Fairfax County’s Week in Coronavirus

Fairfax County’s Week in Coronavirus

Cornerstones Town Hall, contact tracing, contact tracing scams, moratorium on evictions for now, and more.

Fairfax County Cases: • June 8: 12,603 • June 1: 11,219

Virginia Cases: • June 8: 51,251 • June 1: 45,398

United States Cases: • June 8: 1,920,904 • June 1: 1,761,503

Fairfax County Deaths: • June 8: 414 • June 1: 387

Virginia Deaths: • June 8: 1,477 • June 1: 1,392

United States Deaths: • June 8: 109,901 • June 1: 103,700

Tuesday, June 9

BACKLOGGED TESTS: Starting on June 9, the Virginia Department of Health’s COVID-19 data dashboard will reflect 13,000 additional tests that were backlogged. Over the next couple of days, this new information will be slowly added to the current data, which will result in an influx of results.

Monday, June 8

CORNERSTONES: Cornerstones met at a virtual town hall with Fairfax County officials about plans to ensure that the most vulnerable in the county are connected to resources to regain independence and security. Dranesville Supervisor John Foust, Hunter Mill Supervisor Walter Alcorn, and School Board Representatives Elaine Tholen (Dranesville) and Melanie Meren (Hunter Mill) participated. Topics included: affordable housing; extending tenant rights through recovery; family resiliency and sustainability; learning loss and the digital divide; getting back to work and a living wage; economy opportunity Fairfax and the COVID-19 divide. See https://www.cornerstonesva.org/townhall/

EVICTIONS HALTED, FOR NOW: A temporary statewide moratorium on all eviction proceedings in Virginia is in effect through June 28, said Gov. Ralph Northam. 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.

“I am grateful to the Chief Justice for granting this order, and for the activists who have been working tirelessly on this important issue,” said Northam. “Access to safe and stable housing is critically important, and this action will keep thousands of families in their homes as we work to get them the support they need.”

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.

FIRE AND RESCUE: Every week the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department (FCFRD) posts information regarding COVID-19 impacts to personnel: 23 known FCFRD personnel have tested positive for COVID-19; 20 have recovered; three are currently positive; 20 have fully recovered and two remain in quarantine.

APPLICATIONS DUE THIS WEEK: The application process for small business and nonprofit grant programs opens on Monday, June 8 and will close on June 15. During this period applicants will fill out the Qualification Survey to help determine their location, business size/employment, and eligibility. The Qualification Survey can be accessed through the Fairfax Rise website.

Friday, June 5

NOVA METRICS: Northern Virginia and Richmond will remain in Phase I of the reopening plan while the rest of the state moved to Phase II on Friday afternoon.

“Three weeks ago, when Governor Northam first announced his reopening criteria, Northern Virginia met zero of his metrics. Two weeks later, I am happy to say we met four of the Governor’s criteria. Those we didn’t meet - contact tracing and personal protective equipment (PPE) - are improving,” said Chairman Jeff McKay. “We are in the process of hiring 400 contact tracers and our procurement team is creatively working with every option available to get PPE to our long-term care facilities and private practices. Our percentage of positive cases continues to decrease and we continue to have sufficient capacity to test those with symptoms.

“My office has contacted the Governor's staff for more information on Phase 2 and the requirements necessary to get us there. As I have more information I will share it with you”.

REST OF VIRGINIA: Virginia entered Phase Two on Friday, June 5, as key statewide health metrics continue to show positive signs. 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. But the Governor directed Northern Virginia and Richmond to remain in Phase One.

Visit https://www.virginia.gov/coronavirus/forwardvirginia/ for more.

Thursday, June 4

PROTESTORS CAN SEEK TESTING: The Virginia Department of Health wants to ensure all Virginians, including those participating in protests, know how to access publicly-available COVID-19 tests. The nature of large protests means the virus may spread more easily there, especially if protesters are not wearing masks. The health department has communicated with local health districts where protests have occurred and are encouraging those districts to share information with protesters about community testing events and pharmacy locations where COVID-19 tests are available. All Virginians may get tested if they experience symptoms of COVID-19 or if they believe they have been exposed to others with infections.

