COVID-19 FAQs

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County Government Operating Status & Phase Updates

Additional information and answers can be found at Forward Virginia: Guidelines and Frequently Asked Questions.

What is the operating status for County departments, services, and programs?

The current status of County departments, services and programs can be found on our status updates page.

What are latest COVID restrictions that Arlingtonians should be aware of? (Last updated 5/28/21)

  • Effective Friday, May 28, 2021, Virginia has ended all mitigation restrictions on capacity and distancing in businesses and public spaces. (See: Executive Order Seventy-Nine.)
  • Effective Friday, May 14, 2021, people fully vaccinated against COVID-19 no longer need to wear a mask in most public settings, indoors or outside.
    • Anyone who is not yet vaccinated is strongly encouraged to wear masks in all settings.
    • Businesses may still choose to require masks in their establishments, and masks will still be required in schools.
    • Employees who work in certain business sectors—including restaurants, retail, fitness, personal care, and entertainment—must continue to wear masks unless fully vaccinated, per CDC guidance.

Arlington County Policy (UPDATED May 26, 2021)

  • Based on the successes to date with vaccination in Arlington County and the continued decline of both hospitalizations and cases of COVID-19 in Arlington County and the greater region, and after consultation with the County’s Public Health Division Chief, we have concluded that common sense changes to the policies surrounding face coverings are possible.
  • In accordance with the Governor’s Order, when entering County facilities on County property, if unable to maintain a minimum of six feet of physical distance to other individuals, everyone five years and older are required to wear a face covering. (See: Policy Requiring Face Coverings for Visitors in County Facilities)
    • Generally, County Staff shall wear a face covering any time they are indoors and sharing an enclosed space with another person and unable to maintain recommended physical distance.
    • County Staff in County facilities are required to wear a face covering in all common areas when nearby others and where physical distancing is not possible such as hallways, conference rooms, restrooms, stairwells, elevators, kitchen areas, lobbies, break rooms, copy rooms, supply rooms, etc..

How can I receive emergency alerts and other important information from Arlington County?

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Visitor Self Check-In Policy at County Facilities

Is there a check-in policy if I am visiting a County facility? (Last updated: 5/28/21)

Each of our facilities will continue check-in procedures for members of the public at different facilities and locations. COVID-screening questions and temperature scans may be part of the check-in process for visitors.

Can visitors be denied access to a facility?

Yes. If a visitor answers ‘yes’ to experiencing new or worsening COVID symptoms without an alternative diagnosis or has been asked to quarantine or been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19, they will be asked to leave the facility.

For facilities that conduct temperature checks, visitors will be denied access if their temperature is above 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit, unless specifically authorized by staff for critical services. If the visitor believes their temperature scan may have been high due to recent physical exertion, the visitor may wait a reasonable period of time to cool off and be rescanned.


County Visitor Face Covering Policy

What is the visitor face covering policy? (Last updated: 5/28/21)

The visitor face covering policy establishes requirements for the wearing of face coverings by County residents and visitors while inside County-owned, leased, and controlled facilities, if unable to maintain a minimum of six feet of physical distance to other individuals.

Who needs to follow the face covering regulations? (Last updated: 5/28/21)

This policy provides guidance to County residents and visitors regarding the use of face masks at County facilities. There is a separate policy for employee face coverings intended for County employees, contractors and volunteers.

Why do Arlington visitors need to wear a face covering? (Last updated: 5/28/21)

Consistent with the Center for Disease Control’s guidance, and after consultation with the County’s Public Health Director, the County has concluded that covering the mouth and nose is an effective means to limit the transmission of coronavirus.

  • Face coverings may prevent the person wearing the covering from spreading respiratory droplets when talking, sneezing or coughing.
  • They proved an effective tool during the pandemic and we continue to emphasize the need for unvaccinated individuals to wear a face covering.
  • Since people may spread the virus before symptoms start, or even if people never have symptoms, wearing a face covering may protect others around you.
  • Face coverings worn by others may protect you from getting the coronavirus from people carrying the virus.
  • Proper physical distancing, handwashing, refraining from touching one’s face, and wearing face coverings, taken together, have been shown to be effective in slowing the spread of coronavirus.

