As Virginians continue to follow the recommendations and guidelines of public health experts, Virginians and constituents in the 41st District can find updates and resources below.
We must continue to remain vigilant in our fight to stop the spread of COVID-19 and protect the health of Virginians. This has been a long and challenging year for all. And, while there may be a temptation to relax the precautions we take, it is critical that we each continue to:
1. Avoid large gatherings
2. Wash our hands
3. Wear a face covering
4. Maintain physical/social distancing
Together, we can stop the spread of COVID-19 and save lives.
Please take care of yourselves during these challenging times. I continue to wish you, your family and friends good health.
Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn
As of April 10th, 4,514,282 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered in Virginia with a 7-day average of 77,411 doses administered daily. 1,683,673 Virginians are fully Vaccinated — nearly 20% of Virginians.
HD41 constituents and residents throughout Fairfax County may also be happy to know that the county has expanded vaccine registration to include all residents in the Phase 1c population with plans to transition to Phase 2 beginning April 18th in line with the entire Commonwealth.
For more info on the eligibility criteria click here.
Updated Public Health Guidelines
I also wanted to remind you that the Commonwealth is operating under new public health measures regarding social gatherings and new capacity limits for entertainment venues, recreational sporting events and in-person graduation/commencement events.
Visit virginia.gov/coronavirus/forwardvirginia for more information and answers to frequently asked questions.
Statewide Pre-Registration Database
Virginia’s vaccine registration efforts are operating through a statewide system. This statewide database allows people to regularly check their registration status. For participating localities, existing registration lists will be imported to the new system. Those who have already registered will not have to register again and will maintain their status in the queue. This statewide pre-registration system will provide a unified and comprehensive process for people in Virginia to pre-register to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
Fairfax County will not be participating in this system at this time, and asks residents to register on the Fairfax County site. Fairfax County also launched the online Registration Status Checker, which allows residents to enter their name and email address to get a sense of where they are in line. Please note that this does not include exact queue numbers. Instead, it will display what date the individual registered and the registration date for which Fairfax County is currently scheduling appointments.
Federal CVS Partnership
As part of a federal retail pharmacy program, 36 CVS Pharmacy locations in Virginia will soon receive a total of 26,000 first doses. This is in addition to Virginia’s normal allocation. The Commonwealth is working with CVS to identify locations and registration processes that will help promote equitable distribution. Registration is expected to open soon in Virginia. When it does, individuals will be able to register online, on the CVS app, or via CVS customer service at (800) 746-7287.
Return to In-Person Schooling
On February 5th, Governor Northam announced all public school districts in Virginia should have in-person instruction options available by March 15, 2021, consistent with updated guidance from the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE). CDC research has shown that in-person schools have not been significant contributors to the transmission of COVID-19 when public health measures like masks and physical distancing are followed.
Washington Post: Northam: Schools should offer in-person teaching option soon
This is a critical step in moving our Commonwealth past the effects of this pandemic. Returning our children to in-person instruction is a top priority for our Democratic House Majority and we will continue to work with the Governor to get our teachers vaccinated and pass legislation to have our kids back at their desks with the necessary guardrails to keep our children, families, teachers and staff safe.
Prior to the Governor’s directive, Fairfax County Public Schools unveiled their plan for offering in-person instruction options to interested students and families. This timeline would provide options for all student groups by mid-March. FCPS Superintendent Dr. Brabrand presented this plan to the FCPS School Board at a recent meeting, including detailed strategies that account for changes in the risk of community spread.
Updated Vaccine Distribution Dashboard
In order to provide improved transparency, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) has also recently unveiled a newly designed version of Virginia’s Vaccine Distribution Dashboard. The dashboard features extensive information detailing:
- The number of doses Virginia has received from the Federal Government;
- The number of doses administered in the Commonwealth, in addition to displaying this information as a percentage of doses received;
- The number of vaccine doses received and administered broken down by type of administration facility;
- And, the new dashboard displays all of these numbers broken down further by first and second dose allocations.
Additionally, the dashboard displays a map detailing the number of vaccine doses received by each local health district. Click here for VDH’s Vaccine Distribution Dashboard.
If you live in or around the 41st District and are currently eligible to receive the vaccine, click here to register with the Fairfax Health District or find more info on vaccine distribution in Fairfax County.
HB 2333: The House of Delegates’ “Vaccinator Bill”
On February 10th, I signed the Vaccinator Bill passed by the House of Delegates and State Senate, which will now go to Governor Northam for his signature. This bill is a significant step in building our vaccine rollout capacity and turning the corner on this pandemic.
- This legislation would bolster Virginia’s vaccination work in 3 ways:
- Expanding the ranks of healthcare professionals eligible to administer the vaccine;
- Allowing for the creation of vaccination sites;
- Requiring certain demographic data collection and reporting by vaccinators to help ensure vaccines are being distributed equitably to all communities.
Currently, Virginia has an adequate number of vaccinators to administer the supplies we are receiving from the Federal Government. As the new White House works to grow the national vaccine supply, the Commonwealth will be ready to immediately get our increased allocation of shots in Virginian’s arms. This is a critical step as the General Assembly works with the Governor and VDH to keep Virginia healthy and turn the corner on this pandemic.
Big thanks to my friend and colleague Delegate Lamont Bagby for sponsoring this critical, life saving legislation in the House.
