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Morning Notes

Relaxing in Penny Lane Park at the Mosaic District (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

County Police and Fire Training Exercise Today — “#FCFRD is conducting a joint training exercise with Fairfax County Police Department at Fairfax County Government Government Center on Wednesday, June 22, between 9 a.m. -3 p.m. There will be a large fire and police presence in the area during this time. #FCPD Helicopter Fairfax 1 will land/take off during the exercise.” [FCFRD/Facebook]

Rep. Beyer Wins Democratic Primary — Rep. Don Beyer’s bid for reelection remains alive after he won the Democratic nomination for the 8th Congressional District yesterday (Tuesday). Per the Office of Elections, Fairfax County’s turnout reached an estimated 2.5%, as of 3:30 p.m., not including early and absentee voters. [WTOP, Twitter]

Health Aide Under Investigation for Stealing Student Meds — Fairfax County police are investigating a health aide who allegedly took student medications and replaced them with allergy medicine while employed at Greenbriar East Elementary School. The Fairfax County Health Department worker has been placed on administrative leave and could be terminated. [FOX5]

New FCPS Cell Phone Policy Approved — “The policy taking effect in the 2022-2023 school year says students in kindergarten through eighth grade must silence cell phones and put them away for the entire school day. Students in grades nine to 12 must only silence and put away cell phones during classes.” [Patch]

Reduced Charges Possible for Former Freedom Hill ES Workers — “A former teacher and teacher’s aide in Fairfax County, Virginia, accused of abusing non-verbal disabled children entered plea agreements on [June 13] that would result in reduced charges and no jail time.” [NBC4]

Alexandria Man Charged in Springfield Shooting — A 24-year-old Alexandria man got into an argument with the acquaintance in the 2600 block of Redcoat Drive on Sunday (June 19) night around 11 p.m. inside an apartment before police say he shot the person in the upper body and fled. Fairfax County police told FFXnow the victim was taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Officers located the suspect, who they identified of Antwan Pratt, and arrested him nearby, charging him with aggravated malicious wounding and the use of a firearm in the commission of a felony.

Kingstowne House Fire Started by Rags — Two people were displaced on Friday (June 17) by a house fire in the 7800 block of Kincardine Court that caused approximately $90,000 in damages. Investigators determined the blaze started in a first-floor laundry/utility room due to “the improper disposal of rags used for staining wood.” [FCFRD]

Retired Police Dog Dies — “We’re saddened to announce the passing of retired K9 Comak on Saturday. Comak served the Fairfax County community as a patrol dog from 2010 until he retired in 2019. Upon completion of his service, Comak was a beloved member of his handler’s family.” [FCPD/Facebook]

Shared-Use Path Proposed in Centreville — “The Virginia Department of Transportation will hold a virtual design public hearing Monday, June 27 on plans to build a shared-use path along Compton Road (Route 658) to improve bicyclist and pedestrian safety, accessibility and connectivity to the Cub Run Trail system…The project also includes widening the Compton Road bridge over Cub Run to accommodate the new shared-use path.” [VDOT]

McLean HS Runner Wins State Title — “By finishing first in the girls 1,600-meter race in 4:54.92, McLean High School distance runner Thais Rolly was the lone local winner from schools in the Sun Gazette’s coverage area at the recent Virginia High School League’s Class 6 girls and boys outdoor state championship meets.” [Sun Gazette/Inside NoVA]

It’s Wednesday — Rain in the evening and overnight. High of 85 and low of 70. Sunrise at 5:45 am and sunset at 8:39 pm. [Weather.gov]

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Fairfax Health District COVID-19 cases over the past 26 weeks, as of June 13, 2022 (via VDH)

After watching adults and teens across the country go through three, sometimes even four rounds of COVID-19 vaccinations, families with young kids may soon see an end to the agonizing wait for a first shot.

Vaccines for kids under 5 developed by Moderna and Pfizer appear to be safe and effective, according to analyses by federal health officials that the Food and Drug Administration released on June 10 and yesterday (Sunday).

