Wednesday, May 20, 2020

COVID-19 Update Thread

As you probably know, our region has confirmed multiple cases of COVID-19, the new coronavirus. The Virginia Department of Health has created a webpage dedicated solely to virus updates where you will find content that is updated daily. The CDC also has a dedicated website. 

If you are a healthcare professional evaluating a patient for suspected COVID-19, please contact your local health department immediately.

Here is a link to all of the Governor's Executive Orders:


As always, please reach out to my office at 571-249-4484 or district36@senate.virginia.gov if you have questions or ideas about things we can do to serve the community better. I will continue to add updates below.

***UPDATE MONDAY, 6/29/20 2:30 P.M.***

New Housing Assistance Program
The Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) will administer the $50 million program through a variety of partners, including nonprofit organizations and local governments, which will receive upfront funds that they will distribute on behalf of eligible households. Individuals and families receiving funding will also be connected to housing counseling and receive other technical assistance.
 
Eligible households must demonstrate an inability to make rent or mortgage payments due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Monthly rent or mortgage must be at or below 150 percent Fair Market Rent (FMR), and eligible households must have a gross household income at or below 80 percent of area median income (AMI).

***UPDATE FRIDAY, 6/26/20 11:00 A.M.***

DMV Credentials Extended
Governor Northam announced an amendment to Executive Directive Seven (ED 7) to further extend the validity of credentials issued by DMV. The Fourth Amended ED 7 extends the validity of every driver, vehicle, and special identification credential due to expire on or before July 31, 2020 for up to an additional 90 days not to exceed October 31, 2020. This means that a customer whose credential expires between March 15 and April 30 has an additional 90 days added to the prior 90 days, effectively 180 days, beyond the expiration date to renew. Customers whose credential expires between May 1 and July 31 will have up to 180 days beyond the expiration date to renew, not to exceed October 31, 2020. Customers with a credential that expires after July 31 must renew the credential before its expiration date.

This extension will give customers with expiring credentials more time to schedule appointments to complete their DMV business.

***UPDATE TUESDAY, 6/23/20 2:30 P.M.***

Phase 3 Reopening Guidelines
Governor Northam released information about the 3rd phase of reopening. Virginia will enter Phase 3 next Wednesday, July 1. 
Rental Assistance In PWC
Update On Nursing Homes
Nursing homes are able to open to visitation in Phase 3 of reopening. Data from Nursing home outbreaks is now available on the Virginia Dept. of Health website.





***UPDATE TUESDAY, 6/16/20 11:00 A.M.***

Virginia Career Works Referral Portal
On Friday, Governor Northam announced a new tool for Virginia workers and job seekers. The Virginia Career Works Referral Portal helps Virginians take full advantage of the support services available through the Commonwealth’s workforce system. The platform is designed to streamline intake processes across state agencies and connect individuals with training, certification, education, and employment services to help them find a job or advance a career path.


DMV Openings
On June 22, the Alexandria, Chesapeake, Fairfax Westfields, and Gate City CSCs will reopen. See the attached news release for more information. Constituents wishing to make an appointment for service at one of these offices can visit www.dmvNOW.com/appt.  Appointments are available 30 days out.


***UPDATE TUESDAY, 6/9/20 5:30 P.M.***

Guidance For Reopening Schools
Local school divisions will have discretion on how to operationalize within each phase and may choose to offer more limited in-person options than the phase permits, if local public health conditions necessitate. Entry into each phase is dependent on public health gating criteria, corresponding with the Forward Virginia plan. School divisions will have flexibility to implement plans based on the needs of their localities, within the parameters of the Commonwealth’s guidance.
 
The opportunities for in-person instruction in each phase are as follows:
  • Phase One: special education programs and child care for working families
  • Phase Two: Phase One plus preschool through third grade students, English learners, and summer camps in school buildings
  • Phase Three: all students may receive in-person instruction as can be accommodated with strict social distancing measures in place, which may require alternative schedules that blend in-person and remote learning for students
  • Beyond Phase Three: divisions will resume “new-normal” operations under future guidance.

***UPDATE TUESDAY, 6/9/20 2:30 P.M.***

Update On Eviction Moratorium
The Chief Justice’s order issued today remains in effect through June 28 and modifies the Court’s earlier Declaration of Judicial Emergency in response to COVID-19. The temporary moratorium will halt all eviction proceedings for a period of nearly three weeks, as the Northam administration implements a comprehensive rent relief program for the thousands of Virginians facing housing insecurity in the midst of this public health crisis.

Details of the Governor’s rent relief initiative, supported by federal CARES Act funding, will be announced in the coming weeks. Tenants are encouraged to know their rights and responsibilities and pay their rent on time if they are able. Please visit StayHomeVirginia.com for more information and resources on tenant rights.

***UPDATE TUESDAY, 6/2/20 9:00 P.M.***

Update on Phase 2 Reopening
Most of Virginia is expected to enter Phase Two on Friday, June 5, as key statewide health metrics continue to show positive signs. Virginia’s hospital bed capacity remains stable, the percentage of people hospitalized with a positive or pending COVID-19 test is trending downward, no hospitals are reporting PPE shortages, and the percent of positive tests continues to trend downward as testing increases. The Governor and Virginia public health officials will continue to evaluate data based on the indicators laid out in April.

Under Phase Two, the Commonwealth will maintain a Safer at Home strategy with continued recommendations for social distancing, teleworking, and requiring individuals to wear face coverings in indoor public settings. The maximum number of individuals permitted in a social gathering will increase from 10 to 50 people. All businesses should still adhere to physical distancing guidelines, frequently clean and sanitize high contact surfaces, and continue enhanced workplace safety measures. 

Restaurant and beverage establishments may offer indoor dining at 50 percent occupancy, fitness centers may open indoor areas at 30 percent occupancy, and certain recreation and entertainment venues without shared equipment may open with restrictions. These venues include museums, zoos, aquariums, botanical gardens, and outdoor concert, sporting, and performing arts venues. Swimming pools may also expand operations to both indoor and outdoor exercise, diving, and swim instruction.

The current guidelines for religious services, non-essential retail, and personal grooming services will largely remain the same in Phase Two. Overnight summer camps, most indoor entertainment venues, amusement parks, fairs, and carnivals will also remain closed in Phase Two.

Visit virginia.gov/coronavirus/forwardvirginia for more information and answers to frequently asked questions.

***UPDATE MONDAY, 6/1/20 2:00 P.M.***

Update from Metro
In the interest of public safety and in light of an announced 7 p.m. citywide curfew in the District of Columbia, all Metrorail and Metrobus service will end earlier than normal today, Monday, June 1. The rail system will close one hour early, at 8 p.m., and Metrobus service will end two hours early, at 9 p.m.

Customers are advised of the following service changes:
  • Metrorail will close at 8 p.m. (one hour early). Last trains will depart downtown transfer stations at that time. Inbound service (toward downtown) will end earlier than 8 p.m. Please adjust your travel. Alternate transportation will not be provided.
  • Metrobus service will be suspended systemwide at 9 p.m. Buses that are scheduled to begin service at or after 9 p.m. will not operate. However, buses that are already in service at 9 p.m. will continue operating to the end of the line before going out of service.
  • MetroAccess will not begin any new trips (i.e. “outbound” service from customers’ residences) after 9 p.m. Customers with existing reservations will be contacted by the MetroAccess service center.
  • These changes apply to Monday, June 1, only. Metro will announce any additional adjustments as necessary. 
As a reminder, current Metro service levels are reduced and capacity is extremely limited due to the Covid-19 pandemic and social distancing guidelines. Customers should consider alternate travel options whenever possible and use Metro only if necessary for essential needs.

***UPDATE FRIDAY, 5/29/20 3:30 P.M.***

Food Distribution In Fairfax County
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***UPDATE FRIDAY, 5/29/20 1:30 P.M.***

Limited Reopening of Public Beaches
Governor Northam announced that Virginia’s public beaches and racetracks will be able to re-open on a limited basis, starting May 29.

Public beaches have been restricted to fishing and exercise only. They will be allowed to open to other recreational activities, but social distancing and cleaning will be required. Other restrictions include no gatherings of more than ten people, no tents, no alcohol, and no group sports.


***UPDATE THURSDAY, 5/28/20 4:30 P.M.***

DMV Credentials and Appointments
Governor Northam amended Executive Directive Seven, extending the validity of DMV-issued credentials to accommodate Virginians with driver’s licenses, identification cards, and vehicle registrations expiring during the COVID-19 health emergency.

The validity of driver’s licenses and identification cards expiring on or before July 31, 2020 is now extended 90 days, not to exceed August 31, 2020. A customer whose credential expires between March 15 and May 31 has 90 days beyond the expiration date to renew. Credentials expiring from June 1 to July 31 must be renewed no later than August 31, 2020. Vehicle registrations that expire in March, April, and May are also extended for 90 days, while those expiring in June are extended for 60 days, and those expiring in July are extended for 30 days. We are alerting customers of the extensions through our website, a news release issued to statewide news media, and social media.

In addition to credential extensions, we continue to reopen customer service centers (CSC) across the state for appointment-only service for specific services. Tomorrow, the Richmond Central CSC and the Onancock CSC will reopen. On June 1, the Arlington, Franconia, Leesburg, Prince William/Manassas, and Tysons Corner CSCs will reopen. Constituents wishing to make an appointment for service at one of these offices can visit www.dmvNOW.com/appt

***UPDATE THURSDAY, 5/28/20 12:00 P.M.***
Information for Transit Riders
If you need to use transit for essential travel, PRTC prepared a list of helpful links with guidance on how to follow the new executive order as it relates to transit and other items.

Faith Communities
The CDC issued general considerations to help communities of faith discern how best to practice their beliefs while keeping their staff and congregations safe.
Testing Available at CVS
CVS Health will begin offering self-swab tests in the Commonwealth to individuals meeting Centers for Disease Control and Prevention criteria. Testing will be scheduled online and take place in Virginia at select CVS Pharmacy locations through the pharmacy drive-thru window; no testing will take place in-store. The following locations in our region are offering tests:
  • CVS Pharmacy, 6400 Landsdowne Center, Alexandria, VA 22315
  • CVS Pharmacy, 16712 Jefferson Davis Hwy., Dumfries, VA 22026
  • CVS Pharmacy, 6360 Hoadly Road, Manassas, VA 20112
  • CVS Pharmacy, 902 Garrisonville Road, Stafford, VA 2255
Sign up for an appointment starting tomorrow here:

***UPDATE TUESDAY, 5/26/20 2:30 P.M.***

Face Covering Requirements
Face coverings will be required as explained in the graphic below and in the executive order linked above.


***UPDATE TUESDAY, 5/26/20 12:30 P.M.***
PPE Supply Chain Management
The Virginia Emergency Support Team (VEST) has coordinated with Amazon to ensure organizations on the frontlines of the COVID-19 response in the Commonwealth can purchase critically needed personal protective equipment (PPE) through Amazon Business on a prioritized basis.  This opportunity is available to hospitals, health clinics, doctor’s offices, and other medical care providers. In order to participate in this program, a business must first sign up on Amazon Business.  
As with many other supply chain routes, PPE supplies through Amazon are limited depending on current demand and inbound shipments.  Nevertheless, this option can serve as a prioritized source of PPE for Virginia’s medical providers that are experiencing disruptions in their normal supply chain.

There is another source for PPE that brings Virginia businesses together to both source and obtain PPE.  The Virginia Manufacturer’s Association has partnered with Virginia businesses to create a website that serves as a clearinghouse for businesses seeking PPE.

***UPDATE FRIDAY, 5/22/20 3:00 P.M.***


Covid-19 Symptoms Self-Check
The Virginia Department Of Health launched a new platform to help you determine whether you should get a test for the virus. You can find the new tool at the link below. There are also numerous community testing opportunities in our region.


***UPDATE WEDNESDAY, 5/20/20 11:00 A.M.***
PPE for PWC Businesses
The Prince William Department of Economic Development has partnered with the county’s Emergency Operations Center to ensure public safety takes precedence as we prepare for Phase 1. A limited supply of cloth masks and hand sanitizer are available for businesses in need. While we invite all businesses to submit a request, high-risk businesses and those in essential industries will take priority.

All requests must be submitted no later than 5 p.m. on Wednesday, May 20, 2020.



NOTE: Distribution is limited to one mask per working employee and a maximum of one five-gallon container of hand sanitizer per business.


If supplies are available for your business, you will receive an email with a date, time and location to pick up your supplies.



***UPDATE MONDAY, 5/18/20 5:30 P.M.***
  • Testing
    • The state is tracking both diagnostic, antibody, antigen tests
    • Initially, they were reporting them out in one bucket
    • There were no antibody tests until 3-4 weeks ago
    • They didn't realize they were being combined until about 8-9 days ago
    • As soon as that was known, they separated them - it took a few days
    • Now they are reported as total tests and PCR tests
    • Antibody tests are increasing and will continue to improve going forward
  • Remdesevir
    • FDA has approved it for inpatient people with severe COVID disease (low O2 saturation)
    • There was an initial distribution by HHS to hospitals with a high COVID census
    • Virginia got 33 cases of the drug and then another 10 cases on May 11 and then 99 cases on May 15
    • VDH holds those and the distribution plan was informed by a subcommittee of the Virginia Emergency Support Team
  • Activiies for Phase I were determined by the JHU Risk Matrix
    • It looks at number of contact, closeness of contacts, etc. which is why restaurants were impacted
  • VDEM has put together an emergency vendor list for small businesses to use to get back up and running
  • Guidance for Private Beaches and Pools
    • They are allowed to be open by 10+ person limitation applies
    • Personal pools - open but gathering ban applies
    • Communities in Phase I, community pools are under the same restrictions, lane swimming only for outdoor pools
  • Diversity/Inclusion Update 
    • They are making extra efforts to disburse PPE and testing in communities of color
    • They have partnered with Richmond, Harrisonburg and Cheseapeake to do successful pilots distributing 20,000 masks and 20,000 hand santiziers to those localities
    • They are prioritizing Roanoke, Petersburg, and NOVA localities 
    • There was a donation of 200,000 masks to go to correctional facilities
  • Public Beaches
    • Only Virginia Beach would like more access in advance of Phase II
    • Administration is working separately with Phase II
    • The City came forward with a proposal for enhanced beach access - enhanced law enforcement presence, beach ambassadors, etc.
    • Governor announced VA Beach will open on Friday
    • Not all activities will be allowed 
    • We will look at other jurisdictions for Phase II
  • Education Update
    • Today, Governor announced a COVID-19 Education and Recovery Group
    • Short goals is continuation of learning
    • Long term they plan on being around 12-18 months
    • In the next two weeks hoping to roll out some very detailed plans for reopening 
    • Many schools are doing drive-by graduations - they are issuing guidance on that
  • Elections Update
    • Localities cannot proactively mail ballots
    • A voter must request the ballot first
    • A PR campaign is being
    • in 2016/2018 we saw 16,000 absentee ballots in local elections, as of noon today we have 55,000
***UPDATE MONDAY, 5/18/20 1:15 P.M.***
Relief for Fairfax County Non-Profits
The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors has established a $5 million fund to support 501(c)3 and 501(c)19 nonprofit organizations, whose primary work currently supports social safety net services to vulnerable populations within Fairfax County. The program will be funded with stimulus funds from the federal CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Fund. 

***UPDATE SATURDAY, 5/16/20 10:20 A.M.***

Information for homeowners, renters, landlords, and homeless
Virginia Housing Development Authority has partnered with Governor Northam to create StayHomeVirginia.com, a website for housing-centered information about programs, services and resources to help those who have experienced job or income loss and other impacts due to COVID-19. This includes guidance on how to work with landlords, financial institutions and others to sustainably utilize temporary eviction and foreclosure protections during this crisis.

***UPDATE FRIDAY, 5/15/20 12:30 P.M.***
PWC Mutual Aid
Prince William County Mutual Aid is a collaborative effort by former and current PWCS students and residents looking to bring community members in need of resources and services to community members who can offer them. 


***UPDATE THURSDAY, 5/14/20 12:00 P.M.***
Update on Hiring Contact Tracers
The Virginia Department of Health is recruiting for 1,300 contractors in these areas:
  • COVID-19 case investigator (district) - 200 positions
  • COVID-19 contact tracer (district) - 1,000 positions
  • COVID-19 testing coordinator (regional) - 10 positions
  • COVID-19 contact tracing supervisor (regional) - 10 positions
  • COVID-19 data manager (district) - 70 positions
  • COVID-19 analytics coordinator (regional) - 5 positions
If you are interested in any of these positions, please click the link below for a list of staffing agencies where you can apply. You should indicate that you want to apply for a COVID-19 position through the Virginia Department of Health.

Relief for Fairfax Small Businesses and Non-Profits
Next month, Fairfax County will open a grant program to provide immediate relief assistance to small businesses and non-profits affected by COVID-19. Criteria is primarily based on an organization's size, location, and time in operation. 

At least 30% of the program's funds will be allocated to minority-, veteran-, and women-owned businesses. Historically these kinds of businesses have faced difficulty obtaining financing.

Update on Cases Per Capita by Zip Code
The Virginia Public Access Project is now posting zip-code-level per-capita Covid case counts on their website. You can view the map on their Covid-19 dedicated page.
Covid-19 Data on VPAP
Testing in Prince William County
Two COVID-19 drive-thru testing sites are opening May 15, 2020, in the Walmart parking lot located at:
  • 17041 Jefferson Davis Hwy., Dumfries, VA 22026
  • 8386 Sudley Rd., Manassas, VA 20109
The sites are supported by Walmart, eTrueNorth, state and local officials to test anyone who meets Centers for Disease Control (CDC), state and local guidelines on who should be tested, including first responders, health care providers, and others with symptoms of COVID-19, and those in high-risk groups without symptoms. Those interested must visit www.DoINeedaCOVID19test.com to see if eligible for testing and to make an appointment.

***UPDATE TUESDAY, 5/12/20 3:00 P.M.***
Update on Re-opening in Northern Virginia
Governor Ralph Northam today issued Executive Order Sixty-Two, allowing specific localities in Northern Virginia to delay entering Phase One of the “Forward Virginia” plan to ease restrictions on certain business operations that were put in place in response to the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19.

Governor Northam has said that Virginia as a whole may enter Phase One on Friday, May 15, as outlined in Executive Order Sixty-One, based on achieving certain health metrics. Executive Order Sixty-Two allows the Northern Virginia localities to delay implementation of Phase One until midnight on Thursday, May 28, to allow those localities more time to meet the health metrics.

In conjunction with this executive order, Governor Northam and State Health Commissioner M. Norman Oliver, MD, MA also issued Order of Public Health Emergency Number Four.

Governor Northam had directed those jurisdictions to formally request approval to remain in Phase Zero. Officials in Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William; the cities of Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, and Manassas Park; and the towns of Dumfries, Herndon, and Vienna (Northern Virginia Region) requested to remain in Phase Zero. The city of Manassas and the town of Leesburg are included in the delayed implementation as well.


Data show that Northern Virginia is substantially higher than the rest of the Commonwealth in percentage of positive tests for COVID-19, for example. The Northern Virginia Region has about a 25 percent positivity rate, while the rest of the Commonwealth is closer to 10 percent.  Further, in the last 24 hours, the Northern Virginia Region reported over 700 cases, while the rest of the Commonwealth reported approximately 270. On any given day, 70 percent of the Commonwealth’s positive cases are attributable to the Northern Virginia Region.





***UPDATE MONDAY, 5/11/20 6:00 P.M.***
This is an update from our regular conference call with the Governor's staff,.
  • Phase I Reopening Discussion - Starting hopefully Friday depending on how data comes in this week
    • Non-essential retail - Currently has a 10-person limit.  Starting Friday we will move to up to 50% capcacity
    • Restaurants can move to outdoor seating
    • Limited outdoor fitness is allowed
    • Personal care studios - can reopen with appointment only service with face coverings required
    • Campgrounds can open for short-term stays
    • State Parks can open for overnights
    • The Governor has issued this 22-page FAQ for Phase I
  • Testing Update
    • We're trying to make clear on people know when to come forward
    • Working on information to help clinicians understand how to get tests
    • Virginia has contracted with outside labs to ensure that we can process tests
    • We are sending health kits to all of the free clinics in the state
    • The Administration thinks we're at 10,000 tests per day, but the lab delays make it look a little lower
    • VDH Office now has a unit to provide point prevalent testing at congregrate care facilities
  • School Reopening
    • The Governor has assembled a group of people to give recommendations 
  • Unemployment
    • 60,000 new unemployment applications
    • 625,000 total
    • If someone feels unsafe in call back do they have to go back - The U.S. DOL has issued guidance that if you are called back and don't go back, you lose benefits
      • Virginia has hired 25 new adjudicators and is working on revising guidelines to provide more flexbility for paying benefits in these situations
***UPDATE MONDAY, 5/11/20 1:00 P.M.***

Job Postings for Contact Tracers
Please see below for the contact tracer jobs that the Commonwealth is currently hiring:

Contact Tracers:   https://virginiajobs.peopleadmin.com/postings/187236   &   https://www.indeed.com/cmp/Virginia-Department-of-Health/jobs

Regional Contact Tracer Supervisors:  https://virginiajobs.peopleadmin.com/postings/187235   &  https://www.indeed.com/cmp/Virginia-Department-of-Health/jobs

Regional Testing Supervisor: https://virginiajobs.peopleadmin.com/postings/187232    &  https://www.indeed.com/cmp/Virginia-Department-of-Health/jobs

Case Investigator: https://virginiajobs.peopleadmin.com/postings/187231  &  https://www.indeed.com/cmp/Virginia-Department-of-Health/jobs

Data Manager:  https://virginiajobs.peopleadmin.com/postings/187234  &     https://www.indeed.com/cmp/Virginia-Department-of-Health/jobs


Data Analytics Coordinator:   https://virginiajobs.peopleadmin.com/postings/187233    &  https://www.indeed.com/cmp/Virginia-Department-of-Health/jobs

Phase 1 Business Guidelines

On Friday, Governor Northam rolled out an overview of guidelines applicable to businesses when Virginia enters Phase 1 of the Virginia Forward Blueprint. You can find detailed guidance for businesses here. 

