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Coronavirus Cases Decline, Vaccination Pace Quickens

Pandemic-related data trends in Arlington are pointing in a positive direction, at least for now.

As of Tuesday morning, the average daily rate of new cases is 94, compared to a local pandemic peak of 123.4 average daily cases one week ago. Since Saturday, 340 new cases have been reported.

Two new COVID-related deaths have also been reported since Saturday. There have been 20 new hospitalizations over the past week, according to Virginia Dept. of Health figures.

The average rate of vaccinations is also up in Arlington, after nearly two thousand Arlington Public Schools employees received vaccine doses on Saturday and Monday. According to state health department data on vaccinations, as compiled by ARLnow, an average of 419 daily vaccine doses have been administered in Arlington over the past week, up from just over 200 daily doses a week ago.

As of this morning, according to VDH, a total of 6,364 doses have been administered in Arlington, with 656 people having received the full two-dose course of the vaccine. The latter represents 0.34% of the county’s adult population.

ARLnow has heard numerous complaints from readers about the vaccination effort so far, ranging from concerns about vaccinations not going quickly enough, to a botched rollout of the county’s vaccine scheduling system, to assertions that people who do not currently qualify for vaccinations are being allowed to register and receive them.

Arlington officials, meanwhile, say the biggest constraint to local vaccinations is a lack of supply from the state, not challenges with vaccine scheduling and administration. Virginia officials, in turn, say they’re only expecting first-round 110,000 doses per week from the federal government.

The county issued the following press release about vaccine supply on Monday.

Arlington County Board Chair Matt de Ferranti said today that the County’s ability to inoculate those eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine is limited only by the availability of vaccine supply.

“Today Arlington will be inoculating 900 Arlington County teachers, after inoculating 900 on Saturday,” de Ferranti said. “We have the capacity to do at least 2,000 doses per day or 14,000 per week, and we can do more if we were assured a greater supply. The County Manager and our Public Health Director have informed me that currently, we are being promised only 1,400 doses this week of the first-dose vaccine.

“Arlington has the infrastructure, staff, and preparation in place to continue to deliver the vaccine at the scale of these two events, and we are ready to use considerable additional staff from our Fire Department to scale immediately to do more vaccines. Supply of vaccine is the only limitation on our ability to put shots in arms,” de Ferranti said. “While we are aware that the uncertainty of federal distribution to the states seems to be affecting our local supply, we seek a commitment from the Virginia Department of Health that more doses will be allocated to Arlington. We are ready to expand our weekly throughput immediately to 10,000 doses per week, but we need assurance from VDH on delivery of first vaccines and greater clarity about the arrival of second doses.”

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The Arlington-Aachen High School exchange is returning this summer and currently accepting applicants.

The sister-city partnership started in 1993 by the Arlington Sister Cities Association, which seeks to promote Arlington’s international profile through a variety of exchanges in education, commerce, culture and the arts. The exchange, scheduled June 17th to July 4th, includes a two-week homestay in Aachen plus three days in Berlin. Knowledge of the German language is not required for the trip.

Former participants have this to say:

_”The Aachen exchange was an eye-opening experience where I was fully immersed in the life of a German student. I loved biking through the countryside to Belgium, having gelato and picnics in the town square, and hanging out with my German host student’s friends. My first time out of the country, the Aachen exchange taught me to keep an open mind, because you never know what could be a life changing experience.” – Kelly M._

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Learn about the new assessment of Arlington’s urban tree canopy and the many ecological and social benefits trees provide. Staff from the Green Infrastructure Center (GIC) will share study results and compare canopy cover for different areas of Arlington.The webinar will include assessments of ecosystem services such as stormwater mitigation, air quality, carbon uptake, and urban heat islands. For background on Arlington trees see the “Tree Benefits: Growing Arlington’s Urban Forest” presentation at http://www.gicinc.org/PDFs/Presentation_TreeBenefits_Arlington.pdf.

Please register in advance to assure your place at the webinar, https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/29543206508863839.

About the Arlington County Civic Federation: The Arlington County Civic Federation (“ACCF”) is a not-for-profit corporation which provides a forum for civic groups to discuss, debate, inform, advocate and provide oversight on important community issues, on a non-partisan basis. Its members include over ninety civic groups representing a broad cross-section of the community. Communications, resolutions and feedback are regularly provided to the Arlington County Government.

The next meeting is on Tuesday, February 21,2023 at 7 pm. This meeting is open to the public and will be hybrid, in-person and virtually through Zoom. Part of the agenda will be a discussion and vote on a resolution “To Restore Public Confidence in Arlington County’s Governance”. For more information on ACCF and this meeting, go to https://www.civfed.org/.

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Submit your own Announcement here.

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