Advisory committees for the FDA and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will meet to discuss the topic on Wednesday (June 15) and Friday (June 17), respectively. If they give the vaccines the go-ahead, they could become available as early as next week under an operational plan announced by the White House on Thursday (June 9).

That would open up the vaccines to approximately 68,984 kids in the Fairfax Health District who are between 6 months and 5 years old, the Fairfax County Health Department estimates.

County health department spokesperson Lucy Caldwell confirmed the vaccine would be available early next week, if approved.

“There will be little delay between when CDC and VDH recommend vaccination and when vaccine is available in Fairfax County,” Caldwell said. “Vaccinators, including the health department, were able to pre-order vaccine — which will then be shipped with recommendation from CDC and [the Virginia Department of Health]. We have been planning for this next phase for months.”

The news comes as Fairfax County nears the 1 million mark for people who’ve gotten at least one vaccine dose.

According to the Fairfax County Health Department, at least one vaccine dose has been given to 995,498 residents of the Fairfax Health District, which encompasses the cities of Fairfax and Falls Church as well as the county. That amounts to 84.1% of the population, including:

  • 92.8% of people 18 and older
  • 98.9% of 16-17 year olds
  • 94.8% of 12-15 year olds
  • 60.5% of 5-11 year olds

907,014 residents, or 76.6%, are fully vaccinated, including 84.8% of adults. According to the Virginia Department of Health, 518,301 residents — 45% of the population — have gotten a third or booster shot, including 54.4% of adults and 36.3% of adolescents aged 12-17.

All Fairfax Health District COVID-19 cases, as of June 13, 2022 (via VDH)

After plateauing over the first week of June, COVID-19 cases are now more clearly trending downward in the Fairfax Health District, though local health officials have noted that the increased use of at-home testing means some cases may go unreported.

With an additional 279 cases reported today (Monday), the district is averaging 429 new cases per day for the past week, bringing the average back to early May levels after peaking for this spring at 601 cases on May 25.

The testing positivity rate has dipped from 18.9% on May 31 to 17.9%, as of June 9, with about 400 fewer people getting tested each day.

According to CDC data, COVID-19 hospitalizations have slightly declined in Fairfax County, with 54 new admissions last week through June 10 — a 32% drop from the previous week. However, the percentage of staffed beds used by Covid patients increased by 0.1% to 4%.

With the county recording 287.14 cases per 100,000 residents, the community COVID-19 level is still classified as “medium.”

Overall, the Fairfax Health District has reported 208,182 cases, 4,582 hospitalizations, and 1,522 deaths during the pandemic. The number of deaths remains unchanged from last week due to a two-week blackout period that started last Monday (June 6) for the CDC to reprocess and recode death certificates.

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An at-home rapid COVID-19 test (via sarah b/Unsplash)

As summer takes hold, COVID-19 transmissions appear to be plateauing in the Fairfax Health District, which includes Fairfax County and the cities of Fairfax and Falls Church.

After hitting 601 cases on May 25, the peak for this spring, the district’s weekly average dipped to 457.4 cases per day on Thursday (June 2) and is currently sitting at 479.1 cases, according to Virginia Department of Health data.

However, the testing positivity rate continues to increase, reaching 18.7% as of June 2 — the highest mark since Jan. 23 (19.6%). Less than half as many tests are being conducted now compared to this past winter, with encounters declining in the lead-up to and during Memorial Day weekend.

“While the number and rate of COVID-19 cases in Fairfax County has decreased in the past 2 weeks, we urge caution in interpreting this finding,” Dr. Ben Schwartz, the Fairfax County Health Department’s director of epidemiology and population health, said in an emailed statement.

Schwartz noted that many cases are now detected with at-home tests, the results of which aren’t shared with the health department.

Fairfax Health District COVID-19 cases over the past 26 weeks, as of June 6, 2022 (via VDH)

Hospitalizations are also still on the rise, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which still classifies Fairfax County’s COVID-19 community level as “medium,” since the case rate was 297.68 per 100,000 residents, as of June 2.

An estimated 76 county residents were admitted to a hospital with COVID-19 last week through Friday (June 3). That amounts to 6.6 new admissions per 100,000 residents, a 16.8% increase from the previous seven days.

