November 16th — Weekly COVID-19 Update

Jennifer Carroll Foy
7 min readNov 17, 2020

“Where there is no struggle, there is no strength.” — Oprah Winfrey

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:

As COVID-19 surges in states across the country, Governor Ralph Northam announced new actions to mitigate the spread of the virus in Virginia. While the Commonwealth’s case count per capita and positivity rate remain comparatively low, all five health regions are experiencing increases in new COVID-19 cases, positive tests, and hospitalizations.

The following measures took effect on Sunday, November 15th:

Reduction in public and private gatherings: All public and private in-person gatherings must be limited to 25 individuals, down from the current cap of 250 people. This includes outdoor and indoor settings.

Expansion of mask mandate: All Virginians aged five and over are required to wear face coverings in indoor public spaces.

Strengthened enforcement within essential retail businesses: All essential retail businesses, including grocery stores and pharmacies, must adhere to statewide guidelines for physical distancing, wearing face coverings, and enhanced cleaning. While certain essential retail businesses have been required to adhere to these regulations as a best practice, violations will now be enforceable through the Virginia Department of Health as a Class One misdemeanor.

On-site alcohol curfew: The on-site sale, consumption, and possession of alcohol is prohibited after 10:00 p.m. in any restaurant, dining establishment, food court, brewery, microbrewery, distillery, winery, or tasting room. All restaurants, dining establishments, food courts, breweries, microbreweries, distilleries, wineries, and tasting rooms must close by midnight. Virginia law does not distinguish between restaurants and bars, however, under current restrictions, individuals that choose to consume alcohol prior to 10:00 p.m. must be served as in a restaurant and remain seated at tables six feet apart.

November is Native American Heritage Month. This month and every month, let us celebrate the rich and diverse cultures, traditions, and history and acknowledge the important contributions of American Indians and Alaska Natives in the United States. The U.S. Office of Minority Health will focus on raising awareness about the health disparities impacting the American Indian/Alaska Native community and highlight the importance of staying healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Health

  • Currently, 204,637 cases have been reported in Virginia.
  • COVIDWISE is an exposure notification app that will alert users if they have been in close contact with an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19.
  • Health officials are stressing the importance of community health as Virginians head into the flu season. Please click here for an infographic on what to do if you have confirmed or suspected the flu or COVID-19. The Virginia Department of Health also developed guidance for college students returning home from campus and their families.

Housing Security

Employment & the Economy

Public Assistance Programs

  • Governor Northam announced that the Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) has been awarded more than $3.5 million in competitive federal funding to help vulnerable youth in Virginia.
  • The STOP School Violence grant will fund a 36-month Virginia C.A.R.E.S. project to build Caring, Awareness, Recognition, Engagement, and Support in schools. The initiative works to increase mental health awareness and enhance the safety and well-being of educational settings by helping to create positive school climates, awareness of resources, recognition of at-risk behaviors, and engagement with the community.

Prince William County — General Updates

  • Thanksgiving is a time when families travel long distances to celebrate together. However, travel increases the chance of getting and spreading the virus that causes COVID-19. Staying at home is the best way to protect oneself and others. For those who must travel, be sure to take precautions, follow travel guidance and be informed of the risks involved.
  • Effective Nov. 1, 2020, Prince William County has outsourced the dog licensing program to PetData, Inc., a company that provides animal licensing services throughout the United States. Prince William County will no longer process dog licenses at the counter, by mail or online.
  • Effective November 2nd, the Prince William County Food Helpline will operate from Monday to Thursday, between 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. The helpline is no longer open on Fridays. The phone number remains the same — 703.794.4668. Bilingual volunteers staff the phones.

Prince William County — Events

  • The Prevention Alliance of Greater William is bringing together local educators and experts to host a two-day, multi-lingual workshop to empower parents and provide them with information to safeguard their children during these challenging times. Visit this site to register.
  • Tuesday, December 8, 2020 | Start Time 7:00 PM — “Recognizing Signs of Mental Health Conditions and Substance Use in Youth.”
  • Thursday, December 10, 2020 | Start Time 7:00 PM — “How to Start the Conversation and Build Open Relationships with Our Children.”
  • OmniRide is embarking on a transportation education/awareness campaign geared towards the Hispanic community within Prince William County. They are hosting a virtual Hispanic Council Meeting on Dec. 9th, from 9:00 am to 10:00 am, to hear from residents about the transportation needs and challenges in the County, as well as how best to reach out and engage with the Hispanic community. To RSVP, please email nkahn@OminRide.com. This event is available to all who RSVP.

