The “We Are Covered” program gives Arlington businesses and residences a way to show the public they are pledged to protect people who come through their doors by actively supporting the face covering requirement.
Cristol Apologizes for Criticism of Beer Garden
On Saturday, Katie Cristol retweeted a photo which showed a large crowd, none wearing masks, outdoors at The Lot beer garden near LV. On Monday, Cristol tweeted that she was wrong after The Lot insisted that it followed “all CDC, state, and local guidelines.”
Cristol also stated in her tweet that “too many ppl = an administrative problem the County needs to fix.”
The issue stems from the Governor’s order using Certificates of Occupancy to set limits on bars and restaurants. This was an easy way to set a limit using existing data. Unfortunately, Certificates of Occupancy are intended for fire safety, not epidemic safety. The Lot is an outdoors beer garden, with an easy exit available in virtually every direction and therefore has a high occupancy limit of 750 people.
The crowded Lot demonstrates need for better way to set limits with epidemic safety in mind. Hopefully, the County will review Certificates of Occupancy in light of their new significance.
Mask Order Unclear
Yesterday Governor Northam meekly asked that masks be worn in indoor public spaces, but his statement does not match the actual text of the order:
“… any willful violation or refusal, failure, or neglect to comply with this order … is punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor.”
Class 1 misdemeanors are the most serious misdemeanors in Virginia. A Class 1 misdemeanor is punishable by up to 12 months in jail, a fine of up to $2,500, or both.
“Science shows us that the virus spreads less easily when wearing a face covering, I’m asking people to do the right thing, to respect one another.”
— Governor Northam
Non-Essential Businesses to Open May 29
Arlington and Northern Virginia will begin a “Phase 1” reopening on Friday, May 29. Non-essential businesses may reopen with additional cleaning, safety precautions and social distancing. Employees and patrons must wear masks. These businesses include:
● Retail establishments operating at 50% capacity; no fitting rooms.
● Restaurants and bars offering outdoor dining at 50% occupancy; no condiments on tables.
● Barber shops, salons & tattoo parlors by appointment with one patron per service provider.
● Fitness centers offering outdoor exercise, limited to 10 participants.
● Outdoor pools for lap swimming in designated lanes.
Reopening was announced even though only 4 of 6 key metrics are on track. The remaining key metrics are sustainable supplies of personal protective equipment for medical staff and expanded capacity for contract tracing. Leaders hope these problems are resolved soon. InsideNOVA
Arlington to Expand Outdoor Restaurant Seating on Public Spaces
On Wednesday Arlington will start taking Temporary Outdoor Seating Applications for restaurants to occupy sidewalks, public spaces, and parking lots. Similar regulations to increase outdoor seating are underway in DC.
LV Park Now Open for Walking
Birds, squirrels and rabbits seem quite annoyed.
Restaurants Open for Takeout and Delivery
Many Arlington restaurants continue to operate for takeout and delivery. Ordering food from them is a great way to support local businesses and get some tasty food. Here are two lists of restaurants open for takeout and delivery:
Arlington County List
Note that delivery services charge hefty fees to restaurants for referrals and some published phone numbers go to the delivery service, not to the restaurant. To maximize the benefit your order brings to the restaurant, make sure you are contacting the restaurant directly. Restaurant Delivery Fees (CNET)
Don’t recognize a restaurant you see on a delivery service website?
Some of America’s best-known chain restaurants have quietly set up shop on food delivery apps, using names that sound like small businesses, but delivering food from their locations. CNN
Special Election for County Board on July 7
Special Election to fill the seat vacated by the tragic passing of Board member Erik Gutshall.
● Candidates (Term to expire Dec 31, 2021)
● Takis Karantonis (D) website
● Bob Cambridge (R) website
● Susan Cunningham (I) website
● Vote in person at your regular polling place
● All Polling Locations are open 6AM – 7PM
Last day to request absentee ballots is June 23
The Virginia Department of Elections encourages voters to protect their health during the COVID-19 outbreak by voting absentee. Voters may choose reason “2A My disability or illness”. Request an absentee ballot online
Arlington Parks Now Partially Reopen Saturday
● Trails and community gardens remain open.
● Park-goers should maintain physical distancing: at least 6 feet.
● Those who cannot maintain a safe distance from others should wear masks.
● Groups should not exceed 10 people.
● Organized sports are still banned.
● Spraygrounds, tracks and skate parks remain closed.
● Playgrounds, picnic shelters, and athletic courts remain closed.
● Restrooms remain closed.
● Dog parks remain closed.
● Summer camps and programs remain cancelled.
● Additional facilities will reopen, with restrictions in early June: athletic fields, batting cages, dog parks, pickleball courts, shelters, tennis courts and outdoor tracks.
● Growing scientific consensus suggests the risk of virus transmission outdoors is low.
● Brief exposure from walking and jogging is thought to carry few risks.
● Talking or singing near others for a sustained time is considered risky, even outdoors.
