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Arlington County Government Operating Status & Reopening
Additional information and answers can be found at the Forward Virginia website.
The County is committed to the health and safety of our employees and our community. We have closed many programs and facilities (e.g., libraries, community centers, parks, playgrounds); however, we continue to operate essential government services for our residents and businesses. The current status of County departments, services and programs can be found on our status updates page.
According to Governor Northam's Office, the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry (DOLI) is to develop emergency temporary standards to prevent workplace exposure to COVID-19.
These occupational safety standards will require the approval by vote of the Virginia Safety and Health Codes Board and must address personal protective equipment, sanitation, record-keeping of incidents, and hazard communication. Upon approval, the Department of Labor and Industry will be able to enforce the standards through civil penalties and business closures.
Under Phase One, Arlington will move to a Safer at Home strategy, which continues the ban on social gatherings of more than 10 people and maintains recommendations for social distancing, teleworking, and wearing face coverings.
Short answer, not completely. It’s still important to stay home. Retail establishments will be allowed to operate at 50% occupancy; restaurant and beverage establishments may offer outdoor dining at 50% occupancy; personal grooming services may begin operating with one patron per service provider; and fitness centers may offer outdoor exercise services. Outdoor swimming pools can open for lap swimming with one swimmer per lane and additional restrictions. Campgrounds may also begin taking reservations for short-term stays.
In Phase One, Places of worship can continue drive-in services and hold services inside at 50% capacity, with adequate social distancing requirements.
Many of the restrictions put in place by Executive Order Fifty-Three will remain in place in Phase One. Entertainment and public amusement venues will remain closed and beaches will continue to be open only for exercise and fishing.
The following businesses must remain CLOSED to the public in Phase One: theaters, performing arts centers, concert venues, museums, and other indoor entertainment centers, indoor fitness centers, gymnasiums, recreation centers, indoor swimming pools, indoor sports facilities, and indoor exercise facilities (however, outdoor fitness and exercise services may occur, and outdoor pools may open for lap swimming only with one person per lane), bowling alleys, skating rinks, arcades, amusement parks, trampoline parks, fairs, arts and craft facilities, aquariums, zoos, escape rooms, public and private clubs, and all other places of indoor public amusement, and overnight summer camps.
Not yet. The Phase One guidance still strongly encourages teleworking whenever possible. Obviously if a retail business is now opening that wasn’t before, they’ll need employees there. But where possible, most people should still stay at home. All other categories of business should use teleworking as much as possible. Where telework is not feasible, such businesses should adhere to the Guidelines for All Business Sectors, including the recommendations for physical distancing, enhanced cleaning and sanitization, and enhanced workplace safety.
Childcare centers remain open for children of working families.
Are you a first-responder or essential employee looking for a childcare provider? Our COVID-19 Real Time Child Care Directory now has availability listed for childcare centers and home day care providers.
Virginians are strongly encouraged to seek alternative means of attending religious services, such as virtually or via “drive-up” worship. In Phase One, religious services may occur at no more than 50 percent of the lowest occupancy load on the certificate of occupancy of the room or facility in which the religious services are conducted. Places of worship must also adhere to social distancing requirements. See a full set of guidelines for religious services.
Executive Order Sixty-Three requires Virginians to wear face coverings in public indoor settings to help contain the spread of the novel coronavirus, starting Friday, May 29, 2020. The Governor’s statewide requirement for wearing face coverings is grounded in science and data, including recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) that individuals should wear face coverings in public settings. Face coverings do not take the place of public health guidelines to maintain 6 feet of physical distancing, increase cleaning and sanitation, and wash hands regularly.
Visit the Governor’s page for more information, including exceptions. Learn how to make your own mask with Arlington County Board Chair Libby Garvey.
There’s no specific date for the start of Phase Two. Phase One could last 2-4 weeks, or longer. Arlington will continue to monitor the key metrics and coordinate with the Commonwealth on entering Phase Two.
- As we move into Phase One, it will take everyone in our community doing their part—to stay at home if they are sick, practice social distancing of 6 feet, wear face coverings when in public, and wash your hands often. Our collective impact—here in Arlington, and across the region—will help us address our health and economic crisis for the future.
