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.
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.
Per the Governor’s order:
“All individuals in Virginia shall remain at their place of residence, except as provided below by this Order and Executive Order 53. To the extent individuals use shared or outdoor spaces, whether on land or on water, they must at all times maintain social distancing of at least six feet from any other person, with the exception of family or household members or caretakers. Individuals may leave their residences for the purpose of:
a. Obtaining food, beverages, goods, or services as permitted in Executive Order 53;
b. Seeking medical attention, essential social services, governmental services, assistance from law enforcement, or emergency services;
c. Taking care of other individuals, animals, or visiting the home of a family member;
d. Traveling required by court order or to facilitate child custody, visitation, or child care;
e. Engaging in outdoor activity, including exercise, provided individuals comply with social distancing requirements;
f. Traveling to and from one’s residence, place of worship, or work;
g. Traveling to and from an educational institution;
h. Volunteering with organizations that provide charitable or social services; and
i. Leaving one’s residence due to a reasonable fear for health or safety, at the direction of law enforcement, or at the direction of another government agency.”
You may click here to view the Governor’s Monday, Wednesday and Friday 2:00 PM press conference update.
2019-2020 SOLs Cancelled
Virginia has been granted permission by the U.S. Department of Education to cancel federally mandated Standards of Learning tests during the 2019-2020 school year.
U.S. Congress Passes 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.
Today, April 1st, is Census Day! 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!
Fairfax County Delegation’s Fundraiser for Food
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 has announced and is enacting its Distance Learning Plan (DLP) for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year.
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.
AP testing updates from The College Board
IB Updates from the International Baccalaureate Organization
For more information and guidance from the Virginia Department of Education, you may click here.
Fairfax County Government Resources
Fairfax County has approved a one month extension for filing vehicle and business personal property taxes and paying the first installment of real estate taxes.
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 Waste Management
To protect local waste management workers, effective Monday, March 30, Fairfax County Solid Waste Management Program is changing collection requirements for trash and recycling haulers and changing service levels at the county’s two disposal sites.
Fairfax County Parks
All Fairfax County Park Authority playgrounds, skate parks and restrooms will be closed until further notice.
Department of Motor Vehicles & State Safety Inspections
Virginia’s 75 DMV offices, as well as mobile units, will be closed to the public through April 23rd. Online services will remain available, and anyone needing to renew a license or vehicle registration is encouraged to do so online.
On March 19th, the Governor directed the Virginia Department of State Police to suspend the enforcement of Motor Vehicle Safety Inspections for 60 days.
The Virginia DMV will grant a 60-day extension For those who cannot renew online, or whose license or registration expires before May 15th. For more information regarding the Virginia DMV’s current status and transactions available online, you may click here.
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
24801 Pinebrook Rd. #110
Chantilly, VA 20152
4600 Lee Hwy.
Arlington, VA 22207
8357 Leesburg Pike
Vienna, VA 22182
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.
The Fairfax County Sheriff’s Office announced it will not be executing new evictions through at least April 26th, 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.
George Mason University
In person classes have been suspended and replaced with virtual instruction through the semester. Moreover, university buildings are closed as of Wednesday March 25th, except as otherwise provided. All exterior and interior doors will be locked. Faculty and staff will continue to have cardswipe and key access but must comply with the telework mandates outlined below.
For FAQs regarding GMU’s actions and policies at this time, you may click here.
Virginia State Capitol Complex
The Clerk of the House, at my direction, and the Clerk of the Senate have closed the Virginia State Capitol and the Pocahontas Building to the public, effective through at least April 14th, 2020. The facilities, for now, will remain open to Members and staff only.
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.
- Consider donating blood if you are healthy and able. Currently, there is a severe blood shortage nationally. Appointments to give blood with INOVA can be made at INOVAblood.org. Appointments to give blood with the American Red Cross can be made by visiting RedCrossBlood.org, using the Red Cross Blood Donor App or calling 1-800-RED-CROSS.
- Ecumenical Community Helping Others (ECHO) serve individuals and families experiencing effects of long-term poverty and emergency financial need in Burke and Springfield
- For a list of more food banks in and around the 41st House District recommended by the Northern Virginia Regional Commission, you may click here.
- If you have the means, you may also consider contributing to the Foundation for FCPS or one of their suggested community based resources.
- The Fairfax County Neighbor-to-Neighbor program helps organize volunteer opportunities. Find out how your neighborhood community, HOA, or civic association can get involved: email N2N@fairfaxcounty.gov or call 703-246-8962, TTY 711.
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.
Non-Essential Entertainment & Recreation
As of 11:59 PM on March 24th, all non-essential entertainment and recreation businesses in the Commonwealth must close for at least 30 days. 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.
Guidance for Child Care Providers
The Department of Social Services (DSS) is modifying 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Supreme Court of Virginia granted a judicial emergency in response to COVID-19. Through Sunday, April 26th, 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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Last Updated 4/1/20 12:27 PM