• Jefferey C. McKay, Chairman, Board of Supervisors

    March 18, 2020
  • To the Fairfax County Community,
    This morning, the Board met in an emergency session to approve a local Declaration of Emergency. The Governor of Virginia also updated guidelines for Virginians. I will detail what all of this means below.
    There are two important points I want to note here. First, Governor Northam is recommending that those with chronic health conditions or aged 65 or older self-quarantine because of their increased risk for illness. Check in with your families and neighbors if you are able. Second, the County is working on how we can help our other vulnerable populations. Health and Human Services, for example, is working on how to help our homeless population and the Sheriff’s Office is working to temporarily suspend home evictions.
    There is also a lot of new information below, so please read carefully. If you have a friend who would like to sign up for this newsletter, they can do so here.Local Declaration of Emergency:
    What happened? This morning, the Board approved a resolution for a local Declaration of Emergency.
    What does this do? This does three things primarily: 1. This declaration streamlines and expedites Fairfax County Government’s access to emergency disaster funding. 2. It allows the County to use its authority to procure goods to address the emergency. 3. It serves as a reminder to the community of the severity of the situation we are dealing with.
    Anything else? This declaration is very important for small businesses. Now that our jurisdiction is officially under “emergency” status, they can apply for emergency loans from the Small Business Administration. (Other resources for small businesses will continue to be updated here as we get more information).
    Information on Fairfax County Services
    The Health Department has a number of resources on COVID-19:
    Visit the County site on COVID-19Health Department Website, see their FAQs, and tips for social distancing.Sign up for text message alerts: text FFXCOVID to 888777Call the Health Department from 9:30 am to 9 pm weekdays and 9:30 am to 5 pm on weekends.: 703-267-3511Email: ffxcovid@fairfaxcounty.gov. This account will be staffed Monday through Friday, 8 am to 8 pm.
    If you have further questions or are in need of services, below are some good references:
    Neighborhood and Community Services provides access and referrals to both government and community-based resources for assistance with, but not limited to: food, shelter, employment, financial assistance, and healthcare.Call: 703-222-0880, TTY 711Monday-Friday, 8 am – 4:30 pm
    Community-based resources for food assistance and donations can be found here and here.
    The Fairfax County Office for Children maintains an up-to-date online child care search that lists all child care centers and family child care homes that are licensed or regulated in the county. If you need support for finding child care in your neighborhood, visit Child Care Assistance and Referral. Child care financial assistance may be available.
    For small businesses in need of relief, we have created a web page that we will continue to update with guidance.
    Mass Gatherings, Community Events:
    Governor Northam recommended today that Virginians avoid non-essential gatherings of more than 10 people. 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.Fairfax County now recommends cancelling public events with 10 or more people, per the CDC and Governor Northam.For events of any size (public or private), organizers and participants each have a responsibility to reduce the chance of disease transmission.Persons considering attending any event, regardless of the number of people attending should consider the risks and benefits in deciding to attend. In particular, those who are at high-risk of severe disease if they become infected – persons who are older than 60 years old, have chronic illness, have a compromised immune system, are pregnant – should know the status of COVID-19 in the community and not attend the event if local infection is widespread.Here are County guidelines for those planning an event.
    Fairfax County Public Schools
    All FCPS school buildings are now closed until further notice. All FCPS administrative offices are closed until further notice.Only essential personnel as defined by FCPS will be asked to report to work until further notice. All other employees will work remotely. 
    Food distributions will continue through the closures, now at 39 locations. Breakfast will be available from 8 am to 10:30 am and lunch will be available from 10:30 am to 2 pm, Monday-Friday. All locations are listed here.
    All students enrolled in FCPS and other County children 18 years and under 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.
    For more information on FCPS’s response to coronavirus click here. For more on food distribution and other community based resources that offer food assistance for students and families click here.
    Fairfax County Government
    All County agencies have been directed to identify core functions that we must continue to carry out. We are shifting resources to those essential functions, as needed.We strongly encourage residents to conduct County business online if possible.Boards, Authorities, and Commissions should postpone indefinitely any planned meetings that do not involve time-sensitive activities. BACs can only meet electronically if they are discussing the COVID-19 emergency itself, per state law.
    Taxes
    The deadline for seniors and people with disabilities to apply for tax relief has been postponed to June 1.The following programs have been extended:Real Estate Tax Relief for the elderly (65+)Tax Relief for People with disabilitiesPersonal Property or “Car Tax” Relief 
    Affected workers and employers
    The Virginia Employment Commission will waive the one-week waiting period to ensure workers can receive unemployment benefits as soon as possible.Virginia is enhancing eligibility for unemployment and allowing for fewer restrictions to receive unemployment insurance.Employers who slow or cease operations will not be financially penalized for an increase in workers requesting unemployment benefits.Read more.
    Fairfax County Parks, Libraries, and Community Facilities
    Fairfax County parks (indoor), libraries, and community facilities are closed through March 29.This includes: recreation, nature, community, resource and teen centers, golf courses, historic sites, athletic fields, and picnic shelters.Dog parks and trails remain open.
    Senior Centers and Adult Day Health Care Centers
    All Fairfax County Senior Centers and Adult Day Health Care Centers are closed until further notice.Fairfax County is providing meal delivery services to registered participants who wish to obtain them.
    Courts
    The Supreme Court of Virginia has declared a judicial emergency.All non-essential state court proceedings are suspended through April 6, 2020.
    Department of Motor Vehicles
    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.
    Restaurants, fitness centers, and theaters
    Fairfax County cannot tell a private business how to operate, change its hours, or force it to close.Per Governor Northam, 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.
    Utilities
    We have reached out to area utility companies to assure that they are working to protect those at risk of utility disconnection. We have received confirmations from:
    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.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.
    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 occurring with a special focus on bus interiors and critical touchpoints. These cleanings incorporate disinfection procedures indicated to be effective against COVID-19.
    Metro
    Metro and Metro Access has again reduced its service. The most up-to-date service information is here.WMATA asks that customers do not use Metro unless absolutely necessary.Finally, we received questions about how to detect coronavirus in its early stages. According to the CDC the following symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure:
    CoughFeverShortness of breathAs we have more information to share, my office and Fairfax County Government will continue to update residents.
    Thank you for your support and patience as we work to manage this challenging, complex, and rapidly evolving situation.
    Jeffrey C. McKay