***UPDATE SATURDAY, 5/9/20 3:30 P.M.***

Update on Re-Opening
Governor Northam issued Executive Order 61 which includes detailed guidance on Phase 1 regulations for individuals, businesses, and places of worship. 


***UPDATE FRIDAY, 5/8/20 3:00 P.M.***

Support for Chronic Disease Patients
The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is especially stressful for people with chronic diseases. The Global Healthy Living Foundation (GHLF) has developed a FREE program for patients and their families to access updated information, community support, and other resources tailored specifically to your health and safety. 


Join the millions of people who are #HighRiskCovid19 by signing up for the latest information about the virus that is a special threat to you -- delivered straight to your inbox.


Update on Phase One of Reopening
The governor announced more details regarding the proposed reopening to begin May 15. Counties in Northern Virginia may choose to delay these measures depending on local case levels.




***UPDATE WEDNESDAY, 5/6/20 12:00 P.M.***
Pandemic EBT Benefits
The Virginia Department of Social Services announced federal approval for Virginia to provide Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) benefits to families of school-age children who no longer have access to free or reduced-price school meals due to public school closures. Eligible Virginia households include students who receive free or reduced-price school meals, as well as students enrolled in schools that provide free meals to all students through the Community Eligibility Provision. Families are not required to be current SNAP participants or complete an application to qualify for P-EBT assistance.

Donating Plasma
Sentara Healthcare has joined the FDA-approved COVID-19 plasma donation program as a potential treatment for COVID-19. If you have recovered from COVID-19, you may be able to help patients currently fighting the disease by donating your plasma. Your plasma is now known as convalescent plasma.


Sentara has partnered with the American Red Cross to help those interested in donating plasma. If interested, you must register as a donor through the American Red Cross website.

***UPDATE MONDAY, 5/4/20 6:00 P.M.***

  • Governor's Phased Reopening Plan
    • At 2 pm, the Governor announced we're extending the Executive Order restricting non-essential businesses based on public health data
    • We're looking for downward trends still - we're moving in the right directions but not there yet
    • We are encouraging people to continue staying at home especially if they have respiratory symptoms
    • We're continuing the 10-person gathering limitations
    • We're recommending face coverings in public
    • The guidelines we've worked on with public health and business task force is 2 sets of guidelines - will be released in next few days
      • 1 applicable to all businesses
        • Three things - physical distancing (6 feet), sanitation methods using in buildings on high contact services (e.g. door handles, cleaning hands ever two hours, separate break areas, severing shifts, self monitoring temperature)
      • Specific guidance for specific businesses - restaurants, breweries, beverage services, fitness centers, exercise facilities, personal care, entertainment/public amusement, campgrounds
    • Phase II will happen after a continued downward trend absent evidence of a rebound 
      • Phase II easing business restrictions recommended face covering, physical distancing
      • Gatherings of 50 people or less
      • Vulnerable people staying at home
    • Phase III
      • Vulnerable populations take precautions
      • Heightened cleaning
      • Continued face coverings
    • Full guidance document will be public in the next day or two
  • Testing Status
    • We're trying to expand testing rapidly 
    • We were able to start doing testing to high risk individuals quickly
    • It's being run through the Health Department and just signed a contract last week 
    • In the private sector (clinicians offices), a test is different components
      • We first need a patient.  We need to change message from isolate to come forward if you're symptomatic.  We'll be reaching out to providers in the next week to spread information.
      • Necessary PPE 
      • A testing site - we're now up to 156 sites.  Our website will give you sites by zip code.  


    • We will have an app soon where people can enter symptoms and use a CDC algorithm to determine what steps you should take.  App will also follow up if you choose and send  you reminders.
  • PPE Update
    • FEMA is providing a 2 week supply to Virginia's 284 nursing homes shortly
      • Masks, gloves and gowns
    • We have 4.6 million masks, 700 surgical masks, 700 face shields arriving later this week
    • Virginia has put out a PPE guide for suppliers to provide information to Virginia
    • Virginia just put three PPE decontamination units in place that can decontaminate 800,000 units per day at full capacity
    • We will have one in Blacksburg, one in Hampton Roads and one in Richmond
    • There is one in the District of Columbia that NOVA facilities can access
  • Unemployment/Workforce Update
    • 72,400 Virginians file for unemployment last week - 565,989 so far
    • Virginia had the 10th lowest rate in the USA 
    • We were one of the first 10 states to have an online system up to process unemployment to 1099 workers/1099 workers
      • Since we launched that system 4/19/20, we've had 65,000 qualified (about 10% don't qualify)
      • Checks will be issued tomorrow
      • Back pay will come later
    • For constituents without technology skills
      • We have a third party call center coming on board and another one coming
      • We have a 3,000 call limit on our call centers - many have been running at capacity
      • We are working on reopening VEC Offices 
  • Long Term Care Facilities
    • We have a long term care taskforce that's been meeting several weeks
    • We've been getting questions about point prevalence testing 
    • We are increasing our community capacity, but VDH has increased it's point prevalence project where all residents/staff are tested at the same time and same day to determine presence at that time
      • VDH has created a team to coordinate with the National Guard to reach as many as they can (nursing homes, killed nursing, corrections, local jails, homeless shelters, and assisted living facilities)
      • Up to this point, our program has been by request through local health departments, we are expanding it to where we're going to be proactively reaching out based on epidemiological risk
    • Nursing home alerting families when someone tests positive or publicizing names with ongoing outbreak
      • CMS (federal govt) was getting ready to publish new rules regarding notification for families
      • New rule has been published effective 5/1
      • They must now reporte weekly only - suspected/confirmed COVID among residents/staff, total deaths, PPE and hand hygene supplies, ventilator supplies, residents beds, census, access to COVID testing and staffing
      • CMS will publicly post this information
      • CMS says it's their intent that the first weekly report will be submitted 5/8
      • LTC facilities must also inform residents and families of suspected cases among residents by 5 pm the next calendar day when they have  single confirmed infection case or 3 or more with new onset of respiratory systems within 72 hours of each other
      • Updates cannot include PII and mitigation actions and whether they will alter activities or access to facilities 
      • Facilities are not expected to make individual phone calls, but can make electronic notifications
***UPDATE MONDAY, 5/4/20 10:30 A.M.***
Update on Testing
Virginia now has increased our testing capacity. The Commonwealth is  issuing more broad-based guidance to providers to test more of their patients, in accordance with our increasing capacity to test. To learn more about testing, ask your provider and click below.
VDH infographics



***UPDATE THURSDAY, 4/30/20 10:30 A.M.***

Update on Student Loan Relief
Governor Ralph Northam today announced that Virginia has secured relief options for more than 200,000 Virginians with privately held student loans. The payment relief is the result of a new initiative by Virginia and several other states to work with the major private student loan servicers to expand on protections for federal student loan borrowers through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

The federal CARES Act provided much-needed relief for students with federal loans, including the suspension of monthly payments, interest, and involuntary collection activity until September 30, 2020. However, millions of student loan borrowers with loans made by private lenders and federal loans not owned by the U.S. Government were left out. 

Under this initiative, Virginians with commercially-owned Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) loans, Perkins loans, or privately held student loans who are struggling to make their payments due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic will be eligible for expanded relief. Borrowers in need of assistance must immediately contact their student loan servicer to identify the options that are appropriate to their circumstances. Relief options include:
  • Providing a minimum of 90 days of forbearance
  • Waiving late payment fees
  • Ensuring that no borrower is subject to negative credit reporting
  • Ceasing debt collection lawsuits for 90 days
  • Working with borrower to enroll them in other borrower assistance programs, such as income-based repayment
These options will provide short-term relief for borrowers with significant changes in their income, which is advisable over the option of non-payment which can lead to default. Borrowers should note that these solutions will impact the terms and conditions of the loans. Before exercising these options, carefully consider the impact of the interest that accrues during the 90-day forbearance and how it will extend the repayment schedule for the loans.

For additional information about relief options for federal loan borrowers, visit schev.edu/studentloan.




***UPDATE WEDNESDAY, 4/29/20 10:30 A.M.***
Update from Fairfax County Parks Authority

The Fairfax County Park Authority will reopen garden plots and some seasonal Farmers Markets with conditions that allow for compliance with the Governor’s orders on social distancing and safety guidelines.

  • All garden plots will reopen on Wed., April 29.
    • Gardeners will be notified of the opening and guidelines via email.
    • Gardeners will be expected to comply with all COVID-19 health and social distancing requirements.
  • The gradual re-opening of Farmers Markets will begin May 9, in a phased approach for the markets.
    • Reston Farmers Market at Lake Anne Shopping Center will open on Sat., May 9, from 8am-12pm.
    • Burke Farmers Market will open on Sat., May 16, at Burke VRE Parking Lot from 8am-12pm
    • Mount Vernon/McCutcheon Farmers Market will open on Wed., May 13, from 8am-12pm.
    • More operational details such as pre-orders, limited contact sales and distribution, and other safety procedures will be announced later this week.
    • Farmers market information can be found online below.
  • All other park amenities currently closed (like visitors centers and restrooms) will remain closed.

***UPDATE MONDAY, 4/27/20 5:30 P.M.***
We also had our regular elected officials update today at 5:00 p.m.

  • 565 New Cases, 13,000 cases so far, 10 new deaths for 458 total
    • This was a 4.4% increase
    • The rate of increase has been falling the last couple days
    • We're watching that rate of change
    • New cases has been down the last couple days
  • We also look at healthcare utilization
    • We have 389 in the ICU today
    • The number of ventilators has been climbing and utilization is about 1/3rd of intubated patients are COVID suspect
    • Ventilator use continues to call
  • Testing continues to be very important in Virginia
    • We've had a significant increase in testing
    • We've also seen an uptick in testing because the provider community is getting better turnaround times
    • We've had about a 40% increase in testing
  • PPE Status
    • We've evolved significantly and now found reliable suppliers
    • The Governor has incorporated a PPE chart into his press conferences
    • Majority of material we've procured has not arrived yet
    • There is still more unmet needs around the Commonwealth
    • We've shipped out PPE to 120 localities 
    • We are prioritizing long term care facilities and first responders
    • FEMA has suggested that we recycle some of these masks and we've procured those to minimize need for PPE
    • We're scheduled to receive 14,000 swabs from FEMA - we requested 100,000
  • Poultry Update
    • We are getting more concerns about the numbers we are seeing on the Eastern Shore
    • On the Eastern Shore we've seen an increase in numbers in Accomack County from people who work at two poultry facilities there
    • We've been needed to coordinate with DE and MD because the Delmarva Peninsula industries are all very integrated
    • We've jointly requested more support from the CDC for poultry industry and there is a CDC team arriving there
  • Governor Northam laid out his Moving Forward Blueprint on Friday
    • We're developing a phased approach
    • We're not yet at Phase I
      • We get there based on some metrics
      • 14 days of declining numbers of cases
      • 14 days of declining numbers of hospitalizations
    • Additional metrics we are working toward are increased testing, access to PPE and increasing our public health workforce for contact tracing, etc.
    • We're trying to provide clarity and consistency to the public, the establishments and the employees
    • One will be broad guidance for all businesses
    • The second set of guidance will be public spacing guidance for businesses as their expand operations in five areas
      • Restaurant/beverage
      • Brick and mortar
      • Personal care
      • Citizen exercise facilities
      • Entertainment and Public Amusement Venues (theatres, concerts, bowling alleys)
    • Administration is outreaching to dozens of groups of stakeholders
    • Also conducting outreach thru the Governor's new Business Task Force 
  • Fairfax County is showing that Hispanics are being disproportionately impacted
    • Releasing data by zip code could violate patient anonymity - I don't agree with is
    • The health equity workgroup has asked for LatinX and African America media to run PSAs
    • They are also launching a campaign 
    • There is also a disproportionate number of death in Richmond among Black residents

***UPDATE MONDAY, 4/27/20 4:30 P.M.***
Update on Transit Funding
The Commonwealth Transportation Board approved the allocation of nearly $100 million of the $456 million in federal public transportation funding apportioned to Virginia by the CARES Act. The stimulus funds will enable local governments, small urban, and rural transit agencies throughout the Commonwealth to offset the substantial revenue losses, as well as sustain essential mobility functions related to the prevention, preparation, and response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Commonwealth of Virginia was apportioned $456 million as follows:
  • $356.6 million distributed directly to urban public transit agencies.
  • $47.2 million to the Commonwealth of Virginia for discretionary allocation to small urban transit agencies.
  • $52.5 million to the Commonwealth of Virginia for discretionary allocation to rural transit agencies, the Virginia Breeze intercity bus service, and the Appalachian Development Public Transportation Program.
The CTB amended DRPT’s FY 2020-2025 Six Year Improvement Program (SYIP) to reflect the nearly $100 million in discretionary funding as follows:
  • 100% of small urban transit agency funding according to the existing formula utilized by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). Small urban agencies can apply directly to the FTA for their share of funding (CARES Act Section 5307 Apportionment Split Letter).
  • 50% of rural transit agency funding according to the FY2020 allocation formula for FTA rural operating funding. (CARES Act Section 5311 Initial Distribution)
  • 15% of rural transit agency funding to the Virginia Breeze intercity bus program.
  • 35% of remaining rural transit agency and Appalachian Development Public Transportation Program funding to be held in reserve to address critical transit agency needs and administrative support for management of the CARES Act program.
The federal CARES Act funding does not require a state or local match, and is nearly three times the amount of federal transit funding appropriated to Virginia transit agencies in FY 2020. All operating and capital uses are eligible, retroactive to January 20, 2020, and include purchases of personal protective equipment (PPE), cleaning equipment, and payment of administrative leave for employees.

More Detailed Information on Case Counts
Fairfax County released an updated tracker with more detailed information on cases in our region. This is a helpful step, and I continue to push for more granular data to be released. You can now see:
  • Total Case Numbers, Deceased and Hospitalizations
  • Cases by Locality. Includes the number of cases and rates per 100,000 residents for Fairfax County, and the cities of Fairfax and Falls Church.
  • Case Rates by Combined Zip Code. To protect confidential health information, case rates are being presented in combined ZIP Codes grouped by the first three digits. Rates per 100,000 residents in a zip code to provide comparable information across zip codes. Cases only represent a place of residence and not where transmission may have occurred. This information should not be used to measure individual risk.
  • Cases by Age Group. Rates are per 100,000 residents and indicate the age distribution of cases and deaths while taking into account the size differences of the age groups.
  • Cases by Racial and Ethnic Groups. A side-by-side percent comparison of racial and ethnic group percentage among all Fairfax Health District residents and racial and ethnic group percentage only among Fairfax Health District residents that have been reported as being infected with COVID-19. Race and ethnicity data are not routinely reported by laboratories. This means that race and ethnicity data is missing and caution should be used when interpreting these results.
  • Trajectory of Cases. This graph helps visualize if the number of cases are growing or slowing.
  • Epidemic Curve. This curve shows the number of new cases that occur by week of onset. Information from the past 3 weeks may be incomplete due to the time between exposure and laboratory results.
Local May Elections
Governor Northam announced that he is using his executive authority to delay the May 5 local elections by 14 days to May 19. Given health concerns, the Governor is strongly encouraging anyone who plans to vote in that election to vote absentee by mail. 



***UPDATE THURSDAY, 4/23/20 3:30 P.M.***
Prescription Drug Relief
Pfizer RxPathways connects eligible patients to a range of assistance programs that offer insurance support, co-pay help, and medicines for free or at a savings.

One of these programs is the Pfizer Patient Assistance Program, which provides eligible patients with their Pfizer medicines for free.

If you are interested in applying to the Pfizer Patient Assistance Program, please follow the prompts below to tell us a little bit more about yourself. You will then be able to start filling out a program application online.

Request for Telework for Federal Employees
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam, and Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser have sent a letter urging the Trump administration to continue to keep telework policies in place for the federal workforce. More than one-fifth of the nation’s federal workforce lives in Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia.

List of providers offering mental health/substance use disorder treatment to Medicaid members and others
In order to ensure Virginia’s most vulnerable populations are able to access the mental health and substance use disorder treatment they need, Virginia's Community-Based Providers have adapted under flexibilities authorized by DMAS to be able to deliver behavioral health services via telehealth and telephone, as clinically appropriate. While all providers provide Medicaid services, many also accept commercial insurance. As a resource to you as you become aware of Virginians in need of behavioral health treatment, we have created a comprehensive list of providers, locations, jurisdictions served, services provided, insurance accepted and contact information for referrals. This list is organized by health district.

Supreme Court Extends Judicial Emergency
Virginia’s ongoing judicial emergency status, which limits, modifies or postpones most in-person court hearings as a precaution against the COVID-19 pandemic, will continue at least through May 17.

The state Supreme Court announced Wednesday it will extend the emergency — which was declared March 16 and later renewed through April 26 — for a third period of 21 days.
Internet Access
With the help of local officials, schools, and libraries across Virginia, the Commonwealth Connect team and Virginia Tech have developed an interactive map of free, publicly available wifi hotspots that Virginians can access from a vehicle. 
Virginia WiFi Hotspot Map
WMATA update
Making the most of historically low ridership and traffic-free highways, Metro today announced plans to combine the schedules of its two biggest capital priorities in Virginia: rebuilding platforms and connecting the Silver Line to Metro's existing network.

Under the expanded plan, Metro will combine this summer's work demolishing and reconstructing platforms at four Orange Line stations with a separate project on the Silver Line to connect Metrorail to the new "phase II" stations, which are being constructed by the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA). 

The resulting summer shutdown will close a total of nine stations from Memorial Day weekend through the fall. 

Under the new plan:

All stations west of Ballston on the Orange and Silver lines will be closed beginning Saturday, May 23:
  • Orange Line: East Falls Church, West Falls Church, Dunn Loring, Vienna
  • Silver Line: McLean, Tysons, Greensboro, Spring Hill, Wiehle-Reston East
  • All trains will begin/end service at Ballston. Orange Line service will run from Ballston to New Carrollton.
  • There will be no Silver Line service.
  • Free express and local shuttle bus service will be available to provide alternative travel options for essential workers.
  • As a result of the COVID-19 public health emergency, ridership at stations west of Ballston totals about 1,200 customers per weekday – less than 5% of normal ridership. 
Extended Closure at DMV

Gov. Northam extended the closure of Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) public-facing offices by two weeks, until May 11. Virginia State Police are directed to continue suspending the enforcement of motor vehicle inspections and take several additional measures through July 31.




Ban on Elective Surgeries

Gov. Northam extended the current ban on elective surgeries by one week, until May 1. The ban on elective surgeries will continue while the Governor and State Health Commissioner M. Norman Oliver, MD, MA continue to evaluate, in conjunction with hospitals and other medical facilities, how to safely ease restrictions on non-essential medical procedures, and the availability of personal protective equipment.



The public health emergency order does not apply to any procedure if the delay would cause harm to a patient. The order also does not apply to outpatient visits in hospital-based clinics, family planning services, or emergency needs.



***UPDATE TUESDAY, 4/21/20 7:00 P.M.***
Testing Workgroup
Yesterday, Governor Northam announced the creation of a Testing Workgroup, to make sure all of Virginia’s public and private testing efforts are coordinated. Dr Karen Remley and Dr. Lillian Peake will head up the workgroup. Dr. Remley is the former Virginia Commissioner of Health, and Dr. Peake is our state epidemiologist.

Dr. Oliver Clinicians Letter
Yesterday, Dr. Oliver sent a letter to clinicians, outlining expanded testing guidelines. It will encourage doctors to test all of their symptomatic patients. That letter is available below.

Health Data reporting

Governor Northam announced during his press conference yesterday that VDH will expand the health data that is being reported. This will include cases, hospitalizations and fatalities by locality; as well as the number of cases, hospitalizations, and fatalities at the health district level with demographic information, such as age or race.

Unemployment Update
The CARES Act includes a provision of temporary benefits for individuals who are not eligible for regular/traditional unemployment insurance. These individuals may include those who are self-employed, independent contractors, gig economy workers, clergy and those working for religious organizations as well as others who may not be covered by the regular/traditional UI program.
  • The first step was to apply for unemployment insurance (UI) by visiting www.vec.virginia.gov or www.vawc.virginia.gov or by calling 866-832-2363
  • You received (or will receive) a Monetary Determination from the Virginia Employment Commission that indicates that you do not qualify for unemployment benefits (UI).

