The Latest on the COVID-19 Coronavirus (As of August 4th)

covid-19

August 4th Update:

Released: August 3, 2020

The City of Alexandria and the Alexandria Health Department (AHD) remind everyone that you are safest at home. Older adults, persons with underlying medical conditions and pregnant women are at greater risk for severe disease and are advised to minimize potential exposures as much as possible. Please keep at least 6 feet of distance from others. Everyone is required to wear a mask in most indoor public settings. Your neighbors and loved ones are counting on you to stop the spread of COVID-19. 

Healthcare and Testing Locations for the Uninsured

The City’s Department of Community and Human Services (DCHS) and AHD are working to stop the spread of COVID-19 and ensure that uninsured and underinsured Alexandria residents know the health care services that are available to them. Neighborhood Health offers COVID-19 testing and health care service regardless of ability to pay; accepts most insurance plans, including Medicaid and Medicare; and does not require proof of immigration status. Call 703.535.5568 to make an appointment. Inova Cares Clinic for Families also offers COVID-19 testing, and can provide primary care services for patients who are uninsured or who qualify for Medicaid, FAMIS or Inova’s Financial Assistance Program at the clinic’s Alexandria, Annandale, Manassas and Sterling locations. Financial options are available for patients who do not qualify for Medicaid. DCHS can assist qualified low-income residents to apply for Medicaid. Residents can apply for Medicaid at any time at commonhelp.virginia.gov and for low-cost health insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace at www.healthcare.gov

Meet the Employer Event this Thursday 

In an effort to help Alexandrians who have lost work due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Workforce Development Center (WDC) will sponsor a virtual meet-and-greet event with CW Resources on Thursday, August 6, from 10-11 a.m. Participants will learn about immediate custodial job employment opportunities. Attendance is free for this event, but job seekers must register to attend. The WDC offers staffing solutions for businesses with employees who are skilled and ready to work, with skill levels and education that range from advanced degrees and many years of experience to those with limited education and work experience. The WDC Strive & Thrive program offers job seekers online events, employment services, essential skills training, coaching, and financial resources.

Weekly Featured Jobs Flyer 

Every week, the WDC posts a list of employers who are hiring for a range of positions. Residents who have lost employment due to COVID-19 are encouraged to view the flyer or follow WDC on FacebookTwitter or LinkedIn for the latest flyer, or visit the WDC’s Job Board for these and other job opportunities.

New COVID-19 Cases and 1 New Fatality Added in Alexandria

The Virginia Department of Health reported an increase of 13 cases and 1 fatality in Alexandria as of August 1; 9 cases and no fatalities as of August 2; and 24 cases and no fatalities as of August 3; bringing the total to 2,844 cases, including 59 fatalities. COVID-19 is spread by people whether or not they have symptoms, and AHD estimates that nearly 10% of infected Alexandrians have required hospitalization. Everyone must do their part to stop the spread: maintain at least 6 feet of distance from others, wear a mask, and carry and use hand sanitizer. With a recent increase in cases, you are more likely to encounter someone who is infected. Be prepared to answer a call from the Alexandria Health Department in case you are identified as a close contact. Detailed data, including data on age, race and ethnicity, is available through links at alexandriava.gov/Coronavirus

August 3rd Update:

Read and share the latest information and articles about the work the Department of Community and Human Services is doing to support, increase and maintain the well-being, safety and self-sufficiency of all Alexandrians during the COVID-19 crisis and beyond.

New COVID-19 Resources: Primary Care Options for Uninsured, Job Assistance, Rent Relief and More

Share these recent updates and newly added resources and services with others. Learn more.

Healthcare, COVID-19 Testing Options for Uninsured Alexandrians

Learn about options for healthcare and COVID-19 testing for those without insurance or who are underinsured.

Virtual Gala to Benefit Children in Foster Care on August 14

Attend for free the Fund for Alexandria’s Child “Stay at Home Gala” on August 14 at 8 p.m., which will be held virtually this year. Learn more.

Alexandria’s Trauma Informed Community Network Celebrates First Birthday

On July 23, Resilience Alexandria: Inform Support Elevate (RAISE) celebrated its first birthday. Learn more about the event and the organization it celebrates.

Watch Online the July 20 Town Hall on Race, Community and Policing

Watch a video and view slides from the second in a series of town hall discussions to promote sharing and understanding about how systemic racism impacts Alexandria. Learn more.

Read these articles and more on DCHS Connect.

July 31st Update:

Released: July 30, 2020

The City of Alexandria and the Alexandria Health Department (AHD) remind everyone that you are safest at home. Older adults, persons with underlying medical conditions and pregnant women are at greater risk for severe disease and are advised to minimize potential exposures as much as possible. Please keep at least 6 feet of distance from others. Everyone is required to wear a mask in most indoor public settings. Your neighbors and loved ones are counting on you to stop the spread of COVID-19. 

New FDA Hand Sanitizer Warning

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is seeing an increase in reports of methanol poisoning due to the use of several hand sanitizer brands found to contain the dangerous chemical commonly used to create fuel and antifreeze. The FDA’s “do not use” list of hand sanitizer brands testing positive for the presence of up to 80% methanol also continues to grow. If any hand sanitizer product you possess matches the identifiers on the list, the FDA strongly urges consumers to stop use immediately and treat its disposal as hazardous waste. Do not pour or flush it down the drain, or mix it with other liquids. Methanol exposure can result in nausea, vomiting, headache, blurred vision, permanent blindness, seizures, coma, permanent damage to the nervous system or death. Consumers experiencing any of these symptoms should seek immediate medical attention and report confirmed methanol poisoning to the FDA’s MedWatch safety information and adverse event reporting program. While not always convenient, washing your hands for at least 20 seconds remains the best way to completely disinfect and sanitize your hands and stop the spread of COVID-19.

Successful Targeted COVID-19 Testing Event

Backed by City funding, AHD and Neighborhood Health recently conducted a targeted COVID-19 testing event for residents of Brent Place. Neighborhood Health, Alexandria's federally qualified health center, tested more than 50 residents with support from AHD's Medical Reserve Corps volunteers. The City and AHD also provided a bag of supplies to each participant, including two cloth face covers, hand sanitizer, and a packet of health and support service information. AHD will identify and coordinate future sites for targeted testing events. In addition to such events, Neighborhood Health is available for primary care and COVID-19 testing for residents with or without insurance. Make an appointment online or call 703.535.5568.

Medicaid Assistance Updates

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a sharp increase in the demand for Medicaid assistance since March. To comply with the federal “Families First Coronavirus Response Act,” Virginia Medicaid has adopted policies to protect Medicaid subscribers from losing coverage, and implemented strategies to make the application process more efficient. Most significantly, no Virginia resident’s Medicaid coverage will be canceled or closed for any reason, for the duration of the COVID-19 health emergency. The City has also compiled a list of resources available for individuals receiving Medicaid, which is available in multiple languages, or can be translated into 11 other languages using the “Translate” button at the top right corner of the page. 

20 New COVID-19 Cases and No New Fatalities Added in Alexandria

The cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in Alexandria is now 2,779, including 57 fatalities. COVID-19 is spread by people whether or not they have symptoms, and nearly 10% of infected Alexandrians have required hospitalization. Everyone must do their part to stop the spread: maintain at least 6 feet of distance from others, wear a mask, and carry and use hand sanitizer. With a recent increase in cases, you are more likely to encounter someone who is infected. Be prepared to answer a call from the Alexandria Health Department in case you are identified as a close contact. Detailed data, including data on age, race and ethnicity, is available through links at alexandriava.gov/Coronavirus

 

# # #

July 29th Update:

The City of Alexandria and the Alexandria Health Department (AHD) remind everyone that you are safest at home. Older adults, persons with underlying medical conditions and pregnant women are at greater risk for severe disease and are advised to minimize potential exposures as much as possible. Please keep at least 6 feet of distance from others. Everyone is required to wear a mask in most indoor public settings. Your neighbors and loved ones are counting on you to stop the spread of COVID-19. 

Hurricane Preparedness During a Pandemic

The City reminds everyone to prepare for an active hurricane season through November, even while continuing to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is important to know your risk of flooding and purchase flood insurance accordingly; develop a family or household communication plan; prepare and update COVID-19-ready emergency kits with plenty of sanitation and personal protective supplies; and identify trusted sources for information during emergencies to stay informed. The Virginia Hurricane Evacuation Guide During the COVID-19 Pandemic provides additional guidance for preparedness, response, and recovery. The 2020 hurricane season is already very active, with eight named storms, several of which have had an impact on East Coast weather. 

Resource Catalog: Signs for Buildings, Facilities, and Homeowners Associations

It is important that everyone who manages and uses public space inside buildings adheres to guidance from AHD and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. AHD and the City have developed a large collection of materials to communicate this guidance to residents, businesses, facility managers, employees, customers and the general public. The collection includes signs with basic guidance like wearing face masks, washing hands and maintaining physical distance; guidance on residential and commercial elevator occupancy and high-touch surfaces; floor markerssymptom check notices, and much more. Most signs are small enough to print in homes or offices, and others are large enough for storefronts or free-standing sign holders. Materials in the COVID-19 Catalog of Resources can be downloaded and printed, or you can submit a request for the City to print them. 

July 28th Update:

For Immediate Release: July 27, 2020

The City of Alexandria and the Alexandria Health Department (AHD) remind everyone that you are safest at home. Older adults, persons with underlying medical conditions and pregnant women are at greater risk for severe disease and are advised to minimize potential exposures as much as possible. Please keep at least 6 feet of distance from others. Everyone is required to wear a mask in most indoor public settings. Your neighbors and loved ones are counting on you to stop the spread of COVID-19. 

Study After Study Proves the Importance of Wearing Masks

recent analysis by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington of more than 20 studies on the effectiveness of face masks has concluded that COVID-19 infections would drop by two-thirds, and deaths from COVID-19 would drop by one-third, if 95% of people in the United States wore masks. Currently, even the states with the highest mask use among residents -- Maine, New Hampshire, New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Virginia -- are only in the 50 to 60% range. An NPR infographic shows that one person with COVID-19 who does not wear a mask could infect 89 people. With a mask, the number drops to 33. Since those without symptoms can still transmit the illness to others, it's critical that everyone wear a mask regardless of whether they feel sick. While most people who become infected with COVID-19 do recover, many may suffer long-term health consequences and can experience prolonged periods of illness.

“Strive & Thrive” Job Readiness Workshops

The City’s Workforce Development Center (WDC) launched “Strive & Thrive” to support getting Alexandria’s workforce back to work as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. WDC offers remote events, job fairs, training and services such as job coaching and workshops. Job seekers can enhance their skills by virtually attending workshops and webinars focused on topics like virtual job searching, interviewing, and resume development. WDC staff also offer one-on-one employment coaching and connect job seekers with helpful resources. Workshops offered in August include “Resume Building,” “Master the Job Interview,” and “Job Search Skills,” among others.

Weekly Featured Jobs Flyer 

Every week, the WDC posts a list of employers who are hiring for a range of positions. Residents who have lost employment due to COVID-19 are encouraged to view the flyer, follow the WDC on FacebookTwitter or LinkedIn; or visit the Workforce Development Center’s Job Board for the latest information on job opportunities. 

New COVID-19 Cases and 1 New Fatality Added in Alexandria

The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) reported an increase of 25 cases and 1 fatality in Alexandria as of July 24; 8 cases and no fatalities as of July 25; and 40 cases and no fatalities as of July 26; bringing the total to 2,735 cases, including 57 fatalities. The daily variation underscores that cases are recorded as of the date VDH assigns them to Alexandria, which is not necessarily close to the date patients were ill or their lab results were confirmed. For example, the fatality reported on July 24 occurred in June. Cases are frequently reassigned between localities once patients’ places of residence are clarified.

 

COVID-19 is spread by people whether or not they have symptoms, and nearly 10% of infected Alexandrians have required hospitalization. Everyone must do their part to stop the spread: maintain at least 6 feet of distance from others, wear a mask, and carry and use hand sanitizer. With a recent increase in cases, you are more likely to encounter someone who is infected. Be prepared to answer a call from the Alexandria Health Department in case you are identified as a close contact. Detailed data, including data on age, race and ethnicity, is available through links at alexandriava.gov/Coronavirus

 

# # #

 

July 27th Update:

The City of Alexandria and the Alexandria Health Department (AHD) remind everyone that you are safest at home. Older adults, persons with underlying medical conditions and pregnant women are at greater risk for severe disease and are advised to minimize potential exposures as much as possible. Please keep at least 6 feet of distance from others. Everyone is required to wear a mask in most indoor public settings. Your neighbors and loved ones are counting on you to stop the spread of COVID-19. 

