COVID-19 Updates & Resources

As updates in our community and across the Commonwealth continue to develop, I wanted to provide you with a consolidated hub of state and local resources. Moving forward, I will continue to prioritize the health and safety of Virginians, take every precautionary measure necessary to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our Commonwealth and work tirelessly on behalf of affected working families and individuals, as well as small businesses.

Be sure to sign up below to receive my electronic newsletter and receive these updates directly.

Updates

Re-Opening Suspended for Northern Virginia

On May 12th, Governor Northam signed Executive Order 62, which allows certain localities to delay entering “Phase One” of the easement of public health restrictions. Northern Virginia will continue with current restrictions through May 28th or until the regional data reaches necessary benchmarks, as outlined in the Governor’s “Forward Virginia” blueprint.

This delay was granted in response to a joint letter from the Chairs of certain localities in the Northern Virginia region.

Localities included in this order are the counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William; the cities of Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Manassas and Manassas Park; and the towns of Dumfries, Herndon, Leesburg and Vienna.

Click here to read the Governor’s Press Release on Executive Order 62.

Click here to read the letter sent to Governor Northam by local leaders in Northern Virginia.

Executive Order 61

On Friday, Governor Northam signed Executive Order 61, establishing that Phase One of the gradual easement of public health restrictions is set to begin this Friday, May 15th, so long as certain public health criteria continue to be met. 

During Phase One, the Commonwealth will transition to a “Safer at Home” order by continuing: social distancing efforts, the utilization of face coverings and the ban on social gatherings of greater than 10 people, in addition to other key public safety measures. More information on Phase One guidelines can be found below.

Click here to read the Governor’s announcement of Executive Order 61.

Click here to read the full text of Executive Order 61.

Phase 1 Guidelines

To accompany Executive Order 61, the Governor released guidance for individuals, businesses, religious services and the utilization of public spaces during the Phase One “Safer at Home” order.

Below is a comparison of guidelines and a list of a few changes that Virginians can expect during Phase One. This information and more can be found in the Governor’s May 8th presentation here.

41st District Resources

Fairfax County Public Schools

On March 23rd, the Governor issued Executive Order 53, which directs all Virginia K-12 schools close for the remainder of the academic school year.

FCPS students’ learning plans include teacher check-ins, direct virtual learning and engaging instructional tasks. For more information on the FCPS Distance Learning Plan click here.

To ensure continuity of services for students and families, FCPS has expanded grab-and-go food distribution to more than 34 FCPS sites. All students enrolled in FCPS schools and other County children 18 years of age and under receive one meal at no-cost; and, may have additional meals at no-cost upon request. Effective Tuesday, March 24th, the grab and go meals will be available from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Breakfast and lunch are available at the same time.

Additionally, FCPS buses are delivering grab and go meals along some bus routes.  School buses will stop at designated locations for delivery.

You may click here for a full map of FCPS grab and go locations, community meal distribution sites, food pantries, and other related services in and around the 41st District.

FCPS school counselors are available for middle and high school students, as well as for parental consultations on ways to support their students at home. Information on scheduling a consultation is available here.

FCPS Resources for Students with Disabilities

Fairfax County Public Schools has assembled a resource page for students who are involved with special education programs or related services.

For more information and guidance from the Virginia Department of Education, you may click here.

Fairfax County Government Resources

Fairfax County government buildings and facilities are closed to the public until further notice. However, the county government remains open for business online and by phone and mail. A full list of online service can be found on the county’s Assistance from a Distance webpage.

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors voted to declare a local state of emergency, making the County eligible for state and federal resources. For more information and updates in Fairfax County, visit the county’s COVID-19 updates webpage with up to date information regarding available resources, recommendations and guidelines.

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.

Fairfax County Tool for Seniors

Click here for an interactive map of grocery stores in and around the 41st District that offer exclusive shopping hours for seniors.

2020 Census

For the first time ever, individuals are able to complete their census forms online, via phone, or mail. Be sure to complete your form and consider participating in the statewide virtual Week of Action this week – everyone counts!

DMV

On Monday,  May 18th, DMV will re-open 11 locations outside of Northern Virginia with limited services available by appointment onlyClick here to view precautionary measures the DMV is taking to protect the health of those seeking critical in-person services.

To accommodate social distancing and minimize volume, appointments will be required and available for select services. If customers can conduct their transaction online or by mail, they should continue to do so.