Patients with a confirmed Covid diagnosis are occupying 3.9% of the county’s staffed, inpatient hospital beds.

The Fairfax Health District reported 355 new cases today (Monday), bringing its totals for the pandemic up to 205,181 cases, 4,564 hospitalizations, and 1,522 deaths — four of them confirmed within the past week.

All Fairfax Health District COVID-19 cases, as of June 6, 2022 (via VDH)

Schwartz cautioned that the frequency of infections continues to shift with the arrival of different mutations of the omicron variant that fueled this winter’s surge.

A subvariant by the unwieldy name of BA.2.12.1 became the dominant strain in the U.S. in late May. The speed with which it overtook previous subvariants suggests it’s highly transmissible, but there are no indications yet that it causes more severe disease.

“Remaining up to date on COVID-19 vaccinations, staying home when ill and getting tested, and talking with your doctor about precautions for people at higher risk of severe illness all continue to be strongly recommended,” Schwartz said.

The Fairfax Health District has 994,503 residents, or 84%, who have gotten at least one Covid vaccine dose, including:

  • 92.7% of people 18 and older
  • 98.8% of 16-17 year olds
  • 94.7% of 12-15 year olds
  • 60.2% of 5-11 year olds

There are 905,960 fully vaccinated residents, who make up 76.5% of the population. That includes 84.7% of adults.

According to VDH, third or booster shots have been given to 515,281 Fairfax County residents, or 44.8%, including 54.2% of adults and 35.9% of adolescents aged 12-17.

Photo via sarah b/Unsplash

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All Fairfax Health District COVID-19 cases, as of May 31, 2022 (via VDH)

Roughly 27 months after its first reported infection, the Fairfax Health District has officially recorded more than 200,000 COVID-19 cases.

To be exact, there have now been 202,162 cases in Fairfax County and the cities of Fairfax and Falls Church, according to the Fairfax County Health Department. 4,568 residents have been hospitalized, and 1,518 residents have died during the pandemic.

The spring surge in transmission continued over the three-day Memorial Day weekend, with 1,469 new cases reported for Saturday through Monday (May 28-30). Another 335 cases were added today (Tuesday), bringing the district’s weekly average up to 604.4 cases per day.

That is slightly down from 614 cases yesterday (Monday), which was the highest seven-day average since Feb. 2 (636 cases).

The Virginia Department of Health’s data dashboard suggests the current case trajectory is starting to flatten out. After climbing from around 300 cases at the beginning of May to more than 500 cases at the month’s midpoint, the district’s weekly average increased at about half that rate over the latter half of May.

Fairfax Health District COVID-19 cases over the past 26 weeks, as of May 31, 2022 (via VDH)

However, the testing positivity rate remains high, reaching 18% as of Friday (May 27). That’s the highest mark since Jan. 24. The number of tests conducted per day has ticked down over the past week, from a spring high of 2,808 encounters last Tuesday (May 24) to 2,587 on Friday.

With a case rate per 100,000 residents of 355.81, Fairfax County’s community COVID-19 level is still “medium,” per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There have been 7.7 new Covid-related hospital admissions per 100,000 residents over the past week, and 3% of staffed, inpatient beds are being used by people with the disease.

According to the county health department, 993,197 Fairfax Health District residents, or 83.9% of the population, have received at least one Covid vaccine dose, including:

  • 92.6% of people 18 and older
  • 98.7% of 16-17 year olds
  • 94.6% of 12-15 year olds
  • 59.97% of 5-11 year olds

The district has 904,487 fully vaccinated residents, who constitute 76.4% of the population. That includes 84.6% of adults.

According to the VDH, 512,434 Fairfax County residents, or 44.5%, have gotten a third or booster dose, including 54% of adults and 35.5% of adolescents aged 12-17.

Neither the county nor the state health department lists data for how many kids aged 5 to 11 have gotten a booster now that they’re eligible.

