Delaney Dispatch (Coronavirus Update - May 16, 2020)
Submitted by Tess Bettler on June 15, 2020
May 16, 2020
Another week has passed, and our Commonwealth and communities continue to grapple with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. I hope that you and your families and friends are continuing to stay safe and healthy at home whenever possible.
In this update, I have some additional information on Northern Virginia's continuing stay-at-home order, DMV operations, Metro information, and a new Fairfax County grant program for small businesses. I would also like to note a new resource page from the Virginia Housing Development Authority with information for renters, homeowners, and landlords facing insecurity at this time. As always, I have included resources for those experiencing domestic abuse and mental health crises in every newsletter - if you or someone you know is experiencing a crisis at home or with their mental health, please know that there are still organizations and individuals who are ready to help you navigate these trying times.
If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to my office at DelKDelaney@house.virginia.gov. My staff and I are here to help connect you to the appropriate resources or state agency as we continue to navigate this pandemic.
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:
On Tuesday, Gov. Northam signed Executive Order 62, which allows localities in Northern Virginia to remain in Phase Zero of reopening. This came as a response to a letter sent by local officials in Northern Virginia, who expressed concern that their jurisdictions had not met the minimum requirements, including a 14-day decline in new cases, of reopening.
Under this order, Northern Virginia will have until May 28 at midnight to enter Phase One of the state's reopening plan. Until that time, Northern Virginia's residents are asked to remain at home except for essential reasons, restaurants must continue to operate using takeout or delivery only, and non-essential businesses must continue to adhere to rules allowing 10 or fewer patrons in at a time.
I understand the frustration and uncertainty this will cause for many of my constituents. We are all eager to begin reopening our region and transitioning back to a new normal. However, Northern Virginia has simply not met the benchmark requirements laid out by the CDC, the White House, and the Commonwealth in order to do so safely. This extra time is necessary to ensure that we keep ourselves and our neighbors healthy and continue to combat the spread of COVID-19 in our region. Please, continue to go out only if it is absolutely necessary, and I encourage you to follow CDC guidance regarding the usage of face coverings when you do go out.
With the signing of Executive Order 62, the DMV has decided to not go forward with the reopening of offices in the Northern Virginia region. However, many common DMV services are fully available online.
Please keep in mind that all driver's licenses and vehicle credentials that were set to expire during this time have had their validity extended until July 31. Additionally, the Virginia state police has been directed to not enforce vehicle safety inspections until July 31.
Starting Monday, May 18, riders on Metro will be required to wear face coverings when traveling. Previously, Metro had strongly recommended riders use face masks or other coverings. While many riders already voluntarily use face coverings, requiring their usage is a necessary step to ensuring rider and staff safety as the region recovers and demand for Metro returns.
As a reminder, Metro is only open for essential travel. You can read more about CDC guidelines regarding wearing face coverings here.
New Relief Fund for Fairfax County Small Businesses and Nonprofits:
This week, Fairfax County announced a new grant program for small businesses and nonprofits affected by coronavirus closures. Fairfax RISE (Relief Initiative to Support Employers) is funded through an allocation of the Coronavirus Relief Funds that were created in the federal CARES Act. At least 30% of those grants will be allocated to women-owned, minority-owned, and/or veteran-owned businesses.
Applications for this program will be opened in early June. This website details the eligibility requirements and the required documentation you will need to fill out an application.
Important and Updated Information from Inova Health:
Is COVID-19 testing available through Inova?
Yes, testing is available across Inova Health System based on clinical criteria outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Virginia Department of Health.
Inova has established Respiratory Illness Clinics to evaluate all patients with respiratory illness symptoms. These clinics will also be able to collect samples via physician ordered and coordinated vehicle-side appointments for COVID-19 testing.
Before visiting any Inova Respiratory Illness Clinic, take the following steps:
1.Contact your regular physician for evaluation. For assistance with recommendations, to arrange for a physician appointment, or if you do not have a primary care physician, call 1-855-IMG-DOCS.
2.Your regular physician should evaluate your symptoms to determine if testing is needed based on COVID-19 testing criteria, provide a testing order, and coordinate your referral to the Inova Respiratory Illness Clinic for evaluation.
3.Upon arrival at the Inova Respiratory Illness Clinic, a clinician will greet the patient at their vehicle to collect samples for a physician-ordered test, or escort the patient into the respiratory clinic for evaluation.
4.For patients who undergo COVID-19 testing, an Inova nurse will contact those whose results are negative. For patients with positive results, an Inova nurse will coordinate with the patient’s regular physician for notification and further instructions. Patients who are tested can expect results in roughly 4-7 days.
5.More information can be found following this link. Addresses and contact information for the Inova Respiratory Illness Clinics are as follows:
Inova Urgent Care – Tysons (8AM-8PM, 7 days a week)
8357 Leesburg Pike
Vienna, VA 22182
Inova Urgent Care – Dulles South (8AM-8PM, Monday-Friday)
24801 Pinebrook Rd. #110
Chantilly, VA 20152
Inova Urgent Care – N. Arlington (8AM-8PM, Monday-Friday)
4600 Lee Hwy.
Arlington, VA 22207
Inova Primary Care – Old Town Alexandria (By Appointment Only, 1:00-4:30 PM, Monday-Friday)
325 South Washington Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
How can the public help Inova during this time?
Community Donations: Individuals and businesses across our region have been extremely generous in offers for support, small and large. Inova has established a centralized online resource for opportunities for community support at www.inova.org/icanhelp.
Blood Donation: Additionally, Inova Blood Donor Services has experienced great community support, however the need for blood is continual and the supply changes daily depending on collections and patient needs. Donated blood has a shelf life of 42 days and donated platelets have a shelf life of 5 days.
Inova Blood Donor Services needs donors to sign up now for an appointment to donate blood during the next six weeks at a Donor Center location. Inova Blood Donor Services has implemented extra precautions to protect donors - it is safe to give blood, and your donation will save a life. Make an appointment at www.inovablood.org or 800-BLOOD-SAVES.
Blood plasma research from those who have recovered from COVID-19: Finally, Inova Health System is looking for individuals recovered from COVID-19 to donate plasma (colorless fluid part of blood) for a research study. Your donated plasma contains immunoglobulins (immune protection) and this study will use your plasma to help patients currently sick with COVID-19 disease. More information can be found on the COVID-19 Research page.
Mental Health and Domestic Violence Resources:
At this trying time, it is important that we continue to care for our mental health. Here are some resources if you are struggling and need help:
National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255
Fairfax/Falls Church Community Services Board hotline: 703-527-4077
Loudoun County Mental Health Emergency Services...703.777.0320
Loudoun Suicide Prevention...703.777.0176
PRS CrisisLink: 703-527-4077 or text “Connect” to 85511
SAMHSA National Helpline: 800-662-HELP (800-662-4357)
Children's Regional Crisis Response: 844-NCrisis (844-627-4747) in English and Spanish