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Prince William County Supervisors Send Urgent Letter to The Virginia Department of Health After Being Hardest Hit COVID-19 Districts in Virginia

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From Woodbridge (Prince William County) Supervisor Margaret Franklin’s office:

PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Monday, May 11, 2020

Contact: Woodbridge District Supervisor Office

15941 Donald Curtis Drive
Woodbridge VA 22191
Office Phone: 703-792-4646

Supervisors Send Urgent Letter to The Virginia Department of Health After Being Hardest Hit COVID-19 Districts in Virginia

WOODBRIDGE, Va. – Supervisors Margaret Angela Franklin, Victor Angry, and Andrea Bailey sent a letter to The Virginia Department of Health urging for better multi-lingual outreach and more resources to communities of color to combat COVID-19. Recent data shows that the Woodbridge District zip code 22191 has the highest COVID-19 positive tests in the Commonwealth followed by 22193. Further, of the recent deaths reported by the Prince William Health District, 47% of COVID patients were African American. The letter requests funding to provide personal protective equipment and hand sanitizer for essential workers, including employees of small businesses that have remained opened, and employees of ride sharing companies. These employees are at a greater risk of exposure to COVID-19 due to their work in the service industry. Additionally, the letter pushes the county to prioritize additional testing sites to these districts and to develop a plan by the end of the month to ramp up testing across the board.

“Across the Commonwealth, the Route 1 corridor has seen the greatest impact in COVID-19 positive tests. My priority is to take care of our most vulnerable residents, including our service workers and at-risk populations. Therefore, our county must provide personal protective equipment to service industry employees and essential employees. Minority populations overwhelmingly occupy essential jobs/positions and are at greater risk due to several demographic health factors” said Supervisor Franklin, Chair Pro Tem of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors.

“We have seen the unwavering heroism of the essential workers who keep our county running every single day. It is now our turn to take necessary steps to protect these crucial members of our community” said Supervisor Victor Angry, Vice Chair of the Board of Supervisors.

“It is imperative that we provide the necessary resources for our residents during this critical time. To have 47% of positive tests come from our African American community is utterly unacceptable. It highlights the disproportionate socioeconomic impacts of this virus and shows this county needs to do more outreach to get our black and brown populations taken care of” Supervisor Bailey of the Prince William County Potomac District said.

LETTER TO VIRGINIA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH

May 11, 2020

Alison Ansher, MD, MPH
District Director
Prince William Health District
9301 Lee Avenue
Manassas, Virginia 20110

Dr. Ansher,

Recently released data illustrates that the Woodbridge, Neabsco, and Potomac Magisterial Districts have the highest instances of positive COVID-19 diagnoses. National data also indicates that minority communities are suffering more from COVID-19 than any other demographic. In Prince William County, of the recent deaths reported by the Prince William Health District, 47% of COVID patients were African American.

In view of COVID-19’s disproportionate impact on our districts, we are requesting that you conduct outreach to these vulnerable communities with information about COVID-19 that includes risk factors associated with this disease and materials available in multiple languages to ensure the broadest reach for communities of color.

We are also requesting that you prioritize funding to provide personal protective equipment and hand sanitizer for essential workers, including employees of small businesses that have remained opened, and employees of ride sharing companies. These employees are at a great risk of exposure to COVID-19 due to their work in the service industry.

Lastly, we are requesting that the county prioritize the Woodbridge, Neabsco, and Potomac Magisterial Districts for testing sites and develop a plan by the end of the month to ramp up testing throughout our districts.

Thank you for considering these requests as we look forward to working with you on these critically important items.

Sincerely,

Victor S. Angry                                                                                     Margaret Angela Franklin

Vice Chair                                                                                               Chair Pro Tem

Neabsco District                                                                                       Woodbridge District

Andrea O. Bailey

Supervisor
Potomac District