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Potomac’s Week in Coronavirus

200,000: Maryland surpassed 200,000 tests and completing testing of 3.5 percent of the state’s population, and now has the capacity and supplies to offer testing to Marylanders who may have been exposed to the disease even if they do not have symptoms.

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Al Fresco Pandemic

Restaurants eye parking lots and sidewalks as potential outdoor dining spots.

In normal times, the parking lot behind the Del Ray Cafe gives the restaurant a competitive advantage. Drivers can turn off East Howell Avenue and pull into one of the dozen spaces behind the 1925 house that’s been repurposed into a thriving restaurant. These days, the parking lot is giving the restaurant a different competitive advantage, one that nobody saw coming a few months ago.

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Orange Line Stations Closing All Summer

Metro’s platform project continues; riders urged to seek other routes.

Last summer it was the blue line’s turn; this summer it’s the orange line stations closing, part of WMATA’s Platform Improvement Project. The Vienna, Dunn Loring, and both East and West Falls Church Metro Stations, as well as all Silver Line service, will be closed from May 23 through Sept. 7, WMATA said. West Falls Church Metro Station will remain open as both Silver and Orange Line trains can pass through the closed stations but will not stop at them.

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New Mayor to Work for #OneVienna

Linda Jane Colbert grew up in Vienna and looks at her new position as an opportunity for all.

In a local election last week, Vienna now has a new mayor, Linda Colbert, who has deep roots in the town and a few goals in mind that surround her campaign slogan of “#OneVienna.”

Harmon, Ross Join Incumbents on Fairfax City Council

Meyer and School Board members all re-elected.

Fairfax City re-elected its mayor, City Council and School Board incumbents, Tuesday, May 19, and added Joe Harmon and Tom Ross to the Council, replacing Jennifer Passey and Michael DeMarco who chose not to run. And despite the pandemic, which caused many to vote by mail, more votes were cast than in 2018.

Seven Running for Fairfax City Council

Candidates in their own words.

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Hunger Rising

Applications for food stamps skyrocket in Alexandria as local economy tanks.

Recent weeks have seen a dramatic spike in the number of people in Alexandria with no resources to put food on the table for their families, leading to a skyrocketing number of applications for food stamps as unemployment numbers climb and people in Alexandria suddenly find themselves in an awkward position — asking for help from the government just to buy groceries. Officials at the Alexandria Department of Community and Human Services say applications to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program have more than tripled since February, before the novel coronavirus pandemic prompted Gov. Ralph Northam to issue a stay-at-home order and shut down most of Alexandria’s economy.

Maryland Primary Election Turns to the Mail

Ballots will be mailed to all registered voters, and come with a postage-paid return envelope.

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Loan Sharks in the Water

Lawmakers crack down on predatory lending, although reform won’t happen for eight months.

The LoanMax on Mount Vernon Avenue in Arlandria is open for business during the pandemic, and colorful signs in the windows announce in English and Spanish that the car-title lender remains open during a stay-at-home order — offering loans at 200 percent annual interest during a time when unemployment claims in Alexandria are skyrocketing. Those kinds of interest rates will be illegal under the Fairness in Lending Act, which Gov. Ralph Northam signed last week after lawmakers signed off on some last-minute changes. But the ban on such high-interest lending won’t take effect until New Years Day 2021, which means high-interest lenders have eight months to engage in an unprecedented lending spree during the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.

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Viewpoints: Navigating COVID-19

From an elderly man to a state senator.

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