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Morning Notes

Reston Town Center set up for last weekend’s Tephra ICA Arts Festival (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

What to Know About Monkeypox — “More monkeypox cases have been reported in the United States since the first illness was reported in Massachusetts last week. But there’s no need for Virginia residents to panic, health officials say as they learn more about how the viral disease is spread.” [Patch]

County to Talk About Youth Mental Health Issues and Drug Use — “As a parent, our kids’ wellbeing is my top priority. Today, the Board supported my motion to convene a roundtable with reps from [Department of Family Services], our Opioid Task Force, clinical pros, the BOS and school board to directly tackle youth mental health & substance use.” [Jeff McKay/Twitter]

McLean Woman Settles Fraud Case — A McLean resident has agreed to pay $107,347 to settle allegations that she falsified information to obtain two Paycheck Protection Program loans, totaling $42,601, federal prosecutors said yesterday (Tuesday). The Justice Department prosecuted the woman as part of its efforts to crack down on fraud related to COVID-19 relief funds. [DOJ]

Arlington Doughnut Shop Plans Tysons Kitchen — “Good Company Doughnuts & Café has inked a lease for roughly 5,000 square feet at 8524-G Tyco Road…for a kitchen commissary, where it will produce and assemble its products for off-site retail sale…Good Company hopes to have the commissary operating by the end of 2022, [co-owner Charles] Kachadoorian said.” [Washington Business Journal]

Metro Introduces Navigation App to Help Blind Riders — “Metro has partnered with Waymap, a new UK-based start-up, to bring the technology to the Brookland, Silver Spring, and Braddock Road Metro stations…The app will be available in at least 30 Metro train and nearly 1,000 bus stops by September; the entire system is scheduled to be brought online by early 2023.” [DCist]

Cybersecurity Company Moves Within Tysons — “Codehunter…relocated from 1660 International Drive to 1775 Greensboro Station Pl. and expanded their corporate headquarters. Codehunter, represented by Timothy Jacobs and Edward Saa, needed to expand their office footprint due to business growth while also needed to re-strategize their office footprint to support their hybrid work model.” [CityBiz]

New School Board Student Representative Chosen — “Michele Togbe, a junior at South County High School, has been elected by the countywide Student Advisory Council (SAC) to serve a one-year term as student representative to the Fairfax County School Board, beginning July 1…Togbe has three main focuses as student representative: transparency within students’ voices, furthering civic education, and maintaining an equitable lens.” [FCPS]

Local Students Relax with Yarn — “About a dozen third, fourth, fifth and sixth graders gather at lunch several times a week at Little Run ES to knit and loom together. The program was initially launched as an after-school effort paid for with Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief aid, or ESSER III funding.” [FCPS]

It’s Wednesday — Overcast throughout the day. High of 64 and low of 56. Sunrise at 5:50 am and sunset at 8:25 pm. [Weather.gov]

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Morning Notes

Construction at Reston Station during a recent sunset (photo by Wil Villatoro-Reyes)

Fairfax County Man Dies in Alexandria Jail — “Alexandria law enforcement is investigating the death of Anthony Mouf, a 25-year-old Fairfax County man in Alexandria’s William G. Truesdale Adult Detention Center. According to a city release, Mouf was found suffering from an apparent medical emergency alone in his cell in the jail’s booking area.” [ALXnow]

Fort Belvoir Housing Contractors Hit with Lawsuit — “After bouncing around houses near Fort Belvoir, pleading with Michaels for repairs and remediation and asking officials on the base for help, Roman filed a lawsuit on March 16 of this year, alleging the owner and manager of thousands of housing units on the base allowed safety hazards and other substandard conditions to persist for years.” [Bisnow]

Fairfax Diner Plans Comeback — After being destroyed by a fire before Thanksgiving last year, the 29 Diner will reopen on Oct. 10, owner John Wood announced earlier this month. Still serving “the thick slices of applewood-smoked bacon, milkshakes, and Texas-style barbecue patrons know and love,” the restaurant will have an updated, open kitchen and restored furnishings that pay homage to its 1947 opening. [Northern Virginia Magazine]

Tips for Handling the Baby Formula Shortage — “As the nationwide infant formula shortage continues due to a temporary shutdown of the plant that manufactures about half of the U.S. supply, local families are impacted, too. Our Health Department advises if you have any questions, check with your baby’s physician or healthcare provider, especially if your baby is on a restricted diet or has any medical conditions.” [Fairfax County Government]

