Reston, VA

Monday Morning Notes

Self-Driving Cars Make Local Debut — Self-driving cars from Optimus Ride are now navigating DC’s waterfront, available for pick-ups in the Yards with access to Barracks Row and Capitol Hill. Rides are currently limited to a select group of tenants in waterfront apartment buildings, similar to when the service made its DC-area debut at the Halley Rise mixed-use development in Reston. [Washingtonian]

Stolen Dodge Charger Recovered by PoliceOfficers in the Reston District Station of the Fairfax County Police Department recently recovered an automobile that had been reported stolen in the Herndon area of the county, according to the weekly crime report. [Reston Patch]

Members Sought for County Board of Appeals — The county’s Board of Zoning Appeals has openings for two members. Interested candidates should apply by Monday, March 1. [Fairfax County Government]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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Thursday Morning Notes

Reston Association Has No Plans to Remove Snow with Plows — The association does not plan to remove snow on its pathways because they do not have enough snow on them for the organization to safely operate the plows. Instead, crews have removed high traffic areas by hand. [RA]

Virtual Instructional Job Fair Set for Feb. 20 — Fairfax County Public Schools is hiring a virtual job fair on Saturday, Feb. 20 from 8-11:30 a.m. Virtual interviews are planned from Feb. 22 through March 5. [FCPS]

Fairfax Connector Issues Reminder of Mask Requirement — Fairfax Connector passengers are reminded that they must wear a mask or a face covering, as now federally mandated, when taking public transit or visiting a transit hub in Fairfax County. This safety measure, which has been in place on board Fairfax Connector buses since May 2020, aims to protect passengers and bus operators during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.’ [Fairfax County Government]

Reston District Station Town Hall Set for Today — The police department will introduce its new data dashboard at a virtual meeting today at 5 p.m. [Zoom]

Photo via Marjorie Copson

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Fairfax County should provide hazard pay to all local government workers, a union that represents more than 2,000 general county employees argues.

The county is currently considering a proposal to provide a one-time $1,500 hazard pay bonus to workers who are at high risk of exposure to COVID-19. Staff say about 4,000 employees would be eligible for the benefit.

However, SEIU Virginia 512 — the Fairfax County government employees’ union — says the bonus should be available to all workers, because they have all taken risks and been forced to adapt so the county can keep providing essential services during the pandemic.

As of yesterday (Wednesday), a petition urging Fairfax County supervisors to extend $1,500 hazard pay bonuses to all staff has been signed by nearly 1,000 workers, with more signatures expected to come, according to SEIU Senior Communications Specialist Rachel Mann.

“We’ve all been impacted by what’s going on. Whether we are doing our assigned work or not, we are still working,” SEIU Virginia 512 Executive Board President Tammie Wondong said. “…We are continuing to keep Fairfax County running. Residents are being continually served. So, that’s why everyone needs to have hazard pay.”

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors was initially scheduled to vote on the proposed plan on Tuesday (Jan. 26), but the decision was postponed after Chairman Jeff McKay asked staff to continue discussions with the union and other workers’ groups.

Under the staff plan, hazard pay would go to workers whose risk of being exposed to COVID-19 is rated “high” or “very high” by the Virginia Occupational Safety and Health (VOSH) risk assessment. It would also be limited to merit or career positions.

Fairfax County intends to pay for the bonuses using CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Funds. Federal guidelines, however, dictate that CARES Act money can only be used for hazard pay if an employee is performing duties that involve physical hardship related to COVID-19 response efforts.

In other words, localities must establish criteria for hazard pay eligibility to use CARES relief funds, Fairfax County Department of Management and Budget Director Christina Jackson told the board on Jan. 12.

The county could use its own funds to extend hazard pay to more workers, but McKay suggests employees should temper their expectations for the upcoming Fiscal Year 2022 budget.

“Based on the economic impacts of the ongoing pandemic, it will be challenging to address many of the Board’s priorities in the FY2022 [budget],” McKay said in a statement to Tysons Reporter. “The budget is still early stages and we are exploring what options are available, but it is unlikely we would have the resources to increase hazard pay funding in the next budget cycle.”

SEIU Virginia 512 supports the amount of the proposed bonus, which came out of talks between workers’ groups and county staff, but the union argues restricting hazard pay to select positions and agencies ignores the risks all employees face when doing their jobs.

For instance, a sanitation worker may not typically come into direct contact with the residents whose trash they collect, but their job still requires them to regularly go out into the community.

