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.
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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

ICU Bed Availability Improving, Now Good

ICU Bed Availability Improving, Now Good
Arlington has about 32 ICU beds. COVID Act Now estimates 9 are currently occupied by non-COVID patients and 9 by COVID patients, leaving 23 available beds. COVID Act Now estimates 8 would be needed by COVID cases. This is likely enough capacity to absorb a wave of new COVID infections.

Graph is for June 23, 2020.

Get latest data at COVID Act Now, Arlington Page

VA Phase 3 Reopen Delayed

VA Phase 3 Reopen Delayed
Governor Northam said health metrics in the commonwealth are moving in a promising direction, but Virginia is not yet ready to enter Phase 3. Work still needs to be done to shore up hospital capacity across Virginia. A decision to move to Phase 3 could come on June 26, but not before then.
WTOP Report

Jun 12 Dog Parks, Basketball & Volleyball Reopen

Dog Parks, Basketball & Volleyball Reopen Friday, Jun 12
Arlington is reopening its dog parks, basketball courts and volleyball courts on Friday, June 12, for people who practice social distancing and follow posted guidelines.

Special Additional Dog Park Rules
● Don’t touch entry gate, bag stations, trash cans or other surfaces with your bare hands.
● Use gloves or cover your hand with a dog waste bag first.
● Refrain from petting dogs other than your own.
● No spitting, chewing gum or sharing snacks.

Special Additional Basketball & Volleyball Rules
● Limit spectators to parents, guardians or caretakers supervising children.
● Limit use of basketball courts to non-contact games.
● Wash your hands before and after you visit.
● When possible, only play with family members or those in your household.
● Avoid touching gates or fences.
● No spitting, chewing gum or sharing snacks.

Reopening Safety Guidelines and Restrictions Page

Jun 12 Phase 2 COVID Reopening

Phase 2 COVID Reopening Starts Friday, June 12
Phase 2 continues to emphasize staying home, social distancing, teleworking, keeping businesses clean and uncrowded, and mask usage when indoors in public establishments. The maximum number of people allowed at a social gathering increases from 10 to 50.

Restaurants and bars may operate at 50% occupancy indoors, and fitness centers can operate indoors at 30% occupancy. Museums, zoos, gardens, and outdoor venues for sports and performing arts can operate with proper precautions. Swimming pools may open both indoor and outdoor spaces with proper precautions.
VA Phase Two Guidelines
More at dcist

Want a COVID Test? DC Will Test Arlingtonians

Want a COVID Test? DC Will Test Arlingtonians (Free & No Referral Needed)
DC is offering free COVID-19 tests to all comers at a walk-thru testing site at Judiciary Square. DC currently has 11 free walk-up testing sites where appointments are not needed. (Appointments are necessary for drive-thru sites.) Days and times vary among test sites. Wait times are reported to be between 25 minutes and 2 hours.
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ACPD Use-of-Force Complaints Rise in 2019

ACPD Use-of-Force Complaints Rise in 2019

There were 67 use of force complaints involving 150 officers processed by ACPD Office of Professional Responsibility in 2019. Citizens were injured in 48 of the incidents. Hospital care was necessary for 22 citizens. Officers were injured in 26, with hospital care necessary for 8 officers. Only 1 complaint was determined to violate ACPD policy. There were 7 civil actions filed against Arlington County Police personnel. ACPD 2019 Annual Report

Arlington Parks Now Partially Reopen

Arlington Parks Now Partially Open
● 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.

News Release

Trash Not Picked Up? County Urges Patience

Trash Not Picked Up? County Urges Patience
Arlington’s trash/recycling contractor is not succeeding to pick up everyones’ trash on their scheduled day, requiring follow-up runs the next morning. Residents are asked to not call in complaints unless trash is not picked up by noon of the next day.

Submit a missed collection ticket Online or using the Arlington mobile app or by calling 703-228-5000.

County Announcement

County Launches “We Are Covered” Campaign

County Launches “We Are Covered” Campaign
Look for “We Are Covered” badges posted in retail stores, restaurants, apartment buildings, salons, grocery stores, hotels, churches, synagogues, mosques and more.

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.

Give your support to businesses that care for your safety.

News Release


Cristol Apologizes for Criticism of Beer Garden

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.”

Katie Cristol Tweet

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.

“Every community is one wild weekend away from falling off a cliff.”
— Dr Thomas Dobbs, Mississippi Chief State Health Officer

Mask Order Unclear

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.

The Virginia Mercury

Governor Urges Wearing of Masks

Governor Urges Wearing of Masks
Governor Northam asks that masks be worn in indoor public spaces, including businesses.

“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

Exceptions include eating, children under 10, and those with health conditions. Face coverings do not take the place of maintaining six feet of physical distancing, increased cleaning and sanitation, and washing hands regularly.

The Virginia Dept. of Health, not police, is responsible for enforcement. Thus no penalty for individuals refusing to wear a mask. Northam hopes a special session of the General Assembly will approve a civil fine for noncompliance.

For now enforcement is left to individual businesses. Businesses refusing to enforce the requirement may have their business license rescinded. Business employees fear violent reactions from sociopaths when told they must wear a mask.

ARLnow Governor's News Release

MidAtlantic Urgent Care is Closing

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.

Evaluating “Reopening” Risks

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

Northern Virginia Reopenings Delayed

Northern Virginia Reopenings Delayed Through May 28
Gov. Ralph Northam has issued an executive order allowing Arlington to delay implementation of Phase One of the “Forward Virginia” plan until 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, May 28.

Until then, the region will remain in “Phase Zero” of the Governor’s Forward Virginia plan, with non-essential businesses limited to 10 people and restaurants open for takeout and delivery only. Arlington News Release

In DC, Mayor Bowser has extended the Stay at Home Order and Public Health Emergency until June 8.

Arlington Opens Walk-Up COVID-19 Test Site

Arlington Opens Walk-Up COVID-19 Test Site
Arlington County, in partnership with Virginia Hospital Center and the Arlington Free Clinic, will open its first walk-up COVID-19 sample collection site at the Arlington Mill Community Center, 909 S Dinwiddie St. The site opens Tuesday, May 12 and will operate weekdays between 1-5 p.m.

Before visiting the site, residents must obtain a clinician referral and schedule an appointment by calling 703-558-5766. Residents without health insurance must call 703-558-5766 for evaluation by a VHC clinician and follow-up referral to the Arlington Free Clinic if needed. Patients with an appointment may access the clinic by entering through the outdoor plaza facing Columbia Pk. Individuals must bring proof of identity (U.S. government ID not required).

Individuals who visit the collection site should follow the instructions of their health care provider and self-isolate while they await their results.

Read more in Arlington News Release