COVID-19 Can Result in Prolonged Return to Health

A study from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has found a delay in return to normal health, even among young adults with no underlying chronic health conditions. In a telephone survey, 35% of symptomatic adults, including ages 18-34, who had a positive outpatient test result had not returned to their baseline health 2-3 weeks after testing. Cough, fatigue, and shortness of breath were the symptoms with the longest duration, even among patients with milder outpatient illness. Prolonged symptoms are common for hospitalized patients, but this additional information will help to further understand COVID-19 and future policy development for health departments, businesses and communities. Health officials remind everyone we still have a lot of control: wear a mask when in public; maintain at least 6 feet of distance from others; and wash hands frequently to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Sheriff’s Office Virtual “Junior Deputy” Camp

Alexandria kids are invited to participate in the Sheriff’s Office Virtual “Junior Deputy” Camp. Summer is a little different this year, but whether kids are at home, going to a recreation center, or participating in a modified camp program, they can still have fun. Every child who completes at least 25 of the listed activities by August 21 receives a “Junior Deputy” certificate and patch. There are many activities to choose from, including playing water bottle bowling; taking a virtual tour of Alexandria’s Apothecary Museum; having family game night; and writing a letter to the Sheriff. Parents or adults are also welcome to email some photos of kids doing their activities for the Sheriff’s Department to share on social media. This activity is free to participate, and no registration is required.

23 New COVID-19 Cases and No New Fatalities Added in Alexandria

The cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in Alexandria is now 2,662, including 56 fatalities. COVID-19 is spread by people whether or not they have symptoms, and nearly 10% of infected Alexandrians have required hospitalization. Everyone must do their part to stop the spread: maintain at least 6 feet of distance from others, wear a mask, and carry and use hand sanitizer. With a recent increase in cases, you are more likely to encounter someone who is infected. Be prepared to answer a call from the Alexandria Health Department in case you are identified as a close contact. Detailed data, including data on age, race and ethnicity, is available through links at alexandriava.gov/Coronavirus

 

# # #

July 24th Update:

­­For Immediate Release: July 23, 2020

The City of Alexandria and the Alexandria Health Department (AHD) remind everyone that you are safest at home. Older adults, persons with underlying medical conditions and pregnant women are at greater risk for severe disease and are advised to minimize potential exposures as much as possible. Please keep at least 6 feet of distance from others. Everyone is required to wear a mask in most indoor public settings. Your neighbors and loved ones are counting on you to stop the spread of COVID-19. 

Resources for Support during Minority Mental Health Awareness Month

whomentalhealth

The City encourages residents to learn more about the stigma of mental illness for Black, Indigenous People Of Color (BIPOC) during Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Month. The impact of racism-related events, chronic stress caused by institutional and socio-political inequities such as the impact COVID-19 has had in BIPOC communities, and daily exposure to racism through micro-aggressions is significantly associated with higher risk factors related to poorer mental and physical health, depression and substance misuse. While mental health conditions do not discriminate based on race, color, gender or identity, these factors can make access to mental health treatment much more difficult. Learn more about the available resources for mental health access and treatment in these communities. 

21 New COVID-19 Cases and No New Fatalities Added in Alexandria

The cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in Alexandria is now 2,639, including 56 fatalities. COVID-19 is spread by people whether or not they have symptoms, and nearly 10% of infected Alexandrians have required hospitalization. Everyone must do their part to stop the spread: maintain at least 6 feet of distance from others, wear a mask, and carry and use hand sanitizer. With a recent increase in cases, you are more likely to encounter someone who is infected. Be prepared to answer a call from the Alexandria Health Department in case you are identified as a close contact. Detailed data, including data on age, race and ethnicity, is available through links at alexandriava.gov/Coronavirus

 

# # #

This news release is available at alexandriava.gov/116869

July 23rd Update:

For Immediate Release: July 22, 2020

The City of Alexandria and the Alexandria Health Department (AHD) remind everyone that you are safest at home. Older adults, persons with underlying medical conditions and pregnant women are at greater risk for severe disease and are advised to minimize potential exposures as much as possible. Please keep at least 6 feet of distance from others. Everyone is required to wear a mask in most indoor public settings. Your neighbors and loved ones are counting on you to stop the spread of COVID-19. 

AHD Investing Resources Toward Business Safety

As part of AHD’s proactive work to protect Alexandrians, the Environmental Health team has worked with businesses throughout the Alexandria to help them understand and comply with Executive Order 63 regarding masks and Executive Order 67 regarding crowding. Noting that outbreaks in other regions of the state and nation have stemmed from overcrowding in indoor environments, AHD has notified Alexandria's restaurants and bars that AHD will be conducting unannounced inspections beginning this week. AHD's Environmental Health team will focus enforcement on businesses that are blatantly ignoring the rules, including suspending permits for those AHD regulates. AHD is committed to helping and collaborating with all businesses to adhere to the executive orders to ensure that Alexandria can successfully remain in Phase Three of reopening.  

More than 350 businesses and organizations have registered their interest and commitment to safety best practices through the ALX Promise program, a voluntary accreditation initiative to train and support facilities. Everyone has a role in keeping our community safe - if you see a business that is not adhering to reopening guidelines, follow the suggested steps to resolve the issue

Family Open Swim Lottery

In an effort to provide equitable access to family open swim time slots at outdoor pools, the City has established a lottery system to replace the existing first-come, first-served ticketing system. Each Thursday and Friday, residents may request swim times for the following Monday through Sunday. Alexandria households may request a maximum of three time slots per week, with no more than one time slot per day. Each Saturday, requests will be processed through a lottery, and households will receive an email notifying whether they have been enrolled or added to a waitlist for each of their requested timeslots. Each confirmed request reserves 45 minutes of pool time and accommodates four people per family unit at Old Town Pool (1609 Cameron St.), or eight people per family unit at Warwick Pool (3301 Landover St.). Swimmer admission fees are due upon arrival at the pool.

Lap swim tickets for Old Town Pool and Chinquapin Park Recreation Center & Aquatics Facility’s indoor pool (3210 King St.) continue to be reserved through the existing ticketing system. All pool tickets are released on Thursdays at 9 a.m. for the following week. Visit alexandriava.gov/Aquatics or call 703.746.6909 for more information.

City Recreation Registration Now Open

Registration for August classes and activities offered by the Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities (RPCA) is now open for Alexandria residents and opens at 9 a.m. on Friday, July 24, for nonresidents. Programs for a variety of interests are available for ages 6 months through adult. Summer camp registration is also open. Out of School Time Full Day Modified Summer Camps take place daily through August 14, Half Day Summer Fun Camps take place August 3-14, and Friday Fun Days take place on July 24 and July 31. Visit alexandriava.gov/116332 for more information. Once Alexandria City Public Schools confirms their schedule, RPCA will make the necessary programmatic adjustments to provide information about School year Out of School Time programs. 

All COVID-19 related health guidelines for staff and participants will be met for all RPCA programs, including symptom screening, use of face masks, enhanced cleaning, and physical distancing protocols specified for each type of program. To ensure the safety of participants and prevent the spread of COVID-19, indoor locations will have limited capacity.

Register online at alexandriava.gov/Recreation. For in-person registration, call the Registration and Reservation Office at 703.746.5414 to schedule an appointment. Additional program information will be provided after registration.

Participate in DASH Coronavirus Ridership Survey

The City encourages residents who use the DASH bus system to participate in a survey to gauge customer preferences and attitudes about public transportation during the COVID-19 pandemic. The results of this survey will be used by DASH to improve public confidence in the safety of using the DASH system. The survey is open until August 9 and feedback is appreciated. Participants who complete the survey will be entered to win one of several $50 VISA gift cards.

 36 New COVID-19 Cases and No New Fatalities Added in Alexandria

The cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in Alexandria is now 2,618, including 56 fatalities. Today's count is the highest number of cases reported in one day since late May. COVID-19 is spread by people whether or not they have symptoms, and nearly 10% of infected Alexandrians have required hospitalization.  Everyone must do their part to stop the spread: maintain at least 6 feet of distance from others, wear a mask, and carry and use hand sanitizer. With a recent increase in cases, you are more likely to encounter someone who is infected. Be prepared to answer a call from the Alexandria Health Department in case you are identified as a close contact. Detailed data, including data on age, race and ethnicity, is available through links at alexandriava.gov/Coronavirus.

 

# # #

July 22nd Update:

For Immediate Release: July 21, 2020

 

The City of Alexandria and the Alexandria Health Department (AHD) remind everyone that you are safest at home. Older adults, persons with underlying medical conditions and pregnant women are at greater risk for severe disease and are advised to minimize potential exposures as much as possible. Please keep at least 6 feet of distance from others. Everyone is required to wear a mask in most indoor public settings. Your neighbors and loved ones are counting on you to stop the spread of COVID-19. 

Cooling Centers Extended Through Thursday

The City has extended the hours of operations for its cooling centers now that the National Weather Service has extended its hazardous weather outlook for the Alexandria area through Thursday, July 23. Temperatures are expected to reach the upper 90s, and combined with high humidity, will cause heat indices in excess of 105 degrees. Prolonged exposure to hot temperatures and high humidity can cause heat-related illnesses such as heat exhaustion, cramps, or in extreme cases, heat stroke. Beat the heat by staying hydrated, limiting outdoor activities, and wearing loose, lightweight and light-colored clothing.

The following locations will be made available for cooling centers:

  • Open July 22 and 23: Oswald Durant Center (1605 Cameron St.), 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Open July 22 and 23: T.C. Williams High School Minnie Howard Campus (3801 W. Braddock Road), 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Open July 23 only: Torpedo Factory Art Center (105 N. Union St.), 10 a.m.-6 p.m. 

HIV Testing in Alexandria Now Includes Home Testing

While COVID-19 is a priority for residents and local public health professionals, HIV/AIDS continues to be a critical concern for Alexandria. The rate of people living with HIV in Alexandria is more than double the rate of neighboring counties and the rest of Virginia. To address this, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) is now providing HIV home testing kits by mail. Individuals can obtain free testing through VDH via VA-Test-at-Home (English and Spanish) or can contact one of the following local organizations to request a kit: NovalSalud, Inc.FAHASS or Inova Juniper. In addition, in-person services are available at:

  • AHD's Sexual and Reproductive Health Clinic provides free and confidential HIV rapid testing for those exposed to HIV and testing to people through scheduled appointments. Call 703.746.4888 for an appointment.
  • The Teen Wellness Center at T. C. Williams High School also offers HIV tests weekdays, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., for Alexandria youth between the ages of 12-19. Call 703.746.4776 for an appointment. 
  • HIV testing and STI screening is also available in person through NOVASalud weekdays from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Contact NOVASalud at 703.533.1858 for an appointment. All HIV testing remains free and confidential.

City to Resume Food Waste Composting at Farmers' Markets in August

The City’s food waste composting stations will reopen at the Del Ray and Old Town farmers’ markets on Saturday, August 1, and at the Four Mile Run and West End markets on Sunday, August 2. Service will resume during the normal operating hours, which are available at alexandriava.gov/FoodWaste.

To protect staff and members of the public, new COVID-19 protocols will be in place. The City asks residents to wear masks and maintain 6 feet of physical distance from staff and other customers. Shared items such as cloth towels, spoons, and pens will not be available for customer use. To help users and staff maintain distance, the City will temporarily suspend selling kitchen-top compost buckets and giving away compost samples at the markets. As an extra precaution, visitors are encouraged to wash compost bins with soap and hot water after drop off.

While City staff continue to focus on COVID-19 response and a historic increase in refuse and recycling volume, food waste drop off locations will be staffed by Agricity, a small, local sustainability company with experience managing and building composting programs across the region. For more information, please alexandriava.gov/FoodWaste

Resource Catalog: Physical Distancing

Public health experts continue to advise that maintaining physical distance from others is one of the most effective ways to stop the spread of COVID-19. Phase Three of the Forward Virginia blueprint recommends different distances depending on location and activity. For example, general guidance is to maintain 6 feet of distance when outside your home, but some activities, like sports and exercise, require 10 feet of distance. The City has produced a number of signs that are specific to the distance recommended, and some that incorporate physical distancing among other critical steps to prevent COVID-19 from spreading. All signs listed in the Catalog of Resources can be downloaded or printed, or printed copies can be requested

23 New COVID-19 Cases and No New Fatalities Added in Alexandria

The cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in Alexandria is now 2,582 including 56 fatalities. Detailed data, including data on age, race and ethnicity, is available through links at alexandriava.gov/Coronavirus. The virus that causes COVID-19 is spread both by people who are symptomatic and by those who do not know that they are infected. Everyone is safest at home. This is especially true for those in high-risk populations (such as older adults, persons living in long-term care facilities, and those with serious underlying medical conditions). If you must go out, please maintain 6 feet of distance from others, wear a mask, and always carry hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol with you. Everyone must do their part to stop the spread.

 

# # #

July 21st Update:

For Immediate Release: July 20, 2020

 

The City of Alexandria and the Alexandria Health Department (AHD) remind everyone that you are safest at home. Older adults, persons with underlying medical conditions and pregnant women are at greater risk for severe disease and are advised to minimize potential exposures as much as possible. Please keep at least 6 feet of distance from others. Everyone is required to wear a mask in most indoor public settings. Your neighbors and loved ones are counting on you to stop the spread of COVID-19. 