- What will change is as follows:
- We have already opened our 148 parks; and we are exploring a phased reopening for other recreation facilities.
- Non-essential businesses can open at 50% capacity.
- Take-out and curbside pickup for restaurants and bars can continue and outdoor seating allowed at 50% capacity.
- Gyms and fitness facilities can offer limited outdoor exercise options with adequate social distancing.
- Beauty and nail salons, barbershops and other personal grooming services will provide services by appointment only and must follow strict guidelines.
- Place of worship can open for drive-in services or can host services inside at 50% capacity
- Again, what will not change—is the need for social distancing, face coverings and other precautions to protect our community from COVID-19.
- View more specific guidelines for all these sectors on the Forward Virginia website.
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Arlington County, along with other localities in Northern Virginia, is transitioning to Phase One of the Forward Virginia plan on Friday, May 29. See the news release for details.
Businesses & Consumers
Visit the Forward Virginia: Phase One FAQ for information on business operations, including restaurant and beverage services, personal care and grooming, exercise and fitness, and more.
For information specific to Arlington businesses, visit Arlington Economic Development’s website.
Arlington is an innovative community, and many of our businesses have adjusted their operations during this pandemic to help each other and continue to provide services to the community. These efforts include curbside pick-up, free delivery, e-gift cards, and/or discounts on orders. Explore the many options.
NOTE: For specific questions about the requirements for business operations during Forward Virginia, visit the Governor's FAQ page.
Arlington Economic Development and BizLaunch are working to support businesses during this time. There is a resource webpage available for small businesses.
The U.S. Small Business Administration has Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).
- Farmers markets must either implement mandatory requirements set by the Commonwealth of Virginia or remain closed.
- Shoppers should go to the specific market’s website to find out how you can schedule your order. See a list of all Arlington farmers markets. Markets will limit the number of patrons inside the market to 10 at a time.
The Executive Order only covers (1) recreation and entertainment businesses, (2) brick and mortar non-essential retail businesses, and (3) restaurants, dining establishments, food courts, breweries, microbreweries, distilleries, wineries, tasting rooms, and farmers markets.
While the consistent message of social distancing and adhering to CDC Workplace Guidance remains in effect, the Order did not change the status all other categories of businesses. The Governor’s Office further states that all essential businesses must, to the extent possible, practice social distancing, increase sanitizing of common surfaces, and other appropriate workplace guidance from state and federal authorities. If you are concerned an employer is not following these guidelines, please contact OSHA or the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry.
Based on the Governor’s directive and guidance issued from Virginia Department of Social Services (VDSS), child care programs may remain open at this time. They should, however, prioritize services for children of essential personnel, while asking all families to keep their children home if they can.
Programs that remain open must comply with VDSS guidance on limiting group sizes to 10 (including children and staff) and practice social distancing. A real time child care map/directory is now available for essential workers. For more information, visit the Child Care website.
Health Related Questions
Please visit the Center for Disease Control for regular updates.
Where can I go to find more information on what to do if I feel ill, how to protect myself and my family, and how I can slow the spread of COVID-19?
For information on how to protect yourself and your family and slow the spread of COVID-19, please visit our public health COVID-19 webpage.
For information on testing in Arlington County, please visit out COVID-19 testing webpage.
- For information on contract tracing, visit our contract tracing webpage.
Long Term Care Facilities
Long term care facilities in Arlington, in Northern Virginia, and in the Washington, DC area have cases of COVID-19 among residents and among staff. Some facilities now have outbreaks, due to spread of the germ from resident to resident, or resident to staff, staff to resident, or staff to staff.
All visitation has stopped.
With asymptomatic transmission possible, there is risk of spread from staff to residents as staff are now the only visitors to a facility.
Is Arlington County providing any support to long term care facilities to help reduce the spread of COVID-19?
Arlington County Public Health Division (ACPHD) has been working with the facilities to implement infection control recommendations to reduce the risk of further spread. This includes instruction on the proper use of N95 masks. In addition, ACPHD has recommended that long-term care facilities separate residents who require quarantining (those exposed but not sick) and those who require isolating (those exposed and sick) away from those without known exposure. ACPHD has also urged separating and dedicating staff to these different populations to further prevent the risk of spread.
