These are challenging times. For most of us, daily life now looks different than it did a few weeks ago. The future might look less clear, too. I am here to be a resource for you and to advocate for our communities’ needs at the state and federal levels. We are doing all we can to protect the health and well-being of all Virginians. Thank you for doing your part in this effort, whether it is staying home and practicing social distancing or showing up to do the essential work that keeps our Commonwealth going. I want to extend my deepest gratitude to our health care providers and all those at the front lines. To those experiencing illness, job loss, additional caregiving responsibilities, or any other significant impacts: Know that I will fight for your interests now and in the long-term. As always, my office can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
COVID-19 Updates and Resources
We are in daily contact with the Administration as we work to keep Virginians healthy and mitigate the impact of the novel coronavirus on our Commonwealth. For ongoing updates, regularly check the Virginia Coronavirus webpage and the Prince William County Coronavirus webpage.
Closures and restrictions:
- By executive order, all Virginians must stay at home except for some necessary activities such as going to work or getting food and supplies. Gatherings of 10 or more people are prohibited. All restaurants and dining establishments may only offer delivery and take-out services. Salons, recreation and entertainment businesses are closed. Non-essential brick and mortar retail businesses must limit their capacity to 10 patrons. Essential businesses are allowed to operate normally while adhering to social distancing and sanitation best practices. The Governor has recommended that non-retail businesses utilize teleworking whenever possible and has advised all those 65 or older or with chronic health conditions to self-quarantine.
- All K-12 schools are closed through the end of the school year. Colleges and universities have been directed to end all in-person instruction.
- There have been several county closures: All Prince William County government buildings are closed to the public; Prince William County libraries are closed; senior centers are closed; and all of the Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism’s fitness centers, community centers and historic buildings are closed until further notice.
- Visitation at detention centers has been suspended.
- All local Social Security Offices are closed to the public.
- VRE is operating at a reduced “S” schedule level.
- The Supreme Court of Virginia has declared a judicial emergency, meaning all non-essential state court proceedings are suspended at least until April 6.
- All Virginia DMV physical locations are closed.
Resources and accommodations:
- The due date for state income tax payments has been extended to June 1, while the state filing deadline remains the same. The federal income tax filing deadline has been extended to July 15.
- All Prince William County children under 18 can receive free to-go breakfast and lunch Monday through Friday between 9AM and 11AM. See here for pick-up locations. You can also text “FOOD” or “COMIDA” to 877-877 for locations where free meals will be available to kids all summer long. Additionally, Virginia’s food banks will be open to all – not just those meeting income guidelines.
- Virginia has requested a waiver of the federally required Standards of Learning tests and other mandated standardized testing.
- Prince William County public school students can email email@example.com for virtual emotional and mental health support.
- Businesses impacted by COVID-19 can defer payment of state sales tax for 30 days. Impacted businesses also have the opportunity to apply for a low-interest federal disaster loan up to $2 million.
- The Virginia Employment Commission has suspended the one-week waiting period to apply for unemployment benefits and has enhanced eligibility guidelines.
- Driver and vehicle credentials have been extended days. The Governor has also instructed the State Police to temporarily suspend vehicle inspection enforcement.
- The SCC has temporarily blocked all water, gas, and electric disconnections.
- The judicial emergency declaration includes a prohibition on new eviction cases for tenants who are unable to pay rent as a result of COVID-19. Public housing evictions have been suspended and federally-backed mortgage payments are delayed.
Congress has passed legislation providing paid sick leave, free COVID-19 testing, expanded food assistance and unemployment benefits. Most individuals earning up to $75,000 and married couples earning up to $150,000 will receive $1,200 per person and $500 per child in the coming weeks, phasing out for higher income brackets. See more on the contents of the two packages here and here.
Thank you for following the Governor’s order to stay at home, especially if you or someone in your home is ill. Wash your hands frequently and for at least 20 seconds. Remember that this virus is highly contagious; if you have to be in public, keep a distance of at least six feet between yourself and others.
I appreciate your ongoing support. Please contact me with any questions, comments or concerns.