID-19 variant originally identified in the United Kingdom in late 2020. The sample was from an adult resident of Northern Virginia with no reported recent travel history. This variant, SARS-CoV-2 variant B.1.1.7, is associated with increased person-to-person transmission and is another reason why it is critical that everyone continue all COVID-19 mitigation measures.
As a virus spreads from one person to another, it makes copies of itself and sometimes makes small genetic changes called mutations. Because of these mutations, new variants of a virus are expected to occur over time. While scientists are working to better understand its impact on vaccine efficacy, early data suggests currently authorized vaccines are effective against the new variant. 
Anonymously Share Results
If you recently received a positive COVID-19 test result, you can anonymously share your results with other COVIDWISE users who have had close contact with you. Visit the COVIDWISE Verification Portal to obtain your verification code to enter into the COVIDWISE mobile app. COVIDWISE only collects your verification code and does not collect or share any personally identifying information about you.
Starting January 28, the VDH began sending a series of text messages to people who receive a positive COVID-19 viral test result in Virginia. These texts, which are automatically triggered when the VDH receives any positive COVID-19 lab result registered with a valid mobile phone number, will come from 804-336-3915 and will only be sent between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. The messaging, which is also available in Spanish, will provide a link to the COVIDWISE Verification Code Portal.
COVID-19 Vaccine 101
Information about the vaccine can be overwhelming. That's why Novant Health and UVA Health created this COVID-19 Vaccine 101 video. In just under 2 minutes you'll learn about how the vaccine was developed, works, is administered, expected effects, and community immunity.
Help is Available
Anyone experiencing anxiety or stress related to COVID-19 can reach out to a free and confidential COVID-19 response warmline by:
  • Calling 877-349-6428 weekdays from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm and weekends 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm
  • Texting (877) 349-6428 (VA COPES)
Spanish speakers are available.
Upcoming Meetings
TuesdayFebruary 2
at 2:00 pm and at 7:30 pm

For Public Comment Time options visit 
SpeakUp! Prince William.
Remote speakers must sign-up by
5:00 pm on Monday, February 1.
In-person speakers can sign up at the meeting..
County News
Assistance Application Extended
The PWC Service Authority extended the deadline to apply for COVID-19 Municipal Utility Relief (issue 47). Through the program, utility assistance is available to Service Authority costumers with unpaid water and sewer bills due to the impacts of COVID-19. Applications are now due by 5:00 pm February 10.
Library Volunteers and Availability Change
PW Public Libraries will be dedicating staff from all 12 branches to help provide support to the PW Health District and PWC's COVID-19 Vaccine Call Centers. The volunteers will help with scheduling vaccine appointments and providing general phone support. In response to staff hours being put towards vaccine call centers, the libraries will offer Contact-Free Curbside Pickup Service only beginning February 1.
This isn't the first time our Public Libraries have stepped up during the pandemic. After closing in March of 2020, staff used sewing machines purchased for Central Library’s Makerspace to produce hundreds of masks for PWC employees. In September, they began offering mobile Wi-Fi hotspots for patrons who could not visit the libraries to use public computers. In total, hotspots have been checked out more than 400 times in less than five months.
Summer Jobs
PWC Parks and Recreation will need talented lifeguards, camp counselors, concession staff (and more!) at our waterparks, pools and parks this summer. The minimum age requirement is 14 by May 5, 2021. Summer jobs fill up fast, so if interested, sign up for their summer jobs updates and notifications.
Art For the Little Ones
Speaking of Parks and Recreation, there are still openings for their Abrakadoodle Mini and Twoosey Doodlers February offerings!
Mini Doodlers, for ages 3 to 6, explores different art materials such as paints, watercolors, modeling compounds and others.
Twoosey Doodlers, for ages 1 1/2 to 3, will teach colors, shapes and forms as it explores different mediums, artists and techniques.
Wondering what else PW Parks and Recreations might be offering? You can find out in their current issue of Leisure Magazine. Printed three times a year, it is free to residents and full of great information for all ages and interests. Learn more and read the online version.
It Pays to Shop Local
Who doesn't want to support local businesses and save money? Well now you can with the Passport to Prince William. Signing up, which is easy and free, gives you exclusive access to deals at PWC restaurants, shops, attractions, and parks. There’s no need to cut coupons or download an App. Deals are delivered directly to your phone via text or e-mail. Once signed up, simply present your digital coupon to your server or retail salesperson to redeem your offer.
If you're ready to start saving, signup here. If you want to learn more, visit the Passport webpage and be sure to scroll down to see the participating partners from across the county and what they are offering!
Help Shape the Future
PWC is gathering information about the behaviors and experiences of young adults ages of 18-25 years. The completely anonymous survey focuses on opinions about alcohol, prescription drug misuse, and heroin use and will be used to help inform prevention efforts in the County. The survey is completely voluntary. You may may skip any questions you aren't comfortable answering or choose to stop at any time. The information will be released in summary form only. No individual responses will be shared.
State News
Another Virginia First
Virginia is the first state to enact permanent COVID-19 workplace safety and health standards. The standards mandate appropriate personal protective equipment, sanitation, social distancing, infectious disease preparedness and response plans, record keeping, training, and hazard communications in workplaces across the Commonwealth. Last year, in the absence of a federal standard, Virginia created the nation’s first emergency temporary workplace safety and health requirements in response to the pandemic.
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.