***UPDATE MONDAY, 4/20/20 5:30 P.M.***

Monday afternoon, we held our regular call with the Administration regarding the Commonwealth's response to the COVID crisis.
  • 453 new cases, 5% increase
    • 23 new deaths
    • Sunday at 6% increase, Saturday 7%, Friday 8.7%
    • Percentage is down, but absolute numbers are flat which we think is positive
    • Medical resources are not overwhelmed 
    • Secretary Carey is cautiously optimistic 
    • Some health systems have 150 COVID patients, some have 3
  • The state is monitoring the protests planned for Wednesday
  • FEMA has approved request for funding for hotel stays for first responders
    • Non-congregated shelder for Fire, EMF, law enforcement, and certain health workers
  • PPE - we have some deliveries coming in from Northfield (VA Company)
    • We received 25,000 maskes
    • 50,000 gowns
    • 50,000 face shields
    • The state is continuing to attempt to expand efforts
  • We have a committed focus on testing
    • The needs for swabs is apparently - we don't have enough
    • We've made another request of FEMA - 200,000 swabs
  • Detailed patients information/Data issues
    • State Health Commissioners is required to preserve the anonymity of any patient examined
    • Identity and disease date is confidential
    • We cannot release facility level data because it would compromise anonymity of the individual
    • 32.1-3 also means the facility is included if they make a disease report
  • VDH is looking into developing some milestones or graphics that could show where we need to be to revisit business restrictions
  • Data/Modeling Analysis
    • The IHME Model Reset on Friday
      • It didn't change much but showed that we are 5 days from peak
    • UVA model is updated weekly - that will come out Thursday
      • That data is more about what happens when we relax
      • We don't expect to change much
    • The Health Systems are using CHIMES data 
      • It still shows a May peak 
      • It's better at showing their burn rate of PPE
  • CARES Act Update
    • New law made 3 changes
      • 26 weeks to 39 weeks
      • Added $600 to weekly benefits up to 4 months
      • Added gig workers/independent contractors/sole proprietors
        • We just launched our new portal for this on Friday because we had to build a new portal
    • Benefits are continuing to roll out
    • Independent contractors are now being processed
  • Inmate Status
    • We have testing occurring in prisons and with staff
    • Physical visitation is cancelled
    • Video visitation is available to offenders
    • Every DOC facility offers offsite visitation 

***UPDATE FRIDAY, 4/17/20 4:00 P.M.***
Update on Incarcerated Population
On March 19, Governor Northam issued guidance to local criminal justice officials, calling for them to consider proactive measures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 while ensuring public safety. The Northam administration issued a joint statement with local public safety agencies, including the Virginia Sheriffs Association (VSA), the Virginia Association of Commonwealth’s Attorneys (VACA), the Virginia Indigent Defense Commission (IDC), and the Virginia Association of Regional Jails (VARJ).

Governor Northam recommended the following: 
  • Allowing sentence modifications that can reduce populations within the jails, as outlined in § 19.2-303 of the Code of Virginia.
  • Diverting offenders from being admitted into jails prior to trial, including the use of summonses by law enforcement in lieu of arrest pursuant to § 19.2-74 of the Code of Virginia, and use of local pretrial programs as available and with consideration to local capacity.
  • Considering ways to decrease the number of low-risk offenders being held without bail in jails.
  • Utilizing alternative solutions to incarceration such as home electronic monitoring, pursuant to § 53.1-131.2 of the Code of Virginia.
Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Brian Moran sent a letter to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Virginia, Donald Lemons, on March 25 requesting his assistance in encouraging all magistrates and other judicial officers determining bail to consider the health and safety of those that appear before them and the residents and employees in local and regional jails.

Since late February, the number of new commitments to local and regional jails has decreased from approximately 10,000 during a two-week period to just over 4,000. On April 7, the jail population in the Commonwealth was 24,000, which is a 17 percent decrease from March 1. Virginia has also seen a 67 percent decline in the number of new commitments for misdemeanors across the Commonwealth.

Tips for safe grocery shopping
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued the tips below to stay safe around your food. To help protect yourself, grocery store workers, and other shoppers, it is important to keep a few things in mind:
  • Prepare a shopping list in advance. Buy just 1 to 2 weeks-worth of groceries at a time. Buying more than you need can create unnecessary demand and temporary shortages.
  • Wear a face covering or mask while you are in the store. Some stores and localities may require it. Check your state, county or city guidelines for any other requirements.
  • Carry your own wipes, or use one provided by the store to wipe down the handles of the shopping cart or basket. If you use reusable shopping bags, ensure they are cleaned or washed before each use.
  • Practice social distancing while shopping – keeping at least 6 feet between you, other shoppers, and store employees. Keep your hands away from your face.
  • Wash your hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds when you return home and again after you put away your groceries.
  • Again, there is no evidence of food packaging being associated with the transmission of COVID-19. However, if you wish, you can wipe down product packaging and allow it to air dry, as an extra precaution.

Healthcare Personnel
The Governor announced Executive Order 57, which adds physician offices and other health care facilities to the section in Executive Order Fifty-Two allowing hospitals, nursing facilities, and dialysis facilities to have out-of-state licensees provide in-state care. It allows Virginia-licensed nurse practitioners with two or more years of clinical experience to practice without a collaborative agreement. It provides additional flexibility to hospitals in the supervision of interns, residents, and fellows, and allows hospitals to use fourth year medical students in the provision of care.
Executive Order Fifty-Seven also allows for expanded use of telehealth. Physicians with licenses from another state who have current Virginia patients may continue to treat their patients via telehealth, which will help ensure Virginians who live in border communities do not have to travel out-of-state for care.
The order is in effect through June 10, 2020, unless amended or rescinded by a further executive order. 


Tuition-free college-level classes for High School Students
Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) is using institutional dollars from the Federal stimulus to launch a new summer schedule of tuition-free online classes for approximately 70,000 qualified Northern Virginia high school students. This is an opportunity for rising seniors through graduating seniors to JumpStart their summers and earn college credit by attending up to two online courses that will run from June 1 to July 15.

The online courses have been selected because they fulfill not only NOVA degree requirements but also transfer to most colleges and universities. Also, in partnership with Amazon Web Services, the JumpStart offerings will include an online course in Cloud Computing, providing students with their first step onto an in-demand local tech pathway.

Updates on business closures
  • The Governor extended Executive Order 53 until May 8 which defined closures for essential and non-essential businesses. 
  • The stay-at-home order is still in effect until June 10.
  • Northam also promised that he is working with Maryland, DC, and North Carolina to coordinate the appropriate time for any future re-openings.

Update from the Fairfax Office to Prevent and End Homelessness
  • Contracts will be signed shortly to secure three hotels with a total of 223 rooms to serve people experiencing homelessness who either: 
    • Tested positive for COVID-19
    • Are symptomatic and pursuing testing or are awaiting testing for COVID-19
    • Have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19
    • Are at high risk of serious illness
  • Additional services are being procured this week for transportation, meal delivery, cleaning services, security, and more.
  • People at the highest risk have begun transitioning.
Update from Prince William County Human Services

The Human Services Alliance of Greater Prince William partnered with Prince William County Government and the cities of Manassas, and Manassas Park to collect donations for the Prince William Area Disaster Fund. This is a combined disaster relief and recovery fund to respond to the effects of COVID-19 on the community. The fund is supported mostly by donations from private citizens, businesses, faith-based organizations, and other community groups.



People who would like to donate can text the word “IMPACT” to 36413, send a check, or give online. Funding priorities include food security, housing, human services, employment assistance and other critical assistance.



Through monies donated, The Alliance will provide funding to emergency networks, community groups, and agencies that are working to meet critical unmet needs. Funding priorities include food security, housing, and human services, employment assistance and other critical needs. The Alliance will administer funds to community groups that can show collaboration, efficiency in their plans to serve Prince William Area residents in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis.  Five percent of the funds raised will go toward administrative costs associated with managing the initiative.



***UPDATE WEDNESDAY, 4/15/20 5:30 P.M.***
Today, we have our regular COVID update with legislators.
  • We are now over 6,000 confirmed cases
  • The increase of 329 over the previous day's amount has slowed our curve
  • We also look at hospitalizations
    • This morning there were 1298 confirmed/suspected COVID cases
    • 802 with positive test and 492 with pending test
    • That ratio used to be higher (2:1) and that has reversed with increased testing capacity
  • 234 COVID suspects are on ventilators - that's been relatively stable
    • NYS has offered us ventilators because our request from the national stockpile got diverted to NY
  • Use of ventilators has been steadily falling 
  • PPE Update
    • Governor announced a big $27M order placed last week
    • First shipment has arrived and is at the VDEM warehouse
    • The are prioritizing hot spots
  • Governor extended the order for non-essential businesses by 2 weeks to 5/8/20
  • Workforce Update
    • In the first three weeks there were over 300,000 claims
    • That's more than the last 3 years combined
    • Last year we issued 191,000 benefit checks
    • Last Friday, anyone who qualified for unemployment benefits would get an extra $600 for four months per USDOL guidance
      • It's also retroactive and we will pay it back depending on application
      • Retroactive will come next Tuesday
    • We are processing anyone who did not qualify for unemployment because they were 1099/gig workers/sole proprietors
      • This is new
      • Had to create a whole new system
      • We will request further information because we don't have payroll data on them
      • Congress made the paperwork requirements tricky and it requires verification which will slow benefits down
      • If someone is partially unemployed and make more than $428/week on partial unemployment then you don't qualify for any unemployment
      • Some people are calling unhappy that if they made $420/wk v. $428/wk, they get an extra $600 - they're saying then I'll just full unemployed and get the full $600 - our hands are tied by federal law
  • UVA Modeling Data
    • The UVA Model says there's an initial phase where we peak now 4/23
    • It also shows the dramatic impact of the social impacting implementation
    • What's important from the UVA model is that the vast majority of Virginians have not been infected, if we simply release the social distancing intervention and don't have some baseline of masks, avoiding masks gatherings, etc., then we would have a secondary peak in August, 2020
    • We need to have triggers in place in terms of going forwards/backwards with implementation
  • National Guard 
    • Being used in MD, but in VA they are part of the consultation/support team but not part of the medical intervention in Virginia
    • We're using them when we have outbreaks and other immediate response measures for certain non-medical measures
  • Paycheck Protection Program
    • Our initial numbers are that VA is slightly outpacing states of our size
    • We've had 27,000 Virginia businesses approved for $6.5 billion in loans
    • The Federal Reserve is issuing guidance for their program for companies over 500 employees




***UPDATE MONDAY, 4/13/20 5:30 P.M.***
Today, we have our regular COVID update with legislators.
  • They have received 419 Vendor leads and have completed 219 reviews
  • They have received lots of donations also
  • PPE Status continues to be an urgent issue
  • Department of Corrections
    • DoC is isolating COVID positive inmates
  • We are still trying to come up with a robust testing process in the Commonwealth
  • Wearing of facemasks in public
    • The Governor has endorsed everyone wearing a cloth facial covering but he has not mandated it and does not have plans at the present time to make that an executive order
  • VDH and VHHA website has new data transparency in the last 24 hours
    • They are working on additional measures so that it might be possible to break down data by localit


***UPDATE MONDAY, 4/13/20 4:30 P.M.***
COVID-19 Myths
As many communities struggle with the Coronavirus, several myths are starting to circulate. The World Health Organization compiled a list of these common myths and and reputable research to bust them. These are published at the link below.

Updates on Modeling and the Virginia Peak
Researchers from the University of Virginia presented research today. The main takeaways from that briefing are as follows:

1. Social distancing is working.  Keep adhering to the Executive Orders and associated guidance.
2. Virginia is collaborating with some of  the best minds in the nation to understand and apply science and data for sound policy.
3. Models are developing as the data grows.  There is not one definitive model.  Virginia will continue to base our decisions on the best available science and data.

More information is available below.
Federal Resources
Congressman Don Beyer released summaries of federal resources available to provide housing, food, and financial relief for Virginians.


***UPDATE FRIDAY, 4/10/20 5:30 P.M.***

Update on Incarcerated Individuals
The Governor asked the General Assembly to pass emergency legislation at our April 22 meeting to allow the Dept. of Public Safety to release individuals at their discretion if the individual has less than one year remaining on their sentence. We will consider this as an amendment to the budget bill.

The state does not have jurisdiction over Immigration and Customs Enforcement facilities in the Commonwealth.

The juvenile justice facility at Bon Air has several confirmed cases. The facility was built for 500+ offenders but only houses 205 currently so they are able to space them out to a greater extent than other prisons.

Update on Unemployment Insurance
Beginning next week, individuals who were self-employed will be able to claim benefits. People who were rejected before the change to federal law will be reached back out to so they can now claim their benefits. The additional $600 under the CARES act will also be added in to the weekly benefit amount. More information from the Virginia Employment Commission is below:

Virginia Medical Reserve Corps
The Governor stressed the continued need for medical volunteers. If you are able to volunteer, please do so at the link below.

The Virginia Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) is a force of dedicated volunteers who stand ready to support the community in the event of a public health emergency. Each of the 22 local MRC units is comprised of teams medical and public health professionals who, along with interested community members, volunteer their skills, expertise and time to support ongoing public health initiatives and assist during emergencies throughout Virginia.
Volunteer for the Virginia Medical Reserve Corps

Long-Term Care Facilities
Today, Governor Northam announced that Dr. Laurie Forlano, Deputy Commissioner at the VA Dept of Health, will head up a task force to oversee the Commonwealth's COVID mitigation efforts in long-term care facilities. This task force will ensure that nursing homes and long-term care facilities have the necessary financial resources, strengthen their staffing and infection control measures, and ensure access to information on where the virus is appearing.

VDEM Information Portal
The Virginia Department of Emergency Management has established a portal through which you can find a wide variety of COVID-related material. It encompasses waivers, memoranda and guidance; available disaster grants and loan programs; and instructions for private sector partners who seek to aid the Commonwealth in our COVID response. Those resources can all be found here.

VDH Frequently Asked Questions
The Virginia Dept of Health website has published a comprehensive page of health-related FAQs. Please distribute this link to any constituents with relevant questions.



***UPDATE WEDNESDAY, 4/8/20 5:30 P.M.***

  •  Infection Update
    • 3645 positive cases in VA 
    • 312 or 9% increase
    • We can't do point-of-care testing at doctor's offices yet because we don't have access to such testing in the USA yet
    • There are some tests that haven't been validated by the FDA because they aren't sensitive enough and are giving false negatives which can cause more disease spread
    • So far FEMA has only distributed 50,000 tests from Abbott Labs although the goal is to manufacture 40,000 per day
    • They are having the same experience in other states
    • There is a national set of eyes on these issues
    • We're working with other some contractors on best practices from other areas as to how to do better
  • Modeling 
    • There are a number of models
    • Secretary Carey recommends the Institute for Healthcare 
    • That moved one month over the weekend - said Late May, not April 20 (2 weeks away)
    • And a relatively low spike
    • That is not the only model
    • The CHIMES U of Pa model based on health systems and PPE burn rate says a peak in May or as late as June 
    • There is the UVA Model - they updated yesterday and we'll have a report tomorrow
    • We've got the RAND corporation trying to integrate all of them to give us better information
    • We have models, but they are all over the place
  • HHR Update
    • Delays in testing results are attributable to the commercial labs
      • Quest has a system in place to prioritize hospitalized patients
      • Labcorps is doing the same.
    • Some members have requested more robust data
      • Some weekly data is available on the VDH website
      • That has more information than the general dashboard updated daily
      • There is some demographic data by health region
      • There is data by ER visits and other treatment sites like nursing homes
      • We've contracted with RAND corporation to try to make visualizations of data more available
    • Ventilator status
      • We're gathering from health systems
      • 2,400 we have
      • 665 in use on Friday
      • 73% available
      • We've requsted 300 from the National Stockpile and FEMA says we will receive 7 days prior to estimated date needed
    • Face masks
      • Governor has endorsed cloth based covering in places where social distancing is difficult to avoid like grocery stores in areas with significant COVID spread
      • Can be purchased or made at home
      • We should not use N95 masks
    • Hydrocholoriquine
      • The state is not stockpiling
      • There is no national recommendation on this
      • The state has recommended against hoarding
    • Teletherapy
      • Many insurers are offering telemedicine without cost sharing 
      • The VA Assoc of Health Plans has info on their website about how insurers have expanded coverage - Google VA Healthcare teleprovisions
    • Scope of Practice
      • Nurse Practitioners are requesting full practice authority
      • Some requirements are in Code and can't be waived, but we are in discussions
  • Elections Update
    • The Governor is going to recommend Emergency legislation to move the May, 2020 local elections to November
      • The Governor is concerned about the health and safety of workers and voters
      • Novembers qualified in November can vote in those elections - not just voters qualified in May
      • If passed, votes already submitted for the May election will be discarded
    • The Governor is also going to move the primary date to June 23, 2020
      • These are difficult choices but the best option to protect the health of Virginians and the integrity of the elections
      • Anyone's whose term expires will be extended
  • ABC Update
  • Unemployment
    • All unemployment applications really need to go through the state website
    • We are trying to upgrade a system that takes 1900 claims per week to 10,000 claims per day
    • We are also getting guidance from the U.S. Department of Labor to determine how to process this information


***UPDATE WEDNESDAY, 4/8/20 3:00 P.M.***
Update on PPE
The Commonwealth has distributed over a million gloves and several hundred thousand masks. There is still a huge gap in federal leadership. No hospital is out of PPE but many are concerned. The hospitals put up data here:

Update on Elections
The Governor proposed moving the May election general elections to the fall. The General Assembly will have to act on this proposal when we meet later this month. 

The Governor also used his statutory authority to postpone congressional primaries from June 9 to June 23.

Update on Bills Before The Governor
The budget will be heavily amended. The Governor is committed to meeting his deadline to act on all bills by Saturday.

Cocktails to-go
Virginia ABC will begin licencing restaurants on Thursday to serve cocktails to-go.

Monetary Policy Update From Fed of Richmond
Tom Barkin, President & CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, explained what the Fed has done to address this crisis and how he sees that dovetailing with other government intervention.


***UPDATE TUESDAY, 4/7/20 4:30 P.M.***

Update regarding waste collection
Beginning last week, the Solid Waste Management Program in Fairfax County changed collection requirements for trash and recycling haulers and changing service levels at the county’s two disposal sites. These changes will remain in effect until the public health emergency passes. Additional changes may be announced if the situation worsens in our area.

“These were tough decisions, but the health and safety of our hardworking men and women is paramount. We know some of these changes will be inconvenient for residents. We ask for patience and understanding as we do our part to protect our people. Everyone is making sacrifices to get through this extraordinary public health crisis. Our staff is looking forward to returning to normal as soon as possible,” said John Kellas, Solid Waste Management Program director.

Genetic Technology to Combat COVID-19
Governor Northam announced yesterday that the Department of General Services’ (DGS) Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services (DCLS) is one of the first public health labs in the nation to use genetic technology to help public health officials better understand and track the scope of the COVID-19 pandemic to strengthen prevention and response efforts.

DCLS is using next-generation sequencing to genetically decode some Virginia samples that contain the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19. Looking at this genetic fingerprint can help public health officials track how the virus is changing and provide insights into how it is being transmitted. A full press release on this announcement can be found here.

Virginia Dept of Education
The Virginia Department of Education (DOE) has published an in-depth FAQ page regarding special education and student services. That FAQ page can be found here.

Small Business Administration Loans
The SBA continues to put out information on their Coronavirus Relief Options for small businesses. 

Employee Retention Tax Credit

The IRS has published an informational page on the Employee Retention Tax Credit. This program is a component of the CARES Act, and more information on it can be found here.


