County Board Kills Anti-COVID Ordinance

County Board Kills Anti-COVID Ordinance
At the County Board’s Sept 15 Recessed Meeting, the Board voted 4 to 1 to let the Emergency Ordinance expire at the end of Sept. Voting to kill the ordinance were Christian Dorsey, Katie Cristol, Matt de Ferranti & Takis Karantonis. Only Board Chair Libby Garvey (up for re-election this Nov) voted in favor of the ordinance.
  The ordinance sought to to help slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus by keeping large groups of people from gathering without appropriate distancing on public sidewalks and streets in front of bars and nightclubs where this has been a problem. Violators could face a fine of up to $100.
  Christian Dorsey said that Arlington police determined that it was impractical to cite hundreds of violators a night and have not issued a single citation. The County Staff presentation reported that “Groups of people congregating increases risk of COVID-19 virus spread” and “Efforts to spread out long lines of patrons by officers and restaurant security have been met with defiance, confrontation, and hostility.”
  Most of the area where the ordinance applied was within Lyon Village. The LVCA was not consulted or given prior notice of this turnabout.
News Release
County Staff Presentation
Letters Opposing the Ordinance

Eating At Restaurants Doubles Likelihood of COVID

Eating At Restaurants Doubles Likelihood of COVID
A CDC study found adults with COVID-19 were twice as likely to have eaten at restaurants. The study found that both positive and negative cases went to gyms, hair salons, shops and in-home group gatherings at about the same rate, but COVID positive individuals were about twice as likely to report dining at restaurants within 14-days before feeling sick. NPR

Plan to Get Your Flu Shot!

Plan to Get Your Flu Shot!
September and October are good times to get vaccinated. Getting vaccinated in July or August is too early, especially for older people, because of the likelihood of reduced protection against flu infection later in the flu season. However, as long as flu viruses are circulating, vaccination should continue, even in January or later. CDC FAQ

Restaurant Inspections Now Virtual

Restaurant Inspections Now Virtual
A curious note appears on many restaurant inspections conducted by the Arlington County Public Health Department (ACPHD). “ACPHD conducted this inspection virtually. Any violations cited may not be an exhaustive list of potential violations at the food establishment. As owner/operator of … please remember you are responsible for compliance with the Virginia Food Regulations.” Arlington Restaurant Inspection Website

“As a matter of state policy, local health inspectors now avoid in-person inspections of restaurants whenever possible.” The Virginian-Pilot explains. “In one of the ironies that has come to characterize life during the pandemic, the process of certifying safety isn’t as safe as it used to be. The traditional process involves surprise visits while restaurants are in operation, bringing inspectors into close contact with restaurant staff.” The Virginian-Pilot

Bad News for Politicians

Bad News for Politicians
Talking less, more quietly, or not at all reduces the risk of viral transmission by a degree comparable to properly wearing a mask. “The truth is that if everybody stopped talking for a month or two, the pandemic would probably die off,” Professor Jose L. Jimenez said.

Labor Day Street Festival Cancelled

Labor Day Street Festival Cancelled
The Arlington Labor Day Weekend Festival of the Arts, that was to be held in Clarendon, has been cancelled due to an “unforeseen issue with local authorities is preventing the show from taking place.” The cancellation occurred prior to the results of LVCA’s quick poll being communicated to the County. Kudos to the County for figuring this out on its own. Thank you to all 261 LV residents who responded to the poll.

Many LV residents added insightful comments that are worth reading…
Click to Continue Reading…

Arlington COVID-19 Cases Trending Up

Arlington COVID-19 Cases Trending Up
Despite peaks and valleys the overall trend in new cases in Arlington has been up since late June. Most cases are among those in the 18-29 age range. Arlington Public Health Director Dr. Reuben Varghese reported during a County Board meeting: “You look at the overall picture and this has not being going in the right way… We’ve been seeing emergency room visits also going up for COVID-like illness,” The timing of the uptrend roughly coincides with the lifting of state-imposed restrictions, as Virginia entered Phase 2 and the current Phase 3 of its reopening. ARLnow Get latest data at COVID Act Now, Arlington Page

Libraries Will Remain Closed

Libraries Will Remain Closed
Library staff shares Arlington’s belief that the Library is a cornerstone of our community and acknowledges the hardship it causes to many when its physical Library spaces are inaccessible.
 However, because COVID-19 cases remain above target thresholds and Arlington continues to experience community spread the library and its branches will remain closed. Library staff believes it is of paramount importance to protect the safety of Library patrons and staff, and that slowing community spread of the COVID-19 virus is a community-wide effort.
 The status of the library will be reevaluated in October.