Are there exceptions to the Visitor Face Covering policy? (Last updated: 5/28/21)

There may be times when a visitor may remove their face covering temporarily while speaking during the public comment portion of a public meeting, while exercising, or when needed to secure government or medical services, provided the visitor maintains appropriate physical distancing from others as required for that activity. (See: Policy Requiring Face Coverings for Visitors in County Facilities)

If I don’t wear a mask, how can I get what I need?

To accommodate residents and visitors, we now allow for access to services online and over the phone. Staff can provide contact details at the front desk. If services cannot be provided remotely, residents may contact the service area directly to identify an alternate means of providing services. Contact information can be obtained online at https://www.arlingtonva.us/ or by phone at 703-228-3000.

What should I do if I see another person violating this policy?

Please report the policy violation to security guards at the points of entry, or a supervisor.


Businesses & Consumers

What is the operating status of businesses? (Last updated: 7/15/21)

  • As of July 1, 2021, the statewide Declaration of Emergency for COVID-19 is no longer in effect.
  • Anyone may choose to wear a mask to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Virginia law only prohibits wearing a mask for the purpose of concealing one’s identity.
  • Anyone who is not yet vaccinated is strongly encouraged to wear a mask in all settings.
  • Businesses may choose to require masks in their establishments, and employees who work in certain business sectors may still be required to mask, even if fully vaccinated. For information on employee masking requirements, employers should refer to the FAQ on the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry’s Standard.

For information specific to Arlington businesses, visit Arlington Economic Development’s COVID-19 Business Support webpage.

What is Arlington doing to support businesses impacted by coronavirus?

Arlington Economic Development and BizLaunch are working to support businesses during this time. There is a resource webpage available for small businesses. 

What are Temporary Outdoor Seating Areas (TOSAs)? (Last updated: 5/28/21)

The Arlington County Board approved an administrative process to allow temporary outdoor seating areas (TOSAs) beyond those already permitted.

The County will consider TOSAs that may be in parking lots, sidewalks, and other public spaces. Temporary permits will be valid until the County terminates them. They are subject to periodic review and are revocable at any time, either all at once or on case-by-case basis.

The TOSA application is available online, along with additional guidance.

The County is continuing to permit TOSAs at least through the end of 2021. While the TOSA program may extend even longer, the County currently expects it will extend at least through 2021.

 

 


County Facilities and Amenities 

What is the status of Parks? (Last updated: 5/19/21)

All Arlington County Parks are open.

When do you think we might consider opening other Recreation Facilities? (Last updated: 5/19/21)

  • We anticipate a continued phased reopening for our Parks and Recreation facilities.
  • The fitness facilities at Fairlington, Madison, Thomas Jefferson and Langston-Brown Community Centers are open on a limited basis. Current Fitness and Gym Locations and Hours.
  • Spraygrounds will open Memorial Day (May 31, 2021)
  • Nature centers are open with limited hours.
  • We will continue to monitor guidance from the national, state, and local health officials to determine how best to open other amenities.
  • The Washington-Liberty, Wakefield and Yorktown Pools are openInstructions to make a Reservation

What is the status of DPR's summer programs and camps? (Last updated: 5/19/21)

  • 2021 Summer Camp Programs are moving forward. Registration opened on Wednesday, March 24.
  • Fitness rooms and gyms are open in these community centers: Fairlington, Madison, Thomas Jefferson and Langston Brown. Fitness facilities require a reservation. All other indoor recreation facilities are closed.
  • Parks & Recreation’s new Recreate at Home, launched during the COVID-19 pandemic, offers a constantly updated list of fun and safe things to do at home and outside while practicing social distancing.

What is the status of Libraries in Arlington? (Updated: 8/9/21)

Arlington residents and patrons have access to five open Library locations — Aurora Hills, Central, Columbia Pike, Shirlington and Westover.

The Library is prioritizing access to library collections and core library services, and introducing new operating hours across the system. Library locations and services are reopening in stages, based on the availability of staffing.

UPDATE (Aug. 6, 2021): Public Computers, Meeting Rooms and Friends’ Bookstores are Coming Back!

Visit the Library Services page for more information.

