9,335 Residents Left D.C. During Pandemic
COVID-19 Cases Reach 1,194,582 in D.C., Md. and Va.
As of Friday morning, 49,455 people have tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, in D.C. with 1,143 deaths; there have been 462,980 cases in Maryland with 9,544 deaths; and in Virginia there have been 682,147 cases with 11,448 deaths. You can read last week’s updates here.
Falling rents in downtown D.C. and rising home prices in the suburbs are just two signs that D.C. lost residents during the pandemic. Newly analyzed data from the U.S. Postal Service provides a clearer understanding of how significant the population loss may have been. The city lost 2.6 times more people in 2020 than it did in 2019, with 17,882 more “net moves” recorded during the pandemic than the prior year, according to USPS numbers crunched by D.C.’s Office of Revenue Analysis. “Net moves” refers to the difference between move-ins and move-outs. Most moves took place after the city put in place COVID-19 restrictions, and an estimated 9,335 of them appear to be permanent. According to the U.S. Census, in 2020 D.C.’s total population was 689,545. But the numbers of moves, which are drawn from change-of-address forms that individuals and households file with the USPS, also show a sharp increase in temporary relocations, according to Ginger Moored, a fiscal analyst with the Office of Chief Financial Officer. “When someone submits a change of address form they mark the move as permanent or temporary, and the data clearly shows a higher portion of moves than usual were temporary in 2020,” Moored wrote. There were an estimated 186 temporary move-outs from the city in 2019. In 2020, the number soared to 8,733. Neighborhoods around downtown D.C. lost the largest share of residents during the pandemic, according to OCFO. Dupont Circle, Adams Morgan, Columbia Heights, 14th Street/U Street and south Logan Circle/Franklin Square were hit particularly hard. Because those neighborhoods have a lot of apartment buildings, Moored said, the trend indicates that “perhaps apartment dwellers were more likely to relocate during the pandemic than those in single-family homes.” Meanwhile, the less-dense northern edges of the city around Takoma/Shepherd Park and Chevy Chase/Friendship Heights/Barnaby Woods lost the fewest residents, data show, and the 20015 ZIP code actually recorded more residential move-ins than move-outs during the pandemic. Where did everyone go? It is hard to say for sure, Moored wrote, because USPS data were heavily redacted for privacy reasons. But it looks like many D.C. residents didn’t go far: At least 31% moved to an address within the DMV, paralleling a national trend of people relocating within the same metro area during the pandemic. Close-in suburbs including Chevy Chase, Bethesda, Silver Spring, Oxon Hill, Alexandria and Arlington lured three times the number of D.C. residents between March and December 2020 than they did the prior year, according to Moored. Bethesda was a particularly popular destination, data show. Not surprisingly, so were the Delaware beaches. The growing appeal of the suburbs during the pandemic shows up in regional home sales price data. For example, the 20143 ZIP code, which is located in Prince William County, saw a 42% increase in median home sale prices between 2019 and 2020, according to data analyzed by the Washington Post. Rural communities, suburbs and small cities across the country have attempted to capitalize on big-city population loss during the pandemic by offering incentives to people who move there. Earlier this year, West Virginia began offering $12,000 in cash to remote workers who relocated to the state for at least two years. But there was also a large number of people relocating within D.C., especially from downtown to outer neighborhoods. Before the pandemic, ZIP code 20008 — the Connecticut Avenue corridor — lost population. That trend reversed during the pandemic. Navy Yard also saw the biggest increase in intracity moves, which could stem from the neighborhood’s high number of new apartment buildings offering rent deals during the pandemic, Moored said. D.C.’s population growth has been slowing for several years. Fewer people are relocating to the city from other parts of the U.S., and for the last couple of years, “any population increase in D.C. has been entirely driven by births and international migration,” Moored wrote. The question is how many residents will return to the city post-pandemic, Moored said. Telework policies could play a big role — a fact that isn’t lost on the city’s economic development officials, who are actively encouraging employers to call their workers back to the office. But Moored said regaining every resident the city lost during the pandemic is a tall order. For that to happen, “we would need to see an influx of residents into the city at levels we have not seen in several years,” she said.