Do Your Part, Answer the Call

Case investigation and contact tracing are critical to stopping the spread of COVID-19, but they only work when community members answer calls from AHD and return voicemails. AHD has provided information to the public, to learn more about the investigation process. All information is confidential, and AHD doesn't share the names of close contacts. If you are suspicious of any call or form of contact that you believe is not from the Alexandria Health Department, write down the caller’s information, hang up, and call the AHD COVID-19 hotline at 703.746.4988. Ask the hotline to transfer you to a member of the Contact Tracing Team. AHD will never request payment or fees related to contact tracing. Everyone has a role to play in keeping their neighbors and loved ones safe. Do your part by answering the call. 

Reminder: Full Parking Enforcement Resumes Today

Effective today, the City has resumed enforcement of residential parking zones, Saturday parking meters, street sweeping zones, the 72-hour rule, and the requirement to display valid state inspection stickers. Enforcement of these restrictions had been temporarily suspended since March in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The suspension was intended to assist vehicle owners who were working from home, caring for others, or trying to ensure the flow of goods and services. As Virginia continues to reopen and state COVID-19 related orders are being lifted, the City has determined that it is now appropriate to resume normal parking enforcement. Visit alexandriava.gov/Parking for more information.

Meet the Employer Opportunity: WMATA

In an effort to help Alexandrians who have lost work due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Alexandria Workforce Development Center will sponsor a virtual meet-and-greet event with the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA), on Thursday, July 30, from 2 to 3 p.m. Participants will learn about immediate employment opportunities with Metro, including openings for Metrobus Operator, Elevator/Escalator Apprentice, Special Police Officer and General Transit Mechanic. Attendance is free for this event, but job seekers must register to attend.

Weekly Featured Jobs Flyer 

Every week, the Alexandria Workforce Development Center posts a list of employers who are hiring for a range of positions. Residents who have lost employment due to COVID-19 are encouraged to view the flyer or follow Workforce Development Center on FacebookTwitter or LinkedIn for the latest flyer, or visit the Workforce Development Center’s Job Board for these and other job opportunities.

New COVID-19 Cases and No New Fatalities Added in Alexandria

The Virginia Department of Health in Alexandria reported an increase of 17 cases and no new fatalities in Alexandria as of July 17; 7 cases and no new fatalities as of July 18; and 12 cases and no new fatalities as of July 19; bringing the total to 2,559 cases, including 56 fatalities. Detailed data, including data on age, race and ethnicity, is available through links at alexandriava.gov/Coronavirus. The virus that causes COVID-19 is spread both by people who are symptomatic and by those who do not know that they are infected. Everyone is safest at home. This is especially true for those in high-risk populations (such as older adults, persons living in long-term care facilities, and those with serious underlying medical conditions). If you must go out, please maintain 6 feet of distance from others, wear a mask, and always carry hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol with you. Everyone must do their part to stop the spread. 

 

# # #

2020 Census Takers to Begin Visiting Alexandria Households This Month

For Immediate Release: July 20, 2020

Beginning later this month, census takers will begin visiting households who have not yet responded to the Census, as the U.S. Census Bureau begins enumeration activities nationwide. The goal is to help everyone be counted in the 2020 Census. Completing the Census is safe, easy, and typically takes less than 10 minutes to complete.  

WHAT HOUSEHOLDS CAN EXPECT

  • Census takers are required to wear masks when they visit, and to follow guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state and local public health officials. Prior to visiting homes, census takers must complete a virtual COVID-19 training on physical distancing protocols and other health and safety guidance.
  • Census takers are hired from the local community. All census takers speak English, and many are bilingual. If a census taker does not speak the householder’s language, the householder may request a return visit from a census taker who does. Census takers will also have materials on hand to help identify the household’s language.
  • If no one is home when the census taker visits, the census taker will leave a notice of their visit with information about how to respond online, by phone, or by mail. People are encouraged to cooperate with census takers and ensure that everyone who was living in their household as of April 1, 2020, is counted.

HOW TO IDENTIFY CENSUS TAKERS

Census takers can be easily identified by a valid government ID badge that includes their photograph, a U.S. Department of Commerce watermark and an expiration date. To confirm a census taker’s identity, the public may contact their regional census center to speak with a Census Bureau representative.

HOUSEHOLDS CAN STILL SELF-RESPOND

Households can still complete the 2020 Census online, by phone at 844.330.2020, or by completing the paper survey received in the mail. 

Every household is required by federal law to respond to the 2020 Census. The personal information provided is kept completely confidential, even from other government agencies. The survey is available in 13 languages, with language support available for 59 additional languages upon request.

Occurring only once every 10 years, the Census is the best opportunity to count all residents in Alexandria regardless of age, race, ethnicity, citizenship status, or any other demographic characteristic. An accurate count makes sure all residents are fairly represented in federal and state government and that $675 billion in federal resources are allocated correctly across state and local jurisdictions. Now, more than ever, Alexandria needs every resident to be counted, to ensure our community gets the funding it needs. For anyone who has not already completed their Census survey, now is the time to get counted.

Visit alexandriava.gov/Census2020 for more information on the City of Alexandria’s involvement in the 2020 Census. 

For media inquiries only, contact Andrea Blackford, Senior Communications Officer, at andrea.blackford@alexandriava.gov or 703.746.3959. 

For reasonable disability accommodation, contact jackie.cato@alexandriava.gov or call 703.746.3810, Virginia Relay 711.

# # #

 

 

July 20th Update:

The City of Alexandria and the Alexandria Health Department (AHD) remind everyone that you are safest at home. Older adults, persons with underlying medical conditions and pregnant women are at greater risk for severe disease and are advised to minimize potential exposures as much as possible. Please keep at least 6 feet of distance from others. Everyone is required to wear a face covering in most indoor public settings. Your neighbors and loved ones are counting on you to stop the spread of COVID-19.

 

New COVID-19 Resources: Rent and Mortgage Relief, COVID-19 Testing Locations, Job Assistance and More

Share these recent updates and newly added resources and services with others, particularly those who are in need and vulnerable residents. Learn more.

 

Registration Open for Virtual Youth Leadership Conference, August 11-13

Alexandria youth can register through August 7 for the seventh annual Alexandria Youth Leadership Conference, which will be held virtually August 11-13. Learn more.

 

AHD Publishes Strategic Framework for Houses of Worship, Nonprofits and Businesses 

In the fifth of a series, AHD has published its Strategic Action Framework: Houses of Worship, Nonprofits and Businesses. This framework summarizes objectives and tactics being used to support Alexandria’s houses of worship, nonprofit organizations and businesses to operate safely during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Tactics include:

  • Develop best-practice guidance and produce materials that are easily digestible, and communicate state requirements for businesses and other facilities in multiple languages; and disseminate to businesses, nonprofits and faith groups for printing and display.
  • Create and implement a voluntary safety training program (ALX Promise) for accreditation, analyzing the role ALX Promise plays in preventing complaints to AHD; launch extensive outreach to West End and minority-owned businesses; work with community groups to promote the program; hand deliver required signage and make follow-up phone calls; and promote the program and accredited businesses through the news media, including in Spanish.
  • Communicate regularly with targeted groups through phone calls or virtual town halls to answer staff or resident questions; develop content for weekly emails to faith-based and nonprofit groups; and launch AHD phone hours for faith groups to troubleshoot reopening challenges. 

All of the AHD Strategic Action Frameworks to date are available online, and are living documents that may change as public health learns more about COVID-19. They are primarily used as AHD internal project management documents, but are being shared with the public to increase pandemic response transparency. Sensitive information about specific facilities has been redacted.

ACPS Playgrounds Reopen

All playgrounds operated by the City of Alexandria and the Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS) are now open to the public, following approval by the Virginia Department of Education to reopen ACPS sites. This includes the two playgrounds at John Adams Elementary School and Matthew Maury Elementary School. The fields at T.C. Williams High School will remain closed for the summer while the facility is modernized. For additional information related to the reopening of ACPS playgrounds, contact the ACPS Department of Facilities and Operations.

 

The public is reminded to exercise caution when using public playgrounds, as it is not practical for the City or ACPS to keep equipment sanitized and disinfected between uses. Families should use playgrounds and parks only if they are not sick. They should frequently use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. In accordance with CDC guidance, AHD reminds everyone that face coverings are essential when physical distancing is not possible, but they should not be used by children younger than 2 years of age or by anyone who has trouble breathing. AHD advises families to only use parks and playgrounds that are not crowded. Based on guidance from Executive Order 65 for fitness and exercise equipment, families using parks and playgrounds are advised to always remain 10 feet apart from those outside their households, and to clean and disinfect playground equipment before and after each use.

Virtual Bicycle Safety Training

An increase in the use of bicycles during the COVID-19 pandemic has led to an increase in bicycle-related crashes, sometimes resulting in injury to cyclists. The City is sponsoring two virtual bicycle safety training sessions, in collaboration with the Washington Area Bicyclist Association. The sessions address how to properly navigate through traffic and communicate with motorists; how to prepare for a ride; and where to ride in the road. These virtual training sessions are free. The City also has numerous resources for bicyclists, including a map that shows bike lanes, trails, and Metrorail stops in Alexandria and provides other useful information for local cyclists. For more information, visit the City Calendar entries for the training sessions on Wednesday, July 29, and Saturday, August 22.

16 New COVID-19 Cases and No New Fatalities Added in Alexandria

The cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in Alexandria is now 2,523, including 56 fatalities. Detailed data, including data on age, race and ethnicity, is available through links at alexandriava.gov/Coronavirus. The virus that causes COVID-19 is spread both by people who are symptomatic and by those who do not know that they are infected. Everyone is safest at home. This is especially true for those in high-risk populations (such as older adults, persons living in long-term care facilities, and those with serious underlying medical conditions). If you must go out, please maintain 6 feet of distance from others, wear a cloth face covering, and always carry hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol with you. Everyone must do their part to stop the spread. 

 

# # #

 

This news release is available at alexandriava.gov/116789

July 17th Updates:

For Immediate Release: July 16, 2020

The City of Alexandria and the Alexandria Health Department (AHD) remind everyone that you are safest at home. Older adults, persons with underlying medical conditions and pregnant women are at greater risk for severe disease and are advised to minimize potential exposures as much as possible. Please keep at least 6 feet of distance from others. Everyone is required to wear a face covering in most indoor public settings. Your neighbors and loved ones are counting on you to stop the spread of COVID-19. 

Successful Public-Private Partnership for Targeted COVID-19 Testing

Backed by City funding, the Alexandria Health Department, Neighborhood Health, and the Alexandria Redevelopment and Housing Authority (ARHA) recently implemented a targeted COVID-19 testing event aimed at low-income seniors. Neighborhood Health, a local federally qualified health center, tested nearly 130 residents of the Ladrey and Annie B. Rose apartment buildings with support from AHD's Medical Reserve Corps volunteers. The City and AHD also provided a bag of supplies to each participant, including two cloth face covers, two bottles of hand sanitizer, and a packet of crucial health and support service information. AHD will be identifying and coordinating future sites for targeted testing events over the next month. Outside of these events, Neighborhood Health is available for primary care and COVID-19 testing for residents with or without insurance. Alexandrians are encouraged to make an appointment online or call 703.535.5568.  

Virginia Becomes First State to Adopt Emergency Workplace Safety Standards

Virginia has become the first state to adopt statewide emergency workplace safety standards in response to COVID-19. These standards require all employers to mandate the use of personal protective equipment for employees in customer-facing positions and when physical distancing is not possible; regularly sanitize high-contact surfaces; provide regular access to hand washing or hand sanitizer; develop infectious disease preparedness and response plans; and maintain recordkeeping and training. 

 

The new standards require that all employees be notified within 24 hours if a coworker tests positive for the virus. Employees who are known or suspected to be positive for COVID-19 cannot return to work for 10 days or until they receive two consecutive negative tests. The emergency temporary standards, infectious disease preparedness and response plan templates, and training guidance will be posted on the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry website at doli.virginia.gov. Workers who feel unsafe in their workplace can file a formal complaint with the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration. 

21 New COVID-19 Cases and No New Fatalities Added in Alexandria

The cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in Alexandria is now 2,507. The current fatality report is at 56, a drop in one case following the Virginia Department of Health’s reassignment of one fatality from Alexandria to another jurisdiction. Detailed data, including data on age, race and ethnicity, is available through links at alexandriava.gov/Coronavirus. The virus that causes COVID-19 is spread both by people who are symptomatic and by those who do not know that they are infected. Everyone is safest at home. This is especially true for those in high-risk populations (such as older adults, persons living in long-term care facilities, and those with serious underlying medical conditions). If you must go out, please maintain 6 feet of distance from others, wear a cloth face covering, and always carry hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol with you. Everyone must do their part to stop the spread. 

