August 21st — Weekly COVID-19 Update
“The way to right wrongs is to turn the light of truth upon them.” — Ida B. Wells
This week, Governor Northam took several new steps to provide relief to Virginia communities, and I wanted to make sure you had the latest updates:
On August 18th, Governor Northam put forward three new voter protection measures that would make voting absentee easier. His proposals include using prepaid return postage on absentee ballots, the creation of drop off boxes and drop off locations, and allowing voters to fix errors on their absentee ballots after they’re sent in.
- Currently, 110,860 cases have been reported in Virginia.
- COVIDWISE is an exposure notification app that will alert users if they have been in close contact with a n individual who has tested positive for COVID-19.
- Governor Northam signed an executive order that will provide relief to state psychiatric hospitals. These hospitals have seen an increase in admissions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and are often operating at levels above their capacity. Governor Northam’s order will allow hospitals to only accept patients if they have the space and resources. Additionally, patients will have to take a COVID test before transferring to a state hospital.
- The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced the deadline to apply for Medicaid Provider Relief funds is extended until August 28th, and plans to reopen certain Medicare Providers.
- The Legal Services of Northern Virginia received a grant through the Potomac Health Foundation to help individuals in Prince William County (PWC) with issues surrounding Medicaid and the Marketplace, including help with application assistance, analyzing eligibility, or representing individuals in Medicaid appeals. Please contact Susan Nolan at 703–647–4748 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- On August 14th, Governor Northam proposed allotting $88 million dollars in state funding to expand affordable housing and combat evictions. This money would go to the Virginia Housing Trust Fund, and a new Eviction Prevention and Diversion Pilot Program. He is also putting forward a plan to pause all evictions until April 30th, 2021.
- The Virginia Rent and Mortgage Relief Program (RMRP), will provide $50 million in federal funding for households facing eviction or foreclosure due to COVID-19. RMRP will provide short-term financial assistance on behalf of households in the form of rent and mortgage payments. To identify the local RMRP administering organization for a household and to conduct a self-assessment for eligibility, visit dhcd.virginia.gov/eligibility or call 211 VIRGINIA by dialing 2–1–1 from your phone.
- http://StayHomeVirginia.com contains tools, information, and resources for renters, homeowners, landlords, and people experiencing homelessness.
Employment & the Economy
- Governor Northam announced the potential creation of up to 500 new jobs after a decision to move a T-Mobile Experience Center to Henrico County.
- For a comprehensive list of information and federal resources related to small businesses, please visit:
- FINIMPACT: https://www.finimpact.com/covid-19-coronavirus-smbs/.
- Annuity.org: https://www.annuity.org/financial-literacy/covid-19-financial-guide/
Public Assistance Projects
- As many school districts begin a virtual school year, Governor Northam has proposed an $85 million dollar plan to fund access to broadband for unserved communities through the Virginia Telecommunications Initiative (VATI).
- To fund technology upgrades and other needed improvements in Virginia’s public Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Governor Northam is proposing a $15 million dollar investment.
Prince William County — General Updates
- As of August 17th, the DMV in Stafford, Virginia has reopened to the public. Before visiting, it is recommended that customers check for their DMV’s hours and important notices here.
- Prince William County residents are encouraged to complete their 2020 census. Completing the Census ensures proper funding for state and local governments, and impacts the way the state makes decisions for residents. The Census can be completed online at my2020census.gov.
Prince William County — Education
- Meals are available for free or reduced prices for eligible students in Prince William County Public Schools. In order to receive these benefits, you must apply for meal assistance every year. Applications filed last year are only good for the first few days of school. Visit the PWCS Food and Nutrition Services website to learn more about eligibility and the online application process.
- Parents are encouraged to proceed with well-child physicals and immunizations for school enrollment.
- There is a requirement of the tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (Tdap) vaccine for rising seventh-grade students.
- The School Board voted unanimously to adopt a Return to Learning Plan that will have the first quarter of the school year as all virtual learning for most students. Special Education students and other especially vulnerable student groups, as feasible, will receive some in-person services. More information can be found here.
- The bell schedule for all PWCS high schools will be moved by one hour, to start at 8:30 a.m.
Prince William County — COVID-19 Testing
- Free COVID-19 Testing available for residents who live and work in Prince William County, the City of Manassas, and the City of Manassas Park. Participants must provide their full name, telephone number, and a home or work address in Prince William County, the City of Manassas, and the City of Manassas Park to obtain COVID testing and receive the results.
- Monday, August 24, 2020 | Start Time 8:30 AM — Woodbridge Senior Center, 13850 Church Hill Dr. Woodbridge, VA 22191
- Monday, August 24, 2020 | Start Time 1:30 PM — Metz Middle School, 9950 Wellington Rd. Manassas, VA 20110
- Monday, August 24, 2020 | Start Time 5:30 PM — Splashdown Water Park, 7500 Ben Lomond Park Rd. Manassas, VA 20109
- Tuesday, August 25, 2020 | Start Time 8:30 AM — James S. Long Regional Park, 4603 James Madison Hwy., Haymarket, VA 20169
- Tuesday, August 25, 2020 | Start Time 1:30 PM — Cloverdale Park 15150, Cloverdale Rd. Dale City, VA 22193
- Wednesday, August 26, 2020 | Start Time 1:30 PM — Dumfries-Triangle Rescue Squad Facility 3800 Graham Park Rd. Triangle, VA 22172
- Wednesday, August 26, 2020 | Start Time 5:30 PM — Metz Middle School, 9950 Wellington Rd. Manassas, VA 20110
- Thursday, August 27, 2020 | Start Time 8:30 AM — Cloverdale Park 15150, Cloverdale Rd. Dale City, VA 22193
- Thursday, August 27, 2020 | Start Time 1:30 PM — Woodbridge Senior Center, 13850 Church Hill Dr. Woodbridge, VA 22191
- Friday, August 28, 2020 | Start Time 1:30 PM — Splashdown Water Park, 7500 Ben Lomond Park Rd. Manassas, VA 20109
- Friday, August 28, 2020 | Start Time 5:30 PM — Woodbridge Senior Center, 13850 Church Hill Dr. Woodbridge, VA 22191
- Saturday, August 29, 2020 | Start Time 8:30 AM — Development Services Building, 5 County Complex Court, Woodbridge, VA 22192
- Virginia Department of Health website
- Virginia Department of Social Services website
- “Forward Virginia” Guidelines page
- Prince William County COVID-19 page
- Stafford County COVID-19 page
If you need constituent services, please contact our office at DelJCarrollFoy@house.virginia.gov.
Please stay safe and healthy.
Del. Jennifer Carroll Foy