***UPDATE MONDAY, 4/6/20 6:00 P.M.***
At 5:00 p.m. today, we had our regular conference call with the Governor's staff.

  • 1.3 million confirmed cases worldwide
    • 357,000 in the USA
  • NY has 131,000 cases
    • Hubei has 68,000
    • NJ 41,000
    • MI 13,000
    • NYC 72,000 confirmed cases
  • Virginia
    • 241 new cases 
    • 2878 Virginians tested positive - 9% increase
    • Represented a decrease in slope, but we don't know if that's a trend yet
    • 24,500 Virginians have been tested
    • We have 497 hospitalizations
    • 538 confirmed positive hospitalized patients right now with 1,100 total with those in and those pending results due to lack of rapid turnaround in testing nationwide
  • 2560 ventilators, 600 higher than reported 2 weeks ago
    • 666 people on them
    • 26% of ventilators is being used right now - same as last week, but supply has gone up
  • 5,500 beds are available
  • The biggest issue remains testing capacity which is increasing
    • Many hospitals now have in hospital labs
    • Point of care testing is helpful
    • Abbott is shipping 40,000 per day but few was coming to the US
    • Governor has raised it on his conference call with the President
  • PPE
    • We've been in a mad scramble
    • We did secure a $27M purchase from a Norfolk company
    • First shipment will come soon
    • That's just the beginning and we're still locating and finding other members
    • They appreciate the leads we've provided
  • Notarizations Issues
    • They've been getting a lot of calls about remote online notarizations
    • Other states have put out emergency orders allowing traditional notaries to provide online notaries
    • We've put together a guidance document
    • Traditional notaries can apply to be an electronic notary
    • We have prioritized those applications 
    • Questions/concerns contact the Secretary of the Commonwealth 
  • Chief Workforce Adviser
    • USDOL is providing continued guidance on (1) 1099's applying for unemployment, (2) the additional $600/week of the original amount (is also retroactive) and (3) expanding to 39 weeks of benefits
    • The hardest part is the gig contractor rule because we can't do a payroll match like we can on existing employees
    • If you work in DC - you need to apply in DC
    • Our unemployment system is regulated by the Federal Government and we can only give insurance to workers who live in VA
    • We actually pay unemployment today to about 2,000 people who do not live in VA because of the same rule
    • They are also coordinating with OSHA on safe work environments for people continuing to work
    • We are trying to push complaints to OSHA - we've received 1,000's of complaints and OSHA is following through with calls to employers
    • Healthcare workforce
      • Working with hospitals regarding levels of need and staffing patterns
      • We are also working with our Medical Reserve Corps - we're going to need 30,000 volunteers
      • Some have suggested home healthcare workers could help
      • They're trying to figure out the best way to bring people in
      • We've also lost a lot of workers to NYC because they paid high bonuses and there's some concern people might not come back
    • The state is also working to have measures in place in case we need to utilize these alternative treatment locations - convention centers, etc.
  • Public Safety Questions
    • Gun stores are not essential, but are allowed to be open provided they can honor social distancing
    • DJJ has one positive test - resident is asymptomatic and doing well
    • Inmates have been provide masks
    • Security staff has gloves
    • Law enforcement has been advised not to enforce the Commonwealth's mask statute
    • ABC continues to be a topic of discussion
      • Beer and wine off premises has been authorized
      • Cocktails is more complicated because it's prohibited by statute and not regulation
      • Virginia distilleries have now been authorized to make home deliveries
    • The Parole Board is working overtime
    • They release 95 people last month which is a big increase
    • There are 2,500 people eligible for geriatric or pre-1995 release, but the problem is that most are violent offenders
    • Most non-violent offenders don't fit into any statutory box where we can release them
    • The Governor's only authority is clemency, but Governor has to review each case individually
    • The Sheriff's have reduced their populations and have stopped booking as many people via arrests
    • Of the campgrounds - the Gov's order is specific
      • All overnight stays less than 14 stays need to stop
      • We did close State Parks to overnight
      • Some people were trying to come down here to camp out and get out of NY
  • Farmer's Markets
    • VDAC issued guidelines for Farmer's Markets to work consistent with restaurants
    • We have about 287 registered Farmer's Markets
    • Some have as many as 40-50 vendors, some are 4-5, some are in food deserts
    • We did not recommend that they close, but that they convert to take out or delivery and establish a system of ordering ahead if possible
    • LuLu's Local, MarketMaker platforms are available
    •  We've given guidance for social distancing guidelines, no touch/low touch opportunities, others are doing pre-boxing
    • We wanted to make sure there were mobile markets allowed
    • There was some initial confusion - we never asked anyone to close
***UPDATE MONDAY, 4/6/20 3:00 P.M.***

Update on Hospital Resources
The Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association (VHHA) has launched a new online data dashboard to provide up-to-date statistics on the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations across the Commonwealth, ventilator usage, current hospital bed availability, and metrics on the number of hospitals experiencing challenges obtaining or replenishing critical inventories of personal protective equipment (PPE) and other needed medical supplies.

The publication of this dashboard, which is updated daily, provides a resource to the public, state and federal partners, and the media to share valuable, accurate data that offers insight into the work being done by Virginia hospitals and health systems, and the thousands of dedicated health care professionals they employ, who are combatting COVID-19.

In addition to the new data dashboard, VHHA also maintains a COVID-19 webpage with resources, documents, video content, and more. That page is also a portal through which people with supplies to donate can find information on hospitals seeking supply donations.

Update from Fairfax County Public Schools
Any FCPS parent may schedule a 30-minute phone consultation with a school psychologist or school social worker, for either themselves or their middle or high school student. 

This consultation provides an opportunity for parents to receive guidance on how to support their child’s emotional well-being during their time away from school. Student consultations will provide support and strategies to students who may be experiencing difficulties with anxiety, mood, behavior, or peer or family interactions during this unprecedented and challenging time.  Information about community resources will also be made available. Parents can schedule a phone consultation online. 

This service is not intended for mental health emergencies.  If an emergency is suspected or indicated, please call 911.  Additionally, students and families can access mental health support online if there is a crisis of emergency during the time of the closure.
Update on Face Covering
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission. Governor Northam echoed that recommendation today in his press conference.

CDC also advises the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others.  Cloth face coverings fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost can be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure.

Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.

The cloth face coverings recommended are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators.  Those are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance.
CDC Guidance on Face Covering
Housing Relief Links from Virginia Poverty Law Center
·        Eviction Legal Helpline: 833-NoEvict
·        CARES Act Fact Sheet
All of these can be found on our website here as well as on valegalaid.org. We will also have these available in Spanish soon. While we hope these will prove useful for you, we want to stress that these resources provide general legal information, not legal advice about a specific case. If you are dealing with a specific issue related to housing or any other civil legal issue, please call 866-LEGLAID to be connected to your local legal aid office. You can also call any of our free helplines:
·        ENROLL Virginia! Helpline: (888) 392-5132
·        Eviction Helpline: 833-NOEVICT (833-663-8428)
·        Predatory Loan Helpline: (866) 830-4501
·        Senior Legal Helpline: (844) 802-5910

***UPDATE SATURDAY, 4/4/20 12:00 P.M.***
Update from Metro
Metrorail
Mon-Fri 5 a.m. – 9 p.m. Trains every 20 min/line (15 min on Red Line)
Sat-Sun 8 a.m. – 9 p.m. Trains every 30 min/line (20 min on Red Line)
• 19 rail stations are closed (no alternate transportation provided)
• Each train’s first and last cars are out of service to protect train operators

Metrobus
Mon-Fri Buses operate using a Modified Sunday Schedule. Please consult wmata.com to check weekday bus routes to make sure your bus is running. Buses will run at Sunday service levels. No service after 11 p.m.

Sat-Sun Buses service on 27 routes only. Check weekend bus routes before traveling. No service on other routes. Buses will run every 30 minutes. No service after 11 p.m.


MetroAccess: All subscription trips remain canceled. Please limit travel to only the most essential trips.


***UPDATE FRIDAY, 4/3/20 4:00 P.M.***
Emergency Shelter for the Homeless
Governor Northam today announced an initial $2.5 million in emergency funding to shelter Virginia’s statewide homeless population during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

This emergency support will provide temporary housing for the approximately 1,500 Virginians who are currently unsheltered or rely on shelters that require them to leave every day. The funding will also provide housing for individuals in shelters that may need to be quarantined, or where social distancing is not feasible.

Emergency Care Sites
In Northern Virginia, the Dulles Expo Center will be the site for an alternative care facility. This center can accommodate 315 acute, or 510 non-acute beds.  The Hampton Roads Convention Center will serve the Hampton Roads region, with an increased capacity of 360 acute, or 580 non-acute beds. The Richmond Convention Center will serve the greater Richmond area, with an increased capacity of 432 acute or 758 non-acute beds. 

The Northam Administration is working closely with the Army Corps of Engineers to complete contracts, approve designs, and move towards construction. The goal is for the alternative care facilities to be ready in 6 weeks, to correspond with the projected peak of the virus in mid-May.

Unemployment Benefits
In the previous week, over 114,000 individuals have filed unemployment claims in Virginia. The Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) is moving swiftly to expand its capacity to deal with the surge in claims. The VEC has upgraded its website, expanded server capacity, and will be increasing call center staffing by 20%.

Frequently Asked Questions from Workers
Given the substantial economic impact that COVID-19 has had on Virginia's workforce, the Northam Administration has released a comprehensive FAQ document to address questions that workers may have. 

Federal Major Disaster Designation
Virginia has received a Major Disaster Declaration to aid in the Commonwealth’s response to the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19. Governor Northam requested this federal disaster assistance on Monday, March 30.

A Major Disaster Declaration designation provides federal public assistance for all areas in the Commonwealth of Virginia affected by COVID-19 at a federal cost share of 75 percent. The full press release on the Major Disaster Designation can be found here.
Virginia Declared Major Disaster Area
Update from Metro
Join WMATA on Sunday, April 5 at 2 p.m. for our next Facebook Live Conversation regarding COVID-19 and Metro's response. During this live event, the questions employees submit will be addressed by the Pandemic Task Force, union leadership representing Local 922 and Local 2, and the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP).
What: Facebook Live Conversation
When: Sunday, April 5 at 2 p.m.

If you are using a mobile device, enter "Metro Forward" in the search bar on the Facebook homepage to view our profile. 

This event will continue to focus on addressing employee concerns about the ongoing, dynamic COVID-19 situation. Please email your questions to metroemployeenews@wmata.com by noon on Friday, April 3.

This is a live event, and will be recorded and posted online within 48 hours with closed captioning. Follow our Facebook page to receive a notification when we go live on Sunday, April 5 at 2 p.m.

***UPDATE THURSDAY, 4/2/20 4:00 P.M.***
COVID-19 Medicaid Pages
Both English and Spanish COVID-19 informational pages are live on their respective CoverVirginia websites. CoverVirginia is the home for information on Virginia's Medicaid and FAMIS programs.

Federal Agency Resources
USA.gov is cataloging all U.S. government activities related to coronavirus. From actions on health and safety to travel, immigration, and transportation to education, find pertinent actions here.

Mental Health Resources
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration’s (SAMHSA) Disaster Distress Helpline – 1-800-985-5990 (or text TalkWithUs to 66746) – provides 24/7 crisis counseling and support to anyone who is seeking help in coping with the mental or emotional effects caused by developments related to the coronavirus pandemic.  

U.S. Dept of Treasury CARES Act Implementation
The U.S. Department of the Treasury has set up a website with up-to-date guidance on CARES Act implementation.

Distribution of Economic Payments
Distribution of economic impact payments to individuals will begin in the next three weeks and will be distributed automatically, with no action required for most people. Social security recipients, who are not typically required to file a tax return, will automatically receive economic impact payments. 

Federal and State Coronavirus Tax Relief
The Internal Revenue Service and Virginia Dept. of Taxation have set up websites with up-to-date guidance to help taxpayers, businesses and others affected by the coronavirus.

Update for Businesses
Governor Northam and cabinet members hosted a Webinar for business leaders today and discussed resources available to help recovery efforts as well as policy issues of interest to the business community. The video is available online.




***UPDATE WEDNESDAY, 4/1/20 6:00 P.M.***

  • 911,000 cases in the world
    • 200,000+ confirmed in the U.S.A.
    • We are the COVID-19 center of the world where the growth is occurring
    • NY has 83,000
    • VA today reported 1,484 cases, 234 new cases today, 19% increase
    • 7 new deaths for a total of 34
    • 1 in Arlington, 3 in Fairfax, 1 in Mt. Rodgers District, 1 in PWC and 1 in Va. Beach
  • We're focused on social distancing and the levers we have
  • Today, the Governor and staff addressed the models we're looking at
    • All show a peak in the first week of May
    • The University of Washington Model is the most optimistic and the most sensitive to our day to day count
    • We also look at the University of Pennsylvania/CHIMES model
    • We also have the UVA/DITRA model using UVA data
    • We also look at FEMA modeling
  • Models tell us:
    • They all say we need to increase our ventilators by a significant factor
    • We're also working our health systems to surge our capacity
  • We are communicating to FEMA regularly
    • All of that is a function of PPE and PPE is now the #1 issue on a Virginia and National level
    • We've distributed what we have from the National Stockpile
    • CDC says it should be prioritized for people who are treating COVID-19 patients where they are intubated or they are doing invasive procedures that creates airborne COVID-19 risk - primarily in ICU's
    • It's a moving target based on supplies and burn rates
    • We do not have enough
  • We have done over 15,000 COVID-19 tests
    • the growth in testing are in the commercial laboratories
    • The rise at UVA/VCU/Health Systems to focus on hospitalized patients
    • The capacity that's been used by public health lab is directed by the priorities of the health districts and the VDH 
    • Most of it is post-acute
    • They are also focused on nursing homes and symptomatic health workers, first responders, and patients in hospitals without a lab
    • What is on the horizon?
      • Turn around time is getting gradually better
      • The other thing we're looking for is that for commercial testing kids from shipped by Abbott Labs
        • 50,000 went out today, but we need 500,000 per day and not 50,000 per day nationally
      • We don't have the same testing availabilty in the USA that they have in Europe and Asia
  • Budget/Finance Update
    • Can the Commonwealth ask the feds to fill a budget gap and push our filing deadlines?
      • No.  The U.S. Treasury has made clear that's not an allowable use
      • Even if we were to borrow from a bank, it would not change the legal implications - automatic cuts to the budget if we changed our payment deadline
    • The Virginia State Society of CPA's now understand and will advocate our position but will be asking use to abate interest, but the General Assembly will need to approve that
    • Also important to note that there is a difference between the filing date and the payment date
      • The *filing* date without penalties with an extension is November 1 
      • However, if you have any obligation, the *payment* date used to be 5/1, now it's 6/1
        • We will assess no penalties if you pay by 6/1
    • Localities are also pushing us not to delay sales tax remittance revenues as well
  • Elections Update
    • The Department of Elections/Registrars is urging everyone voting in May to vote by Absentee
    • Everyone can use reason 2A - disability/illness
    • Virginia is also aware of the June Primary
      • You can also use the 2A reason for that election
    • Candidate/voting deadlines are all in the Code and cannot be modified by the Governor
  • Economic Update
    • The Commonwealth has been in conversation with private banks, community banks, credit unions to consider default programs - most are offering the same or similar deferral terms
      • Typically 3 months where you pay it back over 12 months waiving late fees
    • We are still waiting for guidance from the SBA for the paycheck protection loans
      • Banks and credit unions that participate in the 7A program can make those loans
    • The Economic Injury Disaster Program is still ongoing
      • There are some new terms under that the stimulus act
        • businesses who need an emergency bridge loan can get a $10K advance within 3 days
        • It should come within 3 days of a completed application
      • There's a bridge loan program - the SBA Express Bridge Loan
        • Small businesses can get those from 7A lenders
        • Up to $25,000
        • Both are available for qualifying expenses - payroll, rent, mortgage, etc.
    • Housing
      • Virginia Housing Development Authority is offering for all loans they are backing for 3 months deferral with payments made back over 12 months with waived late fees
        • Individuals needs to show hardship due to COVID-19
    • Unemployment
      • The new stimulus act we have expanded benefits
        • Our numbers will come out tomorrow at 830 AM
        • We have increased availability to independent contractors and the increased weekly benefit checks are going out
        • Highest benefit is $948 for 4 months
      • We've seen more furloughs and government closures this week
        • System is running low, but we've upgrade server capacity to move it along
      • Does an employer have to notify other employees if a worker tests positive?
        • We're looking into it
        • We encourage it without revealing who it was due to the ADA
      • If an employee is furloughed for two weeks is he eligible for unemployment?
        • Yes
      • If a work week is cut back - e.g. cut from 5 days to 3 days - can you claim?
        • Yes, we pay a partial benefit
      • Email for questions is workforce@governor.virginia.gov 
  • Public Safety
    • We've had positive tests among workers and inmates at a prison facility in Goochland
    • HB264 - People are asking for online concealed weapon permit testing during emergencies
      • The bill has delayed effectiveness so it's not an issue right now
    • The Commonwealth is looking at possibly allowing curbside mixed drink sales
      • News on that will be forthcoming
  • Human Services/Benefits
    • Everyone needs to understand there is a statewide shortage of PPE
      • Hospitals are competing against other states
    • There have been questions about elective surgeries
      • It's meant to prevent procedures that can wait a couple of months
      • It is based on CDC guidance
      • Dentists and Primary Care Physicians - the most important thing to know is that clinicians have discretion about making decisions are necessary to prevent a bad patient outcome
    • It's important to remember is the only way to get to the downside is to adhere to the Executive Orders
    • Anyone who has financial circumstances that have changed should apply for SNAP benefits through www.commonhealth.virginia.gov 
    • Options for children with significant disabilities supported by private day schools
      • Governor's order to close K-12 applies to public/private
      • Some private day schools provide medical care in addition to K-12
      • The Children Services Act provides funding for the states share of this
      • The decision to provide services under the closure order is a LOCAL decision
      • The Secretary has made it clear to localities and that we will continue to reimburse them if the local government is paying them
  • In the last 48 hours, we're improving our data gathering and trying to get consistency in reporting from health systems
    • We have 208 current hospitalizations, 145 are in an ICU bed, 108 on a ventilator - that's with 2000 ventilators
    • Currently we are using 540 ventilators around the Commonwealth which is 25% of what we have (other non-COVID illnesses require ventilators)
***UPDATE WEDNESDAY, 4/1/20 1:30 P.M.***

Update from DMV
Until at least April 23, all Virginia DMV customer service centers will remain closed due to ongoing concerns about COVID-19. The validity of driver and vehicle credentials, including Commercial Driver Licenses and Medical Examiner Certificates, has been extended.
Update for Economically-Impacted Families
The Campaign for a Family Friendly Economy (CFFE) is hosting a tele-townhall meeting with Governor Northam THIS Thursday, April 2 at 10:00AM.  It will be moderated by Tara Gibson, Executive Director of the CFFE.  The Governor will share his vision for meeting the challenges ahead, and allow time for Virginians to share their personal experiences directly with him about how the pandemic is directly impacting their families and jobs across the Commonwealth. You can RSVP below:
Tele-townhall with Governor Northam and Campaign For a Family Friendly Economy
Thursday, April 2, 10:00 A.M.
Update for Homeowners
Recent federal legislation included a 120-day eviction moratorium on certain properties. More information is linked below.
Information from National Housing Law Project
Update for Mt. Vernon Residents
THIS SATURDAY, April 4, join Supervisor Dan Storck, School Board Member and Chair Karen Corbett Sanders, School Superintendent Scott Brabrand and County Health Director Dr. Gloria Addo-Ayensu at 10 a.m. for a virtual Town Meeting on Coronavirus (COVID-19). The meeting will include the latest updates from the Mount Vernon District, FCPS and the Health Department, and viewers will have the opportunity to get their questions answered. The program will air live on Facebook, Channel 16, Cox Channel 16, Verizon/Comcast Channel 16 and FCPS Channel 21.
YOU can ask questions in a variety of ways. In advance of Saturday, send email questions to MtVernon@fairfaxcounty.gov. During the program, you can email, post questions to our Facebook Live Feed, Tweet us @DanStorck or call the call-in line at 703-324-1114.

***UPDATE TUESDAY, 3/31/20 12:00 P.M.***
USDA Commodity Food Program
VDACS has received a USDA waiver to allow for seniors over 60 participating in the USDA Commodity Food Program to receive their monthly food and to minimize physical contact during the COVID-19 outbreak. Participants are no longer required to sign for the food they receive. Additionally, participants are able to receive 2 boxes every other month rather than one box monthly. This will minimize the number of distributions without limiting the amount of food.

For seniors who may have limited access to internet-based information, they can call 211 to talk with an operator who can share nutrition and food assistance information based on their address or visit 211virginia.org.

Food Insecurity
Individuals in the Commonwealth who are experiencing food insecurity are encouraged to visit https://vafoodbanks.org/ to locate a food bank nearest to them.

Domestic Violence Hotline
A reminder that the Department of Social Services is maintaining its Domestic Violence Hotline. Victims of domestic violence are encouraged to report their case to the hotline: 1-800-838-8238

U.S. Census Bureau
The U.S. Census Bureau has suspended its 2020 Census field operations for an additional two weeks to April 15, 2020. Further information on the 2020 Census and a link to fill yours out can be found here:
***UPDATE MONDAY, 3/30/20 5:40 P.M.***
The following is my update from today's conference call with the Governor's staff:

  • We have 1,020 confirmed Virginia cases
  • 25 Deaths
  • 136 hospitalizations
    •  104 hospitalized patients have been discharged
  • 547 ICU beds in Virginia are currently in use of 2083 - most are non-COVID patients
  • They haven't perceived a ton of non-compliance problems - a couple restaurants, but the beaches were the big problem
  • The Federal Major Declaration request was signed and has been submitted.
  • The Governor issued a new Executive Order today
    • Nothing the new order affects anything other than recreation and entertainment businesses
    • There's been some questions about lawn and garden businesses - Florists are non-essential, but it selling dirt, mulch, materials, then you are essential
    • Governor at this time is not requiring people to carry documentation that they are travelling to an essential employment type job
    • The stay at home order says you can continue to travel into work to the extent you cannot telecommute
    • The Governor has not closed down short term stays at hotels or AirBnB's yet, but they have limited temporary stays at campgrounds
  • They are working on VHDA to require modifications on some of their loans - they are also requiring property owners to pass along their benefits to tenants as well
  • Are working on help for other home owners - the Act passed by Congress last week will allow some new programs for eviction abatement
  • They are working on funding with FEMA for homeless people who cannot maintain social distancing in their existing housing
  • They are also working on updated guidance for people who use housing vouchers
  • Testing capacity is improving every week
    • Lack of access to testing resources is the biggest problem
  • DMAS will also allow Medicaid reimbursement for telehealth happening at home and allowing for telephone only consultations
  • They are working on food insecurity issues - SNAP benefits are still available, but also due to a new federal law, they can also administer the maximum SNAP benefit to families based on household size.  This is in effect for the next 2 months.
    • Text Food to 877877 - to find a drop off site for food for children
  • Guidance for maternal health
    • Still trying to figure out how it affects different populations
    • Expectant mothers are deemed higher risk because we don't know if the virus can be passed to infants yet
  • The Governor's Order was extended to June 10 because that was consistent with the prior order - Executive Order No. 53
    • It could be lifted between now and then if the curve flattens
***UPDATE MONDAY, 3/30/20 2:30 P.M.***
Updated Social Distancing Order
Here's the text of Governor Northam's Order:


Governor Northam ordered all Virginia residents to stay at home unless they need to leave for the following necessary purposes:
  • a. Obtaining food, beverages, goods, or services as permitted in Executive Order 53;
  • b. Seeking medical attention, essential social services, governmental services, assistance from law enforcement, or emergency services;
  • c. Taking care of other individuals, animals, or visiting the home of a family member;
  • d. Traveling required by court order or to facilitate child custody, visitation, or child care;
  • e. Engaging in outdoor activity, including exercise, provided individuals comply with social distancing requirements;
  • f. Traveling to and from one’s residence, place of worship, or work;
  • g. Traveling to and from an educational institution;
  • h. Volunteering with organizations that provide charitable or social services;
  • i. Leaving one’s residence due to a reasonable fear for health or safety, at the direction of law enforcement, or at the direction of another government agency.