 

 


Resources for Neighbors in Need

I am in immediate need of food, housing support, or other vital social services. What should I do?

If you need help with rent and expenses, are at risk of being evicted or homeless, need assistance with food or any other vital social service needs, contact the Housing and Food Assistance line at 703-228-1300

What happens if I can’t get out for groceries or medicine?

  • If you become ill or need to isolate or self-quarantine, you may need help from other people—and other people may ask you for help. Now is the time to put plans in place and identify a BUDDY. You can request a buddy by visiting arlingtoncommunitycorps.org or calling 703-957-9727.
  • Plan ahead and reach out—safely—to friends, neighbors, social and work networks, faith groups, and school and neighborhood associations to have people who can help and put a buddy system in place.
  • This will make it easier to get things like food and medicine if you are unable to leave your home. We recommend that every household has two ‘buddy’ households to call upon for help if needed.
  • For people who have difficulty identifying buddies, there is a new online tool. The Arlington Community Corps includes listings by Arlington neighborhood and is designed to link people who need help with nearby volunteers willing to help out—by delivering groceries and medication to other residents at higher risk from COVID-19.

Where can I go to find more information on food, medical, or financial assistance in Arlington County?

See food, medical, and financial assistance resources for Arlington neighbors in need.

Where can I go to find more information on housing resources during COVID-19?

For information on housing assistance, rent payments, eviction prevention, and help with other vital social service needs, visit our Housing FAQs or call the Housing and Food Assistance Hotline at 703-228-1300.

Is there anywhere in the County I can access free wi-fi?

  • Arlington residents who lack reliable internet service at home during the COVID-19 pandemic can now benefit from five new free County Wi-Fi hotspots to access online resources for work, schooling, health-related information or to complete essential tasks such as ordering groceries and household supplies.
  • Access to the ArlingtonWireless network is available at the Central Library, Columbia Pike, and Aurora Highlands Library parking lots. Starting June 12, access will be available the Charles Drew Community Center and the Barcroft Sport and Fitness Center.
  • Using a mobile device, choose the ArlingtonWireless network and accept the terms of agreement.
  • Residents are asked to remain in their vehicles while on site to help mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. Those who are not in vehicles should always maintain a physical distance of 6 feet apart and comply with public health guidelines.

What do I do if I think a child in my neighborhood is not safe?

  • If you believe there is immediate danger, you can call 911 for police response. If you have concerns, but not immediate danger, please call the CPS Hotline. (703-228-1500).
  • CPS Hotline workers are prepared to talk through concerns and we will be able to help you know if it is a child protection issue or if other types of support are needed. Not all calls to the Hotline will result in a response to the family home.
  • Caller information is kept confidential and not share with family members. People worry that reporting concerns to CPS will destroy a family.  The truth is that getting help can protect children from further harm and assist the family in overcoming problems.

What resources are available for someone who is not feeling safe in their house or relationship?

  • We encourage anyone who feels they are unsafe with their partner or thinks a family member, friend, or colleague is unsafe -we encourage those people to call the hotline (703-237-0881); or police and seek support. There are services available today tomorrow and always. Services are safe, FREE and confidential.
  • Resources are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week- including the Arlington domestic and sexual violence hotline at 703-237-0881, and the Safehouse shelter operated by Doorways for Women and Families, and post assault forensic medical exams provided by the forensic assessment consultation team (FACT) at Inova Fairfax Hospital which provides.
  • There is support for the person who is harming too. If you know someone who is hurting or controlling their partner, there is support for that person. The Department of Human Services offers the abuser intervention program which is available to anyone seeking to change their harmful or abusive behavior. Learn more by calling 703-228-1513.

What do I do if I think an older adult in my neighborhood is not safe?

To report suspected adult abuse, neglect or exploitation:


Volunteering

How can I offer support or volunteer?

  • We have had a tremendous outpouring of concerned residents across Arlington. We appreciate all that Arlingtonians are doing to take care of one another.  Volunteer Arlington is updating a webpage with the needs from the County’s nonprofits, which is primarily goods and money and the occasional opportunities for in-person volunteering.

This is a rapidly evolving situation. This site’s content is reviewed daily and will be updated as appropriate.