Longer report today, but should be worth the time to read and digest.
COVID-19 Update: Fairfax County and Virginia have experienced an increase in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths. And, according to Supervisor Herrity it may be May or June next year before the general public will have access to vaccinations.
Fairfax County has had 34,565 confirmed cases (2,543 more than last week 12/10/2020); 2,7747 hospitalized (up 147) and, 665 deaths due to virus or comorbidity (+20 from last week).
Virginia – taken from Delegate Kathy Tran’s report – As of 12 December, Virginia has had:
- 278,000 COVID-19 cases
- nearly 16,000 hospitalizations
- 4,409 deaths
- averaging 4,000+ new cases per day compared to about 1,200 in May
- statewide test positivity rate is more than 11 percent, and
- hospitalizations have increased by about 83 percent in the last four weeks
- track Virginia’s COVID-19 data at https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/.
Summary of new COVID-19 mitigation measures that are now in effect:
- Virginians are to stay at home between 12:00 AM (midnight) and 5:00 AM, except when seeking medical care; going to work, school, or place of worship; or obtaining food.
- Businesses - generally, all employees and patrons must wear face coverings. The Department of Health, the Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority, and other agencies with regulatory authority are authorized to enforce these restrictions. Violations are considered a Class 1 misdemeanor.
Below are highlights of the changes for businesses:
- Restaurants, Dining Establishments, Food Courts, Breweries, Microbreweries, Distilleries, Wineries, and Tasting Rooms – No alcoholic beverages shall be sold or consumed on premises after 10:00 PM, but they can still be sold via delivery or take-out. All dining and congregation areas must be closed between midnight and 5:00 AM, but delivery and take-out services may continue. All parties must be separated by at least six feet.
- Farmers’ Markets – Employees and patrons must maintain at least six feet of social distancing. Farmers’ markets must promote frequent hand washing.
- Fitness and Exercise Facilities – Patrons, members, and guests must remain at least 10 feet apart. Occupancy is limited to 75% of the occupancy load. In group exercise and fitness classes, instructors and participants must remain at least 10 feet apart, with limited exceptions, and class size is limited to 10 people or 75 percent of the occupancy load, whichever is less. Hot tubs, spas, and spray pools must be closed.
- Personal Care and Personal Grooming Services – There must be at least six feet between workstations. Routine cleaning of frequently contacted surfaces must be conducted every 60 minutes of operation, and all personal care and grooming tools should be disinfected after each use.
- Entertainment and Amusement Businesses – Total number of spectators cannot exceed 30 percent of the occupancy load or 250 persons, whichever is less. All private bookings are limited to 10 people. No alcoholic beverages may be sold or consumed on premise after 10:00 PM, but they can be sold via delivery or take-out. Must conduct routine disinfection of high contact areas and promote frequent hand washing.
- Other Brick and Mortar Retail Businesses – Employees and patrons must maintain at least six feet of social distancing.
- Recreational Sports - For indoor sports, spectators are limited to 25 people per field. For outdoor sports, spectators are limited to 2 guests per player. Total number of spectators cannot exceed 30% of the occupancy load for the venue Race or marathons may have up to 250 participants with staggered starts. Coaches, officials, staff, and players must be screened for COVID-19 symptoms.
- Limits on Social Gatherings - Public and private in-person gatherings can have no more than 10 people who do not live in the same residence. This includes, but is not limited to, parties or other social events. This does not include family members living in the same residence, places of employment (e.g., people performing work functions at an office), an educational setting, or religious services. Violations are considered a Class 1 misdemeanor and are enforceable by law enforcement officers.
- Religious Services - Must maintain physical distancing. Must ensure that items used to distribute food or beverages are either disposable or washed/cleaned between uses by individuals who are not family members. Must post signage that a) no one with a fever or symptoms of COVID-19 is permitted to participate in the service, and b) provide public health reminders about physical distancing, gatherings, options for high-risk individuals, and staying home if sick. Social gatherings held in connection with a religious service is subject to the limits on social gatherings, as described above.
- Essential Retail Businesses - The following essential retail businesses must provide face coverings to employees, follow social distancing, mask covering, and cleaning guidelines, and may continue to remain open during normal business hours: Grocery stores, pharmacies, and other retailers that sell food and beverage products or pharmacy products; Medical, laboratory, and vision supply retailers; Electronic retailers that sell cell phones, computers, other communications technology; Automotive parts retailers and automotive repair facilities; Home improvement retailers; Lawn and garden equipment retailers; Beer, wine, and liquor stores; Retail functions of gas and convenience stores; Retail located within healthcare facilities; Banks; Pet and feed stores; Printing and office supply stores; Laundromats and dry cleaners.
