Dawn Stuvland Crosson, Herndon High English teacher, Reston
“I'd like to continue to see a downward trend in reported NOVA cases, and a clearly publicized plan for how to open businesses up safely. It seems that Virginia has a pretty comprehensive plan in place. It is exciting to think about gradually getting back toward some kind of normal. I think Virginia has done a great job of flattening the curve – never being without needed equipment or space in our hospitals. Everywhere I've gone in Reston, people are being extremely cautious and responsible, and I expect that responsibility to continue, especially if we are clearly told the expectations. We're all ready to move forward; we just want to be smart about it, taking into consideration what the CDC and community leaders suggest.
Virginia Senator Barbara A. Favola (D-31)
“I completely understand the need for businesses to reopen and workers to be rehired. But we must balance the economic benefits of reopening with the need to keep workers, patrons and the general public healthy. This is a crisis where every individual must act responsibly so we can all be safe. When we enter Phase-I, businesses and patrons will have to demonstrate a commitment to cleanliness and social distancing. Moreover, the health status of our communities will have to be continually evaluated.
Until a vaccine is developed and widely available, ‘business as usual’ will be a thing of the past. Three things need to happen as we prepare NoVA for a Phase-I reopening. 1) Social distancing, the wearing of masks, washing your hands and avoiding groups of 10 or more people must become the norm. 2) NoVA will have to implement a more expansive testing and contact tracing program. Ideally, 3 percent of the 2.5 million residents of NoVA should be tested by the time NoVA reopens. This target is a CDC recommendation and it will give us a more accurate picture of the spread of the disease; and 3) NoVAs rate of increase in positive COVID-19 tests must begin to level off or decrease. Right now, 25 percent of all cases tested in NoVA show signs of COVID-19. The state average is 10 percent. I am confident we can meet these benchmarks, but it will take the actions of everyone to make it happen.
It is heart-warming to see the compassion and acts of kindness that have come forth to help those who are struggling to feed their families, pay their rent and care for their children. We owe a big ‘thank-you’ to our first responders, health care workers, delivery drivers and grocery store clerks. They are here for us and we must do everything we can to lighten their load and keep them as safe as possible. We are all in this together and we will get through this together.”
Bruce Wright, retired geographer, Reston
“Given the nature of the novel Coronavirus, it will be a long time before many of us will be able to return to normal activities. I think we need better information about the factors described by Gov. Northam regarding when to open: Downward trend: Percentage of positive tests over 14 days; Downward trend: Hospitalizations over 14 days; Increased testing and tracing; Enough hospital beds & intensive care capacity (and) Increasing & sustainable supply of PPE. I see very few people wearing face masks. Rather than strongly encouraging people to wear face masks, I think they should be required, especially in any enclosed space. That implies that masks are available to everyone, so the county needs to ensure that they are available for purchase in all pharmacies, and if people can't afford to buy a mask, there should be a way for them to obtain one for free.”
David Broder, President, SEIU Virginia 512 Fairfax
“Workers are the backbone of our economy and our community. If we're going to emerge from this crisis safely and securely, workers need a real seat at the table. We need to ensure that every worker at every job has sufficient PPE, paid leave, and true living wages. We need to ensure that every worker has a clean worksite, and a real voice on the job to make sure employers are following CDC guidelines. We need to ensure that every worker has access to free testing, as well as affordable, quality health care.
To do this, we're going to have to confront the fact that black, brown and AAPI workers and women have been disproportionately impacted because they have historically lacked even basic worker protections. If we can center workers, and if we can honestly address the inequities in our economy, we can emerge from this crisis stronger.”