Reston Spring

Reston Spring
Reston Spring

Thursday, May 28, 2020

The COVID-19 Re-Opening Experiment: Setting a Baseline

As Fairfax County begins its re-opening following the COVID-driven shutdown of the last two months, we thought it would be important to track the impact of that partial re-opening over time. 
Available data for Reston and Fairfax County as of yesterday—the day before the re-opening began—shows a significant decline in the rate of growth of CV-19 cases over the previous six days as pointed out in RestonNow yesterday.  
  •  For Reston, that decline was more than 40% from a growth rate of 3.1% to 1.8% per day over the last six day period.
  • For the county, the decline was an even more dramatic 57% from 3.8% to 1.6% per day over the same timeframe.
Those growth rates are both slightly less than Virginia’s rate of CV-19 case growth (2.0%) over the same timeframe,  but double the rate of case growth (0.8%) for the whole country.  Whether those local reductions are sufficient to justify the re-opening only time will tell, but we will be there to track to growth of CV-19 cases.  

COVID-19 Case and Testing Data:  Reston and Beyond

One glaring gap in the county’s CV-19 data is the absence of published testing data.  The state publishes the testing counts by ZIP code (which is how we figured out Reston’s situation), but we are not in a position to track down those sums for the county.  In theory, the Northern Virginia Regional Commission publishes the testing count (and other CV-19) data, but we have been unable to access it—just the whirling tornado indicating it is attempting to load the data. 

Regrettably, we are left to suspect that the county testing efforts are poor—Reston has only tested 3% of its population, same as the state—and the county is too embarrassed to publish the information.   Nationwide, testing rates have been at five percent.  So, we are re-opening the county in nearly total ignorance of the full case level in the county. 

Friday, May 22, 2020

An Update on Reston’s COVID-19 Situation: Substantial Increase in Reston Cases, but Fairfax County is Badly Exceeding State & National COVID-19 Rates

Following up on our brief report on Reston’s COVID-19 situation 10 days ago, Virginia health data shows that the number of cases locally has grown 35% in the last ten days.  This is less than the growth rate for COVID-19 in the county and state, but more than double the national case growth rate.  

The highest number of cases in Reston is in the south Reston area (ZIP 20191) with 187 cases, but the highest case rate (cases/100K people) is in central Reston (ZIP 20190).  Still, the highest growth rate (changes in the number cases over the last 10 days) is in north Reston (ZIP 20194) at 50%, largely because it had so few cases 10 days ago.   A little pain spread throughout all of Reston.

More worrisome is the substantially higher case rate in Fairfax County—double that of the state as a whole and half again as high as the nation as a whole.  It is clear why the Governor kept northern Virginia on lock down for an extra period, but it is not clear that the added two weeks will be sufficient.  We wonder why Fairfax County continues to perform so poorly in preventing COVID-19.

We will update this periodically.

Monday, May 11, 2020

Reston COVID-19 Case Rate is Better than the County, Much Worse than the State

While Fairfax County continues to refuse to provide data on the Coronavirus-19 outbreak on a ZIP code basis so neighborhoods and communities can understand their health situation, the Commonwealth of Virginia is now providing some of that information.  Here is the data available concerning Reston’s three ZIP codes provided by Virginia as of today (May 11, 2020):  

Reston Covid cases by ZIP Code, May 11, 2020

With an estimated 2016 population of 62,320, which means Reston is experiencing about 419 cases per 100,000 people.  On the other hand, Fairfax County data indicates that the county, with 5,973 covid cases and an estimated 1,167,000 population is running about 512 cases per 100,000 population, which means we are doing better than the county as a whole.  

Nonetheless, Reston is doing much more poorly than the state on a per capita basis (Reston at 419/100K and VA at only 253/100K) and only about consistent with the national average per capita case load.  This is somewhat surprising given the quality of health care and general wealth we have in our area.  WTOP explains this burgeoning county case burden:

The county, the largest in population in the state at an estimated 1.1 million people, said Thursday its pandemic curve is still in the exponential growth phase.  As of Wednesday night, Fairfax County has 5,045 cases, 832 hospitalized and 211 deaths from COVID-19 — each of those numbers is more than twice the total of the next highest county.

Fairfax County outlined the causes:
  1. Significant community-wide transmission is happening in the Fairfax health district, which means more people are getting sick and, in turn, infecting others.
  2. Commercial lab capacity continues to increase and more testing means more cases documented.
  3. What is counted by public health as a COVID-19 case has changed.
All this provides good reason for Board of Supervisors Chairman Jim McKay to ask that Fairfax and other Northern Virginiacounties be exempted from the governor’s plan to begin re-opening the state next week.  

We will provide periodic updates on Reston’s situation.

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Members & Agenda for First 2020 Reston Master Plan Review Virtual Meeting

A community Task Force made up of 24 members of the Reston Area was formed in May 2020 to discuss and analyze any potential changes to the Comprehensive Plan for Reston, which guides future planning and land use decisions for the area. Chaired by Fairfax County Supervisor Walter Alcorn, the Task Force works closely with Fairfax County staff to develop recommendations for a Comprehensive Plan Amendment for the Reston Area.

Task Force Members

Reston Bell, Reston Resident
Jason Beske, Reston Resident
Jan Bradshaw, Southgate CC
Charles Colby, Hunter’s Green Cluster
David Gill, NVBIA
Burton Griffith, Mediterranean Cluster
Jennifer Jushchuk, SOS
Charles Kapur, Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce
Alvarez LeCesne, Reston Resident
Michelle Kimmel, SOS
John Mooney, Reston Association
Lynne Mulston, Reston Citizen’s Association
Tammi Petrine, Reston 20/20
Bill Penniman, Reston Community Center
Bruce Ramo, Reclaim Reston
David Vanell, Reston P&Z
Rob Wittman, Northern Virginia Association of Realtors (NVAR)
Lorri Zell, SOS


Larry Butler, Reston Association
Moira Callaghan, Reclaim Reston
Dennis Hays, Reston Citizen’s Association
Mike Jennings, Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce
Bill Keefe, Reston Community Center
Shane Murphy, NVBIA
Donna Rowland-Gough, Reston 20/20

Upcoming Meeting

Monday, May 11, 2020, 7:00 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.
Virtual Meeting - Details TBD
Meeting Agenda

Reston Comprehensive Plan Task Force
May 11, 2020 at 7 p.m.

1.Welcome and Introductions (Supervisor Alcorn) 
2.Introduction of County Staff (Chris Caperton, Department of Planning and Development) 
3.Discussion of the Task Force procedures relative to public participation during the pandemic and afterwards,and accessing meeting materials 
4.Goals and Intended outcomes of the Task Force (Supervisor Alcorn)
5.Task Force discussion of the elements in the authorization 
7.Next meetingTuesday, May 26 at 7 p.m.