Access VDH’s online symptom checker, CovidCheck at https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus/covidcheck/

Find publicly-available tests at https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus/covid-19-testing/covid-19-testing-sites/

FOOD PANTRY: Members of the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) and several Volunteer Fire Departments (VFD) will help to staff a food pantry distribution at the Gerry Hyland Government Center (South County Center) located at 8350 Richmond Highway on June 11 and 18 (and they did on the 4th as well) at 1 p.m. Last week, fire and rescue department volunteers helped staff a food pantry distribution at Falls Church High School. Working with other community volunteers, the group was able to assist in the distribution of food and milk to over 1,450 families in need.

MILITARY FAMILIES: The Child Care Affordability and Accessibility for Military Families Act would make child care more affordable and accessible for military families.

“Affordable, accessible childcare is so important, and military families who have to contend with the constant instability that results from frequent moves need our support,” said Senator Tim Kaine. “I’m pleased to introduce legislation to improve and lower the cost of childcare and standardize policies ensuring access to that care so that our military can focus on serving our nation.”

The Child Care Affordability & Accessibility for Military Families Act would reduce child care costs for certain pay grades, require currently optional fee waivers and reductions, ensure competitive hiring practices to recruit high-quality child care providers, and expand programs that have already been voluntarily implemented by one branch of service, or which are being utilized on an ad hoc basis – improving and standardizing policies across the military and reducing the financial burden of child care for all military families.

Wednesday, June 3

METRO: Metro is operating on regular Covid-19 service hours today, Wednesday, June 3. Service will operate as follows:

Metrorail is open until 9:00 p.m. Red Line trains will arrive every 15 minutes. Orange, Silver, Blue, Yellow and Green line trains operate every 20 minutes on each line. (At stations served by multiple lines, trains arrive every 7-10 minutes.)

Metrobus will continue until 11:00 p.m. on a Modified Sunday Schedule.

MetroAccess service will operate during the same hours as rail and bus services.

Metro continues to operate at reduced service levels for essential travel only due to the Covid-19 public health emergency. Customers are advised to travel only if necessary and allow for safe social distancing. For your protection, face coverings are required when traveling on Metro.Covi

ESSENTIAL CHILD CARE: U.S. Senator Tim Kaine and Senator Patty Murray introduced the Child Care is Essential Act, legislation to create a $50 billion program that if passed into law would give Virginia $986 million to help child care providers safely reopen and operate and stabilize the child care sector. These grants would help child care providers and working families by:ensuring that the grants adequately support providers’ operating expenses and funding gets to them quickly; requiring that providers continue to pay their staff; providing tuition and copayment relief for working families; promoting health and safety through compliance with public health guidance; prioritizing providers that serve underserved populations; ensuring grants are awarded equitably across child care settings; and conducting oversight through robust reporting requirements.

CONTACT TRACING: Contact tracing is an important part of protecting the community’s health during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Health Department’s contact tracers reach out to the contacts of sick individuals to let them know they may have been exposed to COVID-19. They will ask questions and provide guidance about how to take care of yourself and prevent others from getting sick. If you are identified as a contact and receive a call from the Health Department, it is important to answer the phone, or listen to the voicemail and return the call if asked to do so. For more information on the Health Department’s contact tracing process, call 703-267-3511 or email ffxcovid@fairfaxcounty.gov (inbox is monitored M-F, 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.).

CONTACT TRACING SCAMS: The Health Department’s contact tracer will never ask for your Social Security number, financial or bank account information, passwords, or other personal information unrelated to COVID-19. They also will not ask for photographs or videos of any kind. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) warns that anyone who says they are a contact tracer, and then asks for this kind information, is running a scam. Scammers pretending to be contact tracers are also sending people text messages that ask you to click on a link in the text. If you receive a text like this, do not take the bait. Clicking on the link will download software onto your device which will allow scammers access to your personal and financial information.

Say NO to anyone claiming to be from a government agency asking for cash, gift cards, wire transfers, cryptocurrency, or information such as your Social Security, Medicare ID, driver’s license, bank account, or credit card numbers.

If you believe you have been the victim of a scam, call the Fairfax County Police Non-Emergency Line at 703-691-2131, TTY 711. You can also contact the AARP Fraud Watch Network at 1-877-908-3360 or online at https://www.aarp.org/money/scams-fraud/?migration=rdrct