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“Reopening” NOVA and Other Exciting Events

Ways to Make Masks Using Common Household Products

Dear Friends,


Happy Friday! We have made it through another week, staying safe and getting ready for today’s changes as Northern Virginia carefully moves into a new way of living. Look for safe events, openings, and new programs happening around town with this transition to the Governor’s Phase One, Forward Virginia Plan.  

Phase One began for most Virginians two weeks ago. As the COVID-19 virus numbers allow, Phase Two will come at the appropriate time. We still have work to do as a community.  Proceeding with caution, please see the chart for a full listing of what is, and is not, permitted during Phase One.


You may have seen this chart before. There is one important change the Governor made last Tuesday not reflected above: face coverings are no longer optional and simply strongly encouraged; they are required for everyone ages 10 and up inside all buildings where people congregate. Face coverings are mandatory in all retail, personal care/grooming, and food and beverage establishments, and they must be worn on public transportation and when entering state and local government facilities.

Exceptions to the face covering mandate are as follows: 

  • While eating or drinking
  • Exercising
  • If you are having trouble breathing or are unable to remove the mask without help
  • If your health conditions prohibit wearing a face covering

Face coverings include masks, bandanas, or face shields. They can be anything that is tied around both your nose and mouth to prevent spread of disease. They do not need to be fancy and you can make them out of common household products such as dish towels, t-shirts, and coffee filters. See the graphic above. 


For anyone yearning to go outside and enjoy another beautiful weekend, all Fairfax County parks will be open. However, outdoor water parks and pools run by the Fairfax County Park Authority will be closed all summer and all 2020 Fairfax County summer programs have been cancelled. If you are looking for summer camp options for your children, we have secured a special discount with iD tech camps. You can save $150 with the code "Fairfax County." 


I am also excited to announce that CVS Health will begin offering self-swab COVID-19 tests to individuals meeting Centers for Disease Control and Prevention criteria. In early June, the CVS Pharmacy store located at 6400 Landsdowne Center, Alexandria, VA 22315 will go to work. Testing will be scheduled online and will be administered via the pharmacy drive-through window; no testing will take place in-store. Employees participating in the test collection process will maintain safety using personal protective equipment and follow sanitization protocols after each test.


There are also some new food distribution programs and housing resources available to our neighbors in need.

  • United Community has launched a new mobile food distribution program for Thursday Mornings at 7930 Audubon Ave (10:00 - 10:30am) and Mount Vernon Woods Elementary School (11:00 - 11:30am). All are welcome. 
  • Fairfax County’s Neighbor to Neighbor Program has launched a grocery shopping and pharmacy pick-up service for County residents age 60 and over. To request shopping and pharmacy pick-up, or to find out if you are eligible for financial assistance to obtain food, call 703-324-7948.
  • Virginia has launched the Stay Home Virginia website to provide resources and information to renters, homeowners, property owners, developers and the homeless. Because of the phased in reopening of the District Courts, Governor Northam noted that eviction processes and orders may start resuming, but there has been legislation enacted to support renters. Renters should know their rights: Your landlord cannot evict you without a court order, no matter what your lease says. If you need financial assistance to pay your rent, call Fairfax County's Coordinated Services Planning at 703-222-0880, TTY 711, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. ​​


Finally, please join me and my fellow South County Delegates for our third town hall together to answer questions you may have about Covid-19, 2020 legislation, our over-the-interim policy initiatives, and budget matters as we prepare for a special General Assembly session to re-write our two-year budget, likely in August. The town hall will be on Thursday, June 11 from 6:30 to 7:30 pm. The call in number is (605) 472-5239 and the access code is 811044. 


Please do not hesitate to contact me if you need any assistance during this health crisis. My staff and I can be reached at or 804-698-1043. We will be checking email and phone messages regularly. Please remember to wash your hands, wear your face covering, practice social distancing, and use caution to stay healthy!


Thank you for the continued oppportunity to serve.


Warmest Regards,


Mark D. Sickles

Delegate, 43rd House District