Prince William County — Health

  • Currently, 15,979 cases have been reported in Prince William County.
  • 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 susan@enroll-virginia.com.

Prince William County — Education

  • On Monday, November 16th, report cards will be available to parents of K-5 students in ParentVUE under the Documents Tab in PDF . Report cards were mailed home to families of students in grades 6th — 12th.
  • The STAR program is a free tutoring program that focuses on remediation of standards not mastered in high school reading and writing, as well as algebra I and geometry. The tutoring and remediation sessions, delivered over Zoom with STAR Program Canvas support. Sessions are delivered by a PWCS licensed teacher, and are free of charge to PWCS high school students and those middle school students enrolled in a high school English course, algebra I, or geometry.
  • The service times for curbside pickup of weekly grocery kits will be Mondays and Thursdays from 11:00 am to 5:00pm. PWCS continues to prepare and serve food at these school sites. All food is free of charge to students aged 18 and younger.

Prince William County — Employment

  • To help those who have lost their jobs in the pandemic, Prince William County has partnered with Virginia Career Works to launch ELEVATE. This program provides no-cost employment assistance to members of the community, including training programs, job placement services, and more.

Prince William County — Transportation

  • The Route 1 Widening project nears completion. Drivers now have six travel lanes and bicyclists and pedestrians have a continuous shared-use path and sidewalk from Marys Way to Annapolis Way, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation.

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. To ensure you receive a test please arrive at the site as close as possible to the start time and ensure you are in line by the time posted below.
  • Tuesday, November 17, 2020 | Start Time 8:30 AM — James S. Long Regional Park, 4603 James Madison Hwy., Haymarket, VA 20169
  • [Please be in line by 10:30 am]
  • Tuesday, November 17, 2020 | Start Time 1:30 PM — Cloverdale Park, 15150 Cloverdale Rd. Dale City, VA 22193
  • [Please be in line by 3:30 pm]
  • Wednesday November 18, 2020 | Start Time 1:30 PM — Dumfries-Triangle Rescue Squad Facility, 3800 Graham Park Rd. Triangle, VA 22172
  • [Please be in line by 3:30 pm]
  • Wednesday, November 18, 2020 | Start Time 5:30 PM — Metz Middle School, 9950 Wellington Rd., Manassas, VA 20110
  • [Please be in line by 7:00 pm]
  • Thursday, November 19, 2020 | Start Time 8:30 AM — Cloverdale Park, 15150 Cloverdale Rd. Dale City, VA 22193
  • [Please be in line by 10:30 am]
  • Thursday, November 19, 2020 | Start Time 1:30 PM — Woodbridge Senior Center, 13850 Church Hill Dr., Woodbridge, VA 22191
  • [Please be in line by 3:30 pm]
  • Friday, November 20, 2020 | Start Time 1:30 PM — Splashdown Water Park, 7500 Ben Lomond Park Rd., Manassas, VA 20109
  • [Please be in line by 3:30 pm]
  • Friday, November 20, 2020 | Start Time 5:30 PM — Woodbridge Senior Center, 13850 Church Hill Dr., Woodbridge, VA 22191
  • [Please be in line by 7:00 pm]
  • Saturday, November 21, 2020 | Start Time 9:30 AM — Mount Zion Church of Triangle, 18410 Chapel Dr., Triangle, VA 22172
  • [Please be in line by 12:30 pm]

COVID-19 Resources:

  • 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.

Thank you,

Del. Jennifer Carroll Foy

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Jennifer Carroll Foy

Democrat for Virginia Governor. Public defender, @VAHouse Delegate, twin mom. Petersburg Proud. #HailState (she/hers) www.jennifercarrollfoy.org