 

# # #

Alexandria Awarded $75 Million for Duke Street Transitway Project

 

The City of Alexandria will receive $75 million in funding from the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority (NVTA) for construction of the first phase of the Duke Street Transitway project in 2025. Once completed, the Duke Street Transitway will add transportation capacity and infrastructure improvements to the segment of Duke Street between the King Street-Old Town Metro Station and the former Landmark Mall site. This project was identified as one of three high-capacity transit corridors in the 2008 Transportation Master Plan, along with the Route 1 Metroway and the West End Transitway.  

“NVTA’s investment in the Duke Street Transitway is a tremendous opportunity to transform that corridor and support the City’s goal of providing frequent, reliable transit service in high-density areas of Alexandria, both now and in the future,” said Mayor Justin Wilson, a member of the Authority.

The City previously received $12 million from NVTA for planning and design of this corridor, which is expected to begin this fall. While the City approved concept plans during the 2012 Feasibility Study, staff will be working with the community to re-envision Duke Street and determine how enhanced transit can be accommodated along this corridor. The first phase of this project will include funding for additional buses, shelters and amenities, and some roadway design improvements. The corridor design will be determined in partnership with the community over the next year.  

The Duke Street Transitway project will be closely coordinated with a number of other initiatives that are intended to more efficiently move people along Duke Street and improve congestion.  As part of the Smart Mobility Program, the City is currently installing additional Transit and Emergency Vehicle Signal Priority along this corridor. Duke Street was also prioritized as one of the first two corridors to receive signal upgrades through the Adaptive Traffic Signal Control project, which will allow the network of signals to better detect vehicles and automatically adjust their timing to improve traffic flow. Additionally, the City was awarded funding to improve safety and traffic congestion at the high-crash intersection of Duke Street and West Taylor Run Parkway. Because Duke Street was identified as a high-crash corridor through the Vision Zero Action Plan, staff is also working to provide safety upgrades along this corridor.

The regional revenues awarded to the City for the Duke Street Transitway project are part of NVTA’s Six Year Program, which provides funding for regional projects from 2020-2025. The plan was approved on July 9 and will invest $539 million in transportation projects across Northern Virginia, benefiting the region at large.

Visit the project webpage for more information about the Duke Street Transitway. To learn more about regional transportation projects funded through NVTA’s Six Year Program process, visit thenovaauthority.org.

July 16 Updates:

Released: July 15, 2020

The City of Alexandria and the Alexandria Health Department (AHD) remind everyone that you are safest at home. Older adults, persons with underlying medical conditions and pregnant women are at greater risk for severe disease and are advised to minimize potential exposures as much as possible. Please keep at least 6 feet of distance from others. Everyone is required to wear a face covering in most indoor public settings. Your neighbors and loved ones are counting on you to stop the spread of COVID-19. 

New Hand Sanitizer Brands to Avoid

New brand names have been added to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) list of hand sanitizers that should be avoided due to the use of the toxic ingredient methanol. Many of these brands list ethanol (or ethyl alcohol) among their ingredients, but have tested positive for methanol, which can have many toxic effects, such as changes in vision, vomiting, nausea, headache, or neurological symptoms. Consumers who may have been exposed to methanol and are experiencing these symptoms should seek medical attention immediately. The public is strongly urged to review and discontinue use of any products that appear on the FDA list. The FDA also reminds the public that some hand sanitizers do not contain the minimum 60% ethyl alcohol required for effectiveness, and some brands are making misleading claims that their products are FDA approved or that hand sanitizers offer prolonged protection from bacteria or viruses.  Hand sanitizer should only be used to replace hand washing when water and soap are not available. Washing your hands for at least 20 seconds remains the most effective way to sanitize and disinfect your hands and is one of the Six Steps to Stop the Spread of COVID-19.

City Pools Updates

Tickets for family open swim at outdoor pools are now available to Alexandria residents. In accordance with “Forward Virginia” Phase Three guidance, family open swim is permitted when 10 feet of physical distance is maintained between swimmers of different households. A maximum of three family open swim tickets can be purchased per week, with no more than one ticket per day. Each ticket reserves 45 minutes of swimming time and accommodates four people (Old Town Pool) or eight people (Warwick Pool) per family unit.

 

Lap swim tickets for the Chinquapin Park Recreation Center & Aquatics Facility’s indoor pool are now also available to nonresidents. Swim times are limited to persons age 60 and older Monday through Friday, from 8 to 10 a.m., and available to all ages Monday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

All pool tickets are released on Thursdays at 9 a.m. for the following week. Visit alexandriava.gov/Aquatics to purchase tickets and for information about pool guidelines, including arrival time, use of locker rooms, lane assignments, use of equipment, mask usage, and inclement weather procedures. For additional assistance, or to reserve a ticket by phone, call 703.746.6909.  

21 New COVID-19 Cases and No New Fatalities Added in Alexandria

The cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in Alexandria is now 2,486, including 57 fatalities. Detailed data, including data on age, race and ethnicity, is available through links at alexandriava.gov/Coronavirus. The virus that causes COVID-19 is spread both by people who are symptomatic and by those who do not know that they are infected. Everyone is safest at home. This is especially true for those in high-risk populations (such as older adults, persons living in long-term care facilities, and those with serious underlying medical conditions). If you must go out, please maintain 6 feet of distance from others, wear a cloth face covering, and always carry hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol with you. Everyone must do their part to stop the spread. 

 

# # #

July 15th Updates:

The City of Alexandria and the Alexandria Health Department (AHD) remind everyone that you are safest at home. Older adults, persons with underlying medical conditions and pregnant women are at greater risk for severe disease and are advised to minimize potential exposures as much as possible. Please keep at least 6 feet of distance from others. Everyone is required to wear a face covering in most indoor public settings. Your neighbors and loved ones are counting on you to stop the spread of COVID-19.  

Staying Safe with Masks in Residential Buildings

AHD has sent new guidance to local property managers clarifying how Executive Order 63 on face coverings (masks) applies to residential buildings. Residents are required to wear masks in any indoor common areas such as lobbies, elevators, mailrooms, and laundry facilities. New evidence from the CDC continues to prove that consistent and correct use of masks over the nose and mouth can reduce COVID-19 infections. Learn more about when masks are required. Consider reporting violations on Virginia Department of Health’s online complaint form, or call Alexandria Health Department’s COVID-19 Hotline at 703.746.4988 weekdays 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. (messages after hours, or on holidays and weekends will be returned the next business day).

Resource Catalog: Mask Signs

The guidance from all health professionals regarding the COVID-19 pandemic consistently refers to how critical masks are to preventing the spread of the virus. Many of the signs and flyers produced by the City include a reminder to wear them, as well as how to wear them properly - over the nose and mouth together, without touching the front of the covering. Many of the signs produced can be downloaded and printed. If you find signs you would like for your business, office or home that are larger than you can print on your own, the City can print them for you

Correction to MRC Volunteer Hours

A July 13 news release stated the number of sessions contributed by Alexandria Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) volunteers, instead of the number of hours. These community members actually volunteered 901 times from March through May, for a total of 12,435 hours, worth at least $332,631. This included nearly 500 volunteer sessions in May alone, for a total of 3,749 hours.

9 New COVID-19 Cases and No New Fatalities Added in Alexandria

The cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in Alexandria is now 2,465, including 57 fatalities. Detailed data, including data on age, race and ethnicity, is available through links at alexandriava.gov/Coronavirus. The virus that causes COVID-19 is spread both by people who are symptomatic and by those who do not know that they are infected. Everyone is safest at home. This is especially true for those in high-risk populations (such as older adults, persons living in long-term care facilities, and those with serious underlying medical conditions). If you must go out, please maintain 6 feet of distance from others, wear a cloth face covering, and always carry hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol with you. Everyone must do their part to stop the spread. 

 

# # #

 

ARHA Sponsors Senior COVID Testing in Alexandria This Week

 

The Alexandria Redevelopment and Housing Authority (ARHA) is planning to sponsor COVID-19 testing later this week.

“ARHA will be sponsoring COVID-19 testing for residents of Ladrey (300 Wythe Street) and Annie B. Rose (399 Pendleton Street) buildings on Thursday, July 16, from 8-11 a.m. in the parking lot behind the building,” said Rose Williams Boyd, spokesperson for the organization.

Both Annie B. Rose House and Ladrey Senior Highrise Apartments are senior housing locations.

The testing is part of a joint partnership between ARHA, the City, the Alexandria Health Department and Neighborhood Health. Local seniors have been particularly vulnerable to the virus, with all but one of the city’s 57 deaths being locals over 50. The majority of those deaths have been in long term care facilities.

Boyd said there will be no cost for the testing with 275 kits available. If more testing is needed, Boyd said it could be continued on Saturday, July 18.

While there was early frustration from residents at some of the measures ARHA took to isolate residents in the early stages of the pandemic, some have since praised the organization for decisive action in response to COVID-19.

July 14th Updates:

For Immediate Release: July 13, 2020

The City of Alexandria and the Alexandria Health Department (AHD) remind everyone that you are safest at home. Older adults, persons with underlying medical conditions and pregnant women are at greater risk for severe disease and are advised to minimize potential exposures as much as possible. Please keep at least 6 feet of distance from others. Everyone is required to wear a face covering in most indoor public settings. Your neighbors and loved ones are counting on you to stop the spread of COVID-19. 

Reminder: Parking Enforcement Resumes July 20

On July 20, the City will resume enforcement of certain parking restrictions for which enforcement has been suspended since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These include residential parking zones, Saturday parking meters, the requirement to move a vehicle at least every 72 hours, and the requirement to display a valid state inspection sticker. The suspension was intended to assist vehicle owners who were working from home, caring for others, or trying to ensure the flow of goods and services. As Virginia continues to reopen, and state COVID-19 related orders are being lifted, the City has determined that it is now appropriate to resume normal parking enforcement. To give residents, visitors, and workers adequate time to adjust their parking routines, the City is giving advance notice before parking tickets are issued to vehicles in violation of posted restrictions. Visit alexandriava.gov/Parking for more information.

Virtual Job Fair this Wednesday

The City reminds residents to register to participate in the Virginia Career Works Alexandria/Arlington Virtual Job Fair on Wednesday, July 15, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. This event is being held to help residents whose employment has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Job seekers will have the opportunity to network, apply and interview for jobs virtually with prospective employers via chat rooms, private chats and video chats. This event is free, but job seekers must register prior to the event.    

AHD Medical Reserve Corps Volunteers Work Nearly 500 Hours in May; Coordinator Featured on National Panel

Alexandria Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) volunteers worked 493 hours in May to support AHD’s pandemic response efforts. MRC volunteers staff the AHD COVID-19 Hotline (703.746.4988) weekdays from 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; conduct contact tracing seven days a week; provide infection control training (for example, donning and doffing personal protective equipment, fit testing of respirators); and assist with a multitude of tasks such as data entry, mask refurbishments, and administrative jobs.

AHD MRC Coordinator Ionela Lutai was recently featured on a national panel sponsored by the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, to discuss these efforts, present best practices, and answer questions from other MRC units across the country.

Since being deployed for AHD pandemic response support in March, MRC staff have volunteered 901 hours at an estimated value of $332,631. The estimated dollar value is a conservative calculation, as many of AHD’s MRC volunteers have advanced degrees that would command a higher dollar per hour cost if they were employees or contractors. MRC volunteer calculations are conducted one month after work is completed; the June work will be reported in August. For more information, including how to become an AHD medical or non-medical MRC volunteer, visit alexandriava.gov/MedicalReserve

New COVID-19 Cases and No New Fatalities Added in Alexandria

The Virginia Department of Health in Alexandria reported an increase of 14 cases and no fatalities in Alexandria as of July 10; 2 cases and no fatalities as of July 11; and 1 case and no fatalities as of July 12; bringing the total to 2,456 cases, including 57 fatalities. Detailed data, including data on age, race and ethnicity, is available through links at alexandriava.gov/Coronavirus. The virus that causes COVID-19 is spread both by people who are symptomatic and by those who do not know that they are infected. Everyone is safest at home. This is especially true for those in high-risk populations (such as older adults, persons living in long-term care facilities, and those with serious underlying medical conditions). If you must go out, please maintain 6 feet of distance from others, wear a cloth face covering, and always carry hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol with you. Everyone must do their part to stop the spread. 

 

# # #

 

This news release is available at alexandriava.gov/116712

July 13th Updates:

City of Alexandria Receives State Funding to Provide Additional Rent and Mortgage Relief

For Immediate Release: July 10, 2020

 

The City of Alexandria will provide additional rent and mortgage relief to eligible residents, using an initial $450,000 of funds from the Virginia Rent and Mortgage Relief Program to support housing stability during the COVID-19 pandemic. The City’s Department of Community and Human Services will administer the funds. These funds are in addition to the $4 million in federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act funds being distributed through the Emergency Rent Relief Assistance Program and $671,500 in federal Community Development Block Grant funds for tenants of affordable housing, both administered by the City’s Office of Housing. 