Vienna Burger Joint Expands to Arlington — “HQ2 will be home to Arlington’s second Conte’s Bike Shop, a South Block, the second location of Vienna-based Social Burger and the first brick-and-mortar location of HUSTLE — a high intensity cycling workout business.” [ARLnow]

Capital One Sets Timeline for Office Return — The Tysons-based financial company announced that it will fully reopen all U.S. offices under a hybrid work model on Sept. 6, almost exactly a year later than previously planned. Capital One is one of the D.C. area’s largest employers, with 11,530 associates and contractors just for its headquarters, according to a spokesperson. [Capital One]

McLean Tennis Court Project Approved — The Fairfax County Park Authority Board “approved $650,000 in funding for court improvements at Lewinsville Park in McLean…FCPA anticipates the courts to be closed for up to four months, while these renovations and repairs are made.” [FCPA]

Reston Shop Hosts “Bike to Work Day” Stop — “National Bike Week happens to be this week with the 21st anniversary of Bike to Work Day in the National Capital Region falling on May 20…In Reston, bicyclists can head to a pit stop just off the Washington & Old Dominion Trail at The Bike Lane, 11150 Sunset Hills Reston, VA, 7 a.m.-9 a.m.” [Patch]

Annandale Food Festival Seeks Sponsors — “Now that planning is underway for the 2022 Taste of Annandale, the top priority is securing sponsors. The family-friendly community festival scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 1 in the center of Annandale, is likely to draw at least 6,000 people.” [Annandale Today]

It’s Thursday — Rain in the morning. High of 79 and low of 61. Sunrise at 5:54 am and sunset at 8:19 pm. [Weather.gov]

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Inova Fairfax Hospital (via Google Maps)

People who were at Inova Fairfax Hospital’s emergency department earlier this week may have been exposed to measles, the Virginia Department of Health reported today (Wednesday).

According to VDH, an unvaccinated child who contracted measles while traveling abroad had visited the hospital at 3300 Gallows Road during the following times:

  • May 15: 5:30 p.m. to May 16 at 2 a.m.
  • May 16: 5 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.

The individual was also present at the Kaiser Permanente Ashburn Medical Center in Loudoun County from 2-5 p.m. on May 13.

“Outside of these specific locations and times, it is currently believed that the risk to the community is low,” the department said in a news release.

Individuals who may have been exposed at Inova can contact VDH’s Fairfax call center at 202-851-9616.

VDH says anyone who has gotten two doses of a vaccine against measles is protected and doesn’t need to take any action.

Those who have only gotten one dose of vaccine are likely protected, but the department advises contacting a health care provider and scheduling a second dose to ensure full protection.

Anyone who has not been vaccinated against measles or contracted the disease should contact the Fairfax County Health Department at 703-246-2411 or a health care provider.

“If you notice the symptoms of measles, stay home and away from others, and immediately call your primary health care provider or health department to discuss further care,” VDH said. “Call ahead before going to the medical office or the emergency room and tell them that you were exposed to measles.”

Symptoms of the highly contagious disease typically emerge in two stages:

Measles is a highly contagious illness that is spread through coughing, sneezing, and contact with droplets from the nose, mouth, or throat of an infected individual. Measles symptoms usually appear in two stages. In the first stage, most people have a fever of greater than 101 degrees, runny nose, watery red eyes, and a cough. The second stage begins around the third to seventh day when a rash begins to appear on the face and spreads over the entire body.

According to the department, measles are “easily preventable” with a vaccination, and children should get two doses, first between the ages of 12-15 months and a second one before they’re 4-6. VDH also recommends that everyone get evaluated for measles immunity and vaccinated before traveling internationally.

A previous potential exposure to measles was reported at Inova Fairfax in February. The Fairfax Health District, which includes the county and cities of Fairfax and Falls Church, also recorded 12 cases last fall as part of an outbreak among people who came from Afghanistan during the U.S.’s evacuation efforts.

