Dear Neighbor / Friend,
COVID-19 Update – County and state are now also registering folks that had been in Phase 1c (people aged 16 - 74 with high-risk medical conditions and people 65 and older) for the vaccinations. I was enjoying being too young for something again, but now even that thrill is gone.
Yes – the system was down on Monday and has had hiccups since then, but allegedly back up and operational. The preferred way to register and get an appointment is County’s online scheduler. Click on this link - COVID-19 Vaccination Registration | Health (fairfaxcounty.gov) to register and to verify you are in the right phase / group. A few days later you will get a call or an email to provide your appointment time and location. I used it to register and now waiting for an appointment.
Or, you can call the vaccine hotline at 703/324-7404 Monday through Friday, 9:00 AM – 7:00 PM and on Saturdays and Sundays from 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM.
Patience required here good people. Due to the limited supply of the vaccine, it will take a while to work through the rest in phase 1a and the expanded 1b. Virginia has 8.5 million people and has been receiving 110,000 doses per week. Do the math, but also factor in the required second dose. Vaccine production is ramping up, but it’s going to take a while to reach the magic percentage for herd immunity, whatever that number is.
Bottom line, Fairfax County continues with Phase 1a and now also vaccinating those in the expanded Phase 1b.
- Phase 1a - healthcare workers and residents of long-term care facilities.
- Phase 1b - includes frontline essential workers and people 75 and older. Additionally, 1b covers people in correctional facilities, homeless shelters or migrant labor camps. Virginia defines frontline essential workers as people in jobs critical to the functioning of society who are at substantially higher risk of exposure to the virus. Included are: police, fire, and hazmat; corrections and homeless shelter workers; childcare/K-12 teachers/staff; food and agriculture; manufacturing; grocery store workers; public transit workers; mail carriers (USPS and private); and, our elected / appointed officials needed to maintain continuity of government. And, now includes people aged 16 - 74 with high-risk medical conditions and people aged 65-74
- Phase 1c will consist of the remainder of people aged 16 - 74 with high-risk medical conditions, the remainder of people aged 65-74, and other essential workers.
As of yesterday (20 January) and since 13 January, Fairfax County has had 3,088 more confirmed cases (47,941 total), 58 more hospitalized (3,199) due to the virus and 18 more deaths (754) attributable to the virus or co-morbidity. Still that suggests a survivability rate of 98.4%. In our 22152 zipcode, we up from last week’s 3.8% to 4.3% of us who have tested positive for the virus.
Proposed Zoning Changes – received from the Mason District Council. We discussed this before in our own enews, but each of us should weigh in on several significant zoning changes being proposed by Fairfax County as part of the Zoning Ordinance Modernization Project (zMOD). Primary concerns include:
1) relaxing regulations for interior accessory apartments (ALUs) which could allow apartments in any single family detached home and
2) relaxing regulations to allow more Home Based Businesses (HBB) with increased customer activity in all types of dwellings.
3) The county is also proposing to eliminate the public hearing process which has historically accompanied applications for each of these uses and approve them instead, through a simple administrative permit without notifying or seeking input from neighbors.
These proposed changes if adopted will impact the character of single-family detached communities and increased commercialization in all residential neighborhoods. I have expressed my own opposition to these proposed changes and will again representing our Civic Association.
The Planning Commission will hold a Virtual Public Hearing about the proposed zoning changes on Thursday, 28 January at 7:30 PM. To speak at the Planning Commission Virtual Hearing or to submit video testimony, please sign up here: https://wwwfairfaxcounty.gov/planningcommission/speaker and also see here: https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/planningcommission/ways-to-provide-public-hearing-testimony
You can also write to all on the Board of Supervisors at firstname.lastname@example.org and also to the Planning Commission at email@example.com and reference “zMOD” in the subject line. Please sign your name and include your address in the correspondence.
2021 Directories – Should be delivered next week, maybe this weekend depending on when we get them back, the weather and the weather forecast. I hope you look it over and provide feedback to our Directory Editor, Kirby Myers. His email address will be in the directory.
Random Acts of Kindness:
1. U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) Mark Gregris spotted a flag being displayed at a village home that needed to be retired. The flag pole it was on also needed repair. Mark replaced the flag with a new one using another pole until he fixes the owner’s pole. With the owner’s permission, he plans to give the old flag to a local Boy Scout Troop for ceremonial retirement.
2. Rotary Helps Kids! Jim Kirkpatrick and The Rotary Club of West Springfield packed and collected 1,500 snack bags at the Springfield Hilton on MLK Day. These snack bags will be provided to three local schools plus ECHO and Koinonia to be given to school children who often go hungry on weekends and school holidays. During the past year the club also donated thousands of dollars to local charities to be used for families suffering financially due to the Pandemic. And, as a service to our community, club members clean-up trash along Rolling Road at least four times a year.
Reminders - Do you have unneeded or expired prescription drugs? How about a cell phone that still works but you've replaced with a newer model? A worn out American flag? There are collection boxes for all of these items in the lobby at the West Springfield Police Station on Rolling Road.
And don't forget to take your glass bottles and jars to the purple, glass-only collection container in the station's back parking lot. Please do not put glass in with other recyclable waste. If you can’t get glass to the purple roll-off container, find a neighbor willing to help or simply put it in with your household waste.
Stay safe and healthy and do leave room for the Holy Spirit!
John Cooley, CAWSV