Dear Friends and Neighbors,
I have critically important news to share with you: Arlington and Fairfax Counties will be moving into Phase 1B of free vaccinations starting tomorrow, January 11th.
What does this mean for you and your family?
People who will be vaccinated under Phase 1B are defined by the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) as:
- Any individual aged 75 years or older;
- Frontline essential workers, and;
- People living in correctional facilities, homeless shelters or migrant labor camps
How can you get vaccinated if you’re included under Phase 1B?
Adults aged 75 or older:
- Arlington County residents must register for a free vaccination online here. For more information, you can call Arlington’s COVID-19 hotline at 703-228-7999.
- Fairfax County residents must call the Fairfax Health Department’s vaccine hotline at 703-324-7404 (Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.) to register for an appointment, beginning Monday, Jan. 11. More details will be available on the Health Department webpage in the days to come, including the option of using an online form to schedule appointments.
Frontline essential workers:
Because there is not sufficient supply to vaccinate everyone in Phase 1b at the same time, local health districts will reach out to engage the Frontline Essential Worker groups in vaccination planning in the following order—
- Police, fire, and hazmat emergency personnel
- Corrections and homeless shelter workers
- Childcare/PreK-12 teachers/staff
- Food and agriculture workers (including veterinarians)
- Grocery store workers
- Public transit workers
- Mail carriers (USPS and private
- Officials needed to maintain continuity of government
Vaccinations for these groups must be registered for and coordinated by the employer for all of their qualified employees.
- Arlington County frontline employers must register their employees for free vaccinations online here.
- Fairfax County frontline employers—beginning Monday, Jan. 11, closed vaccination clinics for police, fire and hazmat, corrections and homeless shelter workers will be conducted by the Fairfax Health Department. There will be no need for individuals working in these sectors to contact the Health Department to schedule appointments. Dates for the other Phase 1b frontline essential worker categories will be announced in the future. More details will be available on the Health Department webpage.
Pre-Registration also available for Phase 1C in Arlington
The next step of the vaccination process will be Phase 1C—which will offer free vaccinations to:
- Anyone aged 65 through 74 years,
- Individuals aged 16 through 64 years with a high risk medical condition or disability that increases their risk of severe illness from COVID-19, and;
- Other essential workers as defined by VDH, including waste removal workers, food service, institutions of higher education faculty/staff and public safety (engineers).
Arlington County has already begun accepting early registrations from individuals and employers who will be covered under Phase 1C, available online at their webpage.
- Virginia Department of Health COVID-19 Vaccination Response Webpage
- Arlington Department of Health COVID-19 Vaccination Homepage
- Fairfax Department of Health COVID-19 Vaccination Homepage
2021 Legislative Session Begins This Week
In other news, the 2021 session of the Virginia General Assembly will begin this week on Wednesday, Jan. 13th. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the entire session has been transitioned to a virtual format in order to ensure the safety of legislators, staff, and the general public.
Luckily, it is now easier than ever to participate in the legislative process from the comfort of your own home. We have a great number of bills that we’ll be considering over the next few months, dealing with everything from COVID-relief to affordable housing and criminal justice reform.
Here are a few resources to help keep you updated this session:
- Virginia’s Legislative Information System (LIS): review bills, access the House and Senate meeting calendars, view committee live streams, and much more.
- HODSpeak: search HODSpeak’s online meetings schedule to attend online House of Delegates committee meetings and make your voice heard by reserving a spot during public comment periods.
Curious about how to submit a public comment for an upcoming bill? Here’s a brief step-by-step guide:
1. Visit LIS and click on "Meetings."
2. You should now be viewing the Meeting Schedule. Click on the hyperlink next to the meeting you would like to attend.
3. You will be brought to the HODSpeak homepage. This is where you can sign up to speak during the public comment period of your meeting of interest. Note: you have to list the bill number of the bill you are speaking to when you sign up. Do not use the bill name.
As always, my office would love to hear from you about the issues that are most important to you and your families. To be in contact with us during the coming session, please give us a call at (571) 336-2147 or send me an email at DelALopez@house.virginia.gov.
Thanks for reading and hope to hear from you soon!