“You don’t know who you’re passing, and you don’t know who’s infected. You just don’t know,” Wondong said. “It’s a risk that we take just coming in and out of our homes every day.”

The burden placed on workers who test positive for COVID-19 to prove they contracted the disease through their job could also potentially be a concern.

Further complicating matters, Fairfax County has been reassigning many employees to duties outside their usual purview as some departments have reduced operations and others have ramped up during the pandemic.

Wondong is a social worker for the county’s aging and older adults services division, but she is currently working in a different role for her department, one that allows her to work from home but also normally carries a higher salary than what she’s being paid.

Wondong says hazard pay would not be up for debate if Fairfax County employees had stronger collective bargaining powers to guarantee equitable compensation and working conditions.

“What we believe as a union is that all county workers deserve fairness and equity when it comes to pay and benefits. That’s what we believe,” Wondong said.

Photo via Fairfax County government/Facebook

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Fairfax County workers whose jobs put them at high risk of exposure to COVID-19 could receive a one-time hazard pay bonus of $1,500 if county leaders approve a proposal put forward on Tuesday (Jan. 12).

Fairfax County Director of Human Resources Cathy Spage told the Board of Supervisors during its budget policy committee meeting that about 4,000 county employees would be eligible for the bonus, giving the proposal an overall estimated cost of $6.5 million.

If approved, the funds would come out of $10 million in CARES Act coronavirus relief money that the county had set aside earlier for hazard pay, according to Fairfax County Department of Management and Budget Director Christina Jackson.

“I think there’s a strong desire on the board to move forward with something,” Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay said. “I know there’s still some lingering debate on some pieces of this, but I think the principle here is one that is strongly supported.”

Under the county’s proposal, the hazard pay bonus will be available to workers whose exposure risk level is rated high or very high based on Virginia Occupational Safety and Health (VOSH) standards established by the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry.

Adopted on July 15, the VOSH COVID-19 risk assessment puts workers in very high, high, medium, and lower risk categories based on their work environment, their proximity to people known or suspected to be infected, their ability to maintain social distancing, and other factors.

The bonus will only be open to merit employees, because the lack of standard schedules for non-merit employees would make it “problematic” to include them, according to Jackson.

Several board members raised concerns about employees being excluded from getting hazard pay despite risking infection by the novel coronavirus as part of their job. For instance, the VOSH standard classifies school settings, restaurants, and construction sites as medium risk.

“There have been outbreaks on construction sites. We know that it happens,” Braddock District Supervisor James Walkinshaw said. “Based on what I’ve read of the VOSH medium-risk categories, some of them probably make sense. Some of them make me a little bit concerned in terms of how they’re categorizing folks.”

Spage says VOSH generally limits “very high” and “high” risk designations to individuals who are unable to socially distance and work directly with people that have contracted COVID-19 or are highly likely to be positive for the disease.

“Just having contact with the public isn’t going to put you in a high or very high category,” Spage said.

Federal guidelines for using CARES Act funds for hazard pay require localities to establish specific criteria for recipients, so if Fairfax County wants to expand the pool of workers who are eligible for hazard pay, it would likely have to cover those costs on its own, Jackson says.

If the current proposal passes, the county would have about $3.5 million left that it could use for hazard pay or reallocate to other needs related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

McKay acknowledged that there was some pressure for Fairfax County to provide hazard pay early in the pandemic, but county leaders opted to wait until they had more data and a better understanding of COVID-19 transmission.

Some jurisdictions in the Washington, D.C., region that implemented hazard pay, including the District, have since ended their programs, while others are questioning whether they can afford to keep making the payments as the pandemic drags on.

Jackson says the proposed $1,500 bonus is in line with what Loudoun County approved in October and what Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam is suggesting for state employees.

“Taking a benefit like this away from somebody once they’ve gotten used to it is never a position anyone wants to be in,” McKay said. “Given the uncertainty that we were facing this entire past year and really are continuing to face now, I think this is a responsible way to do this.”

The Board of Supervisors will vote on whether to approve hazard pay for county workers on Jan. 26. If approved, the county will complete its verification of eligible employees on Feb. 12, and the bonuses would start being paid on Feb. 26.

Staff photo by Catherine Douglas Moran

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A 274-unit affordable housing building near the Innovation Center Metro Station is officially one step closer to groundbreaking.