 

Financial assistance is a one-time payment, with opportunity for renewal based on availability of funding and the household’s need for additional assistance and continued eligibility. Eligible households must demonstrate an inability to make rent or mortgage payments due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Monthly rent or mortgage must be at or below 150% Fair Market Rent as determined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and eligible households must have a gross household income at or below 80% of area median income (AMI). 

Residents can take a self-assessment survey in English or Spanish to determine if they are eligible, and call 703.746.5700 to apply. Individuals and families who receive funding will also be connected to housing counseling to receive other technical assistance. 

 

To ensure program funding assists households most in need, the program will target outreach to communities of color across Virginia. Before the pandemic, analysis from the RVA Eviction Lab at Virginia Commonwealth University found that these communities had higher eviction rates, even after controlling for income, property value and other characteristics. The COVID-19 pandemic has also had a disproportionate impact on people of color.

 

The program will give precedence to households without other federal and state eviction or foreclosure protections. Until July 20, priority will be given to households with current gross incomes equal to or below 50% of AMI. After July 20, households with current gross incomes at or below 80% of AMI will be included. In addition, households with an unlawful detainer action dated before June 8 will be given top consideration. Tenants and homeowners are encouraged to know their rights and responsibilities and pay their rent and mortgages on time if they are able.

 

Persons who live outside Alexandria who wish to apply for assistance should visit dhcd.virginia.gov/eligibility to identify the local administrator or call 211 VIRGINIA by dialing 2-1-1.

For inquiries from the news media or requests for reasonable disability accommodation, contact Andrea Blackford, Senior Communications Officer, at andrea.blackford@alexandriava.gov or 703.746.3959, Virginia Relay 711.
 

# # #
 

This news release is available at alexandriava.gov/116655.

July 10th Updates:

FDA Updates Advisory Against Several Hand Sanitizer Brands and New COVID-19 Resources

For Immediate Release: July 9, 2020

 

The City of Alexandria and the Alexandria Health Department (AHD) remind everyone that you are safest at home. Older adults, persons with underlying medical conditions and pregnant women are at greater risk for severe disease and are advised to minimize potential exposures as much as possible. Please keep at least 6 feet of distance from others. Everyone is required to wear a face covering in most indoor public settings. Your neighbors and loved ones are counting on you to stop the spread of COVID-19. 

FDA Issues Updated Advisory Against Use of Several Hand Sanitizer Brands

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued an updated warning against the use of any hand sanitizers containing methanol. The FDA has seen an increase in hand sanitizers with methanol and has issued a recall on products made by multiple manufacturers. Review the products in the FDA list and discard any hand sanitizers that have been recalled. Methanol can have many toxic effects such as changes in vision, vomiting, nausea, headache, or neurological symptoms. Consumers who may have been exposed to methanol and are experiencing these symptoms should seek medical attention immediately.

11 New COVID-19 Cases and No New Fatalities Added in Alexandria

The cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in Alexandria is now 2,419, including 57 fatalities. Detailed data, including data on age, race and ethnicity, is available through links at alexandriava.gov/Coronavirus. The virus that causes COVID-19 is spread both by people who are symptomatic and by those who do not know that they are infected. Everyone is safest at home. This is especially true for those in high-risk populations (such as older adults, persons living in long-term care facilities, and those with serious underlying medical conditions). If you must go out, please maintain 6 feet of distance from others, wear a cloth face covering, and always carry hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol with you. Everyone must do their part to stop the spread. 

  

# # #

 

New COVID-19 Resources | Minority Mental Health Month | Getting Alexandrians Back to Work | And More!

Read and share the latest information and articles about the work the Department of Community and Human Services is doing to support, increase and maintain the well-being, safety and self-sufficiency of all Alexandrians during the COVID-19 crisis and beyond.

 

New COVID-19 Resources: Food Distribution, Parent Support Line, Virtual Career Fair, Multi-language Resources and More

Share these recent updates and newly added resources and services with others. Learn more.

 

Mental Health Month Raises Awareness of Challenges, Resources for BIPOC and LGBTQ

July is National Minority Mental Health Month, and DCHS is highlighting the importance of mental health awareness for BIPOC, people in LGBTQ communities, immigrants and other groups. Read more.

 

WDC Launches ‘Strive & Thrive’ to Help Alexandrians Get Back to Work

The Workforce Development Center launches initiative to support Alexandria’s workforce and employers by offering events, services and training remotely and online. Read more.

 

Alexandria and Fairfax County Collaborate on Parent Support Line

Call and text line helps parents and caregivers manage the stress of parenting during the COVID-19 pandemic by providing advice, support and tips to help navigate parenting issues. Learn more.

 

Read these articles and more on DCHS Connect.

July 9th Updates:

Saturday Food Distribution; Lyceum to Reopen

For Immediate Release: July 8, 2020

The City of Alexandria and the Alexandria Health Department (AHD) remind everyone that you are safest at home. Older adults, persons with underlying medical conditions and pregnant women are at greater risk for severe disease and are advised to minimize potential exposures as much as possible. Please keep at least 6 feet of distance from others. Everyone is required to wear a face covering in most indoor public settings. Your neighbors and loved ones are counting on you to stop the spread of COVID-19. 

Plan Ahead for Saturday Emergency Food Distribution

This Saturday, July 11, ALIVE! will be offering a “Truck-to-Trunk” distribution of food for residents who continue to be impacted financially by the COVID-19 pandemic. Shelf-stable groceries will be handed out at the John Adams Elementary School and Cora Kelly Elementary School parking lots, from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m., or until supplies run out. Residents are encouraged to drive through for pick-up. Residents who choose to walk up should bring their own bags and carts to carry food away. Everyone is asked to wear face coverings; observe physical distancing of at least 6 feet; and practice good hand hygiene. ALIVE! and Hunger Free Alexandria are also accepting donations from the community to support their efforts to meet the needs of Alexandrians hard-hit by COVID-19.

Recovery: The Lyceum Reopens with New Safety Protocols

The Alexandria History Museum at the Lyceum will reopen to the public this Friday, July 10, at 11 a.m., with modified hours and new safety protocols. Exhibit galleries will be open Fridays and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sundays from 1 to 4 p.m. To promote physical distancing of at least 6 feet between parties of no more than 10 people per party, visitors will be required to obtain timed-entry tickets through the Historic Alexandria online store. Visitors will also be required to wear face coverings (except for children under 10 and visitors with health conditions that prohibit them from wearing face coverings); wash hands or use hand sanitizer upon arrival; follow one-way traffic patterns; and use credit or debit cards for any museum shop purchases. Museum staff will wear face coverings at all times and frequently clean restrooms and all high-touch surfaces. Hand sanitizer and tissues will be made available throughout the museum, and plexiglass shields will be installed at shop counters.

9 New COVID-19 Cases and No New Fatalities Added in Alexandria

The cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in Alexandria is now 2,408, including 57 fatalities. Detailed data, including data on age, race and ethnicity, is available through links at alexandriava.gov/Coronavirus. The virus that causes COVID-19 is spread both by people who are symptomatic and by those who do not know that they are infected. Everyone is safest at home. This is especially true for those in high-risk populations (such as older adults, persons living in long-term care facilities, and those with serious underlying medical conditions). If you must go out, please maintain 6 feet of distance from others, wear a cloth face covering, and always carry hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol with you. Everyone must do their part to stop the spread. 

 

# # #

City of Alexandria to Resume Parking Enforcement on July 20 

For Immediate Release: July 8, 2020 

The City of Alexandria will resume enforcement of residential parking zones, weekend meters, and other parking regulations beginning Monday, July 20. Enforcement has been temporarily suspended since March in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  

On July 20, the City will resume enforcement of the following parking restrictions: 

  • Time restrictions for the general public in residential parking permit zones (signs in these zones include the language “residential permit exempt”). 

  • Saturday time restrictions and meter fees on blocks with pay stations (time restrictions and meter fees on blocks with pay stations will continue to be enforced on weekdays). 

  • Time restrictions for street sweeping (signs pertaining to these restrictions prohibit parking during a one-hour window on a particular day of the week). 

  • The prohibition against parking on the street for more than 72 hours. 

  • The requirement to display a valid state inspection sticker. 

The City suspended enforcement of these parking regulations to assist vehicle owners who were working from home, caring for others, or trying to ensure the flow of goods and services. As Virginia continues to reopen and state COVID-19 related restrictions are being lifted, the City has determined that it is now appropriate to resume normal parking enforcement.   

 

To give residents, visitors and workers adequate time to adjust their parking routines, the City is giving advance notice before parking tickets are issued to cars in violation of posted restrictions. Residents who are still unable to move their vehicles on a regular basis may apply for an exemption of the City’s 72-hour rule.   

To encourage continued physical distancing, temporary signed curbside pickup zones will remain in place at this time. 

 

Visit alexandriava.gov/Parking for more information about parking in Alexandria and alexandriava.gov/Coronavirus for more information about the City’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

July 8th Updates:

Guidance for Sick Parents and Caregivers; Helping Alexandrians Get Back to Work;  and Regional Support Line for Parents

For Immediate Release: July 7, 2020

The City of Alexandria and the Alexandria Health Department (AHD) remind everyone that you are safest at home. Older adults, persons with underlying medical conditions and pregnant women are at greater risk for severe disease and are advised to minimize potential exposures as much as possible. Please keep at least 6 feet of distance from others. Everyone is required to wear a face covering in most indoor public settings. Your neighbors and loved ones are counting on you to stop the spread of COVID-19.  

Regional Support Line for Parents

For those with children at home, the last few months have brought special challenges. Whether it’s learning how to provide home-based education, keeping kids entertained, or struggling to meet physical needs to due to financial strain, the City of Alexandria, Fairfax County and community partners are providing a regional Parent Support Line to offer a listening ear, parenting advice, support and tips to help navigate emotional and relational parenting issues. Call 703.324.7720, or text SUPPORT or PARENTING to 30644, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. This service is available in English and Spanish. 

Guidance for Sick Parents and Caregivers

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises that If a parent or a sole caregiver has COVID-19, everyone in the home should practice everyday preventive actions. Those in the home who are sick with COVID-19 should follow AHD’s guidance for what to do if you are sick (also available as an animated video) and when it is safe to end your isolationIf a child’s parent or caregiver is sick with COVID-19, follow the guidance to help protect the child from infection. Only children who are older and mature enough to care for themselves without supervision should remain in the home where the sick parent or caregiver leaves. Children who are younger or who require supervision at all times should stay with another caregiver outside the home who is not at high risk, since the child has likely been exposed to the illness. The caregiver will need to help the child or children quarantine for 14 days. The CDC also offers guidance to caregivers of children whose parent or primary caregiver is sick with COVID-19.

Helping Alexandrians Get Back to Work 

The City’s Workforce Development Center has launched “Strive & Thrive: Helping Alexandria Stay Resilient & Get Back to Work,” to support Alexandria’s workforce and employers who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis by offering events, services and training remotely and online. Job seekers and workers can attend online events like virtual job fairs and register for free online workshops focusing on navigating virtual career fairs, interviewing online, resume writing and more, led by WDC career coaches who provide group and one-on-one support in job search and career development. Employment services and solutions are also available for employers. Learn more about the services and support available to job seekers and employers. 

Weekly Featured Jobs Flyer 

Every week, the City’s Workforce Development Center posts a list of employers who are hiring for a range of positions. View the flyer or visit the Workforce Development Center’s Job Board for these and other job opportunities.

4 New COVID-19 Cases and No New Fatalities Added in Alexandria

The cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in Alexandria is now 2,380, including 57 fatalities. Detailed data, including data on age, race and ethnicity, is available through links at alexandriava.gov/Coronavirus. The virus that causes COVID-19 is spread both by people who are symptomatic and by those who do not know that they are infected. Everyone is safest at home. This is especially true for those in high-risk populations (such as older adults, persons living in long-term care facilities, and those with serious underlying medical conditions). If you must go out, please maintain 6 feet of distance from others, wear a cloth face covering, and always carry hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol with you. Everyone must do their part to stop the spread. 

 

# # #

July 7th Updates:

For Immediate Release: July 7, 2020

The City of Alexandria invites the community to celebrate Alexandria’s 271st and the USA’s 244th birthday in the safety and comfort of home, with virtual performances and a community singalong on Saturday, July 11, at 7 p.m.

“This year, we’ll miss the fireworks and birthday cake, but we can still celebrate our community together while staying safe,” said Mayor Justin Wilson. “I invite everyone, especially those who haven’t experienced this event in the past, to join us as we celebrate our city and our nation.”

