Newsletter

Medics and Metro transit police responded to the Greensboro station shortly before 11 p.m. last night (Tuesday) after two passengers were reportedly found passed out on a train.

One rider was found “in serious condition from a possible drug overdose,” Metro spokesperson Sherri Ly said. The other rider was later said to be “conscious and alert.”

Both passengers were taken to the hospital.

Metro limited trains to one track between the Tysons and Spring Hill stations during the emergency response.

Alan Henney contributed to this report

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Morning Notes

County Reduces COVID-19 Isolation Time — Following new CDC recommendations, the Fairfax County Health Department has cut the required isolation period for people infected with COVID-19 from 10 to five days, if the individual has no symptoms. People exposed to someone who tests positive no longer have to quarantine if they’re vaccinated. [FCHD]

Former FCPD Officer Convicted for Sexual Misconduct — “A former Fairfax County police officer has been convicted of sexual misconduct with a 16-year-old police cadet. John Grimes faced three charges of indecent liberties with a minor. He was found guilty of all counts on Monday.” [NBC4]

Vienna’s Tom Yum Thai Closes — “The restaurant informed customers in a Facebook post that it had closed on Sunday, Dec. 26. It had been open for seven years at 226 Maple Avenue W in Vienna. The management did not share a reason for the closure in the post.” [Patch]

County Waste Facilities to Change Hours — “The new year will usher in extended operating hours for residents to drop off their trash, recyclables, and various specialty wastes (e.g., used oil, old batteries, scrap metal) at the I-66 Transfer Station and the I-95 Landfill Complex. The new hours taking effect on January 1, 2022, are Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Weekend hours, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., will remain unchanged at both facilities.” [DPWES]

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Morning Notes

Health Department Adapts to Omicron Surge — With COVID-19 cases continuing to rise, the Fairfax County Health Department is changing its contact-tracing process to focus staff and resources on “higher-risk scenarios,” such as congregate settings, schools and childcare facilities, and outbreaks. Other individuals who test positive for COVID-19 will be notified by text message. [FCHD]

Robb Family Comments on McLean House Fire — Children of former Virginia governor Chuck Robb and his wife, Lynda Johnson Robb, confirmed that their parents had no life-threatening injuries after a fire destroyed the McLean mansion where they have lived for nearly 50 years. The Robb family thanked the firefighters and medical professionals who responded to the incident. [Office of the Governor]

Rare Owl Spotted in Oakton — “Animal Protection Police officers in Fairfax County, Virginia, helped a rare owl get out of a tough spot last month. The Fairfax County Police Department posted about the rescue on its Facebook page Tuesday. APP officers were called to the Oakton area Nov. 17 for a report of an owl that had flown into a home under construction.” [WTOP]

Tysons Corner and Galleria Close Early Tomorrow — “Between Christmas Eve for late shoppers and post-Christmas shopping, the two malls in Tysons have adjusted hours on upcoming days. Santa photos will continue at malls through Christmas Eve. Malls and surrounding stores are generally closed on Christmas Day, Dec. 25.” [Patch]

McLean Holiday Lights Contest Voting Underway — McLean residents can now vote online for their favorite neighborhood holiday decorations as part of the Light Up McLean contest. The McLean Community Center will announce winners in three categories — best overall, most creative, and best holiday theme — on Jan. 3. [Old Firehouse Center/Twitter]

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Morning Notes

Vice President Praises Local Candle Maker — 11-year-old entrepreneur Alejandro got a boost from Vice President Kamala Harris when she visited the stall that his company Smell of Love Candles had at the Downtown Holiday Market in D.C. last weekend. Based in Fairfax County, the company crafts and delivers soy candles, and it now offers the ones bought by Harris and second gentleman Doug Emhoff as a package. [WUSA9]

COVID-19 Diagnostic Testing Available to Students — Fairfax County Public Schools students and staff who have COVID-19 symptoms or have been in close contact with a COVID-positive person can now get diagnostic testing at six drive-through sites around the county. Appointments aren’t needed, but a parent or guardian must provide consent and their children’s information through the school system’s online portal. [FCPS]