Update for Small Businesses
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce released the short fact sheet below to help small businesses apply for loans established by the recent federal legislation:

***UPDATE SUNDAY, 3/29/20 11:30 A.M.***
Update for Parents
The Virginia Public Access Project published civics education material on their website below. VPAP is also regularly updating data about the COVID-19 crisis.
WMATA Town Hall Today
Join us on Sunday, March 29 at noon for our first Virtual Town Hall regarding COVID-19 and Metro's response to the pandemic. The questions employees submitted will be addressed live by General Manager/CEO Paul J. Wiedefeld, Chief Operating Officer Joe Leader, Chief Safety Officer Theresa Impastato, Chief Medical Officer Dr. Amy Espy-Smith, and ATU Local 689 President Raymond Jackson.
Event Details
What: Virtual Town Hall
When: Sunday, March 29 at 12 p.m.
If you are using a mobile device, enter "Metro Forward" in the search bar on your Facebook homepage to view our profile.


***UPDATE FRIDAY, 3/27/20 6:00 P.M.***
Today, we had our regular conference call with the Governor's team regarding the status of the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • Testing results are lagging actual tests largely by 4-6 days.      
  • The Supreme Court has extended the Judicial Emergency previously declared to April 20, 2020.  
  • I missed the first 15 minutes of the call and will try to get and update on what I missed.
  • All Virginians have an extension for filing taxes until November 1, but you still need to pay estimated monies owed by June 1, 2020 in order to abate interest.  We cannot extend the payment until July 1 because it is a different fiscal year and would have significant legal implications.
  • The federal funds coming are not going to be taxable under Virginia law because they will be treated as federal refunds.  This will cause a negative fiscal impact to the Virginia budget in the future.
  • The Administration is working on guidance for graduating seniors to ensure this interruption will not interfere with timely graduation.
  • We're likely to receive over $60M of relief for our schools from the federal relief
  • They are looking into whether additional flexibility might be needed for homeschooled kids
  • About half of childcare centers have temporarily closed voluntarily.  The Commonwealth is working on guidance on funding emergency childcare for essential workers.  The number for emergency childcare information is 866.KIDS.LC
  • Every public college/private college has moved to online learning.  
  • There are monies for higher education in the Federal Stimulus bill.  
  • The Governor will also be receiving $3 billion that the state will have to allocate to higher education institutions.  
  • All of the universities are working on their refund policies.
  • Masks in public should be ok because the intent to conceal identity is required.  The next order might lift the prohibition on wearing masks in public
  • Administration is working with localities to encourage release from local jails.
  • Parole Board and Corrections are reviewing their authority to release inmates who might be susceptible to COVID infections and they are considering whether to act.
  • ABC Sales are way up.  ABC stores will stay open as long as its safe for employees and the public.
  • There will be authority in the federal Stimulus bill for unemployment assistance for independent contractors.  The Commonwealth is waiting for guidance on how to implement.  They hope to have authority on Monday.
  • The Commonwealth is bolstering its website and staffing to help handle the volume.  They are encouraging everyone to apply through the Commonwealth's website instead of going in person.
  • The VEC will update their FAQ on their website on Monday after their get better guidance from the U.S. Department of Labor. 
Update for Small Businesses
The state has introduced several measures to combat the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, including the release of Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Rapid Response funding to support Northern Virginia employers to remain open during this emergency. These funds are intended to assist local employers to avert layoffs and support other operational needs.  These strategies and activities are designed to prevent, or minimize the duration of, unemployment resulting from layoffs due to the COVID-19 crisis.

How it Works:

  • A business with employees located in Northern Virginia (Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William counties and the cities of Fairfax, Falls Church, Manassas and Manassas Park) that has 250 or fewer employees is eligible.
  • Fill out the COVID-19 Rapid Response funding application and budget spreadsheet.
  • Submit your completed application to Seema Jain, VP of Operations, at seema.jain@vcwnorthern.com. Application requests shall not exceed $25,000. Smaller requests are encouraged.
  • Decisions for funding approval for applications will be made within two (2) business days of submission. Approved employers are required to enter into an agreement with the SkillSource Group, Inc. that will outline the project deliverables and outcomes.
  • For all grant contracts, SkillSource will reimburse the company for expenses, up to the approved contract amount.

Examples of Acceptable Use of Funding:

  • Layoff aversion funds could be used for innovative strategies to maintain business operations, such as:
  • a cleaning/sanitization service.
  • the purchase of software/programs that employees would need to use from home to support their work.
  • the purchase of remote access supplies, including laptop computers and/or smart phones, which the employees would need to use from home to support their work.
  • other innovative methods that keep businesses open and workers employed

Funding cannot be used for employee payroll and fringe benefit expenses.



Update on Federal Legislation From Virginia Chamber and Congressman Don Beyer

Small businesses
  • $349B for the “Paycheck Protection Program” to directly assist small businesses, self-employed individuals, and independent contractors.
  • Businesses can receive a loan equal to 2.5 times their average monthly payroll (up to $10M).
  • Applies to businesses with fewer than 500 employees at one worksite (or applicable Small Business Administration (SBA) size standards).
  • Employers that maintain payroll will have the portion of the loan used for payroll costs, interest on mortgage obligations, rent, and utilities forgiven. Loans are potentially 100% forgivable grants. Even forgiven loans will not be taxable.
  • Loans can be used on rent, expenses and payroll for employees up to $100k annual salary.
  • Retroactive to February 15 and extends to June 30, 2020.
  • 501(c)3 organizations, churches, and other non-profits are eligible for assistance through this program; however, 501(c)6 organizations (chambers of commerce) are not.
  • $17B for the SBA to pay principal, interest, and fees on all existing SBA loan products (7(a), Community Advantage, 504, and Microloan programs) for six months. 
  • 10-year amortization period.

  • 5-year lookback to recover taxes based on losses this year. In other words, you can get money back from your 2016 taxes due based on losses this year.
  • The loans are federally guaranteed - no need for collateral. 
  • Loans will be distributed by your regular bank. Any bank or credit union can quickly sign up to be part of the 7A program. This means the SBA should not hold anything up with unnecessary paperwork.
Businesses over 500 employees per worksite
  • $500B to Treasury’s Exchange Stabilization Fund for emergency relief.
  • $454B for loans and loan guarantees in support of facilities established by the Fed under 13(3) authority to provide liquidity to businesses, states, and municipalities.
  • $17B set aside in loans and loan guarantees for businesses important to “maintaining national security.”
  • The duration of loans and loan guarantees cannot exceed five years.
Labor Provisions
  • Increases the maximum unemployment benefit by $600/week (in addition to what states pay) through July 2020.
  • Includes individuals who are part-time and independent contractors (“gig workers”).
  • Extends UI by 13 weeks beyond what states typically allow.
Tax Provisions
  • Employers (regardless of size) that continue paying employees who are furloughed may be eligible for a 50% refundable payroll tax credit on up to $10,000 of wages paid to those employees, known as the “employee retention tax credit".
  • Businesses that file for the employee retention tax credit are not eligible to receive SBA loan assistance via the “Paycheck Protection Program.”
  • Employers can delay the payment of their 2020 payroll taxes until 2021 and 2022.
Health Care Provisions
  • +$140B for the national health care system.
  • $100B for a new grant fund for hospitals, public entities, and nonprofit entities to cover unreimbursed health care related expenses or lost revenues from the COVID-19 outbreak. Cancelling elective surgeries dries up the revenue stream for hospitals.
  • $16B for the Strategic National Stockpile to procure medical supplies for federal and state response efforts.
  • $11B for R&D of vaccines and diagnostics to address COVID-19.
  • $4.3B for the Centers for Disease Control.
  • $185M for rural health programs (hospitals and telehealth programs).
Individual Provisions
  • Establishes a one-time tax rebate check of $1,200 per individual(s) with an adjusted gross income of ≤$75,000 for single filers and ≤$150,000 for joint filers, with an additional $500 per child.
  • Rebate checks would phase down for individuals above those salary thresholds and would phase out for single filers earning above $99,000 and joint filers with no children earning above $198,000.
  • Waives the 10% penalty for early distributions from 401(k)s and IRAs made at any time during 2020.
Government Provisions
  • $150B for state and local governments, with an $8B set aside for large locality local governments - Fairfax County is the only locality in Virginia which will receive money from this fund.
  • Each state would receive a minimum of $1.25B - DC is only getting $500M
The U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship also produced a thorough guide for small businesses.

***UPDATE THURSDAY, 3/26/20 6:30 P.M.***

Update on GW Parkway
Outdoor areas of the George Washington Memorial Parkway including Great Falls Park, Theodore Roosevelt Island and Fort Hunt Park are open including trails, picnic areas, overlooks and green-spaces.  

In effort to slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) and encourage social distancing, the George Washington Memorial Parkway is limiting access to the following parking areas; Great Falls Park, Theodore Roosevelt Island, and Belle Haven Park on Saturdays and Sundays. Parking lots at Theodore Roosevelt Island, and Belle Haven Park are temporarily closed on Saturdays and Sunday.  The parking lot at Great Falls Park is restricted to only 2/3 capacity on Saturdays and Sundays.  All restrooms and porta-johns in the park are temporarily closed.

Park staff continue to monitor conditions and may make operational changes. The NPS is focused on ensuring employees, their families, volunteers, and visitors are following the most current guidance from the CDC, OPM, OEM, and other federal, state, and local health authorities.

Park Rangers remind you to:
  • Observe CDC’s guidance of maintaining a distance of six feet from people if you choose to visit a park, go for a hike, or exercise outside.
  • Be prepared before you leave and time outings so that you are not dependent on public restrooms —park users will find that all public restrooms are closed.
  • Do not use trails if you have symptoms, cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing and wash your hands frequently.
  • Bring water or drinks—public drinking fountains may be disabled and should not be used, even if operable.
  • Bring a suitable trash bag. Leave no trash, take everything out to protect park workers.
  • Carry hand sanitizer. 
Signs will be posted at affected locations. Park visitors are asked to adhere to all closure notices and current social distancing recommendations.

Hiking trails are open at Great Falls Park but following guidance from the CDC and recommendations from state and local public health officials, Great Falls Park Visitor Center is temporarily closed, and fee operations have been suspended. Clara Barton NHS is also temporarily closed.

Information for Small Businesses
The National Federation of Independent Businesses prepared information below about about preliminary understanding about the small business forgivable loans included in the stimulus bill coming through Congress. This information is new and still pending so things could change.

Who is Eligible?
  • Businesses of 500 employees or fewer, businesses within the SBA small business size threshold, self-employed individuals (sole-proprietors and independent contractors), and accommodation and food services businesses (NAICS Code 72) with 500 or fewer employees per location and less than $500 million in gross annual receipts in 2019, any business assigned a franchise operator code from , and any business that receives assistance under the Small Business Investment Act. 
  • If you had employees, you had to have been in business on 2/15/2020 and paid taxes on your employees or paid independent contractors.
  • All applications must certify the following:
    • The uncertainty of current economic conditions makes necessary the loan request to support the ongoing operations of the eligible recipient. Acknowledging that funds will be used to retain workers and maintain payroll or make mortgage payments, lease payments, and utility payments. 
What Can You Use the Loan On? 
  • Payroll costs - Which include salary or wages, family and sick leave, allowance for dismissal or separation, health care benefits, retirement benefits, payment of state and local tax assessed on the compensation of an employee, the sum of payments to an independent contractor.  Salaries in excess of 100k are not covered, compensation of employees outside of the US are not covered, and sick or family leave where a payroll tax credit is already taken are not covered. 
  • Payments on a mortgage obligation
  • Rent
  • Utilities
  • Interest on any other debt obligations that were incurred before 2/15/2020. 
  • The loan can only be used on these expenses incurred between 2/15/2020 and June 30, 2020
Where Do You Get the Loan?
  • Loans would be available immediately through more than 800 existing SBA-certified lenders, including banks, credit unions and other financial institutions, and SBA would be required to streamline the process to bring additional lenders into the program.
  • The Treasury Secretary would be authorized to expedite the addition of new lenders and make further enhancements to quickly expedite delivery of capital to small employers.
Maximum Size of the Loan
  • Multiply the average total monthly payments for payroll costs incurred during the one-year period before the date the loan was made by 2.5 or $10,000,000. The recipient shall receive the lesser of the two. 
  • In the case of seasonal employers the average total employees shall be calculated for the period between 2/15/19 and 6/30/19.
Payment Deferments
  • Payments on principal, interest, and fees will be deferred for at least six months and up to one year after the loan is issued. 
Interest Rates
  • Shall not exceed 4%
Loan Maturity
  • 10 years
Collateral
  • There is no personal/individual guarantee on the loan. The SBA guarantees 100% of the loan.
Prepayment Penalty
  • None, all prepayment penalties are waived.
Loan Forgiveness
  • The following costs will be forgiven during the eight-week period starting the day the loan is issued and ending in eight weeks.
    • Payroll costs (including everything listed above)
    • Payments on interest of any mortgage obligation
    • Rent
    • Utilities 
    • *Forgiveness amount may not exceed principal amount of the loan
  • The amount forgiven will be reduced proportionally by any reduction in employees retained compared to the prior year and reduced by the reduction in pay of any employee beyond 25 percent of their prior year compensation. To encourage employers to rehire any employees who have already been laid off due to the COVID-19 crisis, borrowers that re-hire workers previously laid off will not be penalized for having a reduced payroll at the beginning of the period.
Grants
  • All those applying for a loan will be eligible for a $10,000 emergency grant to be issued within three days of the application being received.
Applicants must certify under threat of perjury that they believe they are eligible for the loan.
  • The emergency EIDL grant award of up to $10,000 would be subtracted from the amount forgiven under the Paycheck Protection Program.
Interaction With Previous SBA Loans
  • The SBA Administrator has the authority to purchase loans made before the date of enactment of this act and cover payments for up to six months for the borrower.  
  • If an applicant has an SBA loan taken out on or after 1/31/20 they have the option to refinance the loan in to a PPL loan.
Congressman Beyer is also hosting a webinar about how the bill will affect business tomorrow:
Business Webinar with Congressman Don Beyer
Friday, March 27th 
4:00pm-5:00pm 

***UPDATE THURSDAY, 3/26/20 10:30 A.M.***
Personal Protective Equipment in Virginia Hospitals
During this difficult time, Virginia hospitals appreciate any and all assistance to help protect healthcare workers and prevent the further spread of the virus. If you or someone you know would like to donate to hospitals, please click below to find a link to our hospitals that are taking donations.
Hospitals currently have need for the following supplies:
  • N95s (standard and surgical)
  • Gowns (surgical, isolation)
  • Masks
  • Gloves (latex free)
  • Face shield
  • Hand sanitizer (>60% alcohol), all size containers
  • Disinfectant supplies
  • Nasopharyngeal swabs
  • oropharyngeal swab (OP or NP)
If you have needed PPE to sell, please fill out this form and it will be forwarded to supply chain leads at hospitals.
Hospital Capacity
Yesterday, the Governor announced a new order prohibiting inpatient and outpatient surgical hospitals, free-standing endoscopy centers, physicians’ offices, and dental, orthodontic, and endodontic offices in the Commonwealth from providing procedures and non-emergency surgeries that require PPE. Currently, hospitals have the capacity to treat patients with COVID-19 as well as patients with other conditions. Additionally, our hospitals have plans to address emergencies that result in a surge of patients, and those plans have been updated to respond to the COVID-19 crisis.

As a reminder, hospitals, blood donation centers, and the American Red Cross are urging healthy people to donate blood because social distancing has resulted in the cancellation of thousands of blood drives, leading to a serious blood shortage. Please consider donating blood if you are able.

Information for Small Businesses
The U.S. Small Business Administration declared Virginia an Economic Disaster Zone which makes our businesses eligible for loans. Applicants are encouraged to apply online at the link below. If you do not have access to a computer or smartphone, please call SBA at 1-800-659-2955 for assistance.

Contact your local Small Business Development Center (SBDC) for assistance with applying for the Economic Injury Loan Disaster(EILD).

Disaster Office Hours of Operation
1-800-659-2955-Disaster Assistance (EILD)
Monday-Friday
8:00 am-8:00 pm
Weekends
Saturday & Sunday
9:00 am-5:00 pm

SBA Virginia Richmond District Office 
804-771-2400
Email: richmond.va@sba.gov




***UPDATE WEDNESDAY, 3/25/20 6:00 P.M.***
First, the Department of Health has prohibited all non-urgent elective medical procedures that cannot be performed without Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).  That will last 30 days and be re-evaluated.  His order can be found here:
In other updates:
  • As expected, 101 new cases of COVID-19 reported yesterday
  • Testing:
    • We are continuing to see challenges with testing, but we see increased capacity at UVA, VCU, and independent labs are continuing to take tests with a 4-6 day turnaround which works with patients who are not critical
    • Testing Criteria
      • We do adjust criteria based on factors in communication with the state laboratory which can turn around tests in 6-12 hours - testing capacity (increased capacity over the last 2 weeks), but focus is on rapid turnaround
      • Request for labs go through local district director first
      • The second wave is the increase in the medical centers and large health system standing up their own tests.  Once that happens criteria will be broadened. 
      • We're also getting better supplies of viral transport media so people can be tested.
      • We have not been able to expand to sentinel testing yet - asymptomatic people - we need high quantities of tests that we don't have yet. 
  • Personal Protective Equipment
    • We've received two alloquats from the National Stockpile that have been very small compared with demand and we're not optimistic that the National Stockpile will help meet demand.
    • We requested 1.6 million items and got 15% of the request.  Our second allocation will come next week and will be woefully short - 6,020 masks and the need is in the millions.  We have received 50% of what they have.  New York is demanding that they should receive all of it.
    • Virginia competing with other states for the same stuff.  FEMA is trying to coordinate it. 
    • We're hopeful that the Commonwealth will be the supplied of last resorts and to coordinate federal supplies
    • We are scouring the Commonwealth that can convert materials into PPE and looking for new sources in Virginia
    • We are continuing to focus on containment and social distancing. 
  • Unemployment
    • Is heavily regulated by the Federal Government.
    • About 83% of employers pay in to the unemployment trust.  We've been strong today. 
    • Unemployment until now was 2.3-2.7% so the trust is well-funded.
    • Employers pay in a basic tax and an experience tax based on layoffs.
    • Currently, we've received expanded eligibility - businesses close, need to stay home with sick child or sick loved one if we have payroll data on them.
    • If you are a 1099 independent contractors, gig workers, cab drivers, consultants, and religious faith based you do not get benefits because you do not pay into the trust
    • We're encouraging anyone who has "lack of work" (check that box) to apply so we can be fully aware of the need
    • People need to apply online and the Commonwealth is hiring people to staff call centers due to call volume in South Boston and Grundy and back office in Lynchburg and Covington where they are hiring
    • We used to get 2,000 claims per day, but report is coming out tomorrow, but we have never seen claims like this
    • It takes 1-2 weeks for deposits to start
    • Largest amount today per worker is $378/week
    • Possible Federal Stimulus Package - Not Passed by Congress Yet
      • Currently looks like the largest benefit may go up to $600/week on top of the $378/week
      • We are fixing our technology system to handle that
      • We've heard we might be able to give 1099 or sole proprietors benefits, but it might be only the $600/week benefit and not the $378
    • If you layoff your employees, your prospective premiums will could go up, but we are still assessing how the new federal benefit packages will work
      • If employers can get through this, the sticker shock of replenishing the trust fund will be dramatic and we're going to continuing talking to our Congressional delegation for federal support for that
    • They are examining whether employers can pay health benefits, but cut off salaries while maintaining employee's eligibility for unemployment benefits
    • Barbershops - if you have 1-2 chairs in your office you cannot continue to operate.  We're trying to keep people away from each other. 
      • Professionals may go to individual homes and provides those services in customer's homes
    • Pest Control Industry - They are not affected by the executive order.  They can continue to operate. 
    • Dental Services - Routine dental services are not covered under the order, but many dentists have stopped routine procedures but provide emergency procedures.  Dental services are some of the high risk services to cause disease spread.  CDC has recommended to shut down so Commonwealth followed.
  • Commerce Updates
    • The Virginia Department of Commerce is spearheading Virginia-based development of PPE
    • A number of businesses have stepped up - Micron, Home Depot, Dominion, McKesson
    • There are many scammers out there trying to sell the Commonwealth PPE
    • We're assessing businesses based on severe, moderate or minor impacts
    • Restaurants and travel have major impacts
    • We haven't seen impacts in manufacturing and construction yet, but it's probably coming - Volvo Truck in Dublin, VA has ceased
    • Some businesses are doing better - Grocery, internet sales, delivery
    • We expect all businesses to exercise care, social distancing, and santization
    • Worker safety is paramount concern to everyone
    • Stimulus Package
      • Loan package is looking around $350 billion to small businesses.  Some percentages might be converted into grants upon keeping workers on payroll one year through the SBA.
      • $500 billion corporate aide package for larger corporations.  Some will be administered through the Federal Reserve.
      • There is $130-$150 billion for our healthcare systems.
      • There's another $150 billion to state/local governments for Corona virus costs.  Each state gets a minimum of $1.5 billion, but states with larger impacts will participate more broadly. 
  • Tax Returns
    • We cannot move our filing date the same as the federal date due to our tax year.  It would result in a $2.5 billion change to our budget which would trigger all kinds of issues.
***UPDATE WEDNESDAY, 3/25/20 2:45 P.M.***

Virginia Medical Reserve Corps
During his press conference today, Governor Northam urged Virginians with medical experience to volunteer for the Medical Reserve Corps. The Virginia Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) is a force of dedicated volunteers who stand ready to support the community in the event of a public health emergency. Each of the 27 local MRC units is comprised of teams of medical and public health professionals who, along with interested community members, volunteer their skills, expertise and time to support ongoing public health initiatives and assist during emergencies throughout Virginia.