To comply with Virginia's Safer at Home Phase Three guidelines, this year's celebration will take place online with virtual performances, including a citywide singalong. Enjoy music from the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra and the Navy Commodores, and a stirring poem written for the occasion by Alexandria Poet Laureate KaNikki Jakarta. Visit alexandriava.gov/Recreation to experience the virtual celebration.

Everyone is invited to join in the celebration and stand at porches, stoops, balconies or windows to sing “Happy Birthday” to Alexandria together at 7 p.m. Local singer and songwriter Lea will lead the song via a live stream, also featuring performances in some of her favorite places around Alexandria. 

To experience the virtual celebration, visit alexandriava.gov/Recreation. For more information, call the Special Events Hotline at 703.746.5592.

For inquiries from the news media only, contact Andrea Blackford, Senior Communications Officer, at andrea.blackford@alexandriava.gov or 703.746.3959.

For reasonable disability accommodation, contact anne.odell@alexandriava.gov or call 703.746.5419, Virginia Relay 711.

# # #

July 6th Update:

For Immediate Release: July 5, 2020

The City of Alexandria and the Alexandria Health Department (AHD) remind everyone that you are safest at home. Older adults, persons with underlying medical conditions, and pregnant women are at greater risk for severe disease and are advised to minimize potential exposures as much as possible. Please keep at least 6 feet of distance from others. Everyone is required to wear a face covering in most indoor public settings. Your neighbors and loved ones are counting on you to stop the spread of COVID-19. 

Virtual Events and Activities for the Week

Many City meetings, events and activities can now be attended virtually. The City Calendar has a complete list of virtual opportunities, as well as cancellations. Looking to have some fun? Visit RPCA at HOME for virtual programming that includes fitness classes, storytelling, and more. The Alexandria Library also has a number of virtual classes, story hours, workshops and concerts that are all available online.  

19 New COVID-19 Cases and No New Fatalities Added in Alexandria

The cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in Alexandria is now 2,376, including 57 fatalities. Detailed data, including data on age, race and ethnicity, is available through links at alexandriava.gov/Coronavirus. The virus that causes COVID-19 is spread both by people who are symptomatic and by those who do not know that they are infected. Everyone is safest at home. This is especially true for those in high-risk populations (such as older adults, persons living in long-term care facilities, and those with serious underlying medical conditions). If you must go out, please maintain 6 feet of distance from others, wear a cloth face covering, and always carry hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol with you. Everyone must do their part to stop the spread. 

 

# # #

This news release is available at alexandriava.gov/116501

July 2nd Update:

Phase Three Begins; Small Businesses Receive ALX B2B Grants

For Immediate Release: July 1, 2020

 

The City of Alexandria and the Alexandria Health Department (AHD) remind everyone that you are safest at home. Older adults, persons with underlying medical conditions, and pregnant women are at greater risk for severe disease and are advised to minimize potential exposures as much as possible. Please keep at least 6 feet of distance from others. Everyone is required to wear a face covering in most indoor public settings. Your neighbors and loved ones are counting on you to stop the spread of COVID-19. 

Bar Areas Remain Closed as Phase Three Begins Today

As Virginia enters Phase Three of the Forward Virginia blueprint today, Executive Order 67 provides for an easing of some restrictions on individuals and businesses. While gatherings of up to 250 are now permitted, it is still important to maintain 6 feet of distance and wear face coverings when around others in public. Restaurants are now permitted to provide indoor dining as long as each party is seated at least 6 feet apart. Bar seats and congregating areas must remain closed except for through traffic. Virginians are still encouraged to continue teleworking from home if possible; wash their hands frequently; practice physical distancing; and get tested immediately if symptoms of COVID-19 are experienced.  

What’s New for City Operations in Phase Three

City operations continue to resume in Phase Three, all with modifications consistent with guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to stop the spread of COVID-19.  

  • Farmers’ Markets - Beginning July 4, farmers' markets in Alexandria will be permitted to resume on-site transactions, on-site food preparation and non-food vendors. Customers are strongly encouraged to wear face coverings and use pre-ordering and contactless payment options when available. Market Managers must continue to comply with the Operating Conditions and Market Set-up guidance, which are subject to change based on public health guidance.

  • Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities (RPCA) - Most RPCA programs are now operational, with modifications in accordance with Phase Three guidelines. Outdoor picnic shelters are now open and other amenities, such as playgrounds, are open with modifications to capacity and schedules. The Interactive Fountain at Potomac Yard Park remains closed in accordance with Phase Three guidance for interactive water play features. For additional information about phased recreation reopenings, visit alexandriava.gov/Recreation.

  • Libraries - Patrons may now place holds on items by logging in to their accounts at alexlibraryva.org and scheduling curbside pickup appointments. Staff-Assisted Materials Selection (SAMS) is a service available for specific materials requests that are unavailable through the online Library catalog. SAMS may be coordinated by phone or email. Libraries will be closed on Friday, July 3, in observance of Independence Day.

Alexandra Small Businesses to Receive $3.5 million from ALX B2B Grants Program

The Alexandria Economic Development Partnership (AEDP), in partnership with City government, will distribute $3.5 million in relief to more than 300 small businesses throughout Alexandria that were impacted by the economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Grants will range in amounts from $10,000 to $20,000, depending on the size of the business. AEDP will notify all applicants and list the grantees online. Applicants had the opportunity to self-report their race and ethnicity, and 38% of the recipients who volunteered the information identified as Hispanic or Latino, Black or African American, or Asian American. The City and AEDP are working on next steps for future rounds of this grant program and will continue outreach to minority, veteran, and women-owned businesses.

 

City of Alexandria Reminds Community of New Virginia Traffic Safety Laws in Support of Vision Zero

For Immediate Release: July 1, 2020

 

The City of Alexandria reminds the community of new Virginia traffic safety laws in effect as of today, July 1, as a result of legislation passed during the 2020 General Assembly Session. These new laws support and extend Alexandria’s commitment to Vision Zero, the City's initiative to end traffic-related deaths and serious injuries.

 

Drivers must stop for pedestrians in crosswalks:

  • When the posted speed limit is 35 mph or lower, drivers must stop and remain stopped for a person crossing at any marked or unmarked crosswalk until the person has passed the lane where the driver has stopped. Violators are subject to fines of up to $500. Prior law required drivers to yield in such situations, but not necessarily to stop.

  • It is illegal for a driver of any other vehicle to pass the stopped driver in an adjacent lane or behind the stopped driver, to overtake or pass the stopped driver. 

  • People walking or in wheelchairs may cross at any clearly marked mid-block crosswalks; marked crosswalks at intersections; and unmarked crosswalks at intersections.

Vulnerable road users receive additional protection: 

  • Any driver who causes serious injury to or the death of a vulnerable road user due to carelessness or distraction can be charged with a Class 1 misdemeanor. Vulnerable users include people in wheelchairs, walking, biking, skating, riding horses or other animals, and those in animal-drawn vehicles, as welI as those using electric scooters, electric bikes and electric boards.

  • It is now illegal for drivers to use a bicycle lane to pass another driver.

For additional information on these new laws, visit the Alexandria Vision Zero Initiative web page at alexandriava.gov/VisionZero. To report traffic violations, call 703.746.4444. For other traffic safety issues, such as requesting traffic signage, use Alex311 online or call 311 or 703.746.4311.

 

For inquiries from the news media only, contact Andrea Blackford, Senior Communications Officer, at andrea.blackford@alexandriava.gov or 703.746.3959.

 

 

# # #

July 1st Update:

Alexandria Fire Department Reminds Community that Fireworks are Dangerous and Illegal 

For Immediate Release: June 30, 2020

 

The Alexandria Fire Department reminds residents, businesses and visitors that it is illegal to possess, sell, store or use any fireworks — including sparklers — in Alexandria, even if they can be purchased legally in neighboring jurisdictions.

 

According to the National Fire Protection Association, thousands of people are injured while using consumer fireworks every Fourth of July, 26% of whom are younger than age 15. Fireworks start an average of 18,500 fires per year in the United States, including 1,300 structure fires, 300 vehicle fires, and 16,900 outdoor and other fires. Every year, these fires cause an average of three deaths and 40 civilian injuries, and an average of $43 million in direct property damage.

 

Fireworks violations are Class 1 misdemeanors and may be punishable by a $2,500 fine, 12 months in jail or both. Fireworks violations may be reported 24 hours a day by calling 703.746.4444. For immediate police, fire or emergency medical assistance, call or text 911.

 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many local jurisdictions have canceled fireworks displays this year. The City of Alexandria’s annual Birthday Party and fireworks, originally scheduled for July 11, will not be held in person or include live fireworks. Virtual alternatives for this celebration will be announced soon. For information on City events, call 703.746.5592 or 703.746.5418. Those who choose to go out during the holiday are urged to practice physical distancing measures; wear face coverings; bring tissues and hand sanitizer; and practice the Six Steps to Stop the Spread of COVID-19.

 

For inquiries from the news media only, contact Andrea Blackford, Senior Communications Officer, at andrea.blackford@alexandriava.gov or 703.746.3959.

Caution for Travelers; Handwashing Signs; Business Tax Moratorium Ends

For Immediate Release: June 30, 2020

 

The City of Alexandria and the Alexandria Health Department (AHD) remind everyone that you are safest at home except for essential trips such as food purchases and medical care. If you must leave your home, you are required to wear a face covering in most indoor public settings. Please keep at least 6 feet of distance from others whenever possible. Your neighbors and loved ones are counting on you to stop the spread of COVID-19. 

AHD Urges Caution for Travelers

There have been a number of vacation or travel-related COVID-19 outbreaks over the last several weeks, including in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. With community transmission still active across the country, engaging in activities with people outside your household puts you at risk of contracting COVID-19. AHD urges community members to be mindful of alerts about outbreaks from travel destinations -- both before and after visiting -- and carefully consider the need to change plans before traveling or seek testing afterward. 

Resource: Handwashing Signs Available in Online Catalog

Washing your hands for at least 20 seconds, using soap and water, is one of the simplest ways to stop the spread of COVID-19. This has been a constant message in the guidance provided by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, AHD and the City since the earliest days of anticipating the arrival of the coronavirus in the United States and our community. The City and AHD have produced numerous signs and flyers that remind everyone of the importance of washing hands, which are available to download; share in social media; and print for your business, office, home or anywhere you want to have the reminder.     

Business Personal Property Tax Moratorium Ends July 1

On March 24, City Council adopted an emergency ordinance to extend the payment deadline for certain taxes and filing requirements to support Alexandria’s businesses through the economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. This filing moratorium ends Wednesday, July 1. The ordinance also included the Meals Tax and Transient Lodging Tax; 2020 Business, Professional, and Occupational License (BPOL) Taxes; BPOL quarterly payments; and Tax Relief for the Elderly and Disabled. All businesses that have not already filed their 2020 Business Personal Property return must do so online by July 1 to be on time. Late 2020 BPOL filings must also be made by July 1. Businesses that deferred payment must file and pay or contact the Revenue Division to arrange a payment plan. Due to COVID-19, City Hall payment windows continue to operate at limited in-person hours, Tuesdays and Fridays, 8 a.m-noon. However, payments can be made online or by phone. 

8 New COVID-19 Cases and No New Fatalities Added in Alexandria

The cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in Alexandria is now 2,325, including 57 fatalities. Detailed data is available through the links at alexandriava.gov/Coronavirus. It is important to note that there is still community transmission of the virus that causes COVID-19 and everyone is safest at home. This is especially true for those in high-risk populations (such as older adults, persons living in long-term care facilities, and those with serious underlying medical conditions). If you must go out, please remember to keep 6 feet of distance from others; wear a cloth face covering, especially when inside public spaces; wash hands frequently; and remember to always carry tissues and hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol with you.

 

# # #

 

June 30th Update:

Employer Registration Deadline for Virtual Job Fair; Weekly Featured Jobs Flyer 

For Immediate Release: June 29, 2020

The City of Alexandria and the Alexandria Health Department (AHD) remind everyone that you are safest at home except for essential trips such as food purchases and medical care. If you must leave your home, you are required to wear a face covering in most indoor public settings. Please keep at least 6 feet of distance from others whenever possible. Your neighbors and loved ones are counting on you to stop the spread of COVID-19. 

Employer Registration for Virtual Career Fair Ends July 6 

To help residents whose employment has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic crisis, the City is participating in the Virginia Career Works Alexandria/Arlington Virtual Job Fair on Wednesday, July 15, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Job seekers will have the opportunity to network, apply and interview for jobs virtually with prospective employers via chat rooms, private chats and video chats. The deadline for employer registration is Monday, July 6. This event is free, but job seekers must register prior to the event.

Weekly Featured Jobs Flyer 

Every week, the City’s Workforce Development Center posts a list of employers who are hiring for a range of positions. View the flyer or visit the Workforce Development Center’s Job Board for these and other job opportunities.