With 70% of adults in Prince George’s County at least partially vaccinated against COVID-19, the state mass vaccination site at Six Flags America in Bowie is closing today. It was the first of Maryland’s mass vaccination sites, opening in early February. More than 339,000 vaccinations were administered at the site – vaccinating 5,000 people a day at its peak. Earlier this year, more than a dozen mass vaccination locations helped Marylanders get vaccinated but only three will remain as of Saturday. The Baltimore Convention Center Field Hospital site is due to stand down in August; the Frederick site does not currently have a close date as it is based on demand; and the Maryland Fairgrounds in Timonium is scheduled to operate through July 21, but may offer vaccines at events throughout the summer, a Maryland Department of Health spokesperson said. There is no shortage of locations where people can get the vaccines. Vaccination clinics or pharmacy locations offering shots can be found on a map or by ZIP code on the state website. And baseball fans can get the vaccine at Baltimore Orioles games, where COVID-19 testing also is available. On Friday, MDH said its partnership with the team will continue until the end of the regular season. People getting vaccinations will also receive two free ticket vouchers good for a home game for the rest of the season. Both the vaccinations and COVID-19 tests are available from an hour before each home game through the first two-and-a-half hours or the end of the eighth inning, whichever comes first. They are being offered on the lower concourse across from Section 26. “The Orioles are proud to support the Maryland Department of Health in making COVID-19 testing and vaccinations more accessible,” said Greg Bader, the Orioles’ senior vice president for administration and experience, in a press release. “As one of the premier family and entertainment destinations in the region, Oriole Park is the perfect venue to support this initiative and shared goal of helping all Marylanders get vaccinated,” he said.
Montgomery County Public Schools will continue distributing free meals to children throughout the summer, with several sites set up to hand out boxes with a week’s worth of food. Throughout the pandemic, MCPS has provided millions of free meals to children in the county, thanks to waivers of federal mandates about school meals that were recently extended through June 2022. For much of the pandemic, the district has operated dozens of daily distribution sites, handing out a day’s worth of food at a time. This month, MCPS plans to operate several locations, but only on certain days. Workers will provide a “bulk” box to families that include seven days’ worth of breakfasts and lunches. There will also be a box of fresh fruits, vegetable and a half gallon of milk. People can pick up the boxes from 8-9 a.m. on Wednesdays at White Oak Middle School in Silver Spring and Seneca Valley High School in Germantown. Only pre-ordered boxes will be distributed. They can be ordered online. Bus distribution will be held from 10-11:30 a.m. on Wednesdays at JoAnn Leleck at Broad Acres Elementary School, Silver Spring; New Hampshire Estates Elementary School, Silver Spring; Forest Glen Apartments, Silver Spring; Nob Hill Apartments, Silver Spring; and Middlebrook Mobile, Germantown. Boxes can be picked up between 9-10:30 a.m. on Fridays at Montgomery Blair High School, Silver Spring; Clarksburg High School; Damascus High School; Albert Einstein High School, Kensington; Gaithersburg High School; Col. Zadok Magruder High School, Derwood; Northwest High School, Germantown; Paint Branch High School, Burtonsville; Sherwood High School, Sandy Spring; Walter Johnson High School, Bethesda; Wheaton High School; Thomas S. Wootton High School, Rockville; Argyle Middle School, Silver Spring; Cabin John Middle School, Potomac; Montgomery Village Middle School; Thomas W. Pyle Middle School, Bethesda; Earle B. Wood Middle School, Rockville; Brown Station Elementary School, Gaithersburg; Poolesville Elementary School; and Rock Creek Forest Elementary School, Chevy Chase.
