Delaney Dispatch (Coronavirus Update - March 23, 2020)
Submitted by Tess Bettler on March 25, 2020
March 23, 2020
As the COVID-19 situation continues to unfold around us, I wanted to reach out with further updates and developments from our state and local governments.
As we continue to navigate this pandemic, more updates will come. I have launched a page on my website with coronavirus updates, and have included other websites where you can find information as well. I know how difficult this situation is for everyone, but I know that if we continue to aggressively combat the spread of COVID-19, we will flatten Virginia's curve. I also know that our communities are strong, and by working together, we will emerge from this crisis even stronger.
Here are some of the top-line updates:
Today, Gov. Northam announced that schools will be closed for the remainder of the academic year.
Gov. Northam also announced that certain non-essential businesses must close. You can read a more detailed list of which businesses will close here.
The following retail businesses are considered essential and may remain open during normal business hours:
Grocery stores, pharmacies, and other retailers that sell food and beverage products or pharmacy products, including dollar stores, and department stores with grocery or pharmacy operations;
Medical, laboratory, and vision supply retailers;
Electronic retailers that sell or service cell phones, computers, tablets, and other communications technology;
Automotive parts, accessories, and tire retailers as well as automotive repair facilities;
Home improvement, hardware, building material, and building supply retailers;
Lawn and garden equipment retailers;
Beer, wine, and liquor stores;
Retail functions of gas stations and convenience stores;
Retail located within healthcare facilities;
Banks and other financial institutions with retail functions;
The due date for personal and income tax payments has been extended to June 1, 2020. The filing deadlines remain the same, but the payment date is pushed back.
Useful Links and Resources:
With the amount of news coming out at the federal, state, and local level, it is incredibly important that we stay up-to-date on the facts surrounding the situation. Here are some reliable sources to keep up with:
As mentioned above, Gov. Northam announced today that all schools must remain closed for the remainder of the academic year. Arrangements are being made to waive all SOL testing in Virginia. The Virginia Department of Education will release guidance to help divisions execute plans to continue instruction, while ensuring students are served equitably.
For many, school closures means their children are not able to access many meals. Thankfully, FCPS and LCPS are using their bus fleets to give out free lunches to children on free and reduced-cost lunch. Starting tomorrow, March 18, FCPS is expanding their pick-up points, and you can find up-to-date info on where those are below.
National Domestic Violence hotline: 800-779-SAFE (7233)
Domestic Violence Action Center hotline: 703-246-4573
The Artemis Center is accepting new residents. Call: 703-435-4960
Several non-profits across Fairfax and Loudoun County are working to collect food and supplies for families in need. In particular, we are incredibly concerned for school children who do not have access to reliable food sources if school is cancelled. Also, as businesses make the difficult decision on whether to close or not, many of their employees will be left without the paychecks needed to buy groceries. Here are some resources where we can help:
Food pantries across Fairfax are in high need for supplies at this time. You can find a comprehensive list here.
In Fairfax County, Western Fairfax Christian Ministries has set up an Amazon wishlist of food items for kids in need. You can drop off donations at their headquarters: 4511 Daly Dr., Suite J in Chantilly. They accept donations Monday through Friday, from 9am to 12pm, or by appointment.
Unfortunately during times of emergency, unscrupulous actors will engage in price gouging. This behavior is illegal and will not be tolerated in Virginia.If you or someone you know has become a victim or has heard of this practice occurring, please alert the Office of the Attorney General by filling out this form.
Here is some information on how to help prepare your neighborhood for the coming days and weeks:
We understand that coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is worrisome to many in our community, country and across the world. A community working together makes sense. With coronavirus impacts around us, there are many ways you can prepare yourself and family, but what about others around you?
We recognize we live in all sizes and shapes of communities here in Fairfax County – some with defined homeowners associations, some with more active apartment living scenes and some in a single house away from main roads. Whatever your housing choice, try and connect with neighbors so you can seek or give support when it may be needed.
Find out (and document) if anyone has specialized equipment or expertise that might help.
Decide who will check/call elderly or disabled neighbors and their needs.
Emergency response is one of the most important responsibilities of local government, but government alone can’t prepare/respond. Families, neighborhoods, businesses, houses of worship and many others in our large, diverse community should prepare, too.
Our Community Emergency Response Guide features quick documents to help you and your neighbors prepare. Click on the links below to download a printable copy in multiple languages:
Many of these measures are very familiar to you, but I will repeat them:
If you are part of a high-risk population (immuno-compromised or elderly), the federal government is now strongly urging you to self-isolate.
Do not congregate in groups of ten or more. Gatherings of this size are now banned in Virginia.
Stay home when you're sick.
Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
Avoid non-essential travel.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.
Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol if soap and water are unavailable.
Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects people frequently touch.
Use elbow or back of your hand to touch elevator buttons.
After washing, use a paper towel to open bathroom doors and turn off sinks after washing.
As always, I am here to help you and hear your concerns, comments or questions. Do not hesitate to contact me at 703-996-9415 or DelkDelaney@house.virginia.gov. Thank you for allowing me the privilege to serve as your House Delegate.