County Recommends Getting COVID-19 Booster — “The Fairfax County Health Department joins the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in strengthening their recommendation on booster doses for individuals who are 18 years and older. Everyone aged 18 and older should get a booster shot either six months after their initial Pfizer or Moderna series or two months after their initial J&J vaccine.” [FCHD]

Four People Killed in Thanksgiving Weekend Traffic Crashes — “Four people died in traffic crashes in Virginia over the Thanksgiving weekend, the smallest number of traffic fatalities during the holiday weekend in the past 10 years, according to preliminary data released by the Virginia State Police. The fatal crashes occurred in the counties of Albemarle, Chesterfield, Fairfax and Spotsylvania.” [Patch]

Fairfax County Collects Record Taxes — “Fairfax County collected more than $4 billion in total taxes in fiscal 2021 for the first time ever, a staggering figure made possible not by rising tax rates, but soaring property assessments. Of the $4.05 billion collected in the fiscal year that ended June 30, $3.02 billion, or roughly 75%, came from real property tax levies, according to the county’s recently released Comprehensive Annual Financial Report.” [Washington Business Journal]

County Leaders Consider Staff Pay Increases — “Fairfax County supervisors and School Board members next year hope to give county and school employees large pay raises to make up for ones lost last year to the pandemic. But supervisors added quickly they did not want homeowners to feel the full brunt of skyrocketing property assessments.” [Sun Gazette]

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Morning Notes

Last week’s lunar eclipse from Park Crest area of Tysons (photo by Luke Schwenke)

Man Dies in Forklift Accident in Merrifield — “Officers are on scene of a workplace accident at Home Depot, 2815 Merrilee Dr, Fairfax. Preliminarily, a man was fatally injured by a forklift he was operating & pronounced dead on scene.” [FCPD/Twitter]

Reduced Metro Service Sticks Around — “The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority said Monday that rail service will continue at reduced levels through December 31. In a news release, WMATA said there is a delay getting parts for 6000-series rail cars because of global supply chain challenges. The 7000-series rail cars are still offline due to safety issues.” [Patch]

County Adjusts COVID-19 Hospitalization Numbers — “During a recent review process, the Health Department identified approximately 200 reported COVID-19 cases, primarily from 2020, that were incorrectly marked as ‘hospitalized.’ While these patients were seen at emergency departments for COVID-19 illness, they were not admitted to the hospital.” [FCHD]

Fire Department to Engage Frontline Personnel With Upcoming Strategic Plan — “The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department is preparing for the future by bolstering recruitment, building community partnerships and enhancing service in Tysons, Fire Chief John Butler told the McLean Citizens Association (MCA) in an online discussion Nov. 17 with Fairfax County Police Chief Kevin Davis.” [Sun Gazette/Inside NoVA]

The Boro Is Centerpiece of Transforming Tysons — “Change has indeed come to the north side of Leesburg Pike along Westpark and Greensboro drives in Tysons since the arrival of the Silver Line in 2014. Once dominated by office structures and the landmark West Park Hotel — which has been demolished and serves as a parking area while awaiting redevelopment — the area is quickly becoming a strong example of transit-oriented development.” [Viva Tysons]

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Morning Notes

Lorton Pharmacy Gave Adult-Sized COVID-19 Vaccine Dose to Kids — The Fairfax County Health Department advises families whose children got the vaccine between Nov. 2 and 10 from the KC Pharmacy in Lorton to monitor for side effects and talk to a health care provider. The pharmacy is under investigation by the Virginia Board of Pharmacy and has been removed from the state and federal vaccination programs. [FCHD]

Sexual Assault Lawsuit Against FCPS Proceeds — A federal appeals court ruled in favor of a girl who filed a Title IX lawsuit against Fairfax County Public Schools over its handling of sexual harassment and rape allegations from when she was a student at Rachel Carson Middle School from October 2011 until February 2012. The lawsuit is one of two facing FCPS, which also has three outstanding federal investigations. [Inside NoVA]