The National Park Service is asking the public if the upper part of Beach Drive in Rock Creek Park should remain closed to traffic, as it has been during the pandemic, or revert back to being a commuter route connecting D.C. to Maryland. More than 250 people attended a virtual meeting on Thursday to hear details of the options. The informational meeting kicked off a six-month National Environmental Policy Act study process that must be completed before NPS can make any permanent changes to the roadway. Public comments are being accepted through Aug. 22, with a final decision expected later this year. In the meantime, the road will remain closed to most vehicles, as it has been since the spring of 2020. During the virtual meeting, the online chatbox served as a primer of the arguments for and against keeping Beach Drive mostly closed to cars. Runners, cyclists and other recreationists said the road has become a haven for safe outdoor play. But some nearby residents said they are worried about spillover traffic on residential roads; roughly 5,000-8,000 vehicles used the road on a daily basis before the-pandemic. They argued for adding bike lanes or paths along the road, but NPS says it’s too narrow to do so. Dueling petitions have circulated, with the one to close the road to traffic having 5,700 signatures and the other to reopen the road to traffic having about 1,300. Rock Creek Park Superintendent Julia Washburn said the pandemic closure was dramatic and needed to be studied “to better understand possible long-term changes.” She said NPS is neutral as to the future of the road. “I wouldn’t say that anything is a priority over anything else for us at this moment,” she said. Last April, the upper part of Beach Drive from Broad Branch Road NW to the Maryland state line closed to traffic to allow more room for recreation. NPS is looking at two main options, but is also open to others. If the road remains the way it is now, the weekend/holiday closure for recreation would become permanent and remain in place 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Vehicles would still have access to picnic areas, but commuters couldn’t drive straight through. Washburn said NPS is still looking at data sets and determining what to analyze, but it will certainly focus on visitor use and experience, access and accessibility, traffic impacts, safety, recreational opportunities, and historic and cultural impacts. The D.C. and Montgomery County Councils have both passed resolutions asking NPS to keep the closure in place. D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton once backed the idea but said she has since heard from many drivers who want it to stay open to traffic. Environmental advocates said NPS should keep the changes as a way to curb climate change, but NPS says it will not be doing an analysis of climate change for this project as “the alternatives would not present enough of a difference … on climate change,” Washburn said. Under the second option, pre-COVID weekend and holiday closures for recreation would remain, but weekday through-traffic would be allowed. The weekend/holiday closures include Bingham Drive, Sherrill Drive and Beach Drive in three sections: from Broad Branch Road to Joyce Road NW, from Picnic Area 10 to Wise Road NW and from West Beach Drive NW to the Maryland state line. Between Joyce Road and Picnic Area 10, Beach Drive would stay open to vehicles to get to group picnic areas and parking lots. NPS also wants to hear from residents about their ideas for the road. Officials say the road could be closed to traffic based on time of idea, like non-rush hours, or by season, like summer. Or traffic closures could extend from Friday to Monday, which are traditionally less busy commuting days.
With at least 70% of the DMV’s residents fully vaccinated, coronavirus cases and deaths in the region are at their lowest since the beginning of the pandemic. D.C.’s daily case rate, which peaked at almost 47 cases per 100,000 residents in January, is now 1.7. The positivity rate, which measures the average number of positive cases out of total tests administered, is 1.2% and has stayed near 1% for the past few weeks and only 1.5% of the city’s hospitalizations are COVID-19-related, an all-time low. Deaths from the virus have also drastically fallen in the city. Over the Independence Day weekend, the city reported one death from the virus. For most of the spring and into the summer, D.C.’s average death rate has hovered between 1-2 per day, compared to the spring 2020 surge when daily death tolls crept into the teens. According to D.C.’s COVID data, six residents died from the virus between June 1-29. By comparison, in June 2020, 83 people died from the virus. In Maryland and Virginia, the trends look similar. Maryland’s daily case rate per 100,000 residents is 1.08. In January, the case rate peaked at nearly 52. Both Montgomery and Prince George’s counties, Maryland’s hardest-hit jurisdictions, are recording case rates similar to that of the state with Montgomery at 1.05 and Prince George’s at 1.56. COVID-related deaths have also fallen drastically in Maryland. In June, 92 residents died of the virus; in December 98 deaths were recorded in just two days. But of the 92 residents who died of the virus in June, all of them were unvaccinated. As of Wednesday, Virginia’s average daily rate per 100,000 residents was 2.1, while Northern Virginia daily rate was 1.0, according to the Virginia Department of Health. The commonwealth is reporting a seven-day average of 180 new cases a day, a slight increase from the average reported in June, when that metric dropped below 130. Northern Virginia is reporting a seven-day average of 26. The commonwealth’s seven-day average death toll has also dipped in June and July, after remaining in the mid-teens for most of the spring. As of Wednesday, Virginia reported an average of three deaths per day — in February and March, that number climbed towards an average of 200 deaths per day. Northern Virginia is currently averaging one death per day. While the trends point in the most positive direction any of the jurisdictions have seen in the past 15-plus months, new variants and pockets of unvaccinated residents are cause for concern. There is also the emerging delta variant, which according to early evidence may be more transmissible and may cause more severe infection. Vaccines still provide strong protection against the variant right now, but scientists have identified the strain as a “variant of concern.”
