Archive | Response RSS for this section

Measles Case Confirmed; Risk of Exposures in Fairfax County

Posted at 12:20 p.m.

The Fairfax County Health Department is investigating a laboratory-confirmed case of measles. The individual is a child who was treated at Inova Fairfax Medical Campus but is no longer contagious.

While the child was age-appropriately vaccinated with one dose of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine, it takes two doses of MMR vaccine to provide full protection against measles. At this time there are no other documented cases of measles in the area.

The individual was at several locations in Fairfax County in the past week and could have exposed others to the measles virus. The Health Department is attempting to notify anyone who may have been exposed while the patient was infectious to prevent further spread of measles.

Persons who were at the locations below during the times listed may have been exposed to the measles virus and should call the Health Department at 703-267-3511, (TTY 711) to determine their risk for measles. Preventative treatment may be recommended for those who were exposed and are unvaccinated and who may be at high risk, such as pregnant women, infants younger than 12 months and people with severely compromised immune systems.

Measles Exposure Public Sites

Location Date and Time
JoAnn Blanks Child Development Center (CDC)5901 Taylor Road, Bldg. 1207
Fort Belvoir, VA 22060
Wednesday, Sept. 30
7 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Pediatric Associates of Alexandria Springfield HealthPlex
6355 Walker Ln #401
Alexandria, VA 22310
Thursday, Oct. 1
1 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Springfield HealthPlex
6355 Walker Ln #401
Alexandria, VA 22310
Thursday, Oct. 1
1 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Costco Wholesale Club
7940 Richmond Highway
Alexandria, VA 22306
Thursday, Oct. 1
2:30 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Inova Fairfax Medical Campus
Pediatric Emergency Department
3300 Gallows Road
Falls Church, VA 22042
Sunday, Oct. 4
10:30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Inova Fairfax Medical Campus
Emergency Department
3300 Gallows Road
Falls Church, VA 22042
Sunday, Oct. 4
1 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Inova Fairfax Medical Campus Women’s and Children’s Atrium (Lobby) & 5th floor
3300 Gallows Road
Falls Church, VA 22042
Sunday, Oct. 4
5 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Inova Fairfax Medical Campus Original Building, 1st-5th floor
3300 Gallows Road
Falls Church, VA 22042
Sunday, Oct. 4,  5 p.m. to Midnight
Monday, Oct. 5,
All hours


Measles is a highly contagious, serious respiratory disease. Symptoms can include fever greater than 101 degrees, runny nose, watery red eyes and cough, followed by a blotchy rash that appears on the face and spreads to the rest of the body. Measles is particularly dangerous for infants who cannot be immunized until they are at least six months old.

Persons who were present at any of the locations listed above during the exposure times should call their health care provider if they experience any symptoms of measles. Contact your doctor’s office or the emergency room and tell them that you may have been exposed to measles.

The last date when a person would develop symptoms from this exposure is Oct. 26.

The Health Department is experienced in conducting measles outbreak investigations and is implementing its response plan to prevent further spread of the disease. The last confirmed case of measles involving Fairfax County was in May 2015. There were no secondary cases.

More Information

A call center has been established to address concerns and answer questions about measles. Anyone concerned about exposure to measles is encouraged to call the Fairfax County Health Department at 703-267-3511The call center hours are:

  • Oct. 8, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Oct. 9, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Oct. 10, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Oct. 11, Noon to 6 p.m.
  • Oct. 12, Noon to 6 p.m.

Visit the Fairfax County Health Department at or the Virginia Department of Health at

More about Measles


  • Typically appear 7-12 days after exposure to measles but may take up to 21 days
  • Begin with fever (101 F or higher), red, watery eyes, cough and runny nose
  • Followed by a rash that is red, raised and blotchy. The rash begins on the face at the hairline and moves down the body.

How it is spread:

  • Measles is spread through the air by breathing, coughing or sneezing and is highly contagious. The virus can live on surfaces or in an airspace where the infected person coughed or sneezed for up to two hours.
  • People with measles may be contagious up to four days before the rash appears and for four days after the day the rash appears.

Preventing measles:

  • People are protected against measles if they have been adequately vaccinated or if they have had measles in the past.
  • Two doses of MMR vaccine provide full protection against measles. Children routinely get their first dose of the vaccine at 12 to 15 months of age and the second dose at four to six years of age.
  • Use this opportunity to review your vaccination status and talk to your healthcare provider or local pharmacy about the availability of MMR vaccine. The Health Department also has MMR vaccine available for both children and adults.


  • There is no specific treatment for measles. People with measles need bed rest, fluids and control of fever. Patients with complications may need treatment specific to their condition.

What to do if you were at one of the above locations at the time specified:

  • If you have received at least one dose of measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine in the past, your risk of being infected with measles from any of these exposures is very low. Certain groups of adults may be at increased risk for exposure to measles and should receive two doses of MMR, including college students, healthcare workers and international travelers.
  • If you or a family member has not received the MMR vaccination and you were present at one of the locations listed above during the exposure time, please call the Health Department at 703-267-3511 to be assessed for your risk of exposure.