Photo via Google Maps

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The flags at the Fairfax County Government Center flags are at half mast in honor of the 1 million Americans killed by COVID-19 so far (via Fairfax County Government/Twitter

The Fairfax Health District could potentially reach 200,000 COVID-19 cases by the end of May, if the ongoing surge in transmission continues at its current rate.

The district, which includes Fairfax County and the cities of Fairfax and Falls Church, reported another 408 cases today (Monday), bumping its total for the pandemic up to 193,824 cases.

After seeing a single-day high of 630 cases for this spring on Friday (May 13), the district is averaging 530.7 cases a day for the past week — the highest seven-day average since Feb. 4, when it was at 562 cases.

The current testing positivity rate of 15.4% is the highest that metric has been since late January, though about 2,000 fewer tests are being conducted each day.

In a more hopeful sign, hospitalizations have dipped slightly after increasing by more than 50% last Monday (May 9). According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were 49 new COVID-19 patients admitted to hospitals last week as of Friday, an 8.5% decline from the previous seven days.

Fairfax County has reported 4.3 new hospital admissions per 100,000 residents over the past seven days, and 2.3% of beds are occupied by Covid patients. Because the county is recording 298 cases per 100,000 residents, its COVID-19 community level has been classified as medium for a second consecutive week.

Fairfax Health District COVID-19 cases over the past 26 weeks, as of May 16, 2022 (via VDH)
All Fairfax Health District COVID-19 cases, as of May 16, 2022 (via VDH)

In total, 4,523 Fairfax Health District residents have been hospitalized with COVID-19, and 1,514 people have died, with the most recent confirmed fatality coming on May 7, according to the Virginia Department of Health.

Per the Fairfax County Health Department’s dashboard, 991,353 residents, or 83.8%, have gotten at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose at this point, including:

  • 92.5% of people 18 and older
  • 98.6% of 16-17 year olds
  • 94.5% of 12-15 year olds
  • 59.6% of 5-11 year olds

902,264 residents — 76.2% of the population — are fully vaccinated, including 84.4% of adults.

The VDH reports that 504,480 county residents, or 43.8%, have received a booster or third shot, including 53.5% of adults and 34.7% of adolescents aged 12 to 17.

The national COVID-19 death toll reached 1 million people today, with roughly three out of every four deaths involving someone who was 65 or older, according to the Associated Press. Flags across the county and the U.S. were lowered to half-mast over the weekend in recognition of the losses over the past two years.

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Morning Notes

Tysons Tales pop-up park outside The Boro (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

Board Chair “Saddened” by Buffalo Mass Shooting — “I am both saddened and angered over the senseless loss of life that took place in Buffalo, NY. The racial hate that reportedly motivated this horrific attack is inexcusable. I am keeping the victims and their families in my prayers.” [Jeff McKay/Twitter]

Nearly Half of Metrorail Operators Lapse Recertification — “Metro management is taking immediate corrective action to remove from service 72 train operators who became out of compliance prior to May 2021. This will result in a temporary reduction in Green and Yellow line service from every 15 minutes to every 20 minutes due to an operator shortage…Service impacts are expected to continue until the end of May.” [WMATA]

Police Investigate Deaths Near Robinson Secondary School — “Detectives are on the scene in the 10400 blk of Stallworth Ct. in Fairfax after officers discovered two deceased persons following a welfare check. Preliminarily, this appears to be a domestic-related incident. There is no known threat to the public at this time.” [FCPD/Twitter]

FCPS Considers Co-Ed Sex Education Classes — “An advisory committee recently approved a plan to mix boys and girls in grades 4-8 during Family Life Education instruction; a practice that is done in some area school systems but not in others…Board members are expected to discuss mixing-genders in Family Life Education classes as early as June.” [ABC7]

Area Eagles Suffer from Lead Poisoning — “Toxins in the environment, and especially lead, [Jeff Cooper] suspected, were hurting bald eagles in Virginia more than ecologists realized…The findings went beyond Cooper’s fears: Nearly half of bald and golden eagles in the United States, and in the D.C. region, have chronic lead poisoning.” [The Washington Post]

