To the Fairfax County Community,
Today, the County Executive released his amended proposal for the FY2021 budget. When we started this budget, we weren’t in the middle of the pandemic that has now heavily impacted our daily lives. The economic challenges we are facing pale in comparison to the health risks and loss of life some of our community is facing and our thoughts are with them.
Below, you can see a breakdown of the proposal. I also want to note here that residents will be able to comment on the budget during public hearings that have been deferred to April 28-30. We have made this decision in order to protect the health of our staff and the public. We are also recommending that you testify remotely via submitted videos, written testimony, or phone calls. Learn more here.
Amended Proposed FY2021 Budget
- You can view the budget proposal here.
- The County Executive no longer recommends an increase in the Real Estate Rate, keeping it at $1.15 per $100 of assessed value.
- It also no longer includes a 4% Admissions Tax on items such as movie, theater, and concert tickets.
- Funding to schools
- Fairfax County Public Schools still represent a priority for the Board.
- It maintains equal growth for the County and Schools, but with drastic growth reductions from 3.65% to 0.32% over the FY 2020 Adopted Budget Plan.
- FCPS will still receive an increase in the transfer, but it will be reduced from $85.52 million to $7.31 million for the Operating Fund.
- There is little funding to expand services, but existing programs will be preserved.
- All of the proposed new positions have been eliminated except positions related to public health both in our community and schools, and one in the Office of Elections.
- It eliminates increases in employee compensation, but preserves current salaries and positions.
- $9.84 million dollars will be set aside to assist with efforts to combat the health and economic impacts of COVID-19.
- Some other areas that will receive an increase in funding:
- $0.58 million to the Community Funding Pool, which provides funding to community organizations to meet human services needs.
- $1.77 million to support the workload for the County's Police Body-Worn Camera program.
- $0.58 million to support the information technology requirements of the Office of Elections and needs for the 2020 Presidential election.
- Fairfax County priorities remain the same, we just have to think differently on how to move forward. For example:
- The Community-wide Energy and Climate Action Plan is continuing with the public engagement process and creating goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and strategies community members can take to mitigate climate change at the local level.
- The County still has a pipeline of over 1,300 affordable housing units. Our Housing Department is looking for creative ways to stretch the resources available with efficient investments and changes to land use policy.
- Again, we encourage residents to testify on this budget remotely via submitted videos, written testimony, or phone calls. The public hearings will take place from April 28-30.
Update from Inova
- Inova has facilitated roughly 3,500 tests across the region through their five hospitals and Respiratory Illness Clinics. They are also working to obtain the equipment needed to process COVID-19 testing in-house.
- InovaCares Clinics for Families is caring for the uninsured, underinsured, and those on Medicaid:
- Helping patients apply for Medicaid and charity care depending on eligibility
- Scheduling patients, regardless of ability to pay, for a telephonic COVID-19 screening with a healthcare provider where clinically appropriate
- Providing referrals/physician orders to Inova Respiratory Illness Clinics for any patient who requires additional screening or testing for COVID-19, regardless of ability to pay
- Regardless of diagnosis, those who qualify for Medicaid or Charity Care will receive ongoing care
- Steve Motew, Chief of Inova’s Clinical Enterprise, is sharing daily video messages to keep the community updated on Inova's efforts. You can view the "Motew Minute" here.
- Inova Urgent Care Centers at Dulles South, North Arlington, and Tysons have been converted to Respiratory Illness Clinics to evaluate all patients with respiratory illness symptoms. Should patients meet criteria, they may be tested. They are open daily 8 am to 8 pm and please note that these urgent care centers are strictly operating to meet this need. Learn more here.
- Inova prioritizes protecting their team members. They have taken additional measures to ensure their safety, such as convening a PPE Committee, modifying HR practices, and implementing teleworking when possible.
- Due to the current COVID-19 emergency, Inova is seeking physicians, advanced practice providers, and CRNAs who can assist in caring for hospitalized patients. Learn more here.
- Starting Saturday April 11, Fairfax Connector will be making service adjustments.
- Fairfax Connector will continue to provide regular service on 37 routes; provide Saturday service during weekdays on 14 routes; and discontinue service on 40 routes. See the changes here.
- Customers are still required to enter and exit the bus using the rear doors, with the exception of customers needing a wheelchair ramp. Fares are not being collected.
- Metrorail will close at 9 pm daily and Metro bus services will end at 11 pm.
- For more on Metro's most recent change, click here.
- For up-to-the-minute Metro service updates, click here.
- Metro reminds riders to only travel if absolutely necessary and not to use Metro if you are feeling sick.
- Information on how the Health Department reports cases of COVID-19. Despite kids being home and the weather being warm, Fairfax County doesn't recommend scheduling play dates for your children.
Common Health Questions:
- Not every case of coronavirus has symptoms, but those that do may appear 2-14 days after exposure. Some of the symptoms you might experience are below:
- Shortness of breath
- Continue to follow the health guidelines:
- Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer if that isn't an option (especially when in public places)
- Cough and sneeze into your sleeve
- Don't touch your face
- Social distance
- What it means to social distance, self-isolate, and quarantine.
- The CDC has updated its guidance on face masks. They recommend the use of non-medical masks as a community mitigation tool.