Real estate development firm SCG Development, the county, and the Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority closed on financing for the project, known as Ovation at Arrowbrook. The building brings 274 affordable apartments to the Arrowbrook mixed-use development, which is located at the intersection of Centreville Road and Arrowbrook Centre Drive in Herndon.

In a statement, Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust said noted that the Northern Virginia market is struggling to offer affordable options for stable and safe homes.

“The Ovation at Arrowbrook represents a huge leap forward by providing many of these hard-working households the opportunity to establish roots, raise their families, and benefit from all the advantages that life in Fairfax County affords.” 

A combination of local Housing Blueprint funds, project-based vouchers, and revenue bonds were used to finance the project.

“The financing component of the Arrowbrook development not only reflects the significance of our commitment to the development of affordable housing throughout Fairfax County, but it is an exceptional showcase of several of the tools we have to bring these developments a reality,” said newly elected FCRHA chair, Melissa McKenna. 

The apartments serve housings earning between 30 and 60 percent of the area median income and will remain designated as affordable for a minimum of 50 years. The development includes 55 three-bedroom units and 15 handicap accessible units.

It will be located next to Arrowbrook Center Park, a for-sale townhome and condominium community that will be developed by Pulte. A high-rise building that will house a hotel, offices, and condominiums is also planned on the site.  Roughly 36,000 square feet of retail is also planned.

Construction on Ovation will begin next month and completion is expected to take place by the end of 2022.

Photo via Fairfax County Government

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Tuesday Morning Notes

County Considers Replacing Parking Lots with Affordable Housing — The county is considering a plan to swap some of its extra parking space at the Fairfax County Government Center for affordable housing. [Greater Greater Washington]

Cloth Mask Donations Exceed 2020 Goal — Fairfax County has exceeded its goal for cloth face mask donations for this year. Overall, 77,010 face coverings were donated and distributed this year after the county put out a call in May. [Fairfax County Government]

South Lakes Senior Organizes Toy Drive Remotely — Amanda Smith, a senior at South Lakes High School, planned a toy drive through the National Honor Society. Nearly 500 donated toys were taken to Arlington for Santa’s workshop. [Fairfax County Public Schools]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the county is offering mental health first aid courses on virtual platforms.

In previous years, the courses — Metal Health First Aid — were offered in-person by Fairfax-Falls Church Community Service Board‘s Wellness, Health Promotion and Prevention team. The courses offer information about the warning signs and symptoms of mental health concerns.

Below is more from the county on the initiative.

In response to COVID-19, MHFA is now virtual. With updated content and information on trauma and self-care, virtual MHFA participants will continue to learn how to identify, understand, and respond to someone struggling with a mental health concern or misusing substances. The Youth MHFA version includes updated material for adults working with school age children on issues of social media, trauma and bullying. The content is gender neutral and culturally relevant.

Marla Zometsky, Manager of CSB’s Wellness, Health Promotion & Prevention team, says, “No one is immune to mental health concerns. The MHFA training helps to change the discussion around mental health and challenges the stigma associated with mental health which often stops people from getting help.”

Previous MHFA participant Sandra shared with us, “The course greatly helped me to understand how to talk to someone who is exhibiting signs of a possible mental health crisis. Prior to taking this course, I was very uncomfortable discussing these types of issues with anyone.”

Registration and online work is required before attending the courses. Participants must complete a two-hour module and take part in a nearly seven-hour, instructor-led virtual Zoom class.

The registration fee has been waived for the Tuesday, Jan. 12 training. 

Depression Photo by Ben Blennerhass/Unsplash

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People whose employment has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic may now be eligible to receive free job training from the Fairfax County Department of Family Services.

According to a news release published on Nov. 19, DFS will cover up to $1,000 in training costs for individuals who are looking to gain new skills in the high-demand industries of healthcare, information technology, skilled trades, public safety, and early childhood education.

Anyone who lost a job due to the impact of COVID-19 and received unemployment benefits on or after Aug. 1 is eligible to apply, along with anyone who was laid off from a full-time job due to COVID-19 and now earns less than $15 per hour working part-time.

The offer of job training support comes as part of a Re-Employing Virginians (REV) initiative launched by Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s office on Oct. 30.

Funded by $30 million from the federal CARES Act, the REV initiative aims to mitigate the long-term economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic by providing one-time $3,000 scholarships for workforce training.

The funds are being administered by the Virginia Community College System and localities in Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads, which, combined, represented nearly 50 percent of all unemployment claims in the state as of the end of October, according to the governor’s office.