Physical Distancing Signage Up, Warnings Begin Fri, Aug 28

Physical Distancing Signage Up,
Warnings Begin Fri, Aug 28

CORRECTION: “Enforcement” has been changed to “warnings”
As part of the County’s efforts to reduce the transmission of COVID-19, the County Board adopted an emergency ordinance prohibiting groups of more than 3 people from congregating and requiring pedestrians to maintain at least 6 feet of physical separation from others on posted streets and sidewalks.

Following several weeks of public education, the County has installed physical distancing ordinance signage and will begin issuing warnings on Fri, Aug 28. The focus will be on nighttime hours of 8 PM to 2 AM. A date for actual enforcement of the ordinance was not announced.

The posted area is limited to 4 small zones in Clarendon with the greatest crowding. (Click on map to enlarge)

There is community-wide transmission of COVID-19 in the National Capital Region, including Arlington. Groups of people congregating increases the risk of spread of the virus. Spread is more likely when people are in close contact with one another and staying for a period of time. News Release

County Not Enforcing COVID Restrictions

County Not Enforcing COVID Restrictions
Virginia’s Phase 3 Executive Order restricts mass gatherings to 50% of event space capacity or 250 people, whichever is smaller and requires face coverings in public settings. Further, the Arlington County Board adopted an emergency ordinance on July 31 prohibiting congregation of more than 3 people in posted areas (primarily in Clarendon and Rosslyn).

A spokesperson for the County told DCist that ACPD has not issued any citations for mass gatherings, congregating, or people flouting rules regarding mask-wearing. DCist County officials seem wracked by self doubt whether anything they do will be effective: choosing to give lip service to protecting public health, but choosing not to act.

County Board Member Garvey told the Washington Post “I don’t know that we should keep our schools closed in order to keep our bars and restaurants opened.”

Meanwhile, the County has permitted a large street fair in Clarendon for Sept 5-6 (Labor Day weekend), which will likely spill over into Lyon Village. ARLnow

Metro Returning to (Almost) Regular Schedule

Metro Returning to (Almost) Regular Schedule
On Sunday (Aug 16) Metro trains resume normal schedules: rush hours every 8 minutes on all lines; off-peak 15 minutes except 12 minutes on the Red Line. Regular opening times (5AM weekdays, 7AM Sat, 8AM Sun). Closing at 11PM, still much earlier than “normal.” Vienna, Dunn Loring, East Falls Church, and Arlington Cemetery stations remain closed.

On Sunday (Aug 23) bus service will resume on routes that have not had service in months. Increased service on almost every line. Buses will run from 4AM to midnight daily. Only Metrobus route 38B on Wilson & Clarendon Blvds serves LV.

Masks and social distancing will be encouraged, but not enforced. Metro notes that “social distancing may not be possible on every train and bus”.
WMATA News Release

COVID-19 Risk in Arlington Increases

COVID-19 Risk in Arlington Increases
Virginia’s Phase 3 guidelines allow a risky 250 people at an indoor venue.
● 25 people in the room: 21% chance someone has COVID-19.
● 100 people in the room: 61% chance someone has COVID-19.
Estimated on Aug 9 by Georgia Institute of Technology, Applied Bioinformatics Laboratory. Learn more at Georgia Tech ABiL

COVID-19 Risk in Arlington

COVID-19 Risk in Arlington
Virginia’s Phase 3 guidelines allow a risky 250 people at an indoor venue.
● 25 people in the room: 19% chance someone has COVID-19.
● 100 people in the room: 57% chance someone has COVID-19.
Estimated on Aug 3 by Georgia Institute of Technology, Applied Bioinformatics Laboratory. Learn more at Georgia Tech ABiL

COVID-19 Infections Rise in Metro Area

COVID-19 Infections Rise in Metro Area
After more than a month of decline, COVID-19 is increasing in the Washington area. Officials fear a coming spike in infections similar to other parts of the US.