Offices that will be re-opening are located in Abingdon, Charlottesville, Chesterfield, Fredericksburg, Hampton, Harrisonburg, Onancock, Richmond Central, Roanoke, South Boston, and Virginia Beach-Buckner.

Appointments can be made by visiting www.dmvNOW.com/appt or by calling 804-497-7100.

REAL ID Enforcement

Acting U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf issued a statement extending the REAL ID enforcement deadline from Oct 1, 2020 to Oct 1, 2021.

Virginia Railway Express

The VRE has reduced service in response to changing transportation needs and health guidelines. For the time being, VRE will run an “S” schedule on each of its two lines and will return to normal service as the current situation allows. The rail service’s management continues to monitor the situation. 

WMATA

Similarly, Metro has reduced service and closed stations in response to the guidance of health care professionals and low ridership as people continue to practice social distancing.

Metrorail 

  • Open from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m.
  • Trains every 15 minutes on Red Line, every 20 minutes on all others
  • 19 stations are closed until further notice. Trains will pass these stations without stopping; no alternate service. 

Metrobus 

  • Buses run on modified Sunday schedule throughout the week.
  • 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.
  • Enter and exit the bus using the rear doors only, except customers requesting the bus to kneel or use of the wheelchair ramp.
  • Due to rear-door boarding, fare collection is temporarily suspended on Metrobus.

For more information on Metro’s adjusted schedule, you may click here.

Fairfax Connector Service Reductions

Beginning Saturday, April 11th, Fairfax Connector will serve an adjusted schedule due to decreased ridership resulting from COVID-19 containment efforts. For a full breakdown of the updated bus schedule, click here.

INOVA Health Systems

Beginning March 25th and operating seven days a week from 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM, Inova Urgent Care Centers at Dulles South, North Arlington and Tysons will staff respiratory illness clinics to evaluate all patients with respiratory illness symptoms. The clinics will be have the capacity to collect samples for individuals who have already been screened by their primary care physician, meet testing criteria and have a written order to be tested.

Dulles South
24801 Pinebrook Rd. #110
Chantilly, VA  20152
703-722-2500

N. Arlington
4600 Lee Hwy.
Arlington, VA  22207
571-492-3080

Tysons
8357 Leesburg Pike
Vienna, VA 22182
571-665-6440

For Virginians in and around the 41st House District who may have family or friends receiving care at INOVA facilities, an updated list of policies can be found here as social distancing measures are taken. 

Housing Security

The Supreme Court has extended its Declaration of Judicial Emergency through May 17th. As a result, Fairfax County Sheriff’s Office announced it will not be executing new evictions through at least May 17th, 2020. The Sheriff’s Office has also notified the court it may extend this delay moving forward.

Additionally, on March 18th, the U.S. Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) directed Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae to suspend foreclosures and evictions for at least 60 days. This suspension applies to “homeowners with an Enterprise-backed single-family mortgage”. More information on the announcement can be found here.

Combating Discrimination in Our Commonwealth

I am deeply saddened to hear reports of prejudice against Virginians in our Commonwealth. Let me be clear: discrimination in all forms will not be tolerated in our community nor across our Commonwealth. In order to get through the current public health emergency, Virginians and Americans must come together to support our friends and neighbors.

If you are ever in an immediate emergency, dial 9-1-1. If you or someone you know has been the victim of a hate crime, please contact the Fairfax County Police Department or your local law enforcement agency.

Ways to Help

As many individuals, families, workers and businesses are affected during this difficult time, there are a number of ways we can support our neighbors in the community.

Reminder to Take Precautionary Measures

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer only if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Avoid contact with sick people.
  • Avoid non-essential travel.
  • Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol if soap and water are unavailable.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Mental Health Resources & Emergency Numbers

  • If you are in crisis, text NEEDHELP to 85511, call 1-800-273-TALK, or dial 911; TTY dial 711
  • CrisisLink Regional Hotline: 703-527-4077 (CrisisLink is a hotline for individuals in crisis or family/friends seeking guidance for how to help a loved one)
  • Dominion Hospital Assessment and Referral Line: 703-536-2000
  • Inova Emergency Services: 703-289-7560
  • Mobile Crisis Unit: 1-844-627-4747
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK or 1-800-SUICIDE
  • Merrifield Center Emergency Services: 703-573-5679; TTY dial 711 (The Merrifield Center of the Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board, offers a range of clinical programming. Emergency Services, staffed 24 hours per day, seven days per week, works with people in psychiatric crisis who need immediate attention.)
  • Plan D Nova https://www.plandnova.org/ (a website for Northern Virginia teens who suffer from depression)
  • Fairfax County’s 24-Hour Domestic Violence Hotline: 703-360-7273.
  • Domestic Violence Action Center: 703-246-4573.