The success of our response to a large-scale public health event, such as a pandemic or bioterrorism attack, depends on how quickly and effectively we can mobilize MRC volunteers.

MRC units throughout the state actively improve and protect their community’s public health by supporting:
  • Health education and preventative health screenings.
  • Efforts to provide medical services to at-risk populations.
  • Communicable disease outbreak response.
  • Volunteer emergency preparedness training and exercises.
  • Local, state and national response to terrorism attacks and disasters; providing staffing support for medical services, emergency shelters, mental health outreach, dispensing sites for medications and vaccinations, disease investigations and environmental health efforts for food and human safety.
  • To become a VA Medical Reserve Corps Volunteer, please submit an application in the Virginia Volunteer Health System.

Update on State Parks
State parks will remain open for day use only. Campgrounds and bathhouses are closing on Friday.
Relief for Businesses and Employees

Secretary Layne shared top lines information about the federal COVID-19 stimulus package. A few items included are: 

  • Direct payments of $1,200 to most individuals making up to $75,000, or $2,400 for couples making up to $150,000. The amount decreases for individuals with incomes above $75,000, and payments cut off for those above $99,000.
  • Expanded unemployment benefits that boost the maximum benefit by $600 per week and provides laid-off workers their full pay for four months. This includes gig and part-time workers.
  • $150 billion for state and local governments
  • $367 billion in loans for small businesses that can be converted into grants if certain conditions are met
Update from Metro
On March 26, Metro will close 17 additional stations following the closures of Smithsonian and Arlington Cemetery stations last week. The 19 stations will remain closed until further notice and trains will pass through without stopping. Eisenhower Ave and Van Dorn St are among the stations that will close. The full list and more information is available at the link below. 


***UPDATE WEDNESDAY, 3/25/20 9:45A.M.***
Information for Realtors
 Virginia REALTORS® created a resource page with information on handling the impacts of Coronavirus/COVID-19 on real estate. 

Information for Independent Businesses
Info on paid sick time, paid family leave, UI benefits, SBA vs. Business Interruption loans & Phase 3 discussions:
FAQ page - Topics discussed include financial, wage & hour, public health and other legal employment questions.
General information for small businesses:

Update from Prince William County
Prince William County has extended the Business Tangible Personal (BTP) Property tax filing deadline from April 15 to July 15, 2020. This extension will provide relief to the County’s business owners during this period of economic uncertainty and will align the filing date with the recently announced Internal Revenue Service date. Our hope is that this will help businesses impacted by the economic impact of COVID-19.  The tax due date remains October 5th. 

***UPDATE TUESDAY, 3/24/2:30 P.M.***
Farmers Markets in Virginia
The Governor’s Office and VDACS (Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services) are NOT requiring farmers’ markets and other direct sales markets (such as breweries, microbreweries, distilleries, wineries and tasting rooms) to close for business. 

The guidance provided means that these markets may operate in a capacity that allows delivery and/or takeout services. On-site browsing or shopping is not an option under the intent of this order. Further information can be found here:


Federal Housing Finance Agency

The U.S. FHFA has directed Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae to suspend foreclosures and evictions for at least 60 days due to the coronavirus national emergency. The foreclosure and eviction suspension applies to homeowners with an Enterprise-backed single-family mortgage. More information on the announcement can be found here:

Virginia's Coronavirus Homepage

Virginia.gov has set up a website for all things coronavirus-related. All updates can be found below, and the site will continue to update as Virginia takes new action to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Update from Gunston Hall
Visit our "Learning from Home" page and discover some delicious 18th-century recipes you can make at home.

Parents, visit our "For Parents" page to find fun and educational activities for your children like making a battledore.
***UPDATE TUESDAY, 3/24/20 10:00 A.M.***

Update from Virginia Dept. Of Education
COVID-19 Fraud Task Force
In response to the rapid increase in fraudulent scams, online websites, robocalls presented by COVID-19, the Virginia State Police joined its federal partners on Friday to announce the formation of the Virginia Coronavirus Fraud Task Force. The mission of the task force is to identify, investigate, and prosecute fraud related to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic in Virginia. 

The Virginia Fusion Center is also actively monitoring alleged fraudulent activity related to COVID-19 and sharing that information with local, state, and federal authorities. To report fraudulent activity, Virginians can notify the Virginia Fusion Center (VFC) at vfc@vfc.vsp.virginia.gov or visit the FBI website at www.ic3.gov.

Additionally, any Virginian who would like to report fraudulent activity can file a complaint with the Office of the Attorney General at this website:


Department of Corrections

Today, the Department of Corrections announced that they are now manufacturing sneeze/cough guard masks for use by Virginia DOC staff and offenders. These are not medical grade masks but they will aid in the effort to keep COVID-19 out of the state’s correctional facilities. There are still no known cases of COVID-19 among offenders and staff in Virginia’s prisons.
Update from Fairfax County

  • Fairfax County parks (indoor), libraries, and community facilities are closed until further notice.
  • This includes: recreation, nature, community, resource and teen centers, golf courses, historic sites, athletic fields, and picnic shelters.
  • These closures also include: playgrounds, skate parks, and restrooms.
  • Dog parks and trails remain open.
  • NOVA Park trails like the W&OD Trail are open, with park offices closed.
***UPDATE MONDAY, 3/23/20 6:00 P.M.***




Today, we held our regular conference call with Governor Northam's official.  Here is the status:

  •  254 Confirmed COVID-19 Cases, 6 Fatalities (last three on the Penninsula), there are still areas across the entire Commonwealth
  •  UVA can process about 200 tests per day.  State lab is doing test and the big volume is being done by Quest and Labcorps and take 4-6 days to respond.  They are working on creating a Virginia facility with an 8-hour turnout but they are not there yet.
  • There are some drive-by testing sites in Virginia and they are optimistic that will come online more broadly soon.
    • If testing was robust then we could test everyone at point of care or test in a systematic way, but we don't have those resources yet 
  • PPE has been procured, but not yet arrived.  It's a national problem that requires a national solution.  NY has a 1 week supply.  Cutting elective surgery has reduced VA's burn rate of PPE, but we are still worried about supply after 3-4 weeks.  
  •  The National Guard is continuing to plan around surge capability and planning sites should it become necessary. 
  • Governor Northam issued a new executive order today.  The order and the Frequently Asked Questions can be found here:



  •  Governor's order has 3 categories of businesses 
    • Recreational and entertainment - they must close by midnight tomorrow.  If business is NOT included on the list, then it does not need to close such as golf courses and outdoor trails.
    •  Essential businesses - Grocery, pharmacy, gas stations, banks, etc. as set forth in the order.
    •  Non-essential retail - Brick and mortar stores that are considered non-essential.  If your business is NOT on the essential business list, then must shut down unless you can honor 10 person limit and social distancing 
    • Food facilities - dining/congregation areas are closed, but can stay open for takeout and delivery only plus must honor social distancing and enhanced sanitizing.  
  •  There are many questions about what is essential:
    •  For example, construction is not listed as having restrictions so it is not restricted.
    •  Likewise, county/government workers are not restricted (other than social distancing)
  • Telework should be required by all businesses if possible.
  •  Governor announced K-12 Schools will be closed through rest of the academic year
    • This was based on CDC guidance that 8-12 week closures are better than 2-4 week closures
  •  Student Learning - DoE is putting out guidance this evening on continued learning.  There was a pause over the last two week, but schools will now be expected to begin instruction.  Some may involve instruction over the summer to be decided by local schools.  
  •  Essential Personnel/Childcare - Last week, Department of Social Services provided updated guidance asking daycares to ask families to keep children to stay home if they can so they can have capacity to serve essential personnel and they've asked childcare centers to consider continuing to serve children of essential personnel.  Child room sizes should be limited to 10 kids.


  •  They are putting out a Parent Handbook to assist parents working with their children's day to day education
  •  Violation of the Governor's Executive Order remains a Class 1 Misdemeanor
  •  There are a number of Virginia businesses try to step up and manufacture PPE
  •  The National Guard has been activated and have been involved in planning.  They have not been assigned any missions yet.  
  •  ABC has provided more flexible regulations on beer and wine sale.  ABC stores are open.
  •  Department of Corrections
    • They are producing and manufacturing masks (they were making furniture).  They made 8,000 yesterday and provided 4 masks per inmate and staff yesterday.  
    •  There are no known cases in the correctional system and they are doing their best to keep the virus out of the facilities
    • They are very aware that they have some populations that are susceptible and they are being careful
    • There are 200 juveniles in detention who are being monitored.
    •  19.2-303 - Sheriff Stolle has seen 90 inmates released to alternate sentences in Virginia Beach.  They are encouraging other Sheriff's to do the same thing.
  •  Rental Assistance
    • If you have  voucher, your ability to pay is based on income so if income is reduced, then rental payments are reduced
    • If you are a regular tenant, The Virginia Housing Development Agency has some limited programs, but they are not robust
  • Mortgage forebearance - There are programs administered by the FHMA which has directed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to suspend foreclosures
  •  The key focus over the next few weeks will be obtaining PPE.


***UPDATE MONDAY, 3/23/20 4:00 P.M.***

Here is a link to Governor Northam's latest executive order:





***UPDATE MONDAY, 3/23/20 3:00 P.M.***

Update on Governor's Executive Actions
  • Public and private schools will remain closed through the balance of the academic year.  The Department of Education will be issuing guidance tomorrow regarding completion of the school year.
  • Recreational and entertainment businesses such as bowling alleys must close.
  • Restaurants, breweries, and other food and drink service businesses must offer take out and delivery only.
  • Non-essential brick and mortar stores must restrict operations to 10 or fewer patrons at a time with adequate distancing or must close.
  • Essential businesses such as grocery stores, pharmacies, medical providers, childcare businesses may remain open.  
  • Essential businesses must observe new stringent disinfectant protocols.
Relief for Virginia Small Businesses
The Virginia Small Business Development Centers network is hosting a webinar today, at 5:00 P.M. to review the application process for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) available for Virginia small businesses and non-profits.

Click here to attend the Webinar - JOIN THE MEETING HERE
Meeting ID: 606 202 441
Phone: 646-558-8656

CLICK HERE for a recorded presentation on filling out the EIDL Application, that will cover the same EIDL application overview.

***UPDATE MONDAY, 3/23/20 11:30 A.M.***
Access to Care
Health insurers in Virginia are responding to the Covid 19 coronavirus in a myriad of ways. Plans are eliminating barriers to care including waiving cost-shares, providing more virtual care options, and keeping members updated through mobile apps and websites with the latest information.
  • Managed care organizations, charged with caring for the state’s Medicaid population, are in regular contact with the Department of Medical Assistance Services (DMAS) to look for ways to deliver critical services without a face-to-face interaction. This includes looking at telehealth and telemedicine options for providers and patients.
  • DMAS has further applied for a 1135 waiver from the federal government granting more flexibility to enroll members in Medicaid and expand telehealth benefits during the crisis.
  • Health insurers in the commercial market are also encouraging the use of telemedicine and virtual sites of care. This includes the following. 

    • Encouraging the use of 24/7 nurse phone lines to virtually access clinical resources at no cost to members. The nurses are trained in the latest screening and testing referral protocols.
    • Paying for telephone-only consultations with clinician staff of primary care, general practice, internal medicine, pediatrics, OBGYN, and nurse practitioners with no member out-of-pocket cost.
    • Utilizing mobile apps to answer member questions and conduct coronavirus assessments based on guidelines from the CDC and NIH.
    • Providing emotional support for those members experiencing stress or anxiety via a 24/7 phone line and online at no cost to members. 

  • Health insurers across Virginia and the United States have agreed to waive cost-sharing requirements for testing.
  • Health insurers have eliminated prior authorization requirements for medically necessary diagnostic tests and covered services related to COVID-19 diagnosis.
  • Health insurers have waived early medication refill limits on 30-day maintenance medications.
  • Health insurers are creating care packages to send to members diagnosed with COVID19 and proactively reaching out to those members who may be more at risk at contracting the virus.
  • Health insurers are working with pharmacy partners to provide free delivery of medications and assist with mailing prescriptions.
  • Health insurers are working with lab partners to support access to testing as it becomes available.
  • In the self-insured market, which comprises nearly 40% of the insured in Virginia and where the self-insured company makes coverage determinations, insurance company administrators are automatically opting in companies to the waived cost-sharing provisions.
  • CMS have changed rules to allow Medicare beneficiaries to receive more services without having to travel to a facility including loosening the requirement that members have an established provider relationship before seeking telemedicine services. For more information about this guidance, click here: Telemedicine Guidance for Medicare Beneficiaries 

For more detailed information on what each health plan in Virginia is doing both in the commercial space and for Medicaid, see the individual company press releases below. 


Update for AT&T customers (more information about other telecom providers is below on 3/20 update)
  • Not terminating the service of any wireless, home phone or broadband residential or small business customer because of their inability to pay their bill due to disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Waive any late payment fees that any wireless, home phone or broadband residential or small business customer may incur because of economic hardship related to the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Keep our public Wi-Fi hotspots open for any American who needs them.
The coronavirus pandemic is causing many hardships. If you find yourself in financial trouble and unable to pay your bill, please contact us at 800-288-2020 for AT&T broadband, residential wireless or small business services and 611 from your AT&T device for wireless. 
To provide further relief and support, AT&T announced:
  • Unlimited AT&T Home Internet – All AT&T consumer home internet wireline customers, as well as Fixed Wireless Internet, can use unlimited internet data.  
  • Continue to offer internet access for qualifying limited income households at $10 a month through our Access from AT&T program. 
  • Expanded eligibility to Access from AT&T to households participating in the National School Lunch Program and Head Start. 
  • Offering new Access from AT&T customers two months of free service. 
  • Helping You Work and Learn Remotely – Businesses, universities and schools can keep their teams and classrooms connected through conference calls and video conferencing with Cisco Webex Meetings with AT&T for 90-days, and seamlessly forward calls to both mobile and landline phones with AT&T IP Flexible Reach.
  • Distance Learning – AT&T is underwriting expenses for a “one-stop” resource center to support eLearning Days from the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) available to all educators in schools to help them handle school closures and the increase in virtual learning due to COVID-19.
  • Waiving wireless voice and data overage fees for customers nationwide.  These fees will be retroactively waived, dating back to March. AT&T will not terminate the service of any wireless, home phone or broadband residential or small business customer because of their inability to pay their bill due to disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Video – We’re making over 50 news, entertainment and kids channels free on DIRECTV and U-verse. And we’ll offer additional premium programming over the next few weeks for all video customers—starting with SHOWTIME through March 26. The full list of channels and more can be found under “Expanded Content for Our Video Customers” on the Consumer tab.
  • Business Customers - To keep our business customers connected, we’ve launched six new virtual Command Centers that are enabling the fast delivery of increased bandwidth, new circuits and unified communication services. This will help companies support their employees who are working from home. You can find more here under Businesses.
Information from Burke and Herbert Bank
  • We will be offering Drive Up Teller Services at several branches with this feature, and offering other banking services by appointment only inside these branches. 
  • Branches without Drive Up Teller Services will provide all branch banking services by appointment only. 
  • Our branch located at 621 King Street in Alexandria will be closed temporarily. ATM and night drop services remain available at this location and our Main Office branch is nearby.
  • For your convenience, the complete list of our branches is provided at burkeandherbertbank.com along with the lobby and drive-up service hours, where applicable, for each location. Please use the telephone number provided for the branch nearest you to make an appointment as needed. We will work with you to find a convenient time and ensure you continue to get the banking services you need.

Faith and Community Leaders Call

This evening at 6:30, Governor Northam will be hosting a call with faith and community leaders from across the Commonwealth. More info and the signup page can be found here: Sign up for Faith Leaders Call



***UPDATE SUNDAY, 3/22/20 7:00 P.M.***

Relief for Virginia Small Businesses
The Virginia Small Business Development Centers network is hosting a webinar tomorrow, Monday, March 22, at 2:00 P.M. to review the application process for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) available for Virginia small businesses and non-profits.

Click here to attend the Webinar - JOIN THE MEETING HERE
Meeting ID: 606 202 441
Phone: 646-558-8656

Adding a second presentation at 5pm that can handle a much larger crowd:

CLICK HERE to register the Webinar 

CLICK HERE for a recorded presentation on filling out the EIDL Application, that will cover the same EIDL application overview.

Meals for Students, Families, and Aging Adults
Fairfax County's Meals on Wheels program is now delivering meals once-a-week. New clients are being accepted. Call the county's Coordinated Services Planning to apply.
Call: 703-222-0880, TTY 711

Monday-Friday, 8 am-4:30 pm

All of our local school systems are distributing meals to children during the school shutdown.  There are over a dozen sites in the 36th District.  


Here are how you find the locations in Fairfax, Prince William and Stafford County:

Transit Update
Metro announced expected rail and bus service levels for the week of Monday, March 23, through Friday, March 27. Transit service remains significantly scaled back to protect the health and safety of Metro employees, customers and the public as the COVID-19 outbreak continues to disrupt all aspects of life in the region.

Metro asked the public to limit their use of Metro to essential travel only for nine days. Starting tomorrow, it will be even more imperative that the public follow this guidance.

Metrorail:
  • Trains will operate every 20 minutes on all lines except Red Line.
  • Red Line trains will operate every 15 minutes. 
  • Stations serviced by multiple lines will see trains arrive every 7-10 minutes. For example, Rosslyn, served by the Blue, Orange and Silver lines, will have train service to DC about every 7 minutes. 
  • Smithsonian and Arlington Cemetery stations will remain closed until further notice to keep non-essential cherry blossom travel off the rail system at this time of national emergency.
Metrobus:
  • Buses will run on a modified Sunday schedule. Supplemental trips will not operate; however, some routes that provide weekday-only service to essential federal workplaces have been added to the schedule.
  • Visit wmata.com for a list of routes that are – and are not – operating this week.
  • Responding to a request from union leadership, beginning Tuesday, all Metrobus customers will enter and exit the bus using the REAR doors only, except customers who require use of a wheelchair ramp, which remains available at the front door. Metro is also temporarily suspending fare collection on Metrobus, because all farebox and SmarTrip equipment is located at the front door. Metro reserves the ability to discontinue this policy at any time.
MetroAccess:
  • All subscription trips remain canceled. Please limit all travel to only the most essential.

Since moving to an “essential travel only” message on March 13, Metro ridership has declined with each successive commuting day as citizens following the guidance to stay home and practice social distancing to flatten the curve (rate of community spread). Rail ridership on Friday was down more than 86 percent and bus down 65 percent.

Food Insecurity
  • The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) is loosening income eligibility requirements for the Emergency Food Assistance Program to increase access during the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • VDACS is also reducing the threat of exposure for seniors in the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) by changing delivery schedules—while maintaining the quantity of food—and removing delivery signing requirements.
  • The Federation of Virginia Food Banks, representing seven regional food banks, is standardizing low- and no-touch distribution, pre-boxed items, and drive-through distribution mechanisms. 
***UPDATE SATURDAY, 3/21/20 4:30 P.M.***

Cases in Virginia
Positive cases in VA up 37% from yesterday. The Virginia Department of Health website continues to update the status of cases in Virginia. As of noon today, 152 positive cases have been reported here in Virginia.

Economic Impact
30,000 people filed unemployment claims filed last week. That is a 1,500% increase over the week before when fewer than 2,000 people filed claims.

Hospital Bed Capacity
The Governor issued an executive order to expand bed hospital bed capacity. The full text of the order is linked below.