“Investing in programs that help people develop skills in high-demand fields is a win for workers, employers, and our economy,” Northam said. “As we focus on recovering from the impacts of the global pandemic, the new REV initiative will give Virginians the resources they need to get back on their feet and help ensure that our Commonwealth emerges from this public health crisis even stronger than we were before.”

The application deadline for the DFS program is Dec. 8, and training must be completed by Dec. 29.

People interested in applying should contact DFS REV Intake Specialist Ziyoda Crew at 571-536-1979 or email the department at [email protected]

Individuals can also apply for short-term training or certification programs at Northern Virginia Community College by certifying their eligibility for the REV initiative and registering for a training voucher by Dec. 14.

Photo via Bruce Mars/Unsplash

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About 250 more people are using Fairfax County’s emergency homelessness services this November over last November, and there are enough beds for just over half of them.

That number could increase as the federal ban on evictions draws nearer.

“As we look at potential rising eviction numbers, we need to be aware of the capacity for the homelessness system,” Fairfax County Health, Housing and Human Services Chief Strategist Dean Klein told the Board of Supervisors during a Health and Human Services committee meeting on Tuesday (Nov. 24).

With COVID-19 cases rising, Fairfax County is dealing with increasing numbers of people experiencing homelessness as well as the threat of rising eviction rates. Klein says rent assistance and partnerships with landlords will be critical for preventing evictions and keeping people in homes this winter.

“Our ongoing efforts to reach out to vulnerable populations is increasingly critical,” he said.

One step Fairfax County has taken is to form an eviction prevention task force with representatives from various county agencies, the county sheriff’s office, and the nonprofit law firm Legal Services of Northern Virginia.

Klein says he hopes to receive financial support from the Board of Supervisors next month. His staff anticipates spending at the same level as it is right now, which is about $600,000 a week.

Providence District Supervisor Dalia Palchik said a board matter is in the works that would “give additional local support for our continuation of basic needs, which we know continues to be a concern for us.”

Although funding comes from a number of sources, some are set to run dry soon, adding to the sense of urgency.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency stepped in this year to pay for hotel rooms so that people experiencing homelessness could have a place to sleep safely during the pandemic. However, it is unclear how long FEMA will continue to provide funding, Klein says.

Fairfax County Office to Prevent and End Homelessness Deputy Director Tom Barnett said the FEMA commitments are on a month-to-month basis and will last through the middle of December.

“We will continue to request extensions every month as they will support most of these expenses,” he said.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has committed emergency-solutions grant funding to support shelter and rehousing efforts, but those funds “would be quickly used up if FEMA does not continue their support,” Barnett said.

Fairfax County also received more than $30 million in federal and state CARES Act funding and community development block grants to cover basic needs, including rent and mortgage assistance, on top of the $5 million that the county contributed.

“Not only do we need strategies and assistance to move through the end of the year, but we absolutely know this is not ending in 2020,” Palchik said. “Hopefully we will have more state and federal support to address the needs of our community.”

While some social support efforts tackle the challenge of sheltering people during the pandemic, others focus on preventing residents from ending up on the street in the first place.

In August, Klein’s office assigned social workers to 900 people in the legal system who are at-risk for evictions. So far, social workers have helped 300 people. Klein says the likely reason why so many did not respond is that the only way to reach this group of people was by mail.

The office is also beginning outreach to landlords, who might not receive rent payments from third parties. A $150,000 grant from the Kaiser Foundation has gone toward hiring people to work with landlords, but more outreach is needed, Klein says.

On the tenant side, Klein said his office developed guides that explain the current eviction moratorium and help tenants contact the organizations that provide rent payment assistance.

“With the numerous moratoriums, you can imagine how confusing it can be,” Klein said.

Dipti Pidikiti-Smith, the director of advocacy at Legal Services of Northern Virginia, says a number of new provisions protect tenants from being evicted.

Landlords cannot evict tenants unless they provide documentation of what they’re owed and information on available rental assistance programs. Landlords who own five or more units, or have at least 10% interest in five or more units, must offer a payment plan without late fees. Tenants cannot be evicted unless they refuse the plan.

These provisions remain in place through Dec. 31 and will be replaced by similar ones in January, Pidikiti-Smith said.

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Though the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an eviction moratorium on Sept. 4, the ability to keep up with rent payments has been one of the most urgent challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic for Fairfax County residents, along with food insecurity.