Maryland teenagers who get a COVID-19 vaccination have a shot at a college scholarship through a new VaxU Scholarship Promotion. On Wednesday, Gov. Larry Hogan announced that any Maryland resident 12- to 17-years-old who has already been vaccinated or who gets the vaccine before Labor Day will automatically entered to win a $50,000 scholarship. Beginning next Monday and continuing until Labor Day, the Maryland Department of Health and the Maryland Higher Education Commission will randomly draw two winners each week and four winners on Labor Day. To qualify, the teens must live and get vaccinated in the state. The prize covers current tuition and fees at a public, in-state university. Winners 12-14 will receive a Maryland 529 Prepaid College Trust contract, which locks in today’s tuition rates for the future, while winners 15-17 will get a Maryland 529 College Investment Plan contribution. Recipients can transfer the scholarship to a non-state university of their choice. The $1 million VaxU scholarship fund is being paid for with federal COVID relief funding. “If you’ve not yet been vaccinated, the sooner you do the more scholarship drawings you’ll be eligible for,” Hogan said. “Promotions like this are just one more way we are reinforcing the importance of getting every single Marylander that we can vaccinated against COVID-19.” Hogan said unvaccinated Marylanders remain at risk for contracting the virus, especially the highly contagious delta variant. All 93 people who died of COVID-19 in the state in June were unvaccinated. Jinlene Chan, the state’s acting deputy health secretary for public health, said MDH has confirmed 64 cases of the delta variant so far, but only a handful of people have been hospitalized. However, not all COVID samples are tested for the variant. This is the second statewide incentive program aimed at getting more residents vaccinated. In May, Hogan announced a $2 million lottery in which 40 people won $400,000 each for getting vaccinated.
After a record-setting May for gaming revenue, betting slowed a bit for Maryland’s six casinos in June, although revenue is well above two years ago. Maryland’s six casinos generated a total of $161.5 million in gaming revenue in June, 13% more than June 2019. All six casinos were closed for most of June 2020 because of the pandemic. Maryland will collect $67.6 million of that, a 12.6% increase over June 2019, with the majority of that going to the state’s Education Trust Fund. MGM National Harbor remains the top Maryland casino for gaming revenue, generating $63.7 million in June, a 12% increase from June 2019. Live! Casino & Hotel at Arundel Mills saw gaming revenue of $58.5 million, a jump 19.4% compared to June 2019. Baltimore’s Horseshoe Casino is the only casino that generated less gaming revenue in June than it did two years ago, at $17 million, down 8.9%. Maryland’s three smaller casinos — Ocean Downs, Hollywood Casino and Rocky Gap — all had double-digit gains in June compared to two years ago. All six casinos closed completely on March 16, 2020, because of the pandemic. They began reopening with capacity limitations on June 19, 2020. As of June 17 this year, all capacity restrictions had been lifted at all six casinos. Some slot machine and table game seats are still blocked to comply with social distancing guidelines..
In June, 92 people died of COVID-19 in Maryland and none of them were vaccinated. According to a tweet from Michael Ricci, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan’s spokesperson, unvaccinated residents also accounted for 95% or new cases in the state and 93% of COVID-19 hospitalizations. The data aren’t published on Maryland’s COVID-19 dashboard, but the Maryland Department of Health confirmed their accuracy. Health Secretary Dennis Schrader reported similar numbers to a panel of lawmakers last week. The data appear consistent with a recent analysis by the Associated Press, which found that almost every American who died of COVID-19 in May was not vaccinated. Echoing a national trend, the disparity in vaccinations falls along political lines in Maryland: Vaccine rates are lower in counties dominated by Republican voters, according to Maryland Matters. “Some of these locations that are more distant are less inclined to grasp the need for the common, community good and lean more towards individual freedom, liberty, choices and more of a Libertarian streak,” state Sen. Clarence Lam (D-Howard County) said. Maryland had a low rate of COVID-19 community spread as of late June, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Preention. Transmission was similarly low in D.C., but higher in Virginia, which had a “moderate” level of transmission around the same time. More than 75% of Maryland’s adult population had received at least one vaccine dose as of July 4, according to the CDC The number is 73% in D.C. and 71% in Virginia. National health officials have lamented the persistence of infections among Americans who have not been vaccinated. “Nearly every death, especially among adults, due to COVID-19, is, at this point, entirely preventable,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said.
