A question for Arlington County librarians

I have a question for the librarians of Arlington County, Virginia, that I would like to ask in this public space.

As you know, up until March 17, 2020 the seven branches of the Arlington County library system were fully operational.
They all ceased public operation after that date, for the stated reason: 
"out of concern for the health of our patrons and staff."

As to the current status (as of June 29, 2021) of the library, the library website

"The Library is currently hiring and training additional staff to prepare for this phased reopening after an unprecedented staff shortage due to the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent hiring freeze.

"The Express Library Service model will be in place across the Library system until the Library is closer to normal staffing levels.


"Meeting rooms, spaced seating and public PCs will be reinstated as soon as staffing allows."


I'm like, "Whoa, what is this???"

Consider just the Arlington Central Library.
Prior to 2020-03-17 Central alone maintained full operations, fully staffed, IIRC 66 hours a week:
M-T 10-9, F&S 10-5, Sunday 1-9.
In addition, there was staff sufficient to operate the other six branches (albeit with somewhat fewer hours of operation).
The staff was there, in place, to maintain that level of operation.

And now there is insufficient staff to restore reasonably full operation, for fewer hours (less than 66 hours per week) without "hiring and training additional staff"?

What the hell happened to the staff you previously had?
Sure, there must have been some natural attrition, due to age and other factors.
But how much would that have been?
Did only natural attrition, COVID-19, and a hiring freeze, cause what the library proclaims to be an "unprecedented staff shortage", 
or were there other factors as well?
Please explain.

For comparison, consider the situation in the neighboring county of Fairfax, Virginia:
"Fairfax County Public Library (FCPL) will resume normal services and introduce new hours Saturday, June 5.

Patrons will once again be able to visit FCPL branches without time or capacity limits to enjoy the full range of library services and resources.
Public PCs will be available for use at pre-pandemic levels: 30-minute sessions, with unlimited sessions per card per day."

So, again, the question is:
"How the hell could Fairfax resume fairly normal operations on June 5, but Arlington, even after July 5, can't?"

And if the answer is
"Due to unprecedented staff shortages."
then the follow-up question is:
"Why did 'unprecedented staff shortages' affect Arlington libraries, but not Fairfax's?"

Some related comments:
Surely some working Arlington County librarians, past or present, know the answers to those questions.
If so, might I suggest you contact the Sun-Gazette or ARLnow to see if they would be interested in running an anonymously-sourced, or perhaps openly-attributed, story on this situation.


Later published:

The Post article doesn't even ask the question I asked above, let alone answer it.



Scott McCaffrey, at the <i>Sun-Gazette</i> writes:
<blockquote>The chief advocacy organization supporting the Arlington library system has lost patience with the county government’s slow resumption of service throughout the system. And while government leaders say they are committed to getting back on track, there appears to be no timetable for that to happen.

At the Sept. 18 County Board meeting, a member of the board of Friends of the Arlington Public Library (FOAL) read a statement castigating the slow pace of resumption of normalcy.</blockquote>