County Provides COVID-19 Community Update

Published on March 21, 2020

At the start of the Saturday, March 21, County Board Meeting, the County Manager and his senior staff provided an in-depth report on the County Government and the community response to COVID-19. (See video of full report.)

Following County Manager Schwartz's update, Dr. Reuben Varghese, the County's Public Health Director, updated the Board on community transmission; Dr. Aaron Miller, Director of the Department of Public Safety Communications and Emergency Management, provided updates on County operations and facilities; and James Schwartz, Deputy County Manger, highlighted ongoing efforts from the police and fire departments.

"What is clear is that for some time life will be very different for all of us. This pandemic is a serious public health crisis. Everyone in our community, of all ages, must practice sensible social distancing and stay at home as much as possible," said County Board Chair Libby Garvey.

The report included a range of important topics, including:

  • Health information on community spread and sample collection site for coronavirus tests

  • What individuals can do to help keep everyone safe

  • Status of government operations and services

  • Work of local nonprofits, faith organizations, individuals, PTAs, and many other community groups to meeting increasing community needs

  • Business-specific information, including updates on restaurants

  • Steps our public safety agencies are taking to sustain services — including regional coordination and mutual-aid agreements

  • Economic impacts in Arlington and status of the Fiscal Year 2021 Proposed Budget

Schwartz also announced $100,000 from the County Manager's contingent fund to be allocated to the Arlington Food Assistance Center (AFAC), to help support the growing need for stocking food.

"I appreciate the kindness and compassion of our community and workforce as we approach this unprecedented scenario," said County Manager Mark Schwartz. "I am inspired by our community to rise up and support each other."

For more information about the COVID-19 coronavirus and how you can help protect yourself and those around you, visit