As Anne Arundel County employees returned to their offices Tuesday prior to county buildings opening to the public July 19, the county’s health officer reinforced messages about the importance of vaccinations and, for the unvaccinated, precautions they should take. The delta variant represents an increasing portion of COVID cases in Maryland, Dr. Nilesh Kalyanaraman said during a Tuesday press conference. The delta variant spreads faster and causes more severe cases than the initial virus or UK variant and is among “variants of concern,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “What we see is that when people get vaccinated, their chances of hospitalization go down by 94% by getting both doses of the shot. That is amazing, that is impressive,” Kalyanaraman said, adding that more than 90% of the COVID cases in Maryland are in people who are not vaccinated. “Nationally, almost every death from COVID in the past few months has been in people who are not totally vaccinated,” he said. Individuals who are not vaccinated, Kalyanaraman said, should wear masks while indoors in public spaces. “That’s particularly true for our younger folks in the county. We’ve seen that 53% of 12- to 17-year-olds got at least one shot, 51% for 18- to 24-year-olds.” COVID-19 vaccinations are available daily through July and August at Central Middle School in Edgewater on Mondays, Marley Middle School in Glen Burnie on Tuesdays, Lindale Middle School in Linthicum on Wednesdays and Annapolis Middle School on Thursdays. “We’ll also be doing something new: We’ll be offering required 7th grade vaccine for meningococcal and the Tdap [tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis] vaccine, because we know that at the start of every year there’s a group of students who don’t have their vaccines and can’t come back until they get those,” Kalyanaraman said.
D.C.’s office vacancy rate hit a record high in the second quarter of this year, but that doesn’t necessarily signal trouble for office building landlords in the future. Commercial real estate firm CBRE reports the office vacancy rate within the city itself reached 17.8% in the second quarter. “At 17.8%, it is the highest ever. In fact, it went up 400 basis points just during the duration of the pandemic. And previously, it took the market almost 10 years for the vacancy to go up by similar levels,” said Wei Xie, CBRE’s mid-Atlantic director of research. Negative net demand for office space in D.C. continued in the second quarter, with nearly a half-million square feet more office space vacated than leased during the quarter — the seventh consecutive quarter of occupancy loss. A total of 3 million square feet of office space in the city has been returned to the market during the period. That is not to say companies are abandoning office space en masse in D.C. Following record low leasing volume in the first quarter of this year, office leasing activity rose 62% in the second quarter. And CBRE reported a significant increase in the second quarter of touring activity, or prospective office tenants looking at new office space, which was up 25% in April and May compared to the 2019 average. Fewer companies are also opting to sublease space they committed to as a way to downsize their own operations. Total sublease availability in the city is now 12% less than its peak level in December 2020. Most of that is the result of expiring leases, although the drop in subleasing is also because companies have reversed their decisions to downsize and have decided to keep their current office space, CBRE said. Another factor that will ease D.C.’s record high office vacancy rate is the yearslong office construction boom is coming to an end. “All of the product that is currently under construction is expected to deliver by the end of next year, and currently there is nothing slated to deliver in 2023 or 2024. Nothing that is currently under construction is expected to deliver then. So, with the slowdown in construction activity, that will help bring some balance,” Xie said. Average office rents in D.C. increased slightly in the second quarter following four consecutive quarters of decline, but landlord concessions remain elevated, such as tenant improvement allowances and lease abatement terms.