NoVA Public Health Officials Urge Caution During Holidays — “Although Northern Virginia localities have some of the highest vaccination rates in the state, there is still substantial transmission of COVID-19 in the community, and we must remain vigilant to protect those who are not eligible for vaccination and those at higher risk for serious illness.” [VDH]

Public Meeting on McLean Sidewalk Project Tonight — “The Fairfax County Department of Transportation (FCDOT) will hold a virtual community meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021, at 7 p.m., to present updates on the Chesterbrook Road Walkway Project from Maddux Lane to North 41st Street. The project is intended to provide a continuous pedestrian facility along the south side of the roadway from Maddux Lane to 41st Street.” [FCDOT]

Local Restaurants Generate Heat — “Tysons restaurants, Wren and Leila were recently featured in ‘The 16 Hottest New Restaurants Around D.C.,’ according to @Eater_DC. Both restaurants offer a variety of eclectic cuisine and specialty cocktails, perfect for any occasion.” [Tysons Partnership/Twitter]

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Morning Notes

Virginia Leans Red Again — “In blow to Democrats, Republican Glenn Youngkin defeated Democrat Terry McAuliffe in Virginia’s high-profile election for governor Tuesday, NBC News projects, flipping control of a state that President Joe Biden won handily just a year ago and suggesting trouble for his party in next year’s midterm elections.” [NBC News]

Limited Supplies of COVID-19 Vaccine for Kids Expected — Demand for pediatric COVID-19 vaccinations could outstrip supply, as in the early days of the vaccine’s rollout. The Fairfax County Health Department urges patience as it anticipates about 80,000 of the county’s 97,000 children aged 5-11 to seek out the vaccine in the next few months. [The Washington Post]

Vienna Police Participate in No-Shave November — “Typically, Vienna police officers have to follow a dress code that doesn’t allow male officers to have facial hair. This November, that rule will be suspended so officers can raise awareness about prostate cancer for the Grow-and-Give fundraising campaign.” [Patch]

Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Coming to Tysons — “We are delighted to team up with the @vmfamuseum to host their Artmobile outside @capitalonehall’s Box Office November 17th & 18th! Join us for a FREE exhibit of A View from Home: Landscapes of Virginia. Link in bio for more!” [Capital One Center/Instagram]

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Morning Notes

McLean Soccer Field Conversion Reaches Completion — “The Fairfax County Park Authority, in collaboration with the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors and McLean Youth Soccer Association, will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the grand opening of Holladay Field in McLean, Virginia. The celebration begins at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021.” [FCPA]

Town of Vienna Downsizes Planning Commission — “Seeking to bring the Vienna Planning Commission’s membership in line with those of similarly sized nearby jurisdictions, the Vienna Town Council on Oct. 11 agreed to reduce the commission’s size from nine members to seven…Three Planning Commission members have departed this year.” [Sun Gazette]

Celebree School Tysons to Hold Grand Opening — “Celebree School, a preschool and infant and toddler care center, is celebrating its grand opening in Tysons with a fall festival on Saturday, Oct. 16. The preschool and child care center announced its opening in September at Valo Park, 7950 Jones Branch Drive, McLean.” [Patch]

Fairfax County Urges Flu Shots — The Fairfax County Health Department is encouraging everyone 6 months of age and older to reduce their risk of contracting the seasonal flu by getting vaccinated, ideally before the end of October. Public health nurse Alisa Brooks talks about what people should know about this year’s flu season in a YouTube video. [FCHD/Twitter]

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Morning Notes

Drop in Domestic Violence Cases Could Be Misleading — “Fairfax County Police data obtained by WTOP showed domestic violence decreased by roughly 190 cases each year since 2019. However, Saly Fayez, who oversees its victim services division, said it’s likely because the crime is underreported…Fayez said the pandemic kept victims from reporting, skewed the data, and gave abusers another tool of control.” [WTOP]

