Issue 48
Friday, January 15, 2021
Prince William County
Dear Neighbors,

In the last issue of The Wheeler Report, many of our accomplishments in 2020 were highlighted. This week, my State of the County Address on Tuesday provided a deeper dive into all that was 2020. I've included a video of the address and a link to the text in the first article of this Wheeler Report.

The main segment of this Wheeler Report focuses on COVID-19 vaccinations. The rollout in Virginia is continually evolving and information is updated frequently. While The Wheeler Report will provide you with new information, I highly recommend you utilize the resource links below to monitor it as well.

There are also plenty of additional articles in this issue. They include BOCS meeting details and a few items from this past week's calendar. Several county, school and state news items are featured. If you read our last section, you may even learn something new about one of Stevie Wonder's hit songs.

In Service,
Chair Ann Wheeler
State of the County Address
Chair Wheeler delivered the annual State of the County address on Tuesday, January 12 at the opening of the first Board meeting of 2021. Her remarks are captured in this video. You can also read the address here.
Governor Ralph Northam and the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) continue to provide updates on the Commonwealth's vaccination rollout. The Prince William Health District (PWHD) is a division of VDH and covers Prince William County, Manassas City and Manassas Park.

The following information is an update to our last issue. To help you identify the vaccination phase you are in, use the VDH online tool.
The Prince William Health District:

Priority groups listed in Phase 1b that are part of an employer group:
  • Includes school staff, grocery store workers, postal workers, and more
  • Will not be able to sign up for an appointment until the health district or local jurisdiction has coordinated with their employer 

Those aged 65 and older (65 to 74, previously in Phase 1c, have been moved into Phase 1b):
  • The preferred method to start the vaccine registration process is to complete this brief survey to assist the health district in contacting you
  • Once your information is uploaded, you will receive an automated email message prompting you to create a recipient profile and schedule an appointment
  • If you chose to not complete the survey, call 703-872-7759

Those aged 16 to 64 years old with an underlying medical condition (previously in Phase 1c, have been moved into Phase 1b):
  • Visit this CDC webpage to see if your health condition qualifies
  • The preferred method to start the vaccine registration process is to complete this brief survey to assist the health district in contacting you
  • Once your information is uploaded, you will receive an automated email message prompting you to create a recipient profile and schedule an appointment
  • If you chose to not complete the survey, call 703-872-7759

For non-hospital healthcare workers, if your practice is unaffiliated with a hospital system, please complete this survey.
PWHD Contact Information
  • COVID-19 Call Center Information Line: (703) 872-7759
  • Call Center Hours: Weekdays from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm (Closed Sat. and Sun.)
  • Email:

Please Note: At this time, the call center is not able to make online appointments for people who do not have access to email; you will be added to a call-back list.
Vaccination Information Resources
The VDH has a dedicated COVID-19 Vaccination Response website where they provide updated information and press releases. You can also subscribe to their press releases to receive them directly.
The PWC Health District (PWHD) website is located within the VDH website and is updated with new information as it is released.
The Virginia Medical Reserve Corps (VA MRC) is a force of dedicated volunteers who stand ready to support the community in the event of a public health emergency. They are an important part of the vaccination rollout in Virginia. To become a VA MRC Volunteer, please submit an application in the Virginia Volunteer Health System.
On Wednesday, January 27, at 1:00 pm, AARP-VA PWC is hosting a community conversation about the COVID-19 vaccination rollout with Alison Ansher, MD, District Director, Prince William Health District. Since the start of the pandemic, people 50 and older have disproportionally lost their battle against COVID-19. Therefore, they are inviting non-members to the conversation. To participate, register online.
PWC's COVID-19 testing webpage provides current information on testing locations and times. Testing is no longer available once the test kits are depleted so please arrive before or as close as possible to the start time. The PWC Twitter Account provides daily updates on closures and capacity.
If you, or someone in your household, lost income due to COVID‐19, you may be eligible for financial assistance to help pay unpaid Service Authority bills through the COVID-19 Municipal Utility Relief Program. Applications must be in by 5:00 pm on Thursday, January 21. Visit the Municipal Utility Relief Program website to learn more and apply
Upcoming Meetings
TuesdayJanuary 19
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, January 18.
In-person speakers can sign up at the meeting.
A Few Items from the January 12 Meeting:
Chair's Calendar
Since January 16
A few of the activities from Chair Wheeler's calendar this past week included:
County News
In observance of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday (see article below), the PWC Government offices will be closed on Monday, January 18.