Federal Support to Vaccinate Essential Federal Employees
On February 10th, Governor Ralph Northam, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan and Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) requesting increased federal support in administering the COVID-19 vaccines to essential federal employees. The letter specifically requests:
- A dedicated allocation of vaccine and associated supplies to support the vaccination of essential federal workers, contractors, and Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) employees within the National Capital Region;
- A federally supported and operated vaccination site for all essential federal workers, contractors, and WMATA employees within the National Capital Region; and
- Coordinated messaging to employees regarding vaccination efforts for the federal workforce.
Fairfax County Public Schools
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 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 Resources
Fairfax County COVID-19 Dashboard
The Fairfax County Department of Health has established a COVID-19 data dashboard, which displays up-to-date case information in the Fairfax Health District. The dashboard features maps and graphic displays organized by locality, combined ZIP codes, race and ethnicity, as well as age. It also features a case trajectory and curve of new cases. Click here to view the dashboard.
DMV has opened a number of locations with limited services available by appointment only. Click 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.
Appointments can be made by visiting www.dmvNOW.com/appt or by calling 804-497-7100.
Filling out your census form only takes about 10 minutes, and determines your community’s state, local and federal funding and representation for the next 10 years! While census takers will not be going door-to-door, for the first time ever, individuals are able to complete census forms online here, as well as via phone or by mail. Be sure to complete your form – everyone counts!
Ways to Help
- 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.
- Please consider joining me and my colleagues in the General Assembly from Fairfax Co. in contributing to the Capital Area Food Bank and Food for Others.
- Ecumenical Community Helping Others (ECHO) serve individuals and families experiencing effects of long-term poverty and emergency financial need in Burke and Springfield
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
- Dominion Hospital Assessment and Referral Line: 703-536-2000
- 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
- Plan D Nova https://www.plandnova.org/
- Fairfax County’s 24-Hour Domestic Violence Hotline: 703-360-7273
- Domestic Violence Action Center: 703-246-4573
New Driver’s License Online Renewal Option
Many Virginians will be eligible to submit a two-year renewal for their driver’s license online, thanks to a new DMV service. The new option will allow approximately 500,000 Virginians to postpone a trip to the DMV, opening up new appointment opportunities for those who need to visit in person to conduct their business.
The Commonwealth has expanded the Virginia Rent and Mortgage Relief Program (RMRP) to further assist Virginians with past-due rental payments dating back to April 1st, 2020. Now, landlords can apply for the RMRP financial assistance on behalf of their qualifying tenants.
Launched in June 2020, the RMRP made $50 million in short-term financial assistance available to Virginians in the form of rent and mortgage payments to low-income households facing eviction.
To find out if you are eligible for assistance and to locate an administration offce visit dhcd.virginia.gov/eligibility or dial 2-1-1.
I also wanted to remind you of the Commonwealth’s “Stay Home Virginia” website, which is a consolidation of many useful tools, helpful information, and resources for renters, homeowners, landlords, and those experiencing homelessness. The website also outlines summaries of both the federal and state protections in place.
Virginia COPES Non-Emergency Support Line
The Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (DBHDS), in coordination with Mental Health America of Virginia, has established a COVID-19 Non-Emergency “Warm Line”. If you or someone you know are struggling with trauma or distress caused by COVID-19, trained staff are available to provide strength-based support, resilience coaching, community resources and direction for those in need.
You can find more info on Virginia COPES and other resources here and below.
Call or TEXT Toll Free: 877-349-6428
9 a.m. – 9 p.m. Monday – Friday
5 p.m. – 9 p.m. Saturday – Sunday
Face Coverings in Public Indoor Settings
Last week, Governor Northam signed Executive Order 63, which requires Virginians to wear face coverings in public indoor settings and directs the Department of Labor and Industry (DOLI) to develop temporary standards to prevent exposure to COVID-19 in workplace settings. This order is now in effect until amended or rescinded.
Exemptions to these guidelines include:
- individuals actively eating and drinking at a food and beverage establishment;
- individuals who are exercising;
- children under the age of two;
- a person seeking to communicate with a hearing-impaired person, for which the mouth needs to be visible;
- and anyone with a health condition that keeps them from wearing a face covering.
Click here to read the full text of Executive Order 63.
Click here to read the Governor’s Press Release on Executive Order 63.
Support for Workers
As we take precautionary measures across the Commonwealth, the Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) will waive the waiting period to ensure workers can receive benefits ASAP. Workers may be eligible to receive unemployment benefits if an employer needs to 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 are not receiving paid sick or medical leave from their employer. You may click here or more info 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 VEC will give affected workers special consideration on deadlines, mandatory re-employment appointments, and work search requirements.
VDEM COVID-19 Materials
The Virginia Department of Emergency Management has established a web page of COVID-related materials, located here. Available resources include waivers, memoranda and guidance; available disaster grants and loan programs; along with instructions for private sector partners seeking to provide COVID-19 containment support to the Commonwealth.
SNAP Benefits Expanded to Include Online Orders
Virginians who receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits will now able to pay for their groceries online and have them delivered. This is after the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) approved Virginia to participate in an innovative online purchasing pilot program – the first time such a program has been available.
Online shopping access is available through the Amazon and Walmart’s online platforms. Transactions will take place using SNAP customers’ secure Personal Identification Numbers (PINs). SNAP benefits cannot be used to pay for fees of any type, such as delivery, service, or convenience fees.
Click here to read the Governor’s full press release on the expansion.