Fish Die-Off Reported in Chantilly Area — “We have received reports of a fish die-off in Rocky Run in the Greenbriar area. Fairfax County Stormwater Management the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, which investigates such incidents, have been notified. Our thanks to those who have reported the issue to us.” [Fairfax County Park Authority/Twitter]

MCA Wants to Keep McLean Together With Redistricting — “The Greater McLean area should be kept intact when new Fairfax County magisterial districts are redrawn, according to a Sept. 18 letter from the McLean Citizens Association to the 2021 Fairfax County Redistricting Advisory Committee…MCA’s membership area includes not only McLean, but also portions of Tysons, Falls Church and Great Falls.” [Sun Gazette]

Health Department Launches Literacy Initiative — “The Fairfax County Health Department has begun a new initiative to improve health literacy among local African-American, African and Hispanic communities. Named ‘Stronger Partnership, Stronger Community: Using Health Literacy to Increase Resilience (Stronger2),’ the program seeks to improve health outcomes by cultivating an individual’s ability to find, understand and use health information and services in a manner that is culturally and linguistically appropriate.” [FCHD]

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The mass vaccine clinic in the old Lord and Taylor store in Tysons Corner Center

(Updated 1:10 p.m.) The mass COVID-19 vaccination site at Tysons Corner Center will reopen on Friday, the Fairfax County Health Department announced this morning (Tuesday).

The possibility that the community vaccination center (CVC) could return was first publicly raised during a Board of Supervisors health and human services committee meeting on Sept. 21, when county health officials discussed plans to accommodate the anticipated expansion of eligibility for booster shots.

Booster shots of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine became widely available in Fairfax County last Tuesday (Sept. 28) after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new guidelines recommending them for:

  • people 65 and older
  • residents of long-term care facilities
  • people 50-64 years old who have underlying medical conditions
  • people 18-49 years old with underlying medical conditions that may make them more vulnerable to contracting COVID-19
  • people 18-64 years old who are at increased risk of COVID-19 exposure or infection due to their job, including teachers, first responders, and grocery store workers

With the capacity to vaccinate up to 3,000 people a day, the Tysons CVC will once again be located in the mall’s former Lord & Taylor store (7950 Tysons Corner Center). It will be offer first and second of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines as well as third doses of the Pfizer vaccine for those who are eligible.

Organized by the Virginia Department of Health and operated by contractors AshBritt Inc. and IEM Health, the site “is being re-established to increase the number of high-throughput locations administering the COVID-19 vaccine across Virginia,” the county health department says.

Colin Brody, the mass vaccination branch director for the FCHD’s COVID-19 response, said in a statement that the county is grateful to VDH and its partners for reopening the Tysons CVC.

“This brings another mass vaccination site to the Fairfax Health District, allowing hundreds of individuals who are interested in receiving a booster, additional dose, or part of their primary series an opportunity to get vaccinated each day,” Brody said by email. “We know that as members of our community become eligible for booster doses, and as we look towards the authorization of vaccine for children ages 5 to 11, having another high-throughput site in Fairfax will greatly benefit our community.”

Tysons Corner Center previously hosted the clinic from April 20 through June 26 when COVID-19 vaccines first became available to all adults. In that month, the site vaccinated 27,212 people, administering a total of 50,956 doses, according to VDH.

The CVC will operate from 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Mondays through Saturdays. People seeking a second or third dose willl be asked to present their vaccination card with the dates of their previous doses.

Walk-ins will be permitted, but the FCHD is encouraging people to make appointments through Vaccinate Virginia, which can also be used to request a copy of COVID-19 vaccination records.

“CVC sites are intended to augment opportunities for vaccination, adding another site to those operated by local health departments, pharmacies, healthcare providers and healthcare facilities,” the FCHD said in its blog post.

Fairfax Health District residents can schedule vaccine appointments at county-run clinics through the Vaccine Administration Management System.

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