Local Government Online Meetings
  • Attorney General Mark Herring issued an advisory opinion outlining the authority of public bodies to conduct meetings and critical public business while maintaining social distancing needs and important transparency and accountability obligations. 
  • "The opinion says that Virginia law allows public bodies to conduct meetings electronically if 'the purpose of the meeting is to address the emergency,' which includes meeting 'to make decisions that must be made immediately and where failure to do so could result in irrevocable public harm.' "
Department of Corrections
Virginia DOC has worked with GTL, the offender phone service provider, to provide inmates with two free phone calls per week beginning March 19, 2020 through April 15, 2020. The two free calls will be applied to the first two calls the offender makes each week. They have suspended all visitation and all transfers to jails or prisons.


***UPDATE FRIDAY, 3/20/20 6:00 P.M.***
Here's the update I just received from the Administration this afternoon:
  • We have 118 COVID cases in Virginia - 22 Hospitalized & 2 Deaths
  • 2,000+ tests have been done - majority done by LabCorp/Quest
  • UVA, Sentara and MCV are working on testing capacity
  • Labs have a 5-day turnaround right now
  • There is community spread - primary Penninsula but also in NOVA
  • There are likely 2-3 cases in the Roanoke Valley - it's in all areas of VA now
  • We're beyond containment and moving into mitigation
  • Several facilities are in lockdown mode and one in quarantine
  • Much testing capacity is being moved into Nursing Homes and Assisted Living Facilities first to avoid casualties
  • We are also attempting to develop our own testing kits instead of being reliant on the CDC
  • The Governor is doing a daily update at 11:00 am every day
  • The Alcohol Beverage and Control Division has implemented emergency measures to allow flexibility to restaurants to continue to serve
  • Administration is working with local jails - issued guidelines regarding incarcerated populations, recommended law enforcement to use summonses instead of arrest warrants when possible, encouraged magistrates and judges to use alternatives to incarceration pending trial
  • Recommended the use 19.2-303 to modify sentences for non-violent offenders presently incarcerated
  • They have suspended all visitation and all transfers to jails or prisons
  • They also have prohibited people from gathering at resturants in groups larger than 10, they have amended the order (governor.virginia.gov/executiveactions) to clearly states it applies to fitness centers, theatres to 10 patrons or less and any willful violation, refusal or neglect is a Class 1 Misdemeanor
  • The Virginia Department of Health put in an order of their share of the strategic stockpile of Personal Protective Equipment when this broke out.  Virginia received 5-10% of what it ordered which represented 50% of the national stockpile.  It's being issued.  There is a real shortage.
  • The Commonwealth has issued guidance that any retailer who needed an extension to remit sales taxes, such as restaurants, hotels, and tourism companies, could get a 20 day extension upon request.  They did not do a blanket referral because large retailer has already paid.  That has a fiscal impact of $145M and every time we defer we don't eventually receive it.  About $30M of those dollars would eventually got to localities which will be affected.
  • The Governor also extended the filing of estimated payments from May 1 to June 1.  This deferral will cause a fiscal impact of $100 million - potentially into the next fiscal year which starts July 1.  A longer deferment could trigger larger problems because of the budget year and there's still uncertainty about federal actions or where the economy is going.
  • It's been less than 30-days since the all-time high of the DJI and we have now seem a 30% reduction in wealth.  The Secretary of Finance has been on the phone with our rating agencies attempting to assess the impact of all of this.
  • We will need to have our budget forecasting process make new assessments starting in April because right now our revenues are delayed 30 days.  So far we've seen a $250 million impact based on our administrative access.
  • Virginia saw 30,871 unemployment claims in the last week - that is significantly higher than any other week
  • Our rating agencies think that compared with National issue, we will see a 13% decline in GDP in the USA.  If the virus behaves as we see it, it will be a 2% reduction and now rebound until Q4 and they see National unemployment at 9% and full employment restored in 2023
  • Our previous recession forecasting (which wasn't as pessimistic as the reality) was suggesting a $1 billion per year reduction in revenue over the next two years - we are expecting more than that which will require major budget adjustments.
  • Before this our economy was strong in-part because so much of our economy is based upon government spending and generally our current economy is better positioned than other sister states, but this is going to be a significant blow to tourism, restaurants, and small businesses in the Commonwealth.  Rebuilding the economy will be a major focus going forward.
  • Our General Fund is fairly liquid. 
  • VRS is still fully funded and capable of making benefit payments.  Going in, they were 75% funded and the reduction will be something we have to address going forward.
  • We have $1.6 billion in reserves to help address this.
  • We are trying to counterbalance our fiduciary responsibility to maintain core functions with business impacts.  One member requested a deferral of all taxes.  That would cost $7.2 billion and is not realistic.\
  • They are working with hospitals, National Guard and FEMA to have possible alternate treatment sites should that become necessary.  They are identifying sites.
***UPDATE FRIDAY, 3/20/20 1:30 P.M.***
Update from our cable providers:
If you live in a Comcast territory: 
Comcast is taking steps to implement the following new policies for the next 60 days, and other important initiatives: 
  • Xfinity WiFi Free For Everyone: Xfinity WiFi hotspots across the country will be available to anyone who needs them for free – including non-Xfinity Internet subscribers. For a map of Xfinity WiFi hotspots, visit www.xfinity.com/wifi. Once at a hotspot, consumers should select the “xfinitywifi” network name in the list of available hotspots, and then launch a browser.
  • Pausing Our Data Plan: With so many people working and educating from home, we want our customers to access the internet without thinking about data plans.  While the vast majority of our customers do not come close to using 1TB of data in a month, we are pausing our data plans for 60 days giving all customers Unlimited data for no additional charge.
  • No Disconnects or Late Fees: We will not disconnect a customer’s internet service or assess late fees if they contact us and let us know that they can’t pay their bills during this period. Our care teams will be available to offer flexible payment options and can help find other solutions.
  • Internet Essentials Free to New Customers: It’s even easier for low-income families who live in a Comcast service area to sign-up for Internet Essentials, the nation’s largest and most comprehensive broadband adoption program. New customers will receive 60 days of complimentary Internet Essentials service, which is normally available to all qualified low-income households for $9.95/month. Additionally, for all new and existing Internet Essentials customers, the speed of the program’s Internet service was increased to 25 Mbps downstream and 3 Mbps upstream. That increase will go into effect for no additional fee and it will become the new base speed for the program going forward.
If you live in a Cox territory:

Pledging to support the FCC’s Keep America Connected initiatives by:
  • Not terminating service to any residential or small business customer because of an inability to pay their bills due to disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Waiving any late fees that residential or small business customers incur because of their economic circumstances related to the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Opening Cox Wifi outdoor hotspots to help keep the public connected in this time of need.
  • Offering the first month free to new customers of Connect2Compete, Cox’s low-cost internet ($9.95) product for families with school-aged children who are enrolled in low-income assistance programs ensuring digital equity for students without internet at home. Schools are being asked to contact connectnow@cox.com with a list of eligible low-income students that currently do not have an internet connection. 
  • Through May 15th, offering a $19.99 offer for new Starter internet customers with a temporary boost up to 50 Mbps download speeds, no annual contract or qualifications to help low income and those impacted from Coronavirus challenges, like seniors and college students.
  • Through May 15th, eliminating data usage overages beginning today to meet the higher bandwidth demands. Customers with a 500 GB or Unlimited data usage add-on plan will receive credits.
  •  Providing temporary increases for residential customers in the company’s Starter, StraightUp Internet and Connect2Compete packages to speeds of 50 Mbps.
  • Extending our Cox Complete Care remote desktop support at no charge to residential customers in those tiers to provide remote helpdesk and assistance for loading new applications they may need to use during this time like online classroom support applications and web conferencing services.
  • Fast-tracking the qualification process for Connect2Compete and partnering with PCs for People where families can purchase discounted refurbished computers. More information can be found here:  https://cox.pcsrefurbished.com/.

If you live in a Charter territory:

  • Charter will offer free Spectrum broadband and Wi-Fi access for 60 days to households with K-12 and/or college students who do not already have a Spectrum broadband subscription at any service level up to 100 Mbps. To enroll call 1-844-488-8395. Installation fees will be waived for new student households.
  • Charter will partner with school districts to ensure local communities are aware of these tools to help students learn remotely.
  • For eligible low-income households without school-aged children, Charter continues to offer Spectrum Internet Assist, a low-cost broadband program delivering speeds of 30 Mbps
  • Charter will open its Wi-Fi hotspots across our footprint for public use
  • Spectrum does not have data caps or hidden fees.
If you live in Verizon territory:
  • Verizon’s fiber optic and wireless networks have been able to meet the shifting demands of customers and continue to perform well.
  • Due to economic circumstances related to the coronavirus and to keep customers connected during this economic and global crisis; Verizon waives late fees for residential and small business customers impacted by COVID-19, offers free international calling to CDC level 3 countries.
  • Investing in our economy by increasing our capital guidance range from $17 - $18 billion to $17.5 - $18.5 billion in 2020. 
  • Expanding work-from-home policy to include reduction of retail locations and hours across the country; fewer employees working at stores; limiting the number of customers in our stores at one time.
  • Created a coronavirus hub page, https://news.yahoo.com/coronavirus/, across the Yahoo ecosystem that aggregates trusted and reliable news and content about the pandemic in the U.S. and across the globe.
  • Partnering with those on the front lines of the Covid-19 emergency response, first responders, federal agencies, state and local governments, and public health agencies, to deliver on critical missions during crisis.

***UPDATE THURSDAY, 3/19/20 5:30 P.M.***

Motor Vehicle Inspections: Governor Northam has directed the Virginia Department of State Police to suspend the enforcement of Motor Vehicle Safety Inspections for 60 days.

Increased Access to Health Care: The Department of Medicaid Assistance Services is increasing access to health care for Medicaid members and thousands of low-income residents by doing the following:

  • Eliminating all co-payments for services covered by Medicaid and Family Access to Medical Insurance Security (FAMIS), including COVID-19-related treatment as well as other medical care.
  • 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, an increase from the 30-day supply under previous rules.
  • 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, including allowing Medicaid reimbursement for providers who use telehealth with patients in the home.
Support for Impacted Businesses and Individual Taxpayers: Following a request submitted by Governor Northam on March 18, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) today approved an Economic Injury Disaster Loan declaration for Virginia. Small businesses and nonprofit organizations throughout the Commonwealth affected by the COVID-19 public health crisis can now apply for low-interest federal disaster loans of up to $2 million from the SBA to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other expenses. To submit a loan application through the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, please click here: Apply for Small Business Economic Disaster Loan

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.

The Governor has requested that the Department of Taxation to extend the due date of payment of Virginia individuals and corporate income taxes. While filing deadlines remain the same, the due date for individual and corporate income tax will now be June 1, 2020. Please note that interest will still accrue, so taxpayers who are able to pay by the original deadlines should do so.

Guidance for Child Care Providers: Virginia’s Child Care Subsidy program is currently caring for 25,000 children. Governor Northam directed the Dept. Of Social Services to increase support and flexibility for enrolled families and providers. These modifications include:
  • Expanding eligibility for school-aged children currently designated for part-day care to full-day care.
  • Increasing the number of paid absences from 36 to 76 days for both level 1 and level 2 providers.
  • Automatically extending eligibility for families due for eligibility redetermination in the near future by 2 months and temporarily suspending the requirement for face-to-face interviews.
As announced yesterday, the Northam administration has released guidance for child care providers to slow the spread of COVID-19, while ensuring continued support for essential personnel. These guidelines include:
  • Childcare providers should limit capacity to 10 total individuals per room and prioritize care for children of essential personnel.
  • Children should eat meals in their own classrooms and increase distance as much as possible, such as allowing only one classroom at a time to go outside and staggering exits and entrances to reduce contact.
  • Staff and children should focus on basic health precautions, including regular hand washing and cleaning frequently touched objects.
Justice-Involved Population: Local, regional, and state public safety agencies are working in close coordination to ensure the safety of employees and residents in correctional facilities. 
  • The Virginia Department of Corrections (VADOC) has suspended all in-person visitation to state correctional facilities and is complying with guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control related to COVID-19. 
  • VADOC has also suspended all transfers from local and regional jails for the next 30 days to limit potential exposure to the virus.
  • Governor Northam is encouraging local criminal justice officials, including Commonwealth’s attorneys, defense attorneys, sheriffs, and other jail officials, to explore proactive measures to combat the spread of COVID-19 while ensuring public safety. These recommendations include:
    • Allowing sentence modifications that can reduce populations within the jails, as outlined in Va. Code § 19.2-303.
    • Diverting offenders from being admitted into jail prior to trial, including the use of summonses by law enforcement in lieu of arrest pursuant to Va. Code § 19.2-74, and use of local pretrial programs as available and with consideration to local capacity.
    • Considering ways to reduce low-risk offenders that are being held without bail in jails.
    • Utilizing alternative solutions to incarceration such as home electronic monitoring, pursuant to Va. Code § 53.1-131.2.
***UPDATE THURSDAY, 3/19/20 1:30 P.M.***

The Virginia Department of Health website continues to update the status of cases in Virginia. As of noon today, 94 positive cases have been reported here in Virginia. 

Update for pet owners from the Humane Society:
There is no evidence that cats, dogs, or other companion animals can be infected with COVID-19. We anticipate that pet owners may need to surrender or seek long-term foster care for their pets due to economic reasons. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has provided a helpful FAQ for pet owners: CDC FAQ RE: Pets

The Humane Society of the United States also has information to help animal shelters and rescues prepare for the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on their operations: Information About Animal Shelters 

From Fairfax County: The Fairfax County Animal Shelter is still open and facilitating pet adoptions. They have made a few changes to their services however. For example, they are not taking donations and request dog licenses be purchased online.

Information from Utilities
  • Verizon, Comcast, and Cox, have pledged to keep customers connected for the next 60 days and not terminate services to any residential customer or small business that are unable to pay their bills.
  • Cox is also offering a low-income internet tier with no annual contract and relaxing data usage overage charges for all tiers.
  • Dominion Energy suspended disconnections.
  • Washington Gas will be waiving late fees and suspending disconnections.
  • NOVEC is suspending all electric service disconnections and associated penalty fees for 60 days.
DMV Information: 
  • All DMV offices and mobile sites are closed.
  • 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.
Elective Surgery Guidance: The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued guidance on elective surgeries. You can find that information here: Elective Surgery Guidance


The CMS guidance is consistent with the position that all Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association (VHHA) members have adopted. A copy of that guidance can be found here: Information from Virginia Hospitals


Fairfax County Board of Supervisors 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.
  • 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

***UPDATE THURSDAY, 3/19/20 8:30 A.M.***

All of our local school systems are distributing meals to children during the school shutdown.  There are over a dozen sites in the 36th District.  


Here are how you find the locations in Fairfax, Prince William and Stafford County:










***UPDATE WEDNESDAY, 3/18/20 4:00 P.M.***

Cases in Virginia: The Virginia Department of Health website continues to update the status of cases in Virginia. As of noon today, 77 positive cases have been reported here in Virginia. This count is updated every day at the bottom of this web page: Updated cases in Virginia

New Guidance for Day Care Centers: The Northam Administration issued new guidance directing day care centers to limit their classrooms to 10 people, including teachers. Additionally, day care centers should practice staggered recess and only feed kids in their individual classrooms. 

Small Business Administration Loan Program: Currently businesses in Fairfax, Arlington, and Alexandria are eligible. The application can be found here: SBA.gov/disaster

Supporting our Workforce: "Frequently asked Questions for Workers Regarding COVID-19" document can be found here: https://www.governor.virginia.gov/media/governorvirginiagov/governor-of-virginia/pdf/Frequently-Asked-Questions-from-Workers-Regarding-COVID-19.pdf

Donate Blood to the Red Cross: Many blood drives have been canceled over the last couple of weeks and there are severe shortages in blood supply. If you're interested and able, the Red Cross has a number of sites across Virginia that are open and safe to visit. You can find a donation site and make an appointment here: https://www.redcrossblood.org/give.html/find-drive

Expansion of Telehealth for Medicare Beneficiaries: The Trump Administration announced that telehealth benefits for Medicare beneficiaries are being expanded during the COVID-19 outbreak. This will allow, beginning March 6, Medicare to temporarily pay clinicians to provide telehealth services for beneficiaries residing across the country. For more information, click here: https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/press-releases/president-trump-expands-telehealth-benefits-medicare-beneficiaries-during-covid-19-outbreak

Use of FaceTime and Skype for Telehealth: The Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced that it will exercise its enforcement discretion and will waive potential penalties for HIPAA violations against health care providers that serve patients through everyday communications technologies during the COVID-19 nationwide public health emergency. This will include platforms like FaceTime and Skype. In support of this action, OCR will be providing further guidance explaining how covered health care providers can use remote video communication products and offer telehealth to patients responsibly. For more information, click here: https://www.hhs.gov/about/news/2020/03/17/ocr-announces-notification-of-enforcement-discretion-for-telehealth-remote-communications-during-the-covid-19.html


***UPDATE WEDNESDAY, 3/18/20 10:00 A.M.***

Fairfax county compiled these useful links:
Drive through testing site established in Arlington:

Virginia Hospital Center (VHC), a community-based hospital providing medical services to the Washington, DC metropolitan area for 75 years, has partnered with the Arlington County Public Health Department, the Arlington County Police Department, the Arlington County Fire Department, the Arlington County Sheriff’s Office and Department of Environmental Services to open a temporary drive-through COVID-19 sample collection site at 1429 N. Quincy Street.
  • Samples will be collected from Arlington residents, Arlington County Government employees and Arlington Public Schools employees, and patients of VHC Medical Staff.
  • This site is for sample collection from symptomatic patients (fevers, chills, cough, or shortness of breath) who have received a written order for COVID-19 testing from a licensed healthcare provider. This is not meant for asymptomatic patients, even those who have had a close contact with a known COVID patient.
  • Physicians with symptomatic patients can send orders to the Virginia Hospital Center outpatient lab electronically in EPIC or via fax to 703.558.2448.
  • Once they have received a physician’s order, patients should call the VHC COVID-19 Scheduling Line at 703.558.5766 between the hours of 8:30 am and 3:00 pm. Patients must schedule an appointment before visiting the collection site.
  • Individuals arriving at the drive-through site will be asked to remain in their cars.
  • The sample collection center will officially open Wednesday, March 18 at 9:00 am and will remain open on weekdays from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm.
  • Individuals who visit the collection site are encouraged to follow the instructions of their health care provider and self-quarantine while they await their results. Test results will be available to the patient within five to seven business days.
Traffic Advisory
  • Expect additional traffic on N. Quincy between Washington Boulevard and N. 15th Street
  • Expect delays if traveling in the area and/or seek alternate routes if not visiting the collection site
  • Posted signboards in the area will direct those driving to the collection site
    ***UPDATE TUESDAY, 3/17/20 6:00 P.M.***


    Further Reducing Public Gatherings

    Governor Northam told Virginians to avoid non-essential gatherings of more than 10 people, per federal guidelines. 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.

    Protecting High-Risk Virginians

    Those with chronic health conditions or aged 65 or older should self-quarantine. Public health experts advise that individuals with underlying medical conditions and those aged 65 or older are at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19. Governor Northam encouraged neighbors and friends to stay in touch and regularly check in with high-risk individuals.

    Increasing Social Distancing

    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.

    Support for Affected Workers

    Governor Northam announced the following actions to protect working Virginians impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak:
    • No waiting for unemployment benefits. Governor Northam has directed the Commissioner of the Virginia Employment Commission to waive the one-week waiting period to ensure workers can receive benefits as soon as possible.
    • Unemployment Insurance benefits claims can be filed on the internet at www.vec.virginia.gov or by calling the Customer Contact Centers at 1-866-832-2363
    • Enhanced eligibility for unemployment. Workers may be eligible to receive unemployment benefits if an employer needs to temporarily slow or cease operations due to COVID-19. If a worker has been issued a notice to self-quarantine by a medical or public health official and is not receiving paid sick or medical leave from their employer, they may be eligible to receive unemployment benefits. In addition, a worker may be eligible for unemployment benefits if they must stay home to care for an ill family member and are not receiving paid family medical leave from their employer.
    • Fewer restrictions. For individuals receiving unemployment insurance, Governor Northam is directing the Virginia Employment Commission to give affected workers special consideration on deadlines, mandatory re-employment appointments, and work search requirements.
    • The Office of the Governor is providing a Frequently Asked Questions guide for workers that have been temporarily laid off or discharged during this public health crisis.
    Support for Impacted Employers
    • Regional workforce teams will be activated to support employers that slow or cease operations. Employers who do slow or cease operations will not be financially penalized for an increase in workers requesting unemployment benefits.
    • The Governor is authorizing rapid response funding, through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, for employers eligible to remain open during this emergency. Funds may be used to clean facilities and support emergency needs.
    • Governor Northam is directing all employers to follow U.S. Department of Labor guidance on workplace safety.
    Department of Motor Vehicle Office Closures
    • Virginia’s 75 DMV offices, as well as mobile units, will close to the public. 
    • Online services will remain available, and anyone needing to renew a license or vehicle registration is encouraged to do so online.
    • For those who cannot renew online, or whose license or registration expires before May 15, DMV will grant a 60-day extension.
    Courts

    Governor Northam requested and the Supreme Court of Virginia granted a judicial emergency in response to COVID-19. From Monday, March 16 through Monday, April 6, non-essential, non-emergency court proceedings in all district and circuit courts are suspended absent a specific exemption. This includes a prohibition on new eviction cases for tenants who are unable to pay rent as a result of COVID-19. All non-exempted court deadlines are tolled and extended for a period of 21 days.