Person Shot in Mount Vernon Near Richmond Highway — Fairfax County police officers responded to Buckman Road and Janna Lee Avenue on Thursday (May 12) after a person was shot in the upper body by someone “seen pointing a silver handgun from an older model black Toyota Highlander.” The victim’s injuries were not considered life threatening, and police don’t believe it was a random act. [FCPD]

Couple Recalls Meet at Clyde’s in Reston — As Clyde’s prepares to close on Saturday (May 21) after 31 years at Reston Town Center, resident Kristin Simons reflects on having her first date with her now-husband at the restaurant. Since then, Clyde’s has become a go-to destination for the family for everything from brunches to work-related celebrations, she says. [Fairfax County Times]

Princess Diana Exhibit Comes to Tysons — “The new experience, called Princess Diana: Accredited Access Exhibition, is said to be the world’s first-ever walk-through documentary by its creators…Tickets to the experience are now on sale…and the event’s first day open to the public will be on May 25 at Tysons Corner Center.” [WUSA9]

Tysons Pedestrian Bridge Falling into Place — “The perfect cure for a gloomy day? Check out the most recent progress pics of our new ped bridge over the Beltway in Tysons, opening this year!” [VDOT/Twitter]

It’s Monday — Rain in the afternoon and evening. High of 74 and low of 62. Sunrise at 5:57 am and sunset at 8:17 pm. [Weather.gov]

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Fairfax County has seen a 54.2% increase in COVID-19 hospital admissions over the previous week, as of Friday, May 6 (via CDC)

(Updated on 5/16/2022) Hospitalizations for COVID-19 remain low in Fairfax County, but they have started to climb in recent weeks as the latest surge in the disease continues.

An estimated 52 new residents were admitted to a hospital with COVID-19 last week through Friday (May 6), a 54.2% increase from the previous seven days, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The county has seen 4.6 new admissions per 100,000 people in the past seven days, and 1.8% of staffed, inpatient hospital beds are currently being used by Covid patients. Both of those numbers fall well within the threshold for a “low” level of COVID-19, but with the county reporting over 200 new cases per 100,000 residents, the CDC increased its community level to “medium” on Thursday (May 5).

The Fairfax Health District, including the cities of Fairfax and Falls Church, added 300 cases today (Monday), bringing its seven-day average up to 450.7 cases — the highest it has been since Feb. 6 (456 cases), according to the Virginia Department of Health.

The district has recorded 190,109 COVID-19 cases, 4,493 hospitalizations, and 1,512 deaths so far in the pandemic. The most recent confirmed death came on April 16.

Fairfax Health District COVID-19 cases over the past 13 weeks, as of May 9, 2022 (via VDH)
All Fairfax Health District COVID-19 cases, as of May 9, 2022 (via VDH)

Attributing the current surge of coronavirus cases to the spread of highly contagious omicron subvariants, Fairfax County Health Department officials said in a blog post on Friday that testing and vaccinations have become especially critical as mask-wearing, social distancing, and other mitigation measures have largely fallen by the wayside.

“We all want COVID-19 to be over; but unfortunately, we are not seeing that,” Fairfax County Director of Epidemiology and Population Health Dr. Benjamin Schwartz said in a statement. “Even if you think your symptoms may be due to allergies, getting tested is important to make sure it’s not really COVID-19.”

Averaging 2,464 encounters as of May 5, the Fairfax Health District’s testing positivity rate has quadrupled over the past month, climbing from 3.8% on April 4 to 13.7%. The last time the positivity rate hit that mark was Jan. 30, though more than 4,500 people were getting tested at that time.

More than 900,000 district residents — 900,815 people, to be exact — have gotten fully vaccinated. That constitutes 76.1% of the population, including 84.2% of people 18 and older.

There are 990,491 residents, or 83.7%, who have received at least one vaccine dose, including:

  • 92.4% of adults
  • 98.6% of 16-17 year olds
  • 94.4% of 12-15 year olds
  • 59.3% of 5-11 year olds
Fairfax Health District residents who’ve received COVID-19 booster or third doses by age group, as of May 9, 2022 (via Fairfax County Health Department)

According to the county health department, a total of 487,809 residents have gotten a booster or third shot, ranging from 30.2% of adolescents aged 12-15 to 80.7% of people aged 75-84.

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