- Mask Requirements - Virginians aged 5 and older are required to cover their mouth and nose with a face covering while indoors, except if you are inside your personal residence. The mask requirement also applies outdoors if you are unable to remain six feet apart from non-family members. All employees of businesses identified in this Executive Order are required to wear a face covering at their place of employment. There are some exemptions to this requirement, such as while eating, drinking, or exercising; if you have trouble breathing; or are unable to remove face covering without assistance. Masks may be removed to participate in a religious ritual. The Department of Health has the authority to enforce this requirement.
- COVID-19 VACCINE - Virginia has received the first shipment and vaccinations have commenced. More information on Virginia’s plans is available at https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/covid-19-vaccine/.
Delegate Tran also said that we must continue to persevere. Wear masks, socially distance, and wash our hands often in order to defeat COVID-19. You can contact Delegate Tran by calling her office at 804/698-1042 or by email at DelKTran@house.virginia.gov.
Reporting Fraud - The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has launched a new website to make it easier for people to report frauds and scams - https://reportfraud.ftc.gov. Those reporting will get specific guidance based on the type of scam reported. Every time you report scams or bad business practices to the FTC, you're helping protect your community and this website is the way to do it.
Porch Pirates / Wrong Address Deliveries – Home deliveries are up significantly for many reasons, but so are deliveries to the wrong address. One such delivery to 6906 Vancouver Road apparently went to another home address or was taken by a less-than honorable person. Would hope it went to someone else and that that someone else will get it to the rightful owner.
Holiday Decorating Contest – judging begins tonight. Last night to judge will be Sunday, 20 December. This is a friendly competition to honor 1st – 3rd place winners with the coveted yard signs we place in respective yards until the New Year. Judges determine their own criteria that may or may not be the same as your own. Judges can’t vote for their own home.
Would like a couple more judges from the east side of Rolling Road. If you want to judge, let me know and if you need a map. Once you have determined your top 5 picks, email them to me (email@example.com). Your 4th & 5th place winners will help prevent ties when we combine your results with the other judges. Again, judging starts tonight (12/17) and ends evening of 20 December.
Yard Waste – Thanks to Avery Henry, I might just make it with just one more separate, Wednesday collection of yard waste for those of us who have Republic service (23 December). Received a message from them that they suspended yard debris collection yesterday 12/16/20 due to the weather and would make up that service on Saturday, 19 December for those who were missed yesterday. Still no word on whether they’ll collect Christmas trees the first two Wednesdays in January. They plan to start picking up yard waste again on 3 March 2021. Until then, we can put a small amount of yard waste in with our household trash in the toter, not on the ground beside it. Expect a ban on plastic lawn & leaf bags will be in place before 3 March 2021.
Christmas Pies - Looking for some yummy pies and cookies for the holidays? Wendi Dorey's niece, Sam (Bites by Sam) is baking some awesome treats that you won't want to miss. Go to her site (https://bitesbysam.com) and click on "Christmas Orders" and she can deliver to your door or you can pick up from her kitchen at 8538 Terminal Road in Lorton. Thanks for all the support you have given to her in the past! Happy Holidays!
La-Z-Boy 3 Piece Set - Free for the taking, 3 piece La-Z-Boy Group set from a non-smoker home with no pets. Good condition, all manual recline, sofa and loveseat with swivel rocker. Backs can be removed for easier moving. Will take 2 people to move with truck. Available 11 January 2021. Contact Bob Lomax at Rlomax221@gmail.com.
Handmade Christmas Ornaments - Celia Cavizza is selling Christmas Ornaments that she has made herself. Celia lives at 8111 Springfield Village Drive and can be reached at 703/451-7540. Send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you want to see samples of Celia’s craft.
Christmas Gift Wrapping Service – Teresa Weir (Springfield Village Drive) will wrap your gifts for very reasonable prices as seen below. Let’s help this young college student earn money as she helps us gift wrap presents. Contact Teresa at email@example.com or text her at 703/582-7469.
Stay safe, healthy and happy.
John Cooley, CAWSV