    Utilities

    The State Corporation Commission (SCC) issued an order directing utilities it regulates, such as electric, natural gas, and water companies in Virginia, to suspend service disconnections for 60 days to provide immediate relief for any customer, residential and business, who may be financially impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak.

    For a comprehensive list of actions Governor Northam has announced to combat COVID-19 in Virginia, visit virginia.gov/coronavirus.

    Update from US Small Business Administration

    Alexandria City, Arlington County, and Fairfax County are eligible to receive disaster assistance.

    The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering designated states and territories low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Upon a request received from a state’s or territory’s Governor, SBA will issue under its own authority, as provided by the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act that was recently signed by the President, an Economic Injury Disaster Loan declaration.
    • Any such Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance declaration issued by the SBA makes loans available to small businesses and private, non-profit organizations in designated areas of a state or territory to help alleviate economic injury caused by the Coronavirus (COVID-19).
    • SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance will coordinate with the state’s or territory’s Governor to submit the request for Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance.
    • Once a declaration is made for designated areas within a state, the information on the application process for Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance will be made available to all affected communities as well as updated on our website: SBA.gov/disaster. 
    • SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans offer up to $2 million in assistance and can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing.
    • These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses. The interest rate for non-profits is 2.75%.
    • SBA offers loans with long-term repayments in order to keep payments affordable, up to a maximum of 30 years. Terms are determined on a case-by-case basis, based upon each borrower’s ability to repay.
    • SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans are just one piece of the expanded focus of the federal government’s coordinated response, and the SBA is strongly committed to providing the most effective and customer-focused response possible.
    • For additional information, please contact the SBA disaster assistance customer service center. Call 1-800-659-2955 (TTY: 1-800-877-8339) or e-mail disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.

    Metro Service Update

    Effective tomorrow (Wednesday, March 18)—and continuing until further notice—Metro service will operate as follows:



    Metrorail:

    • Rail system hours and service levels are further reduced to support ESSENTIAL TRAVEL ONLY. DO NOT TRAVEL UNLESS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY and follow guidance from your state and local authorities.
    • New hours: Weekdays 5AM-11PM, Sat/Sun 8AM-11PM
    • Trains will run every 15 minutes on each line at all times, including the Red Line. All trains will operate with 8 cars, the maximum possible length, to help maintain social distancing between customers.
    • Metro’s Rail Operations Control Centers (two) will actively monitor trains and station platforms for any possible crowding, something that has not been an issue at any point during the pandemic emergency response.
    • Metro is reducing/cancelling track work, except emergency maintenance and inspections, to avoid unexpected delays and maintain 15-minute intervals between trains.



    Metrobus:

    • Bus hours and service levels are further reduced to support ESSENTIAL TRAVEL ONLY. DO NOT TRAVEL UNLESS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY and follow guidance from your state and local authorities.
    • Buses will operate on a Sunday schedule, with supplemental service on selected routes to prevent crowding and ensure areas are not cut off. Visit wmata.com for information about “supplemental” routes that will operate, in addition to Sunday routes.
    • IMPORTANT: Bus operators are granted the authority to bypass bus stops to maintain safe social distancing aboard the vehicle.

    These actions reduce the number of Metro employees and buses required to maintain service by more than 60 percent.



    MetroAccess:

    • All subscription trips are cancelled until further notice. Customers with a critical need to travel should make a separate reservation calling 301-562-5360 (TTY 301-588-7535) or via the online reservation system.

    Customers are strongly encouraged to travel ONLY IF ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY.

    FCPS Meal Distribution

    Fairfax County Public Schools is expanding the number of grab and go meal sites beginning Wednesday, March 18. A total of 39 sites will serve food to FCPS students.

    In addition to the sites currently providing grab and go meals, these school locations will also be serving food starting tomorrow. Breakfast will be served from 8:00 to 10:30 a.m. and lunch will be served from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the following locations: 

    • Bucknell Elementary School,  6925 University Dr., Alexandria
    • FCPS Energy Zone Office, 6840 Industrial Dr., Springfield 
    • Falls Church High School, 7521 Jaguar Trail, Falls Church
    • Lorton Station Elementary School, 9298 Lewis Chapel Road, Lorton
    • Twain Middle School, 4700 Franconia Rd, Alexandria

    In addition to school sites, five additional sites located in the community will serve as pop-up locations. The sites will serve both breakfast and lunch during the designated times beginning Wednesday, March 18:
    • Audubon Park, 7955 Audubon Ave., Alexandria, from 10:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. 
    • Bailey’s Community Center, 5920 Summers Lane, Falls Church, from 10:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
    • Gum Springs Community Center, 8100 Fordson Road, Alexandria, from 11:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. 
    • James Lee Community Center, 2855 Annandale Road, Falls Church, from 12 noon to 12:30 p.m.  
    • Willston Multicultural Center, 6131 Willston Dr, Falls Church, from 11:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
    For a complete list of distribution sites go here: https://www.fcps.edu/news/coronavirus-update-food-resources

    Original Post

    Virginia Dept. of Health: http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/surveillance-and-investigation/novel-coronavirus/
    CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/
    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
    • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.
    • Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol if soap and water are unavailable.
    • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands with soap and warm water.
    • The Virginia Dept. of Health also set up a toll free number to call with generic questions about the virus: 1-877-ASK-VDH3
    Governor Northam declared a state of emergency. Other state agencies are responding as outlined below:

    Virginia Dept. of Health:
    • VDH has provided guidance to nursing homes and senior care facilities on additional visitor screening. Virginia has expanded criteria for diagnostic testing to ensure that anyone who has symptoms and is in a nursing home is a top priority.
    • Virginia is talking with employers across the Commonwealth about telework and paid time off, including for hourly workers.
    Dept. of General Services (Testing update):
    • On March 2, the Department of General Services (DGS) announced that its Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services (DCLS), Virginia’s public health and environmental laboratory, began testing for COVID-19 instead of sending samples to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
    • DCLS will test samples from individuals identified by the VDH as a Person Under Investigation (PUI), meaning they meet both current clinical and epidemiologic criteria for COVID-19.
    • Virginia is working with insurers to waive costs associated with COVID-19 diagnostic testing.
    Human Resources (Information for state employees):
    • The Department of Human Resource Management (DHRM) has directed all state agencies to update their emergency operations and paid leave policies, and Virginia will begin implementing a phased transition to teleworking for state employees.
    • Virginia is setting an example by activating paid Public Health Emergency Leave for state employees who have recently traveled to high-risk areas.
    • All official travel outside of Virginia by state employees has been halted, with increased flexibility for inter-state commuters and essential personnel. State employees have been advised to limit in-person meetings and non-essential work-related gatherings. Specific guidance will be released to agency heads and state employees, and Virginia will revisit these guidelines after 30 days.
    Social Services:
    • The Department of Medical Assistance Services and the Department of Social Services are preparing options to ensure the most vulnerable populations have continued access to critical services, including the potential for in-home care and food support.
    • The Department of Social Services is working with local partners, such as food pantries, to ensure no one goes hungry in the event of extended school closures.
    Transportation: 
    • Washington Dulles International Airport is one of 11 airports designated by the federal government to receive flights from China. The CDC is conducting screenings of passengers at Dulles who have been in China or Iran during the past 14 days. 
    • Virginia is also working with transportation partners to help reduce the potential spread of disease.
    • The Department of Rail and Public Transportation is coordinating with Metro, Amtrak, Virginia Rail Express, and transit agencies across Virginia to adjust cleaning schedules according to CDC protocol.
    Corrections:
    • The Department of Corrections (DOC) has canceled offender visitation at all facilities until further notice. Off-site video visitation is still available.
    • A dedicated COVID-19 public information line with an updated, recorded message is operational. The phone number is (804) 887-8484.
    • DOC has implemented a screening protocol for offenders coming into state facilities from local jails.
    • Virginia provided detailed guidance to correctional facilities and other work locations regarding approved hand washing, sanitizing, and disinfectant products, and instructions for the proper use of those products to provide protection from COVID-19.
    Supreme Court:
    • The Supreme Court of Virginia has declared a judicial emergency and suspended all non-essential court proceedings until April 6, 2020.

    Update from Prince William County

    County Executive Chris Martino signed a Declaration of a Local State of Emergency for Prince William County in response to the guidance from the Centers for Disease Control to limit crowds of people to 50 or less to help slow the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The declaration is in effect as of noon today, March 16, and will allow the county to mobilize and prioritize resources, handle procurement issues, as well as assign and coordinate response activities to help promote and enforce social distancing.

    “We know that it’s critical that we practice social distancing as much as possible in order to help slow the spread of COVID-19 and help our health system. This declaration will help us mobilize resources to put practices and policies in place to keep our employees and residents healthy,” said Martino. “It is important to note that this declaration is not because we’ve seen a dramatic increase in the number of confirmed cases in Prince William County. As of right now, the county remains at three confirmed cases and we have no reason to suspect community spread.”

    In order to enforce social distancing as much as possible in the community, Prince William County has taken the following actions in the last 24 hours:
    • Closed all libraries.
    • Closing the Adult Day Healthcare program as of Tuesday, March 17.
    • Cancelled the Board of County Supervisors meeting scheduled for Tuesday, March 17.
    • Cancelled the Planning Commission meeting scheduled for Wednesday, March 18.
    • This is in addition to the action taken last week that closed parks facilities, senior centers and cancelling all outside meetings to be held in county facilities. A full list of the county’s operational status can be found at pwcgov.org/emergency.
    Residents are strongly encouraged to practice social distancing in their day to day activities, as well. The county also encourages residents to do business with the county online as much as possible. If they must come to a county facility, residents should call the office they wish to visit before making the trip.

    For more information about COVID-19 and Prince William County, please visit pwcgov.org/emergency.


    Update from Fairfax County Public Schools

    • All FCPS school buildings are closed until further notice.  Food distribution at FCPS sites will continue as scheduled. More details about the food program are below.  
    • With the school buildings closed, the laptop distribution scheduled for tomorrow is postponed.  
    • All FCPS administrative offices are closed until further notice.
    • Only essential personnel as defined by FCPS program managers and supervisors will be asked to report to work until further notice.  All other employees will work remotely.  It is expected that all FCPS personnel reporting to work will practice social distancing to the greatest extent possible.
    Beginning March 16, we are expanding the grab and go food distribution sites to a total of 18 locations.  The food distribution is set up outside the schools.   Breakfast will be served from 8-10:30 a.m. and lunch from 10:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the following locations:
    • Annandale Terrace ES, 7604 Herald St., Annandale
    • Bailey's Primary ES, 6111 Knollwood Dr., Falls Church
    • Braddock ES, 7825 Heritage Dr., Annandale
    • Brookfield ES, 4200 Lees Corner Rd, Chantilly
    • Burke School, 9645 Burke Lake Rd., Burke
    • Centre Ridge ES, 14400 New Braddock Rd., Centreville
    • Crestwood ES, 6010 Hanover Ave., Springfield
    • Cunningham Park ES, 1001 Park St., Vienna
    • Dogwood ES, 12300 Glade Dr., Reston
    • Garfield ES, 7101 Old Keene Mill Rd., Springfield  
    • Graham Road Community Center, 3036 Graham Rd., Falls Church
    • Fort Belvoir Upper ES, 5980 Meeres Rd., Fort Belvoir
    • Hutchison ES, 13209 Parcher Ave., Herndon
    • Hybla Valley ES, 3415 Lockheed Blvd., Alexandria  
    • London Towne ES, 6100 Stone Rd., Centreville 
    • Mount Vernon Woods ES, 4015 Fielding St., Alexandria 
    • Providence ES, 3616 Jermantown Rd., Fairfax 
    • Weyanoke ES, 6520 Braddock Rd., Alexandria
    • Soth County HS, 8700 Laurel Crest Dr., Lorton
    FCPS students are welcome to come to any of the sites to pick up a meal during these time periods.

    All students enrolled in FCPS schools and other County children receive one meal at no-cost; and, may have additional meals at no-cost upon request. Adults may purchase breakfast and lunch meals at a cost of $2.00.

    Fairfax County Neighborhood and Community Services provides access and referrals to both government and community based resources for Fairfax County residents in need.  If you are facing difficulties - including food, shelter, employment, financial assistance, healthcare and more other needs, please call 703-222-0880 for assistance.
    Updates can be found on our website: https://www.fcps.edu/news/coronavirus-update.

    Information from Prince William County Public Schools

    • All School-Age Child Care (SACC) is closed until further notice.
    • No PWCS employees should report until further notice (with the exception of designated food service employees, custodians, and designated staff to support critical business who should report as directed).
    • PWCS will provide further details for staff reporting later this week.
    • All activities and community use are canceled until further notice.
    • Per the Governor’s order related to the state of emergency, the state will waive the school hours missed during the Governor’s order covering the closure until at least March 27. Beyond this time, PWCS will continue to have 13.5 days of emergency hours “snow-days” to utilize if necessary to cover school closing.
    • Teachers do not need to be assigning work to students this week. Due to the waivers provided by the Governor’s office, at this time, schools do not need to consider strategies for continuity of learning to count as an official instructional day.
    • PWCS will provide updates later this week regarding additional resources for families to support student independent learning at home and expectations for staff to support this learning beyond this week.
    • The Virginia Department of Education is evaluating options to provide flexibility in meeting testing requirements for the Standards of Learning tests, the Virginia Alternate Assessment Program and the ACCESS for ELs test administered to English Learners. More information and guidance will be provided as it becomes available.
    • This is an evolving situation that is changing rapidly. PWCS will continue to make every effort to provide updates on a daily basis as needed, to answer the many important questions we are receiving from staff and families.
    • Packaged breakfasts and lunches will be provided to-go at select locations throughout the county, to anyone under the age of 18. More information below:
    Service Times: Monday- Friday* 9-10 a.m.
    Service Style: To-go Meals served at the front door of each location
    Meal Types: Packaged breakfast and lunch will be served at the same time
    *Range of dates may change based on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/Virginia Department of Health guidance

    Service Sites:

    Elementary School Sites
    • Dale City
    • Fitzgerald
    • John D. Jenkins
    • Mullen
    • Tyler
    Middle School Sites 
    • Beville
    • Graham Park
    • Hampton
    • Fred Lynn
    • Lake Ridge
    • Marsteller
    • Parkside
    • Potomac
    • Rippon
    • Stonewall
    • Woodbridge
    High School Sites
    • Forest Park

    Information From Stafford Public Schools

    Stafford County Public Schools will be closed from March 16 through March 27. The school system is aiming to begin delivering free meals on March 23.

    Update from METRO

    To help protect employees and customers, and recognizing that many of Metro’s frontline employees are faced with tough choices as they balance work with their family priorities, including caring for children who are home from area schools, Metro is reducing service beginning Monday, as follows:

    METRORAIL
    Monday-Friday: Trains will operate every 12 minutes on each line throughout the day
    The rail system will maintain normal hours, opening at 5 a.m. and closing at 11:30 p.m.
    Saturday: Trains will operate every 12 minutes on each line, with service from 7 a.m. until 1 a.m. (normal Saturday service).
    Sunday: Trains will operate every 15 minutes on each line, with service from 8 a.m. until 11:00 p.m. (normal Sunday service).

    METROBUS

    On weekdays, bus service will operate on a Saturday schedule. Weekend bus schedules are unchanged.
    IF YOU ARE NOT FEELING WELL, DO NOT TAKE PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION. Call your healthcare provider before you leave your home and follow their guidance.

    Update from VRE

    The Virginia Railway Express (VRE) today announced changes to its train schedules. As an increasing number of area businesses and government agencies encourage or mandate telework to help contain the spread of COVID-19, VRE ridership has dropped to a level warranting a reduction in service.

    VRE will run a "S" schedule on each of its two lines, Fredericksburg and Manassas, beginning Tuesday, March 17. The number of trains in service will go from 16 to eight - four inbound each morning and four outbound each afternoon. The change to VRE's train schedules will remain in effect indefinitely. The rail service's management will continue to monitor the situation and adjust schedules as circumstances dictate. Updated train schedules are available on VRE's website at www.vre.org/service/schedule.

    Update from Fairfax Connector Bus


    • There have been no changes to Fairfax Connector services, however cleaning protocols have been reviewed and updated.
    • Increased vehicle cleaning cycles are occuring with a special focus on bus interiors and critical touchpoints. These cleanings incorporate disinfection procedures indicated to be effective against COVID-19.

    Update from Prince William County Courts

    • Providing liberal granting of continuances through the end of April. Such cases may be continued by submitting a fully endorsed Agreed Order to the appropriate court or by notifying the appropriate court that an attorney of record, one of the parties, or an important witness is experiencing flu-like symptoms or is under either self-quarantine or mandatory quarantine, or is caring for a family member who is experiencing flu-like symptoms, under self-quarantine or mandatory quarantine.
      • The contacts are:
        • Circuit Court: circuitcourts@pwc.gov
        • Gen. District Court: JPleitez@vacourts.gov
        • Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court: dfuller@vacourts.gov
    • Criminal cases in Circuit Court will continue to be scheduled and heard in accordance with normal procedure.
    • General District Court will suspend and continue all cases through March 20, including criminal, traffic, and civil. There will be a further announcement at that time.
    • J&DR Courts will continue hearing detention hearings and bond motions involving juveniles who are detained or held in shelter care. Delinquency reviews will be continued to the end of April. Protective orders will be scheduled and heard as required by statute. 
    • No new civil cases will be scheduled until the end of April.
    • Postponing civil term day from April 7 to May 5.
    • The Chief Judge is allowing call in to get trial date and encouraging e-filing. 
    • Continuance requests are allowed by email. 
    • Those on jury duty can email to request rescheduling and for information. 
    • Volunteer activities are being cancelled. 
    • Judges are working with the Adult Detention Center for video arraignment.

    Update from Fairfax County Courts

    The Chief Judge of Fairfax Circuit Court has announced the following modifications in the Fairfax Circuit Court’s Docket, as a temporary precaution, and in light of current events. The Circuit Court is taking these measures in order to limit the number of people who must come to the Courthouse, during this challenging time.
    • Effective Friday, March 13, 2020, all civil jury Trials will be suspended, for at least 30 days. If you currently have a Civil Jury Trial scheduled to begin between March 13, 2020 and April 17, 2020, please contact Calendar Control at 703-246-2221, to reschedule. The Circuit Court will continue to conduct civil bench trials, during this period. If the parties agree, cases currently scheduled for a civil jury trial may be converted to a bench trial at Calendar Control, and thus still be heard, during this period.
    • All other dockets—including Friday Civil Motions and Criminal Motions Dockets—will continue, as scheduled. However, liberal continuances will be granted on a case-by-case basis.
    • If counsel, a party, or a witness is ill, parties should contact Calendar Control, to reschedule their matter.
    • If you have been summoned for jury service, and are ill, please contact the Jury Management Office, at 703-246-2292, to reschedule your service.
    As a precaution, the Court recommends that you not come to the Courthouse, unless circumstances require you to do so.

    In response to Governor Northam's prohibition of gatherings in excess of 100 individuals, the Fairfax County General District Court - all divisions, including the Town of Vienna - will not be holding court tomorrow, Monday, March 16, 2020 EXCEPT FOR THE FOLLOWING:

    • 8:30 AM Bond Motions Court will still be held as scheduled.
    • 8:30 AM Video Advisement Court will still be held as scheduled.
    • 1:30 PM Protective Order Court will still be held as scheduled.
    The Clerk's Office will be open and employees should report to work on time. This message will be updated on Monday with regard to the continuance of cases moving forward, to include those cases that were scheduled for court on 3/16/2020.

    Clerk's Office staff will be available to answer questions and accept filings. Please email the Clerk's Office at GDCMail@fairfaxcounty.gov or call one of the numbers below:
    • Criminal Division: 703-246-3305
    • Traffic Division: 703-246-2815
    • Civil Division: 703-246-3012
    Fairfax County Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court (the “Court”) consulted with local health officials to discuss the risks of court operations and ways to slow the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).  Those professionals advised that normal court operations pose little risk because there is not yet evidence of “community spread” of the virus in this area.

    Notwithstanding this advice, and based upon recent developments, the Court has enacted aggressive policies and procedures to slow the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and to reassure the community.

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    • All traffic hearings, and criminal trials and sentencing hearings for defendants not held in custody, are suspended.
    • Criminal motions are limited to bond (including motions to modify or revoke bond), continuance, detention review, discovery (in cases in which the defendant is held in custody), and emergency motions only.
    • Except for show cause rule hearings for respondents held in custody (which shall be continued), all custody, visitation, and support status hearings and trials are suspended.  Emergency motions, for cases in which relief is necessary to prevent imminent and substantial physical or psychological harm to a child, shall be heard as usual.
    • Wednesday Motions dockets are suspended.  Except as otherwise stated in the policies and procedures, the Clerk of Court shall continue all other pending motions to the scheduled trial date. 
    All attorneys appearing before the Court should read the most recent version of these policies and procedures, in full, Policies to Slow the Spread of Coronavirus Disease 03-16-20

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