As of Nov. 16, Fairfax County Coordinated Services Planning, which connects individuals to social services, has received 4,693 requests for rental assistance so far this year, according to Fairfax County Health and Human Services.

The county generally gets around 5,000 housing payment assistance requests every fiscal year.

“The pandemic has exacerbated the situation of our most vulnerable residents,” HHS public information officer Shweta Adyanthaya told Tysons Reporter in an email. “The system has seen a significant increase [of] over 3,000 new households, requesting all basic needs – housing, utility, food assistance – during the pandemic response.”

Adayanthaya says that, while requests have come in from all parts of the county, the areas with the highest levels of need now are the same areas that struggled most prior to COVID-19.

To help provide resources to tenants at risk of losing their homes, Fairfax County formed an eviction prevention task forcewith representatives from various county agencies, the county sheriff’s office, and the nonprofit law firm Legal Services of Northern Virginia.

The task force has also been charged with collecting and analyzing data on the eviction situation in Fairfax County, which will then be used to help direct resources and guide recommendations for future actions.

According to HHS, it is currently unknown how many Fairfax County residents have been evicted or become homeless since COVID-19 arrived in Virginia this past spring.

However, Adayanthaya says the county is “taking a proactive approach” to contact residents who get pulled into the legal system for evictions, and it has expanded outreach efforts to connect vulnerable and hard-to-reach populations with essential resources.

The county has also started outreach efforts to landlords that will expand in the new year.

“Communication is a key ingredient in communicating with tenants who are at risk of eviction as well as landlords,” Adayanthaya said. “We have been working hard to provide as much current information to prevent unwarranted eviction and to help educate the community.”

Currently set to expire on Dec. 31, the CDC’s temporary moratorium bars landlords from issuing evictions from residential properties for nonpayment of rent by individuals with incomes lower than $99,000 and married couples with joint incomes of less than $198,000.

Tenants in those categories will be covered by the moratorium if they are unable to pay rent due to income loss or extraordinary out-of-pocket medical expenses and would become homeless if evicted. They must present a declaration to their landlord.

The Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority has suspended evictions for rent nonpayment and associated charges or fees for residents of its properties. Late rent penalties also have been waived until further notice for renters at county-owned and managed properties.

Adayanthaya says the impact of eviction moratoriums on landlords, particularly small and family owners, has raised concerns in Fairfax County about the potential loss of affordable housing, but such measures are critical right now from a public health standpoint as well as a socioeconomic one.

“Eviction moratoria – like quarantine, isolation and social distancing – are effective public health measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” Adayanthaya said. “Housing stability helps protect public health as homelessness increases the likelihood of individuals moving into congregate settings, such as homeless shelters, which puts individuals at higher risk for COVID-19.”

According to HHS, the Fairfax County Office to Prevent and End Homelessness has secured 445 rooms at six hotels as of Nov. 12 to provide shelter for people experiencing homelessness and individuals who are unable to isolate or quarantine safely in their homes.

358 of those rooms are currently occupied by 462 guests for an 80% occupancy rate. 90% of the individuals residing in the hotels were referred by homeless services providers. Only two of the guests were not homeless upon admission.

“Since the hotels opened, 132 people who were experiencing homelessness at admission moved to permanent housing situations,” HHS says.

Additional housing assistance information and a guide to tenant-landlord rights can be found on the Fairfax County emergency information website.

Photo via Fairfax County Office to Prevent and End Homelessness/Facebook

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Tomorrow is Veteran’s Day, and the holiday means it’s time to take a look at which community sites will be open, and which will be closed. 

All Fairfax County government offices will be closed. Libraries and courts will be closed as well.

The Fairfax Connector will be operating on its Holiday Weekday Service, with several routes altered. 

Fairfax County Public Schools will hold an all-virtual, two hour early release day for all students. 

All parks will be closed with the exception of Frying Pam Park, which will be open from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.

RECenters will be open, offering free service to all veterans for the day. Due to COVID-19, reservations will be required. 

Reston Community Centers will be open and operating under normal hours. However, the Fairfax County Neighborhood and Community Services community centers will be closed. 

Photo by Aaron Burden/Unsplash

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Amid a year where national policing reforms were brought into the spotlight, Fairfax County is reviewing a suite of changes at a local level to improve police accountability.

At a Public Safety Committee Meeting, Chairman Rodney Lusk presented an overview of proposed changes in what was described as possible changes rather than new policies set into stone.

