To the Fairfax County Community,
The United States Postal Service is a vital public service that everyone depends on for bills, prescriptions, accessing government services, and voting. For those of us who are unable to leave home, this service becomes even more vital. The news this past week regarding cuts to the postal service and the reliability of voting by mail are thus concerning.
Many constituents have reached out to my office worried if they will be able to cast their ballots in November. Let me assure you, we have been and are preparing to ensure every ballot is counted in this election. We are currently expecting an 85% voter turnout rate and 200,000 mail in ballots. With those numbers, you must be prepared. Today, I wanted to take a moment to outline what steps the Office of Election is taking.
See below for the full August 20 edition of my newsletter. For the resources mentioned in past newsletters, visit my website
. If you have a friend who would like to sign up for this newsletter, they can do so here
What changed in this year's General Assembly legislative session?
- The GA implemented no excuse absentee voting. This means you can vote absentee (either by mail or in person) for any reason.
- Mail in ballots that are postmarked on Election Day will be accepted and counted. They must however, be received by the Office of Elections at 12pm on the Friday immediately following the election.
What in person voting options will be available?
- On Election Day, all precincts will be open. Find out where you vote here.
- Ahead of Election Day, 15 locations will be open across the County to vote early.
- Voting at the Fairfax County Government Center will begin September 18 and the other 14 locations will open October 14.
- Learn more here.
- The Office of Elections is currently hiring poll workers. They will be providing PPE to ensure the protection of poll workers and voters.
- After adding a flyer to this year's property tax bill that called for people to apply, the Office has received about 40 applications a day.
- You can also apply here.
- Curbside voting for both of in-person options will be available for those who qualify.
What mail options will be available?
- You can apply for a mail ballot here. Ballots will be mailed beginning September 18. When returning via mail, be sure to allow as much time as possible to return your ballot.
- Since 2007, the County has had a system in place to preprocess absentee ballots.
- The Office of Elections is seeking to hire additional staff to process mailed absentee ballots. You can apply here.
- Drop off ballot boxes:
- Virginia law currently allows ballot drop off at the General Registrar of a jurisdiction. Thus, you may drop off a mail ballot inside the Office of Elections at the Fairfax County Government Center.
- The General Assembly might take action during the Special Session (happening now) to increase and allow the use of drop boxes. If this is important to you, contact your state representative.
- With the pandemic and the expected high turnout, increasing drop boxes will be crucial. I support more locations and will also be weighing in with our GA Delegation.
- See more on voting by mail here.
If any changes occur over the coming weeks, I will be sure to share this information.
- Don't forget to download the COVIDWISE app. It doesn't store your data or location and is most effective with widespread use. Read the Washington Post's review of the app here and download it here.
- VDH will conduct a pediatric coronavirus disease serology study in Northern Virginia. Interim results from Virginia’s ongoing study on adults shows an estimated 2.4% of adults statewide have antibodies to COVID-19. The new pediatric study will measure the proportion of children and teens with COVID-19 antibodies. Learn more here.
- Don't forget, face masks are still required by executive order of the Governor in all indoor public places.
Supporting Return to School
- Enrollment for Fairfax County's new program, that will serve to support children's virtual learning, will begin on August 24.
- The goal of the program is to ensure all families have equitable access to the services they need for a successful school year.
Additional information on fees and enrollment, including an online registration option, will be available here or you may call 703-449-8989. More details can also be found on this flyer.
- The SRS program will be offered at 37 FCPS locations.
- Sites are primarily Title I funded schools or are FCPS food distribution sites.
- Two locations will serve students ages 5-21 with special needs.
- An adjusting sliding fee scale will be available for income eligible families.
Other Child Care Options
- Respite to Recharge offers free child care (10 hrs/wk for up to 8 wks) for non-parents who have recently found themselves with full-time child care responsibilities. Those who need the support or are able to help can learn more and apply here.
- The Fairfax County Office for Children offers referrals and resources for families who need child care. Learn more here.
- Fairfax Connector will resume full service on all routes starting Saturday, August 29. Service enhancements including a new commuter route from the Stringfellow Road Park and Ride lot to Southwest Washington, D.C., will also be launching.
- Enhanced cleaning protocols will be maintained.
- All routes will be free until further notice.
- Customers will continue to enter and exit using the rear doors (this doesn't apply to those who need a wheelchair ramp).
- Wearing a face mask is mandatory.
- Read more here.
- East Falls Church Station will reopen this Sunday, August 23. Arlington Cemetery Station, closed since March due to the Covid-19 pandemic, will also reopen. Dunn Loring and Vienna will open Tuesday, September 8. Read more here.
- Approximately 75% of Metrobus services throughout DC, Maryland, and Virginia will be restored beginning Sunday, August 23. Read more here.
A project at Huntington Metro Station will close the south side entrance of the station and will require shuttle buses to ferry passengers to the Huntington Avenue entrance. The closure began yesterday. Learn more here.
Events and Public Meetings
- The Fairfax County Park Authority's summer concert series continues tonight at 7:30pm with Junkyard Band, one of DC's most popular go-go bands. Watch here.
- Fairfax County played a part in the women's suffrage movement. Local attractions are celebrating the centennial of the 19th Amendment through events and exhibits. See what's happening here.
- The Fairfax County Commission for Women, the Fairfax City Commission for Women, and the youth-led movement Generation Ratify, are sponsoring a free concert, Face the Music 4ERA. It will be streamed on Facebook on August 26. Learn more here.
Fairfax County is developing its first-ever Community-wide Energy and Climate Action Plan and your input is needed! Your input will be considered by the CECAP Task Force as they make decisions about climate change mitigation goals, strategies, and actions we can take in the years to come. Join one of three virtual meetings and take the public survey.
- Virtual public meeting on August 27, from 7-9pm.
- Virtual public meeting on September 1, from 10am-12pm.
- Virtual public meeting on September 2, from 7-9pm
- Take the CECAP public survey (available from August 27 – September 13)
Common Health Questions:
People with COVID-19 have a wide range of symptoms reported - ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure. You might experience:
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
Continue to follow the health guidelines:
- Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer if that isn't an option (especially when in public places)
- Cough and sneeze into your sleeve
- Don't touch your face
- Social distance
- What it means to social distance, self-isolate, and quarantine.
The CDC recommends wearing non-medical masks to slow the spread of COVID-19. It is now required in Virginia.
The New York Times (access to COVID-19 content is free) spoke with infectious disease experts, aerosol scientists, and microbiologists to find out if COVID-19 can land on your clothing, hair, shoes, and mail.
- Fairfax County Health Department
To view the number of cases in Fairfax County this page is updated at noon daily.
Visit the County site on COVID-19, Health Department Website, and see their FAQs.
To view multilingual health materials visit the County's Language Portal.
Sign up for text message alerts: text FFXCOVID to 888777. Para inscribirse, textear FFXCOVIDESP a 888777.
- Call the Health Department from 9am-7pm weekdays and 9:30am-5pm on weekends: 703-267-3511
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. This account will be staffed Monday through Friday, 8am-8pm.
Inova has a helpful FAQ.
We recognize that we are in very trying times, but I hope you see in these newsletters that positive change has occurred over the last several months.
As I often say, we are truly lucky to live in Fairfax County where we have the resources to overcome challenges and a community who rises to the occasion.
Jeffrey C. McKay