School Year Begins Aug 31
The new school year is to begin Aug. 31.
● Schools will probably start with distance learning, students staying at home.
● New content will be taught.
● The County will provide free internet access to households that lack it.
APS News Release
The County Board allocated $500,000 of Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding for a joint County/School Internet Essential Grant Program to provide broadband internet access to APS students in need. Some 5,000 to 8,000 families could qualify for the program, which will be administered by APS through a contract with Comcast. County News Release
MidAtlantic Urgent Care is Closing Permanently June 1
The locally-owned clinic is closing permanently at the end of May. The clinic said it cannot continue meeting expenses while COVID-19 keeps patients away.
This leaves LV with only two nearby urgent care facilities.
MidAtlantic Urgent Care 3301 Wilson Blvd is closing.
Inova Urgent Care – North Arlington 4600 Lee Hwy. Has been converted into a COVID-19 testing center.
Ballston Urgent Care 3833 North Fairfax Drive. Mon-Fri 7:30AM – 8PM & Sat 8AM – 4PM. Closed Sun. Healthcare for ages 6 and up.
AllCare Family Medicine and Urgent Care 1515 N Courthouse Rd. Mon-Sat: 8AM – 8PM & Sun: 9AM – 5PM. Does provide urgent care for children.
8th District GOP ‘Drive-Through’ Convention is May 30
All delegates who filed to attend the traditional May 30th convention will cast their votes without leaving their cars at the parking lot of the Waterford in Springfield on May 30th 9AM – 1PM. The results of voting will determine whether Mark Ellmore or Jeff Jordan will be the Republican nominee facing U.S. Rep. Don Beyer (D-8th) on Nov 3. Details at 8th District Republican Committee
June 23 Republican US Senate Primary
All registered voters in Arlington are eligible to vote in this election. Voters who requested mail ballots for the Democratic Primary will need to submit a separate request if they want a mail ballot for the Republican Primary. They can do so online, by email, or mail.
Absentee Ballot Application The application must be received by 5PM on the Tuesday before the election for a ballot to be mailed.
June 8 County Resuming Bulk Trash Collection
Beginning on trash day (Wed June 10 in LV) large furniture like sofas, mattresses, box springs, or futons and home construction debris can once again be left on the curb for pick up without prior arrangement. This does not include yard waste.
Arlington County 2020 Summer Camps Canceled
Parks and Recreation announced “in accordance with the health and safety guidelines of state, national and camp officials during the COVID-19 pandemic, Arlington County is cancelling summer camps for 2020.” It is “not confident all campers and staff would be able to safely enjoy an even modified camp experience.” Credits will be provided to all who previously signed up.
Evaluating “Reopening” Risks
Exposure at a Choir Practice (CDC)
● Social distancing rules are for brief exposures or outdoor exposures.
● Briefly walking/running past someone outside is low risk.
● Social distancing guidelines don’t hold indoors where you spend a lot of time.
The Risks – Know Them – Avoid Them
● Findings support mask wearing as an effective way to limit transmission of the virus from an infected person — known in medical parlance as source control.
● There is some justification for universal mask wearing to prevent those who do not know they are sick from infecting others.
● Hand washing and social distancing are still the most important measures to avoid infection.
Scientific American: How Coronavirus Spreads through the Air
Unanticipated Consequences Hit County Parks
After the Dept of Environmental Services stopped picking up yard waste, some frustrated Arlington residents began leaving their yard waste in Arlington’s now-closed county parks. Arlington Parks & Rec is not happy about this and urges residents to make use of the limited options offered by Environmental Services. Yard Waste Options
County Courthouse to Require Face Masks
Beginning May 22, cloth facial coverings or face masks will be required for all patrons who enter the Courthouse. Masks will be made available for all who do not have one. News Release
Ballston Macy’s May Close
Ballston Macy’s department store is expected to close as the parent company eliminates underperforming locations across the country. News Report
Masks Now Required on Metro
Face coverings or masks are now required when traveling on Metro. This applies to all Metro stations, trains, buses, and MetroAccess vehicles.
WMATA News Release
High Pollen Season Ahead
High levels of tree and grass pollen are forecast in the days ahead.
Pollen is highest in the early morning: between 5 & 10 AM.
Pollen.com Arlington Forecast
Diseased Brown Cedars in LV
These cypress trees in LV Park are infected with Seiridium canker. Spotted in several parts of LV, it is a fungal disease that kills trees and spreads from tree to tree. There is no chemical control available once an infection has taken place. Please cut down or trim any infected trees on your property to prevent spread.
Care is the best defense: minimize water loss and water competition with other plants such as turf. Mulch an area several feet beyond the lowest limbs. During hot, dry summer days, irrigate thoroughly around the base of each tree every 7-14 days. More info at the Extension Service
Police Expand Online Incident Report System
The Arlington County Police Department is expanding its online reporting system to allow more police reports to be filed online. Members of the public can now file reports of minor property damage crashes online. The online form is now also available in Spanish.
File Police Report Online