A Baltimore Circuit Court judge on Saturday temporarily blocked Gov. Larry Hogan’s order to end enhanced federal unemployment benefits, allowing hundreds of thousands of jobless workers in Maryland to continue to collect them. Judge Lawrence Fletcher-Hill issued a temporary restraining order, becoming the second judge in the U.S. to halt a governor’s order on unemployment benefits related to the pandemic from taking effect. Maryland is one of at least three states where unemployment benefits lawsuits have been filed by jobless workers. The restraining order lasts 10 days, and the judge will schedule a full hearing on the plaintiffs’ request for a preliminary injunction in the coming days. The legal wrangling continued Saturday night, after attorneys for Hogan asked the Maryland Court of Special Appeals to stay Fletcher-Hill’s order. The appellate court denied that motion shortly before 8 p.m. Hogan then appealed to the state’s Court of Appeals. On Monday, Court of Appeals Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera issued an order dismissing the Hogan administration’s latest attempt to block the order. Hogan’s order would have ended benefits Saturday, cutting off residents from a source of extra aid on top of state unemployment benefits. Fletcher-Hill wrote it appeared likely Hogan does not have the authority to end the program early and it would cause serious harm to thousands of state residents still struggling with the economic fallout from the coronavirus. Hogan is facing two lawsuits over his decision to cancel the federal jobless benefits two months ahead of the Sept 6 date set by Congress. Fletcher-Hill’s ruling is in response to requests made in a class-action lawsuit filed last week by the Unemployed Workers Union, which is led by the Baltimore-based Peoples Power Assembly, and in a suit filed by six unemployed workers, many of whom are hospitality and food service employees represented by the Unite Here Local 7 union. Hogan said in a statement when he issued the order that the enhanced benefits were impeding the recovery of the state. “There is a record number of jobs available right now, and this program is making it harder to fill them and fully reopen our businesses,” Hogan said. “It’s hurting our recovery across every region and industry.” Hogan announced just over a month ago that he would end benefits from the mixed earners unemployment compensation, pandemic emergency unemployment compensation and pandemic unemployment assistance programs, which boosted unemployment checks and helped gig workers and others who ordinarily would not qualify for aid. He has said the enhanced benefits were no longer necessary because of the widespread availability of vaccines and a tight labor market, which he said made it important for the jobless to get back to work. But Fletcher-Hill wrote that he granted the restraining order in part because the plaintiffs in the case will probably succeed in arguing Maryland code requires state officials to maximize the use of any federal unemployment benefits, so ending the program early runs afoul of the law. The Maryland Department of Labor estimates that the order would affect about 250,000 residents.
The mass vaccination site at Montgomery College’s Germantown campus closed last Friday and will open at 9 a.m. today at the Upcounty Regional Services Center, 12900 Middlebrook Road, Germantown. The Montgomery College site opened in late March and administered 73,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. At a news conference marking the closure of the Germantown site Friday, Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich noted the closure came just as the Fourth of July weekend was starting. “I don’t think the virus planned it this way” Elrich said, but this year, residents celebrating the nation’s independence would also be “a little bit freer from the virus.” The site initially administered 1,300 doses a day and eventually ramped to 3,000 a day. “We’re not claiming victory,” said Earl Stoddard, the county’s director of the Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security. “We’re not celebrating, no one’s spiking the football here today.” Instead, he said the county’s work would shift to a phase that would focus on smaller venues. Mary Anderson, a spokesperson for the county’s department of Health and Human Services, said the county would continue to work in hard hit communities and deliver vaccines in smaller settings, including “an apartment complex, or at schools in areas where we saw a high number of cases.” She said the vaccination effort at the Montgomery College site was a “massive undertaking” done with cooperation from a variety of county agencies, Holy Cross Health, Montgomery College and the Maryland Department of Health.
Five Arlington Public Library branches reopen to the public today as some services resume. Patrons will now have full access to collections, unlimited browsing time, no capacity limits and self-service holds pickup at the Aurora Hills, Central, Columbia Pike, Shirlington and Westover branches. Also available again are public Wi-Fi, public use of scanners and copiers (except at Westover) and full access to water fountains, restrooms and the parking garage at Central Library. Hours at the five locations will expand as well to 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, noon-7 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, and noon-5 p.m. Friday and Saturday. The library has been working to “fill a high number of vacant public service jobs after an unprecedented staff shortage due to the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent hiring freeze.” The library said in a press release that hiring and training will continue this summer with the hopes of having more normal staffing levels this fall. Computers and meeting spaces will resume on Aug. 6 and Sunday hours and the Cherrydale and Glencarlyn branches will return this fall.