Near term considerations included improved data collection to improve accuracy, with ethnicity and a breakdown of arrest data included in documentation. Data would be released quarterly.

One of the other practices that’s come under fire nationally is the firing and immediate re-hiring of police officers across jurisdictions. One proposed change would crack down on that as part of a statewide push to make decertification easier.

“Consider and discuss implementation of state legislation related to the decertification of law enforcement officers who have been terminated or resigned for misconduct and the request and disclosure of information for prospective law-enforcement hires,” the input matrix said.

While many of the items items being considered focused on more transparency and restrictions on police, another item being considered was a review of how to boost morale in the police department, which Lusk said was at an all time low.

The committee also considered some mid-term options, like reviewing regulations around school resource officers and a review of Fairfax County Police Department use of force policies. with more data about the racial distribution of arrests, another mid-term goal was reviewing racial disparities in use of force and arrests.

“These are public suggestions… not approved by the board,” said Fairfax County Board chair Jeff McKay. “This is a parking lot of ideas that have come through your office and now must be adjudicated by this board based on data and conversations… Some of these will go off to other committees.”

Image via Fairfax County

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Reston’s North County Governmental Center is one of the most popular spots for early voting in Fairfax County.

While turnout through the county — and country — is high, the Reston location has seen one of the highest turnouts of the county’s 13 satellite voting locations.

Overall, voters are coming out in droves in the county. So far, 301,000 ballots have been cast in total — almost more than 2.5 times more than the total number of absentee votes cast in 2016, according to county officials.

More than 7,300 ballots have been cast at the North County Governmental Center followed by about 6,100 ballots at the Herndon Fortnightly Library and 1,400 at Great Falls Library, which is only open on Saturdays and opened for voting on Oct. 17.

County officials caution that wait times are still long.

“It takes 25 minutes or much longer depending on the place, day and time when voting,” said county spokesperson Brian Worthy.

The county has added two extra hours for early voting tomorrow (Thursday) and Friday. The change applies to 13 early voting sites, which typically open at 11 a.m. The hours at the Fairfax County Government Center remain unchanged.

Other than long waiting times, voting operations have been going relatively smoothly. The county swiftly moved to expand the number of satellite locations following arduous waiting times earlier this month.

While most voters have been masked, some residents have complained about party representatives failing to do so.

Worthy noted that while all individuals are encouraged to wear face coverings, the actions of party representatives cannot be controlled outside the 40-foot limit where campaigning is allowed.

The deadline for early voting this year is 5 p.m. on Oct. 31. Absentee ballots can be delivered by hand until 7 p.m. on Nov. 3 or by mail until noon on Nov. 6.

At this point, Worthy said it’s unclear how this year’s voting procedures will be adapted in future elections.

After the 2020 election is finished, the Fairfax County Office of Elections will look at any lessons learned–but it’s too early to look back in the past since the office is focused on Election Day which is now just [six] days away.”

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Wednesday Morning Notes

Extra Early Voting Hours Added — The county has added two extra hours on early voting tomorrow (Thursday) and Friday. All sites will now open at 11 a.m., except for the Fairfax County Government Center, where voting still begins at 8 a.m. [Fairfax County Government]

Local Officer Honored for Being ‘True American Hero’ — Weblos, Den 1, Pack 913 from St. Joe’s honored Officer Murn for being a “true American hero.” [Herndon Police Department]

Reston Collects 303 Pounds of Old Meds — The Reston District Station and Reston Hospital Center collected 303 pounds of old medicines during the 19th annual National Drug Take Back Day this past weekend. [Fairfax County Police Department]

Photo by Elizabeth Copson

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Fairfax County is putting together a survey to direct funding for the Consolidated Community Funding Pool — which goes to help local nonprofits and organizations. The County is looking for public input on where the biggest needs are.

The goal of the fund is supplement the county’s ability to fill human services needs.

“To determine how these funds should be allocated, Fairfax County, with significant community input, establishes categories that are reflective of the needs residents feel are most important in their communities,” the County said in a press release. “In preparation for the next funding cycle, the county seeking your insight on our current category areas”

The categories are:

  • Financial Stability
  • Food and Nutrition
  • Health
  • Housing
  • Literacy/Educational Development/Attainment
  • Positive Behaviors and Healthy Relationships
  • Support/Community/Social Networks

A survey for prioritizing needs is available online, and responses are welcome until Friday, Oct. 30. All responses will be kept anonymous.

Staff photo by Ashley Hopko

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