From Matt de Ferranti <[email protected]>
Subject Omicron Testing & Running for Re-Election Next Year
Date December 30, 2021 4:22 PM
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Dear Friend,

I write this morning to share with you a few additional thoughts on Omicron testing, which we are working on, and to share with you that the I am running for re-election next year. I would prefer not to need to write you on both topics in one email, but serving you as County Chair and meeting tomorrow's fundraising deadline lead to this note.
Arlington County Testing Information ([link removed])
COVID Response: Testing
Yesterday, I updated you on the realities of supply on testing and the data on vaccinations. We are continuing to have far greater demand for tests than supply. This is a national problem exacerbated by staff shortages at pharmacies and supply constraints on materials for testing.
Virginia Department of Health Information on Private and Public Testing Options nearest You ([link removed])
As I said yesterday, the data must be taken in context. Hospitalizations are up in Arlington, but not at a rate that leads to concerns about capacity. There are very few hospitalizations--very few--from those who are vaccinated. The percentage of our population with at least one dose is 93%, the highest in the Commonwealth, now that Federal employee doses have been counted. Our fully vaccinated rate (2 doses or 1 dose of Johnson & Johnson) is 81.6%, also the highest in Northern Virginia and amongst the highest in the Commonwealth. We've also led the state in vaccinated 5 to 11 year olds and are among the highest in terms of percentage of the population that have been boosted, although that number--27% as of 3 days ago--must come up ASAP. All of this protects many of us, but there is more work to do to protect all of us.
The Big Picture on Testing
I've received several emails last night and this morning regarding testing. I know the lines are concerning as is the spike in cases. I encourage you to notice that those who are vaccinated and boosted are less than a fraction of a percent of those in the hospital. That doesn't mean don't worry: wearing a mask and staying home is the right thing to do as much as reasonably able. But it does mean that if you are boosted you are quite safe from COVID. Not perfectly safe, but much safer than a year ago and as a percentage matter, very safe. The vaccines are protecting us.

Two articles on supply and what is occurring that I hope provide context, if not solace. I am in touch with our staff who is working, like everyone in Northern Virginia and across the region, to get more tests. We simply do not have enough tests right now. The good thing is that vaccines are available and the large majority of Arlington residents are vaccinated.
* On pharmacies: [link removed]
* Where we stand on testing nationally: [link removed]

More to come as our County Manager and Public Health staff are working hard to secure more tests. Those at libraries today starting at 12 pm will be able to secure 2 at home tests. We know we need more tests beyond that and are working on it. Nationally supply is a problem. The Biden Administration is working on it and the Administraction, Commonwealth, and the County, including me have roles to play and responsibility. It is also true that vaccinations and boosters have been the focus. Doing both vaccines and tests is what we want. That's not easy, if we are honest.
My New Website: Running for Re-Election Next Year ([link removed])
I'm Running for Re-Election
I also want to share with you that I am running for re-election to the County Board next year. I'm running based on the priorities that led me to seek your support in 2018:
* Inclusive economic growth
* Affordable Housing
* 100% Renewable Electricity in Arlington by 2035;
* Building the schools we need to build to serve every student well; and
* Ending hunger in Arlington.

I also have worked very hard this year as Chair and throughout my time on the Board to make your health and safety my priority. The first four months of the year vaccines were my first, second, and third priorities. They have continued to be, but I've also worked hard this year on racial equity and affordable housing as well as on the environment. The Police Community Oversight Board, the work on the Serrano apartments, and the recent investment of $150 Million to keep the 1334 apartments at Barcroft affordable are examples of that work. I'm also deeply proud we changed the name from Lee Highway to Langston Boulevard.
Contribute Today or Tomorrow Before Midnight to Continue the Work We've Started together ([link removed])
That's what I bring to the table. That's why I am running for re-election next year. And that is why I respectfully ask you now to contribute if you can before the January 1st filing deadline. We must have the resources to win and bring the ideas we share to the campaign over the year to come. We also must work to earn support early because 2022 will be such a key year for Democrats and the ideas we share.

Thank you for considering this request, for all you do, and for allowing me to serve you with a full heart,


Authorized by Matt for Arlington

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