Statewide Resources & Guidance

Absentee Voting Agreement

Attorney General Mark Herring announced that the Commonwealth has reached an agreement, which a judge has approved, that will secure safe absentee voting during the June 23rd primaries. Per the terms of the proposed consent decree, the Commonwealth will accept absentee ballots without the signature of a witness “for voters who believe they may not safely have a witness present while completing their ballot.” Click here to view the brief in support of the agreement.

May and June Elections Postponed

On Friday, April 24th, Governor Northam signed Executive Order 59 and amended Executive Order 56, which will postpone the upcoming May 2020 local elections and June 2020 primaryExecutive Order 59 delays the 2020 Local General and Special Elections from May 5th to May 19th. Executive Order 56 delays the 2020 June primary elections from June 9th to June 23rd.

Reminder: Governor Northam Issues Stay at Home Order

On, March 30th, Governor Northam issued a statewide Stay at Home order to protect the health and safety of Virginians and mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in our Commonwealth. This order directs Virginians to remain at their place of residence except as outlined.

Non-Essential Entertainment & Recreation

All non-essential entertainment and recreation businesses in the Commonwealth must close through at least May 8th. Essential businesses such as grocery stores, pharmacies, banks and gas stations will remain open. Restaurants may also remain open for carry-out, delivery and drive-thru. If you can do so safely, please support local small business. Click here to view the Governor’s Office “Frequently Asked Questions” resource guide regarding today’s public health and safety announcements.

Furthermore, the Governor’s Office and the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) are NOT requiring farmers’ markets and other direct sales markets such as breweries, microbreweries, distilleries, wineries and tasting rooms to close for business. These markets may operate in a capacity that allows delivery and/or takeout services – not onsite browsing and consumption.

Many children in Virginia remain in need of meals with our schools closed. Please text either FOOD or COMIDA to 877877 for information on where free meals are being provided.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Acquisition & Conservation

The Commonwealth put out an Emergency Request for Information (RFI) in regards to personal protective supplies. If you have information regarding available health care equipment, please click here.

To conserve supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE), Governor Northam and State Health Commissioner Oliver issued Order of Public Health Emergency Two, which directs all hospitals to halt elective surgeries or procedures.

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.

Prescription of High-Demand Medicine

State Health Commissioner Norman Oliver sent a letter to clinicians regarding the proper protocol for supplying patients with prescription medicine during this time. That letter can be found here.

Virginia Medical Reserve Corps

The Virginia Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) is seeking individuals to volunteer with the corps. Click here for more information on the MRC.

Increased Access to Health Care 
The Commonwealth is increasing access to health care for 1.5 million Virginian Medicaid members and thousands of low-income residents by:

  • Eliminating all co-payments for services covered by Medicaid and Family Access to Medical Insurance Security (FAMIS), including COVID-19-related treatment;
  • Ensuring current Medicaid members do not inadvertently lose coverage due to lapses in paperwork or a change in circumstances;
  • Allowing Medicaid members to receive a 90-day supply of routine prescriptions, an increase of 60 additional days;
  • Waiving pre-approval requirements for critical medical services, and allowing automatic extensions of approvals currently in place;
  • Encouraging the use of telehealth services by expanding access.

Additionally, the Governor signed Executive Order 52 to allow for a quicker increase of bed capacity for general hospitals and nursing homes in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Child Care Assistance & Guidance

The Governor also announced $70 Million in Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) Funding would be provided to child care for essential workers in our Commonwealth. For more information on the funding plan and how to apply, click here.

Additionally, the Department of Social Services (DSS) has modified Virginia’s Child Care Subsidy program to increase support and flexibility for enrolled families and providers by:

  • Expanding eligibility for designated school-aged children from 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.
  • Extending eligibility for families due for redetermination by 2 months and temporarily suspending the requirement for face-to-face interviews.

Additionally, child care providers are strongly advised to:

  • Limit capacity to 10 total individuals per room and prioritize care for children of essential personnel;
  • Have children eat meals in their classroom;
  • Increase distance to students and providers as much as possible;
  • Ensure care providers and students focus on essential precautionary measures, such as regular hand washing and cleaning frequently touched objects.