5 New COVID-19 Cases and No New Fatalities Added in Alexandria

The cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in Alexandria is now 2,317, including 57 fatalities. Detailed data is available through the links at alexandriava.gov/Coronavirus. It is important to note that there is still community transmission of the virus that causes COVID-19 and everyone is safest at home. This is especially true for those in high-risk populations (such as older adults, persons living in long-term care facilities, and those with serious underlying medical conditions). If you must go out, please remember to keep 6 feet of distance from others; wear a cloth face covering, especially when inside public spaces; wash hands frequently; and remember to always carry tissues and hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol with you.

# # #

This news release is available at alexandriava.gov/116347

June 29th Update:

Cooling Assistance for Seniors; Shop Local Face Coverings; Virtual Events and Activities

For Immediate Release: June 28, 2020

The City of Alexandria and the Alexandria Health Department (AHD) remind everyone that you are safest at home except for essential trips such as food purchases and medical care. If you must leave your home, you are required to wear a face covering when inside buildings. Please keep at least 6 feet of distance from others whenever possible. Your neighbors and loved ones are counting on you to stop the spread of COVID-19. 

Home Cooling Assistance for Seniors

The City's Division of Aging and Adult Services' Senior Cool Care Program provides assistance for seniors ages 60 years or older who need cooling in their homes, especially while seniors are encouraged to stay home as much as possible to avoid potential severe illness from COVID-19. To be eligible, interested seniors must be Alexandria residents and meet income and other guidelines. For more information, email DAAS@alexandriava.gov or call 703.746.5999. Help seniors who may not be connected online by sharing a program flyer.

Shop Local for Face Coverings

Residents are reminded that Executive Order 63 directs all Virginians to wear a face covering when indoors in public buildings. Want to support local business?  View Visit Alexandria’s webpage to see where you can purchase face coverings, and view the City’s infographic on how to properly put on, take off, and maintain them.

Virtual City Events and Activities this Week 

Many City meetings, events and activities can now be attended virtually. The City Calendar has a complete list of virtual opportunities, as well as cancellations. Looking to have some fun? Visit RPCA at HOME for virtual programming that includes fitness classes, storytelling, and more.

Public Health Justice Principles; Strategic Action Framework for Vulnerable Residential Buildings; Camp Options

For Immediate Release: June 27, 2020

The City of Alexandria and the Alexandria Health Department (AHD) remind everyone that you are safest at home except for essential trips such as food purchases and medical care. If you must leave your home, you are required to wear a face covering when inside buildings. Please keep at least 6 feet of distance from others whenever possible. Your neighbors and loved ones are counting on you to stop the spread of COVID-19. 

Alexandria Health Department Emphasizes Public Health Justice Principles

As part of its work during the COVID-19 pandemic, AHD has concentrated and fortified its decision-making processes into Public Health Justice Principles. These principles comprise three areas that informed the development of various Strategic Action Frameworks:  

  • Prioritizing science-based recommendations -- understanding that such recommendations will change with science’s understanding of a novel disease like COVID-19 -- to reduce the risk of harm to individuals or populations and to maximize effectiveness of limited resources 

  • Focusing resources on saving lives of those in high-risk populations (such as older adults, persons living in long-term care facilities, and those with serious underlying medical conditions). From the beginning of the pandemic response, AHD has focused its resources into efforts with these target populations to reduce COVID-19 related fatalities.

  • Engaging and empowering Alexandrians most in need, recognizing certain members of the community (usually as the elderly, communities of color, and low-income residents) are not only most susceptible to chronic and infectious disease, but also are often marginalized in civic conversations and decision making. AHD will continue to engage community leaders and residents to inform communications strategies that empower them to take appropriate COVID-19 mitigation actions, and through meaningful community engagement, develop strategies for access to care and other resources.

AHD Publishes Vulnerable Residential Buildings Strategic Action Framework

In the fourth of a series, AHD has published its Strategic Action Framework: Vulnerable Residential Buildings. Vulnerable residential buildings include apartment buildings, duplexes or townhomes that serve populations at high risk of infection and severe illness from COVID-19, such as seniors; those living in crowded conditions, low-income residents, or are located in neighborhoods with high rates of confirmed COVID-19 infections. This framework summarizes objectives and tactics being used to support Alexandria’s senior housing and vulnerable residential buildings in infection control, outbreak prevention, and mitigation during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Priority tactics include:

  1. Sharing resources and information about best practices to stop the spread.

  2. Determining use of infection control measures.

  3. Working with building staff to utilize best practices.

  4. Supporting the alteration of building conditions to encourage healthy behaviors.

All of the AHD Strategic Action Frameworks to date are now available online, and cover plans around community testing, support for long-term care facilities and congregate living facilities. These Frameworks are living documents that may change as public health learns more about COVID-19. They are primarily used as AHD internal project management documents, but are being shared with the public to increase pandemic response transparency. Sensitive information about specific facilities has been redacted.

Out of School Time Summer Camp Options

The City is offering Out of School Time half-day programs and group game activities in addition to its full-day modified summer camp. All programs are available to Alexandria residents ages 6-12 who have attended Kindergarten through 6th grade. All health guidelines for staff and participants will be met, including symptom screening, use of face masks, enhanced cleaning, and physical distancing protocols, and indoor locations will have limited capacity. Swimming and field trips will not be held during the summer camps. View details about full-day camp, half-day camp, and Friday Fun Days, including locations, session descriptions and registration information.

16 New COVID-19 Cases and 1 New Fatality Added in Alexandria

The cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in Alexandria is now 2,303, including 57 fatalities. Detailed data is available through the links at alexandriava.gov/Coronavirus. It is important to note that there is still community transmission of the virus that causes COVID-19 and everyone is safest at home. This is especially true for those in high-risk populations (such as older adults, persons living in long-term care facilities, and those with serious underlying medical conditions). If you must go out, please remember to keep 6 feet of distance from others; wear a cloth face covering especially when inside public spaces; wash hands frequently; and remember to always carry tissues and hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol with you.

# # #

This news release is available at alexandriava.gov/116336.

June 26th Update:

ALX Promise for Phase Three Business

For Immediate Release: June 25, 2020

The City of Alexandria and the Alexandria Health Department (AHD) remind everyone that you are safest at home. If you must leave your home, you are required to wear a face covering when inside buildings. Please keep at least 6 feet of distance from others. Your neighbors and loved ones are counting on you to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Businesses Can Prepare for Phase Three with ALX Promise

As more Alexandria businesses look to reopen on July 1 in Phase Three of the “Forward Virginia” blueprint, participating in the ALX Promise program can support safe interaction with the public. This program, offered by AHD in partnership with Visit Alexandria, trains business owners and operators how to properly and effectively create a safe, sanitized environment for customers and patrons. Businesses that complete the training receive an ALX Promise shield to display. All Alexandria businesses are encouraged to participate. Visit Alexandria offers a list of businesses that have completed the program, which is updated regularly.

 

City of Alexandria to Host Community Conversation on Policing

The City of Alexandria will host a virtual conversation to discuss local protocols and practices in light of recent national attention on racial disparities in policing. The event will be held on Monday, June 29, from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

The discussion will be facilitated by community activist Tiffany Flowers and include Mayor Justin Wilson and Police Chief Michael Brown as panelists. The panel will be introduced by Jaqueline Tucker, the City’s race and social equity officer. The public will have the opportunity to ask questions following the formal discussion. 

The virtual conversation will be accessible via webinar or telephone. To receive access instructions, register in advance. Visit the Police Department’s Frequently Asked Questions for more information about police accountability, training and use of force standards. 

For inquiries from the news media only, contact Andrea Blackford, Senior Communications Officer, at andrea.blackford@alexandriava.gov or 703.746.3959.

For reasonable disability accommodation, contact jaqueline.tucker@alexandriava.gov or call 703.746.4300, Virginia Relay 711.

# # #

Alexandria City Council to Consider Purchasing Mark Center Building to Consolidate Public Health and Human Services

On July 7, the Alexandria City Council will consider purchasing a facility at 4850 Mark Center Drive to enable the consolidation of the City of Alexandria’s Department of Community and Human Services, the Alexandria Health Department (a division of the Virginia Department of Health), and the nonprofit community health provider Neighborhood Health. The consolidation will save taxpayers more than $18 million over 15 years and result in long-term City ownership, while significantly improving service delivery for clients and working conditions for staff.

“At this time of severe economic stress, it’s more important than ever for the City to make prudent financial decisions in the near and long terms,” said City Manager Mark Jinks. “The purchase of this facility is an excellent opportunity to reap benefits for clients, staff and taxpayers for many years to come.”

The City previously executed a 15-year lease with purchase option with the Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA), which currently owns and occupies the building. After a comprehensive evaluation of potential options, the IDA facility represented the newest, least expensive and most flexible choice. Built in 2001, the 10-story facility comprises 270,000 square feet and includes a four-story parking garage. Exercising the purchase option will be less expensive over time than leasing.

The agencies that will move into the new facility currently occupy more than 210,000 square feet across multiple locations in Alexandria, with leases at four facilities expiring in the near future. Current space is often overcrowded and below modern standards for offices and clinics. The two largest facilities are on the east end of Alexandria, while a large proportion of clients now live in West End neighborhoods. The new facility will accommodate all tenant requirements, while providing approximately 30,000 square feet of remaining office space for future growth or flexible use by the City. The location is on current public transit routes and within walking distance of the future West End Transitway, and will improve accessibility to clients and staff.

Prior to City Council consideration, the $58.7 million purchase will be subject to approval by the Planning Commission on June 25. IDA will remain the largest private employer in Alexandria after relocating to a new headquarters location in Potomac Yard. Agencies are expected to begin occupying the Mark Center facility in 2023, after IDA completes their move and interior renovations in the original facility are completed. 

For inquiries from the news media only, contact Andrea Blackford, Senior Communications Officer, at andrea.blackford@alexandriava.gov or 703.746.3959.
 

# # #

June 25th Update:

Signs and Flyers for Phase III; and Interviewing Skills Webinar 

For Immediate Release: June 24, 2020

The City of Alexandria and the Alexandria Health Department (AHD) remind everyone that you are safest at home except for essential trips such as food purchases and medical care. If you must leave your home, you are required to wear a face covering when inside buildings. Please keep at least 6 feet of distance from others whenever possible. Your neighbors and loved ones are counting on you to stop the spread of COVID-19. 

Signs and Flyers to Help Businesses and Facilities Prepare for Phase Three

The City has made it easy for residents, businesses, residential property managers, facilities, and houses of worship to communicate guidance and rules about face coverings, hand hygiene and physical distancing. As Virginia prepares to move into Phase Three of the Forward Virginia blueprint on July 1, a catalog of more than 180 COVID-19 related signs, flyers, postcards and digital banners is available for download and print. Many documents are available in English, Amharic, Arabic and Spanish. It is important to remember that while restrictions are being eased, COVID-19 still exists in the community. It is important for everyone to do their part to stop the spread of COVID-19. 

Networking & Interviewing Skills Webinar Reminder

The City’s Workforce Development Center reminds Alexandrians of the virtual job search workshop being held tomorrow, Thursday, June 25, from 2 to 3 p.m. For any resident whose employment status has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, this webinar is a great opportunity to learn how to ace a virtual interview, create an elevator pitch, and effectively network. Attendance is free, but registration is required. 

10 New COVID-19 Cases and 1 New Fatality Added in Alexandria

The cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in Alexandria is now 2,258, including 50 fatalities. Detailed data is available through the links at alexandriava.gov/Coronavirus. It is important to note that there is still community transmission of the virus that causes COVID-19 and everyone is safest at home. This is especially true for persons at higher risk for severe illness, including those over the age of 65 and those with underlying medical conditions. If you must go out, please remember to keep 6 feet of distance from others; wear a cloth face covering, especially when inside public spaces; wash hands frequently; and remember to always carry tissues and hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol with you.

  

# # #

This news release is available at alexandriava.gov/116234.

 

June 24th Update:

City of Alexandria Announces Schedule of Services for Week of Independence Day, July 3rd 

For Immediate Release: June 23, 2020

All City of Alexandria government offices will be closed on Friday, July 3, in observance of Independence Day. The following list includes schedule information for City services and partner agencies for the week of Independence Day. For links to detailed information about changes to City services due to the COVID-19 pandemic, visit alexandriava.gov/Coronavirus.

 

Resource Recovery: Regularly scheduled resource recovery collection services -- including refuse, recycling, metal, bulk, and yard waste -- will occur on their normal schedules for Monday, June 29, through Thursday, July 2. 

 

Animal Shelter: The Vola Lawson Animal Shelter will be open on Friday, July 3, by appointment only and closed on Saturday, July 4. To make an appointment, email info@alexandriaanimals.org or call 703.746.4774. For an animal emergency, call 703.746.4444.

 

Health Facilities: The Alexandria Health Department (4480 King St.), the Flora Krause Casey Health Center (1200 N. Howard St.) and the Teen Wellness Center at T.C. Williams High School (3330 King St.) will be closed on Friday, July 3.