VA Positivity Rises
Virginia’s positivity rate increased from a low 5.8% in late June to 7.7%. Virginia permitted business reopening despite never dropping below the World Health Organization’s 5% threshold. Washington Post


VA Quarantined
MD & VA join the list of states whose residents must quarantine for 14 days when arriving in NY, NJ, & CT. DC residents are not subject to quarantine. WAMU


Arlington “R” in Neutral
Arlington’s infection rate (“R”) has declined in the last 2 weeks to a plateau at 0.98. Back in June “R” was at its lowest: 0.75. An “R” above 1.0 indicates the number of infections is increasing, below 1.0 it is decreasing. Arlington’s “R” has been above 1.0 since early July. COVID Act Now, Arlington Page

APS: Classes To Be Online From Home

APS: All Classes Online this Fall; School Starts Sept 8
The new Arlington Public Schools Superintendent, Francisco Durán, has decided to scrap the plan to teach students in classrooms two days per week. All classes will be offered using full-time distance learning. The School Board has approved his suggestion to start the new school year on Sept 8, a week later than originally planned. ARLnow

Arlington At Risk of COVID-19 Outbreak

Arlington At Risk of COVID-19 Outbreak
COVID-19 cases are continuing to increase. On average each COVID-infected person in Arlington is infecting 1.14 other people. Thus, the number of active cases in Arlington is growing at an unsustainable rate. If this trend continues, the hospital system may become overloaded. Caution is warranted.

Graph is for July 17, 2020.    Click image to view larger version.

Get latest data at COVID Act Now, Arlington Page

Arlington COVID Infection Rate Above 1

Arlington COVID Infection Rate Rises Above 1, Infection Spreads
On average, each COVID infected person in Arlington is infecting 1.03 others. This is up from 0.75 in mid-June. This is bad news because each person is infecting slightly more than one other person, causing infection to spread. The trend is projected to get worse. The increased infection rate (R) corresponds with Virginia’s Phase 3 Reopening and failure by some citizens to avoid risky behavior.Click to Continue Reading…

Don’t Be a Victim of COVID Fatigue

Don’t Be a Victim of COVID Fatigue
As cases of COVID-19 continue to increase across Virginia, the Virginia Department of Health reminds everyone of the ongoing and critical need to practice good health habits to limit the spread of illness.

Larger increases can occur following close gatherings of crowds, travel to COVID-19 hot spots, and simply due to people in close contact in smaller groups and not wearing masks. Please wear a face covering when out in public. Avoid close contact in close groups, and stay six feet or more from others.

There is no safe place. There is only safe behavior

News Release

Lyon Village Food Drive a Success

Lyon Village Food Drive a Success
LV delivered almost 1,000 pounds of food to AFAC on Saturday morning. Additionally, LV contributed money donations totaling $2,500. LVWC, LVCA, and AFAC thank everybody who helped make the Food Drive a success.

NPR: Experts Rate The Risks Of 14 Summer Activities

NPR: Experts Rate The Risks Of 14 Summer Activities
There is no such thing as zero-risk right now. When deciding what is safe it can be useful to think about risks the way experts do. Risk increases: as more time is spent near potentially infected people; as distance decreases from potentially infected people; as the number of people interacting increases. Indoor places are riskier than outdoor places.
Click to Continue Reading…

Understanding COVID-19 Superspreading Events

Understanding COVID-19 Superspreading Events
“Since most transmission happens only in a small number of similar situations, it may be possible to come up with smart strategies to stop them from happening. It may be possible to avoid crippling, across-the-board lockdowns by targeting the superspreading events.” NY Times