Parents seeking a child care provider can call (866) KIDS-TLC or (866) 543 – 7852.

Support for Affected Workers

As we take precautionary measures across the Commonwealth, the Virginia Employment Commission will waive the one-week waiting period to ensure workers can receive benefits as soon as possible. Workers may be eligible to receive unemployment benefits if an employer needs to temporarily slow or cease operations due to COVID-19 or if they have 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. You may click here or more information on how to file a claim.

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.

For individuals receiving unemployment insurance, the Virginia Employment Commission will give affected workers special consideration on deadlines, mandatory re-employment appointments, and work search requirements.

For more information and assistance, you may consider referring to the Virginia Employment Commission’s Frequently Asked Questions guide.

Support for Impacted Employers & Businesses

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. Moreover, the Governor is recommending all employers to follow U.S. Department of Labor guidance on workplace safety.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) 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, you may visit disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/.

Impacted businesses can also request to defer the payment of state sales tax due, March 20, 2020, for 30 days 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. During this time, interest will still accrue, so it is recommended that taxpayers able to pay by the original deadlines should do so.

National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) COVID-19 Resources for Small Businesses.

PPP Loan Replenishment for Small Businesses

On Thursday, April 23rd, additional funding was provided in the new COVID-19 relief package passed by the U.S. Congress. As a result, the U.S. Small Business Administration has resumed accepting Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) applications. For more information on PPP loans and how to apply, click here.

Utilities

The State Corporation Commission (SCC) issued an order directing regulated utility 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.

To that end, a number of local utility companies have taken action to provide economic relief to individuals and families in HD41 and across the Commonwealth.

Courts

The Supreme Court of Virginia granted a judicial emergency in response to COVID-19. Through May 17th, 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” during this time.

Guidance for Remote Notarization

Given an increase in requests for Remote Online Notarization, the Governor has published guidelines regarding Electronic Notary Applications. For more info click here.

Consumer Protection

The Governor’s State of Emergency Declaration has activated the Virginia Post-Disaster Anti-Price Gouging Act, which prohibits suppliers unreasonably raising prices on essential goods. If you believe that price gouging is taking place, please alert the Office of the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Section. For more information on anti-price gouging measures being taking, you may click here

Virginians should also continue to stay vigilant and guard against anyone looking to take advantage of seniors at this time through online or in-person scams.

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.

On March 19th, the Virginia Department of Corrections (VADOC) announced it would suspend all in-person visitation to state correctional facilities and would susupend all transfers from local and regional jails for the next 30 days.

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;
  • Diverting offenders from being admitted into jail prior to trial, including the use of summonses by law enforcement in lieu of arrest and use of local pretrial programs as available;
  • 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.

For more information regarding actions taken by Virginia Department of Corrections, you may click here.

Resources from the Virginia Department of Health & the Centers for Disease Control

I encourage all Virginians to visit the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) website, vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus, or the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website, cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html, to learn more about the virus and how they can protect themselves and their families.

VDH Updated Guidance on Testing for COVID-19

Agribusiness Guidelines

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has published a number of operational guidelines for various farms and agribusiness, including Pick-Your-Own Farms and Farm Stands. Those guidelines can be found here.

Closure of State Parks for Overnight Stays

After consulting with Department of Conservation and Recreation Director Clyde Cristman, Governor Northam authorized the Director to close state park campgrounds, cabins, and bath houses through April 30, effective at checkout on Friday morning.  This recommendation will make the official status of all state parks in Virginia day use only.”Further information on State Park policies related to COVID-19 can be found here.

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. 

I strongly encourage members of our community to regularly check in, via phone, with friends and family who are high-risk individuals.

Here are a few tips to assist those who may be in greatest need.

Remaining In Touch

As we move forward, I will continue to be in contact with you all, my constituents in the 41st district and Virginians across the Commonwealth, providing updates on state, local and federal actions to maintain public health and prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

Once again, please take care of yourselves during these challenging times – I wish you, your family and your friends good health.

It is my privilege to serve in the House of Delegates on your behalf and address the issues that face the 41st District and the Commonwealth as a whole. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you need any assistance from my office.

U.S. Congress CARES Act

On March 27th, the U.S. House of Representatives reached final passage of the “Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act” (CARES Act) which dedicates $2.2 Million toward containing COVID-19 and providing much needed economic support to Virginia workers, families and small business. Click here for more information on how this will affect our Commonwealth.

Last Updated 5/14/20 3:55PM

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