To the Fairfax County Community,
We recognize that there are concerns about the national shortage of tests available for residents. Fairfax County is working with our trusted community partner, Inova, to maximize the health care services available for our community during the evolving COVID-19 situation.
Inova has contracted with multiple commercial labs to provide increased testing to patients when they meet the testing criteria. They are also pursuing additional options to provide in house testing capabilities in the coming weeks.
We collectively have an enormous responsibility to ensure our community remains prepared during this COVID-19 pandemic. We are working closely with our regional health care partners to accommodate additional capacity, should the need arise.
There is a lot of new information below, so please read carefully.
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Changes to next week's Board meeting
- The Board will meet next week with an altered agenda, while accommodating 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
The Health Department has a number of resources on COVID-19:
- 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 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.
- For questions on resources and information you can call the Domestic Violence Action Center: 703-246-4573.
- Shelters: Artemis House is still accepting new residents. Call: 703-435-4960.
- 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.
- The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline offers support for those experiencing a suicide crisis or emotional distress: 1-800-273-8255.
- If you are in need of virtual financial counseling, the Financial Empowerment Center is supported by Fairfax County.
How you can help:
- There is a national shortage of blood donations, Inova and the American Red Cross are asking healthy individuals to donate.
- The Fairfax County Neighbor-to-Neighbor program helps organize volunteer opportunities. Find out how your neighborhood community, HOA, or civic association can get involved: email N2N@fairfaxcounty.gov or call 703-246-8962, TTY 711.
- Residents, businesses and organizations who want to help fill community needs can make donations to local community-based organizations. An updated list of community-based resources for food assistance and donations can again be found at:
- FCPS's list of community-based resources.
- Volunteer Fairfax and Health and Human Services both maintain searches with organizations that need donations and volunteers.
- You can also make monetary contributions and grocery store gift card donations to community-based partners.
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.
- 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 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.
- You can continue to support small businesses in a number of ways. For example: ordering take-out, maintain your membership for small gyms and fitness studios, or declining refunded tickets for art performances run by non-profits.
Fairfax County Animal Shelter
Fairfax County Government
- We strongly encourage residents to conduct County business online if possible.
- All County agencies have been directed to identify the core functions that must be continued to carry out.
Fairfax County Parks, Libraries, Community Facilities, Senior Centers, and Adult Day Health Care Centers
Fairfax County Public Schools
- All FCPS school buildings are 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.
- 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. They recommend that everyone apply if you think you could be eligible because federal rules on eligibility change.
- 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.
- 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:
- Virginians should avoid non-essential gatherings of more than 10 people, per the Governor. 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.
- For events of any size (public or private), organizers and participants each have a responsibility to reduce the chance of disease transmission. They should also consider the risks and benefits of executing and attending the event.
- 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.
- 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.
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:
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