Due to security concerns, PWC Circuit Court has decided to close the Judicial Center on Tuesday, January 19, and Wednesday, January 20. The Circuit Court Clerk's Office will operate remotely.
PWC's First-Time Home Buyers Program (FTHB) provides loans for down payment and closing cost assistance to some first-time homebuyers. Qualifications include those who are low and moderate-income (at or below 80% of Area Median Income) and are residents or persons working in the Prince William Area (Prince William County, the City of Manassas, or Manassas Park). Visit the FTHB webpage to learn how to qualify and apply.
TRAXyL Inc., a startup information technology and telecommunications firm with contracts from the United States Air Force, the Army Corp of Engineers, and the National Science Foundation, are relocating their headquarters to PWC. Founded in 2014, they developed FiberTRAX and primarily focus on developing equipment to lay fiber optic cables into existing road or runway infrastructure as well as in rural neighborhoods. At their January 12 meeting, the BOCS approved a $25,000 grant from the Economic Development Opportunity Fund to assist the company during the relocation.
“Building and retaining a robust economy remains a priority focus of our strategic plan. Attracting companies like TRAXyL is an example of how we are tactically using our resources to grow jobs and investment in our community even during challenging times.”
Ann Wheeler
Chair At-Large Prince William Board of County Supervisors
On Saturday, January 16, at 10:00 am, join the PWC Human Rights Commission to virtually celebrate Universal Human Rights Day (issue 47)The theme, Recover Better - Stand Up for Human Rights, relates to the need to ensure Human Rights are central to the COVID-19 recovery efforts. PWC residents who missed the registration deadline are encouraged to join the celebration via WebEx.
School News
At their Tuesday, January 12, meeting, the School Board passed a motion to delay for an additional month the proposed return dates for all students above the second and third grade level from the dates adopted by the School Board in October. See the PWC School revised hybrid in-person plan page for more details.
Forty-four teachers and seven principals have been nominated to be recognized as this year’s PWCS Teacher of the Year and PWCS Principal of the Year. Nominees for these awards will be honored by the PWC School Board and Superintendent at 6:00 pm on Tuesday, March 23, during a reception at Unity Reed High School.
State News
On Wednesday, January 13, Governor Ralph Northam delivered his annual State of the Commonwealth address to a virtual joint session of the Virginia General Assembly.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Four days after Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination in 1968, a Congressman from Michigan named John Conyers took to the floor of Congress insisting on a federal holiday in King’s honor. Despite this and many others' efforts, a bill wasn't brought to the U.S. House of Representatives for a vote until 1979. It fell short of passing by five votes. A year later, in 1980, Stevie Wonder wrote and recorded "Happy Birthday" as a tribute to Dr. King and for the campaign to have his birthday become a national holiday. A year later, in 1981, as part of that campaign Stevie hosted the Rally for Peace Press Conference on the National Mall.

Through Stevie's and so many others' efforts, the campaign collected six million signatures for a petition to Congress to pass the law. It has been referred to as the largest petition in favor of an issue in U. S. history. On November 2, 1983, President Ronald Reagan approved the creation of the holiday and signed the law into existence. The first official Martin Luther King Jr. Day, held on January 20, 1986, was commemorated with a large-scale concert. Stevie Wonder was the headline performer.

In 1994, President Bill Clinton signed the Martin Luther King, Jr. Federal Holiday and Service Act. This made the holiday a day of community service, anti-violence campaigning, and interracial discussions. It is the only federal holiday observed as a National Day of Service.
In 1964, at the age of thirty-five, Martin Luther King, Jr. was the youngest man to have received the Nobel Peace Prize. Below is an excerpt from his acceptance speech in Oslo, Norway.

'I accept this award today with an abiding faith in America and an audacious faith in the future of mankind. I refuse to accept despair as the final response to the ambiguities of history. I refuse to accept the idea that the “isness” of man’s present nature makes him morally incapable of reaching up for the eternal “oughtness” that forever confronts him. I refuse to accept the idea that man is mere flotsom and jetsom in the river of life, unable to influence the unfolding events which surround him. I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality. I refuse to accept the cynical notion that nation after nation must spiral down a militaristic stairway into the hell of thermonuclear destruction. I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality.'
The PWC Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. will host its 31st annual Dr. Martin Luther King Youth Oratorical Program on Monday, January 18 at 11 am virtually via their YouTube channel. This year’s theme, “Beyond the Dream – Young Voices with Something to Say” was chosen to continually prioritize the voices of our youth with this annual competition. Reverend Al Sharpton will be a special program guest and the MLK Community Choir, comprised of children from grades K-12, will perform.
You are also invited to participate in their “Day of Service” project in conjunction with the King Day program. Donations of travel size shampoo, conditioner, hand sanitizer, deodorant, and razors will be collected at the Upper Room Christian Cathedral, 10654 Wakeman Court, Manassas on Monday, January 18, from 3 to 6 pm
Photos from previous years
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.