March 19, 2020
To the Fairfax County Community,

Today, public health officials noted evidence of community transmission of the COVID-19 coronavirus in parts of Northern Virginia . Guidance remains the same however: wash your hands; stay home when sick; avoid close contact with those who are sick; cover coughs and sneezes; maintain at least six feet of personal space whenever possible; avoid crowded areas and non-essential travel if you are over age 65 or have a chronic medical condition.

We recognize there has been much confusion and frustration on the topic of COVID-19 testing. That's why the Fairfax County Health Department created a new site to help explain the role of the Health Department and share the latest information we are receiving from the health care providers. Also, Governor Northam announced today that Virginia is developing its own test that would avoid back orders from the CDC reagents.

There is a lot of new information below, so please read carefully. If you have a friend who would like to sign up for this newsletter, they can do so here .
Changes to next week's Board meeting

  • The Board will be meeting next week with an altered agenda and in a different meeting space to accommodate social distancing guidelines.
  • The meeting will begin at 3:30 pm on March 24 in Conference Room 11 of the Fairfax County Government Center.
  • The Board will still vote on Administrative and Action Items. There will be no presentations or Board Matters. Here is the agenda.
  • All public hearings will be postponed except for those that require immediate attention. Those two are:
  • Public Hearing to Consider an Ordinance to Amend and Readopt Fairfax County Code Section 7-2-13 and Relocate the Polling Places for the Lorton Precinct in the Mount Vernon District and the Nottoway Precinct in the Providence District
  • Public Hearing on the Draft Consolidated Plan One-Year Action Plan for FY 2021 
  • Should you wish to testify on those two items, your options are as follow:
  • Submit written testimony via email, fax, or mail
  • Provide in-person testimony in Conference Room 6 in an appropriate, socially-distanced environment, which will be streamed to Conference Room 11
  • Submit a maximum 3-minute video testimony via email
  • All written and video testimony should be sent to: clerktotheBOS@fairfaxcounty.gov

Health Department

The Health Department has a number of resources on COVID-19:


Food Services

  • FCPS has a number of food distribution sites across the County.
  • A list of all FCPS sites is here.
  • This searchable map includes food distribution sites, food pantries, and other related services.
  • FCPS is also delivering food on some bus routes.
  • Fairfax County's Meals on Wheels program is now operating once-a-week, delivering flash-frozen meals. New clients are being accepted. Call the county's Coordinated Services Planning at the above number to apply.
  • Call: 703-222-0880, TTY 711
  • Monday-Friday, 8 am-4:30 pm
  • Community-based resources for food assistance can be found here.

Domestic Violence Services

  • If you or someone you know is experiencing abuse, please call the County's 24-Hour Domestic Violence Hotline: 703-360-7273.
  • More information is here.

Other Services:

Coordinated Services Planning provides access and referrals to both government and community-based resources for assistance with, but not limited to: food, shelter, employment, financial assistance, and healthcare.
  • Call: 703-222-0880, TTY 711
  • Monday-Friday, 8 am-4:30 pm

The Fairfax County Office for Children maintains an up-to-date  online child care search  that lists all child care centers and family child care homes that are licensed or regulated in the County. If you need support for finding child care in your neighborhood, visit  Child Care Assistance and Referral Child care financial assistance may be available.

How you can help:


Healthcare for Medicaid members

  • Governor Northam is working to increase access to healthcare for Virginia's Medicaid members and low-income households by:
  • Eliminating all co-payments for services covered by Medicaid and Family Access to Medical Insurance Security (FAMIS).
  • Ensuring current Medicaid members do not inadvertently lose coverage due to lapses in paperwork or a change in circumstances.
  • Permitting Medicaid members to obtain a 90-day supply of many routine prescriptions,
  • Waiving pre-approval requirements for many critical medical services, and enacting automatic extensions for approvals that are already in place.
  • Expanding access to telehealth services.

Evictions


Small Businesses

  • For small businesses in need of relief, we have created a web page that is continuously being updated. There is information on taxes, loans (also below), and other guidance.
  • Now that our jurisdiction has made a Declaration of Emergency, businesses can apply for emergency loans from the Small Business Administration.
  • Businesses impacted by COVID-19 can also request to defer the payment of state sales tax due tomorrow, March 20, 2020, for 30 days. When granted, businesses will be able to file no later than April 20, 2020 with a waiver of any penalties.
  • How you can support small businesses:
  • Order take-out, get delivery, or buy gift cards for future use.
  • Maintain your membership for small gyms and fitness studios.
  • For cancelled art performances run by a non-profit, it's often possible to decline the refunded ticket and instead contribute those funds to the non-profit.
  • For breweries and wineries, get their products to go.

