COVID-19 cases in county top 1,000; local charity sees huge surge in food bank need

Seven people wearing masks posing with boxes of food
United Community workers are seen at the charity’s food pantry on Fordson Road. (United Community image)

Coronavirus cases in the Fairfax Health District continued to shoot upward over the weekend, with the Fairfax Health Department reporting 64 new cases on Sunday.

That brings the number of known coronavirus (COVID-19 in the Fairfax Health District — which includes the county, City of Falls Church and Fairfax City — to 1,011. There have also now been 20 coronavirus-related deaths in the district, with the first two for people in the 50-64 age range happening over the weekend. All of the other deaths have been residents 65 or older.

Fairfax County continues to have the most coronavirus cases in the state. However it is also the largest jurisdiction in Virginia, and has a lower number of cases per 100,000 people than many localities, including nearby Alexandria City and Arlington County, according to the Virginia Public Access Project (VPAP).

Charity stretched by crisis

Over the weekend United Community, one of the main charitable organizations serving the Richmond Highway area, reported that they saw twice as many people as normal visit their Fordson Road food pantry in March. The last two weeks of March were the busiest for the food pantry, and United Community said in a press release that they expect demand to continue to grow in April.

“This is only the beginning,” United Community Executive Director said in the release. “The only way we can keep a public health crisis from becoming a hunger crisis is to rally around our neighbors in need and provide them the resources they need. That is where our organization is laser-focused, right now.”

United Community has reassigned employees to help manage the demand at the food pantry, which the organization said is now the “hub” for Route 1 area families and individuals affected by job losses or cutbacks caused by the coronavirus pandemic. It is also looking to open a second distribution location in the area.

Making things even more difficult, United Community said, is that its primary food distributor is planning to cut the size of its orders. The organization said that in the meantime it is working with Fairfax County and other distributors to continue to meet demand, but that donations are badly needed.

Anyone interested in learning more about making donations to United Community’s Emergency Response Fund can click here.

Current coronavirus cases breakdown:

  • Cases in Fairfax County: 1,011 (as of April 12)
  • Tests Fairfax County: Unknown 
  • Deaths in Fairfax County: 20 (as of April 12)
    source: Fairfax Department of Health

  • Cases in Virginia: 5,274 (as of April 12)
  • Tests in Virginia: 39,985 (as of April 12)
  • Deaths in Virginia: 141 (as of April 12)
    source: Virginia Department of Health

  • Cases in U.S. 525,704 (as of April 12)
  • Tests in United States: unknown 
  • Deaths in United States: 20,486 (as of April 12)