What to do if you think you have measles:

  • Contact your health care provider by phone and let them know that you may have been exposed to measles.

Centreville Incident Update

Posted at 6:20 p.m.

Colonial Pipeline is working with the National Transportation Safety Board’s investigation into the pipeline accident that occurred on Monday, September 21, in Centreville. Colonial is also continuing to collaborate with local, state and federal agencies, which includes the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Fairfax County Office of Emergency Management, Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, Fairfax Water and the Virginia Department of Transportation, in connection to the response in Centreville.

  • Colonial is continuing to excavate and inspect the area to ensure public safety.
  • Air quality safety and waste removal plans have been approved and implemented by the Unified Command.
  • Air quality continues to read at safe levels at the excavation site.
  • Contaminated soil is being removed and transported via truck to a facility in Richmond for disposal.
  • Fairfax Water is at the scene and is closely monitoring the situation. There is no direct threat to the quality of drinking water at this time.
  • Incident responders will continue taking proper precautions to protect water quality.
  • There have been no injuries or known illnesses due to the incident.
  • Two dead fish were discovered in one of the ponds where gasoline was recovered. That is the only known impact to wildlife.
  • Fairfax County is working closely with Colonial Pipeline to ensure the safety of everyone in the affected area, including first responders, as well as working with area businesses affected by the leak so that they can reopen as soon as possible.

For more information, call the Community Assistance Hotline at 1-866-601-5880 or visit and click to be redirected to the Centreville, Va. Incident Site on the right column.

Petroleum Product Leak; Residential Areas are Safe

Posted at 5:40 p.m.

The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department is operating in the area of New Braddock Rd. and Rt. 28 for a petroleum product leak.  

All residential areas are safe.  Three business in the immediate area of the leak have been closed as a precaution.  

The fire department and Colonial Pipeline have determined the general location of the leak.  Crews will isolate and ultimately fix the problem.  

Colonial Pipeline has a set up a community assistance hotline for residents who have any questions;  1-866-601-5880.

Text to 9-1-1 Launches in Fairfax County

9:25 a.m.

This morning, Fairfax County’s 9-1-1 Center began accepting text to 9-1-1 calls for service. Fairfax County is the first jurisdiction in Northern Virginia – and one of the largest 9-1-1 Centers in the country – to implement this service.

Text to 9-1-1 is available within Fairfax County and the Towns of Herndon, Vienna, Clifton and the City of Fairfax.  The service is set up to operate similar to the way 9-1-1 voice calls are handled.  A text to 9-1-1 call will generally route the same way a voice call to 9-1-1 is routed.

Text to 9-1-1 is intended primarily for use in three emergency scenarios:

  • For an individual who is deaf, hard-of-hearing or has a speech disability.
  • For someone who is in a situation where it is not safe to place a voice call to 9-1-1.
  • A medical emergency that renders the person incapable of speech.

In this video, Steve Souder, director of our 9-1-1 Center, explains what text to 9-1-1 is and how it benefits the residents of the county.

Voice calls are the best and preferred method for contacting 9-1-1. However, remember this important phrase: Call if you can. Text if you can’t.

text to 9-1-1 logo

If text to 9-1-1 is not available in your area, users should receive a message indicating that text to 9-1-1 is not available and to contact 9-1-1 by phone.

  • As with all text messages, 9-1-1 text messages can take longer to receive, may be delivered out of order, or may not be received at all.
  • Text to 9-1-1 is not available if you are in a “roaming” situation.
  • A text or data plan is required to place a text to 9-1-1.
  • Photos and videos cannot be sent to 9-1-1 at this time.
  • Text to 9-1-1 cannot include more than one person. Do not copy your emergency text to anyone other than 9-1-1. Wait until you are safe to notify others of your situation.
  • Do not text and drive.

Learn more online at


Two Years Ago: Waking Up in the Aftermath of the Derecho Storm

Posted 11:48 a.m.

Two years ago today, many of us woke up to no power, spotty cellphone service, 9-1-1 problems, downed trees and a host of other complications as the result of a derecho storm.

broken power line

Broken power lines in Fairfax County as a result of the derecho storm in 2012.

We continue to talk about the derecho storm two years later as it impacted many aspects of our emergency preparedness and response efforts. And we continue to conduct exercise drills so we’re better prepared:

We are preparing for the next weather event or emergency:

What preparations have you made?

We Need Everyone to Prepare

During widespread events such as the derecho, the government alone can’t respond immediately to long power outages, downed trees, hurricanes or people stuck in transit, especially across a county that’s 400 square miles.

To help, we’ve developed 30 easy ways for you to prepare, including:

  • Having cash and medicine on hand
  • Determining how much water you need
  • Two ways to get out of your home, workplace or faith community
  • Digital preparedness

Digital Preparedness

Digital preparedness is increasingly important and after the derecho, power and cell service were interrupted. The Virginia Department of Emergency Management created this quick visual to help us think about digital preparedness:

digital preparedness tips

Our new Fairfax Alerts system is now available, too. Please sign up for this new system so you can be informed of weather alerts and other critical information.