Fairfax County Animal Shelter


Fairfax County Government

  • All County agencies have been directed to identify core functions that we must continue to carry out. We are shifting resources to those essential functions, as needed.
  • We strongly encourage residents to conduct County business online if possible.
  • Boards, Authorities, and Commissions should postpone indefinitely any planned meetings that do not involve time-sensitive activities. BACs can only meet electronically if they are discussing the COVID-19 emergency itself, per state law.

Fairfax County Parks, Libraries, and Community Facilities


Fairfax County Public Schools

  • All FCPS school buildings are now closed until further notice. 
  • All FCPS administrative offices are closed until further notice.
  • Only essential personnel as defined by FCPS will be asked to report to work until further notice. All other employees will work remotely.
  • For more information on FCPS's response to coronavirus click here.

Fairfax County Senior Centers and Adult Day Health Care Centers


Motor Vehicles

  • All DMV offices and mobile sites are closed, but online services will remain available.
  • For those who cannot renew online, or whose license or registration expires before May 15, the DMV will grant a 60-day extension.
  • Governor Northam has directed the Virginia Department of State Police to suspend the enforcement of Motor Vehicle Safety Inspections for 60 days.

Affected workers and employers

  • The Virginia Employment Commission will waive the one-week waiting period to ensure workers can receive unemployment benefits as soon as possible.
  • Virginia is enhancing eligibility for unemployment and allowing for fewer restrictions to receive unemployment insurance.
  • Employers who slow or cease operations will not be financially penalized for an increase in workers requesting unemployment benefits.
  • Read more.

Child care services guidelines

  • The Virginia Department of Social Services has released guidelines recommending classroom child care settings should limit capacity to 10 individuals per room to include staff.
  • Child care services should encourage families to remain home to care for their children if at all possible.
  • Read more.

Courts

  • The Supreme Court of Virginia has declared a judicial emergency.
  • All non-essential state court proceedings are suspended through April 6, 2020.

Mass Gatherings, Community Events:

  • Governor Northam recommended that Virginians avoid non-essential gatherings of more than 10 people. This does not include normal operations at essential services such as manufacturers, distribution centers, airports, bus and train stations, medical facilities, grocery stores, or pharmacies.
  • Fairfax County now recommends cancelling public events with 10 or more people, per the CDC and Governor Northam.
  • For events of any size (public or private), organizers and participants each have a responsibility to reduce the chance of disease transmission.
  • Persons considering attending any event, regardless of the number of people attending should consider the risks and benefits in deciding to attend. In particular, those who are at high-risk of severe disease if they become infected – persons who are older than 60 years old, have chronic illness, have a compromised immune system, are pregnant - should know the status of COVID-19 in the community and not attend the event if local infection is widespread.
  • Here are County guidelines for those planning an event.

Restaurants, fitness centers, and theaters

  • Fairfax County cannot tell a private business how to operate, change its hours, or force it to close.
  • Per Governor Northam, all restaurants, fitness centers, and theaters are mandated to significantly reduce their capacity to 10 patrons, or close.
  • Restaurants are encouraged to continue carry-out and takeaway options.

Taxes


Transportation

  • There have been no changes to Fairfax Connector services.
  • Metro and Metro Access has reduced their service. The most up-to-date service information is here. WMATA asks that customers do not use Metro unless absolutely necessary.
  • The remaining community meetings for the 2020 Paving and Restriping Program scheduled for March 2020 have been cancelled. Residents can view the meeting presentations online for each district and give feedback through April 14, 2020. 

Utilities

We have reached out to area utility companies to assure that they are working to protect those at risk of utility disconnection. We have received confirmations from:

Not every case of coronavirus has symptoms, but those that do may appear 2-14 days after exposure :

  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Shortness of breath
As we have more information to share, my office and Fairfax County Government will continue to update residents.

Thank you for your support and patience as we work to manage this challenging, complex, and rapidly evolving situation.

Jeffrey C. McKay
Contact the Office

chairman@fairfaxcounty.gov | 703.324.2321 |