Arlington County Aging and Disability Services Division (ADSD) staff, in conjunction with ACPHD staff, have assisted facilities with infection control recommendations, including coordinating access to the limited supply of surgical and N95 masks and other PPE (i.e., gowns and eye wear and gloves). This PPE is made available by the County and the Northern Virginia Hospital Alliance.
Parks and Recreation
As of May 23, Arlington County 148 parks are open so you can get out and explore some nature with the family! We want residents to enjoy our open spaces to exercise, relax and enjoy nature and enjoy the company of the people in your household, but Arlington residents must do their part to stop the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) including practicing social distancing and wearing a face mask.
A reminder that groups of 10 or more are not allowed to congregate in the park and that regular park rules remain in place. Arlington County Police, park rangers, and park rovers will be monitoring parks, trails, playgrounds and fields to ensure compliance with social distancing and group gatherings.
- We anticipate a phased reopening for our Parks and Recreation facilities. Reopening park open spaces is a first step.
- And, we look towards reopening additional park amenities in early June.
- We will continue to monitor guidance from the national, state, and local health officials to determine how best to open other amenities, including:
- Athletic fields; Batting cages; Community and Nature Centers Buildings; Courts; Dog parks; Picnic Shelters; Playgrounds; Restrooms; Skate park; Spraygrounds; and Tracks
- Given Governor Northam’s “Forward Virginia” blueprint for easing public health restrictions, the Department of Parks and Recreation has cancelled 2020 summer programs.
- We recognize how important recreation is to our residents. We are exploring opportunities to provide modified programs and services both virtually and when our parks and community centers reopen. We appreciate your patience as we work through this difficult time.
- 2020 Summer Camp Programs have been canceled. Additional Information and Frequently Asked Questions can be found here.
- The following programs have been canceled for the summer 2020 session:
- Enjoy Arlington classes
- 55+ programs, trips and classes
- Explore Nature & History programs
- Summer Basketball and Adult Pick-up Soccer and Soccer Clinics
- Summer Creative Playgroup
- Summer Camps
- All Arlington County/Arlington Public Schools (APS) parks, playgrounds, fields, restrooms, tracks, dog parks and athletic courts remain closed until further notice.
- 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.
For the latest on status and services, please visit the WMATA website.
For the latest on status and services, please visit the ART website.
For your safety and the safety of others, all passengers are required to wear face masks or face coverings while using ART. Please see the Governor's order for more details.
Resources for Neighbors in Need
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.
- 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.
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.
- Arlington residents who lack reliable internet service at home during the COVID-19 pandemic can now benefit from three 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 now available at the Central Library, Columbia Pike, and Aurora Highlands Library parking lots. 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.
- 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.
- 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.
To report suspected adult abuse, neglect or exploitation:
- Call 703-228-1700 or 703-228-1788 (TTY) on weekdays from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. and ask for the APS duty worker.
- After business hours, call the state hotline at 1-888-832-3858.
Federal: The federal income tax filing due date is automatically extended from April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020. Taxpayers can also defer federal income tax payments due on April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020, without penalties and interest, regardless of the amount owed. Learn details more on the IRS website.
State: The state also has taken steps to provide relief for taxpayers in Virginia, including payment extensions and penalty waivers. See details on the state website.
Local: The Arlington County Treasurer also announced late payment penalty and interest will not be imposed on local taxes with a payment due date between March 13 and April 30, 2020, if such taxes are paid in full by May 31, 2020. This decision primarily but not exclusively affects Arlington County Meals, Food, and Beverage (MEA) Taxes and Transient Occupancy (TOT) Taxes, which would ordinarily be due March 20 and April 20. Read more details on the County website.
Trash and Recycling Services
- During this unprecedented time, we encourage residents to be mindful of the quantity of waste we are throwing away so as not to overwhelm the collection system. Although all regular weekly curbside collection services are currently available, collection resources are beginning to show signs of strain.
- Due to COVID, there are a number of process changes for solid waste collection, including trash, recycling, yard waste, brush, and bulk collections. Visit DES recycle COVID website for specific services, dates, times, and locations.
- 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. Last reviewed and updated on May 28, 2020.