A Word About 9-1-1

One of the major impacts from the derecho was the inability to call 9-1-1. In this video, Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova discusses some of the changes made with Verizon, the region’s 9-1-1 carrier.

Photos: Fairfax County Responds to Winter Storm Titan, March 3

Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova toured snow removal activities at critical county facilities.

Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova toured snow removal activities at critical county facilities.

Posted 2:30 p.m.

View Photo Gallery

VDOT: Travel Conditions Remain Hazardous; Stay Off Roads

Posted 12:40 p.m.

From our friends at the Virginia Department of Transportation:

The Virginia Department of Transportation continues to advise motorists to stay off roads in Northern Virginia today. Snow, sleet and refreeze throughout the afternoon will cause a wide range of road conditions. 4,000 trucks are making headway plowing interstates, major roads and neighborhood streets simultaneously.

“We urge drivers to stay off roads while conditions are still changing,” said Branco Vlacich, VDOT’s Northern Virginia district maintenance engineer. “It is imperative to the safety of drivers as well as our snow crews.”

On the roads:

  • Interstates are mostly clear and wet. Primary roads are partially clear with some lanes open, and many secondary roads remain snow-covered. Roads that appear to be bare pavement may become slick from sleet and refreeze.
  • If stranded, keep vehicle lights on and avoid getting out of your vehicle. Call #77 (Virginia State Police) who will dispatch VDOT Safety Service Patrol. Call 911 in case of an emergency.

In neighborhoods:

  • Residents can enter their address at to see the status of plowing in their neighborhood and watch trucks as they travel their plow routes.
  • Crews will plow streets and sand hills, curves and intersections to provide traction. With this deep snow, roads will have an eight-to-ten foot path but not bare pavement.
  • Keep vehicles in driveways or on the odd-numbered side of the street to allow plows room to pass.
  • Wait until plow passes. When shoveling, leave the last few feet at the curb until the street is plowed. as the truck will push some snow back. Shovel to the right facing the road.

Stay informed:

Track VDOT Snow Plowing Efforts

Posted 12:19 p.m.

The Virginia Department of Transportation handles snow removal on most roads in Fairfax County. If you’re wondering about the status of plowing on major and secondary roads, check out VDOT’s snow plowing map.

VDOT Snow Removal Map

Avoid Contact Temporarily with Holmes Run Stream

Holmes Run Stream

Updated Oct. 21, 4:46 p.m.

County staff continue to work in the area to make the necessary repairs. The signs are still in effect. People are ignoring the signs and they are wading and fishing in the water. We can’t lift the ban until we get a heavy downpour; the water is still contaminated. We are getting more tests done tomorrow but the tests from last week indicate there is heavy fecal contamination. The new test results may come back at the end of this week. In the meantime, we are depending on Mother Nature to send us some rain and wash out the stream!


Posted at 1:45 p.m.

Due to a sanitary sewer line collapse, Fairfax County officials advise residents to avoid contact with Holmes Run Stream until further notice. In particular, residents should avoid the stream area from Columbia Pike to Dowden Terrace.

Untreated wastewater was released into the stream, causing a potential health hazard. However, county employees have stopped any further discharge of untreated wastewater from entering the stream.

The county will be conducting environmental tests to determine bacteria levels in the water.

The break took place on Sunday, just south of Columbia Pike, below 3800 Powell Lane. Crews are on site working to repair the collapsed 33 inch pipe.

The Holmes Run stream is part of the Cameron Run watershed.

For more information, call the Fairfax County Wastewater Collection Division, 703-323-1211 (24-hour), TTY 711.

8 Ways You Can Help With Snow Removal

Posted 2:15 p.m.

snow shovelingRoad snow removal is led by the Virginia Department of Transportation.

But what about sidewalks and other areas around your home or business?

The state and the county do not clear snow and ice from public walkways (sidewalks and trails). While not legally obligated, residents and businesses are asked to help keep sidewalks safe (homeowner associations may require members of their communities to clear walkways near their property). You should, as soon as possible, clear snow off the sidewalks in front of your property so that all pedestrians, especially school children, people with disabilities and the elderly, may walk securely as conditions improve.

Eight ways you can help:

1. Start a neighborhood team to help shovel snow for elderly and those unable to shovel. And please be aware of the risks for people with heart conditions.

2. Residents and businesses should ensure all accessible parking spaces for people with disabilities are cleared of snow and ice.

3. Don’t put trash cans and recycling bins out until after the plows have come.

4. If possible, remove parked cars from the road. Navigating around objects severely hampers a plow or heavy equipment driver’s ability to clear the roads and costs valuable time.

5. Clear snow away from fire hydrants in your neighborhood. Ask neighbors to adopt a fire hydrant and clear snow and ice away from all hydrants so that they are easily visible in the event of a fire.

6. Shovel snow into the yard instead of into the street to minimize the problem of the snowplow covering your driveway with snow after you’ve just shoveled it.

7. Keep the openings of storm drains clear of snow and debris to help alleviate potential flooding and to protect the environment. (At no time, however, should a resident attempt to enter a storm drain to remove debris.)

8. Volunteer to use or lend equipment such as small snow blowers for a community removal effort.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 79,004 other followers