 

Historic Alexandria: All City museums remain closed to the public until further notice. For more information, visit alexandriava.gov/Historic or call 703.746.4554.

 

Hotlines: All emergency hotlines operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, including the child protective services hotline at 703.746.5800; the domestic violence hotline at 703.746.4911; the emergency services for mental health or substance abuse crisis hotline at 703.746.3401; the adult protective services hotline at 703.746.5778; and the sexual assault hotline at 703.683.7273. 

 

Libraries:  All Alexandria Library branches and the Alexandria Law Library (520 King St.) remain closed to the public until further notice. Curbside service will not be available on Friday, July 3. 

 

Parking: The Alexandria Police Department will suspend enforcement of parking restrictions at metered spaces, residential permit parking districts and other areas with posted parking time limits, on Friday, July 3. This suspension of enforcement applies only to the restrictions at legal parking spaces, and does not permit parking in any location normally prohibited (for example, no-parking zones, loading zones, or spaces for persons with disabilities). Temporary no-parking signs will be enforced on July 3.

 

Impound Lot: The City’s Impound Facility (5249 Eisenhower Ave.) will be closed on Friday, July 3.

 

Recreation and Arts Centers: On Friday, July 3, and Saturday, July 4, all recreation and nature centers will be closed, including Chinquapin Park Recreation Center & Aquatics Facility. The Torpedo Factory Art Center will be open with limited capacity on Friday, July 3, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and will be closed on Saturday, July 4.

 

Outdoor Pools: Old Town Pool will be open for ticketed swimming on Friday, July 3, from noon to 7 p.m., and on Saturday, July 4, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Advance reservation is required for ticketed entry and reservations for July 3-4 will be available at 9 a.m. on Thursday, June 25. Warwick Pool and Memorial Pool will be closed on Friday, July 3 and Saturday, July 4. Visit alexandriava.gov/Aquatics for more information.

 

Schools: All Alexandria City Public Schools and administrative offices will be closed on Friday, July 3.

 

State Offices: On Friday, July 3, the Alexandria Circuit Court Clerk’s Office, the Alexandria Circuit Court, the Alexandria General District Court, the Alexandria Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court, and the Court Service Unit located in the Alexandria Courthouse (520 King St.) will be closed. The Department of Motor Vehicles (2681 Mill Rd.) will be closed on July 3 and July 4.

 

Transit: On Friday, July 3, regular DASH bus service will operate on a Sunday schedule. The free King Street Trolley remains suspended until further notice. For more information, visit dashbus.com.

 

For inquiries from the news media only, contact Andrea Blackford, Senior Communications Officer, at andrea.blackford@alexandriava.gov or 703.746.3959.
 

# # #

Don’t Delay Calling 911; Phase Three to Begin July 1; Hand Sanitizer Warning

For Immediate Release: June 23, 2020

The City of Alexandria and the Alexandria Health Department (AHD) remind everyone that you are safest at home except for essential trips such as food purchases and medical care. If you must leave your home, you are required to wear a face covering when inside buildings. Please keep at least 6 feet of distance from others whenever possible. Your neighbors and loved ones are counting on you to stop the spread of COVID-19.  

AHD Urges Community Members Not to Delay Emergency Care

June 22 report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveals that visits to U.S. emergency departments decreased for potentially life-threatening conditions during the first 10 weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic: a 23% decrease for heart attacks, 20% decrease for strokes, and 10% decrease for uncontrolled high blood sugar. The report suggests that patients may have avoided or delayed seeking emergency care because of fear of COVID-19, or because of unintended consequences of stay-at-home orders. AHD reminds everyone that persons experiencing signs or symptoms of a heart attack (chest pain, shortness of breath); stroke (loss of motor function, altered mental status); uncontrolled high blood sugar (feeling very tired, feeling thirsty, blurred vision) or any other life-threatening issue, should call or text 911 immediately.    

Phase Three to Begin in Virginia July 1

Governor Ralph Northam announced today that Virginia will enter Phase Three of the “Forward Virginia” blueprint on July 1. View a summary of the differences between Phase Two and Phase Three. Governor Northam noted that Virginia now has nearly 1,000 contact tracers; hospitalizations have been trending downward and hospitals have bed capacity; and that while 8,000 to 12,000 tests are administered daily, positive tests are also trending downward. Phase Three eases capacity restrictions for social gatherings, nonessential businesses, restaurants, fitness centers and pools; and child care and entertainment facilities can reopen. Because COVID-19 is still present, face coverings will still be required, and physical distancing, good hand hygiene and teleworking whenever possible are still vitally important.      

FDA Issues Advisory Against Use of Several Hand Sanitizer Brands

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a warning against the use of any hand sanitizers manufactured by Eskbiochem. The FDA sampled nine hand sanitizer products produced by Eskbiochem and found the presence of up to 81% methanol, which can be toxic if ingested or absorbed by the skin. Symptoms of substantial methanol exposure can include nausea, vomiting, headache, blurred vision and permanent blindness, and can lead to permanent damage to the nervous system and death if untreated. Consumers who have been exposed to these brands should seek immediate medical attention, which is critical to reversing the effects of methanol poisoning. FDA recommends the immediate disposal of any hand sanitizing product containing methanol, using a hazardous waste container; do not flush or pour them down the drain. The best method for sanitizing hands is to wash them with soap and running water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% ethyl alcohol. 

12 New COVID-19 Cases and No New Fatalities Added in Alexandria

The cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in Alexandria is now 2,248, including 49 fatalities. Detailed data is available through the links at alexandriava.gov/Coronavirus. It is important to note that there is still community transmission of the virus that causes COVID-19 and everyone is safest at home. This is especially true for persons at higher risk for severe illness, including those over the age of 65 and those with underlying medical conditions. If you must go out, please remember to keep 6 feet of distance from others; wear a cloth face covering, especially when inside public spaces; wash hands frequently; and remember to always carry tissues and hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol with you.

June 23rd Update:

Metro and Water Taxis to Resume; Weekly Jobs Flyer

For Immediate Release: June 22, 2020

The City of Alexandria and the Alexandria Health Department (AHD) remind everyone that you are safest at home except for essential trips such as food purchases and medical care. If you must leave your home, you are required to wear a face covering when inside buildings. Please keep at least 6 feet of distance from others whenever possible. Your neighbors and loved ones are counting on you to stop the spread of COVID-19. 

Eisenhower Avenue and Van Dorn Street Metrorail Stations to Reopen

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) announced that it will reopen the Eisenhower Avenue and Van Dorn Street Metrorail Stations, beginning Sunday, June 28, along with 17 other stations throughout the Metro system. Several Metrorail station entrances that were previously closed will also be reopened, and buses from underutilized lines will be added to 14 of the busiest bus lines, beginning June 29. A complete list of bus lines, hours and changes to services are available on the WMATA website. Many stations and stops were closed in March, in an effort to conserve cleaning supplies during the early stages of the pandemic. Riders are reminded that face coverings are required inside all stations, trains and buses. Physical distancing should be maintained whenever possible, but cannot be guaranteed.

Alexandria Water Taxi Resumes Service

Effective today, Potomac Water Taxi has resumed limited service between Alexandria, National Harbor and Washington, D.C., with dining cruises resuming on June 27. To ensure the safety of all on board, a number of procedures have been put in place, including requiring face coverings for all guests, ages 3 and up; physical distancing and touchless entry boarding and ticketing; and reduced capacity onboard. Employees are required to undergo a health screening prior to boarding and all surfaces are disinfected regularly.

Weekly Featured Jobs Flyer 

Every week, the City’s Workforce Development Center posts a list of employers who are hiring for a range of positions. View the flyer or visit the Workforce Development Center’s Job Board for these and other job opportunities.

9 New COVID-19 Cases and No New Fatalities Added in Alexandria

The cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in Alexandria is now 2,236, including 49 fatalities. Detailed data is available through the links at alexandriava.gov/Coronavirus. It is important to note that there is still community transmission of the virus that causes COVID-19 and everyone is safest at home. This is especially true for persons at higher risk for severe illness, including those over the age of 65 and those with underlying medical conditions. If you must go out, please remember to keep 6 feet of distance from others; wear a cloth face covering, especially when inside public spaces; wash hands frequently; and remember to always carry tissues and hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol with you.
 

# # #

This news release is available at alexandriava.gov/116192.

Note: This news release was edited on June 22, 2020, at 9 p.m., to correct the Metrorail stations in Alexandria that will reopen on June 28.

June 22nd Update:

Alexandria City Council Prohibits Firearms on City Property

­­For Immediate Release: June 21, 2020

Following a public hearing June 20, the Alexandria City Council unanimously adopted an ordinance prohibiting firearms and ammunition in City facilities, parks and areas requiring special event permits. Effective July 1, it will be a Class 1 misdemeanor to possess, carry or transport firearms or ammunition in any building, park or recreational or community facility owned or operated by the City for governmental purposes; or at any special event requiring a permit and being held on a City public street, road, alley, sidewalk or public right of way. The ordinance also applies to City employees, agents or volunteers in workplaces that are owned, operated or managed by the City. 

Exemptions from the ordinance include military personnel acting within the scope of their official duties; sworn law enforcement officers; private security personnel hired by the City; museum exhibits and historical re-enactments involving unloaded firearms; and official Senior Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) and collegiate sports programs.  

A similar City ban on firearms in the 1990s was overturned by a law passed by the Virginia General Assembly in 2002, which prohibited localities from regulating firearms in their buildings. The General Assembly reversed this policy during the 2020 legislative session, permitting localities to regulate firearms and ammunition in public buildings, parks and special event areas requiring permits. The City is the first jurisdiction in Virginia to adopt such an ordinance under the new law

For inquiries from the news media only, contact Craig Fifer, Director of Communications and Public Information, at craig.fifer@alexandriava.gov or 703.746.3965.

# # #

New LTCF Funding and Guidelines; Race-Based Trauma Resources; Artist Relief Program

­­For Immediate Release: June 19, 2020

The City of Alexandria and the Alexandria Health Department (AHD) remind everyone that you are safest at home except for essential trips such as food purchases and medical care. If you must leave your home, you are required to wear a face covering when inside buildings. Please keep at least 6 feet of distance from others whenever possible. Your neighbors and loved ones are counting on you to stop the spread of COVID-19. 

New Funding and Guidelines for Long-Term Care Facilities

Governor Northam has announced that $246 million from Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding will be used to support new guidelines and testing requirements for reopening Virginia’s long-term care facilities (LTCFs). This funding will support previously established guidelines for baseline, or point prevalence, surveys and weekly testing of staff and residents for facilities with outbreaks. The additional funding will also support nursing homes and assisted living facilities, particularly those that receive Medicaid payments, to address staffing shortages; increase infection control measures; and purchase personal protective equipment. 

Since January, AHD has prioritized efforts to control the spread of COVID-19 across Alexandria’s LTCFs, as outlined in the Strategic Action Framework for Supporting Long-Term Care Facilities. AHD has worked proactively to address the needs of LTCFs by supporting point prevalence surveys at all facilities, providing personal protective equipment, and conducting ongoing, intensive infection control assessments and support for staff. People with loved ones in these facilities are encouraged to reach out directly to the facility to learn more about what they are doing to protect their residents. As part of the Governor's taskforce to support LTCF, families will now be able to see the number of COVID-19 cases in facilities. 

Race-Based Trauma Resources and Support in Times of Civil Strife 

Chronic stress can have negative side effects on everyone, particularly when it is compounded by multiple sources. Psycho-social factors, specifically including pervasive exposure to racism and discrimination, are a daily stressor for people of color, while also coping with the anxiety of the COVID-19 pandemic. Research shows this to be particularly true for African Americans. The City has developed a collection of resources for coping with racism and trauma. Access a continually growing list of resources for and information related to coping with racism and trauma on individual, interpersonal and family, community and national and global levels.

New Visual Artist Relief Program

The Virginia Artist Relief Fellowship Program has been created to assist artists impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Forty visual artists will each receive a $5,000 grant. To be eligible, applicants must live and work in Virginia; be 21 years of age or older; and derive a significant part of their income from their artwork, including sales and lectures. Applications must be received online by July 10, and recipients will be notified of grant awards on July 24. Complete eligibility requirements and the application can be found on the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts website.

12 New COVID-19 Cases and No Fatalities Added in Alexandria

The cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in Alexandria is now 2,198, including 48 fatalities. Detailed data is available through the links at alexandriava.gov/Coronavirus. It is important to note that there is still community transmission of the virus that causes COVID-19 and everyone is safest at home. This is especially true for persons at higher risk for severe illness, including those over the age of 65 and those with underlying medical conditions. If you must go out, please remember to keep 6 feet of distance from others; wear a cloth face covering especially when inside public spaces; wash hands frequently; and remember to always carry tissues and hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol with you.

# # #

This news release is available at alexandriava.gov/116170.

June 18th Update:

Gov. Northam Declares Juneteenth a Holiday; New Video Resource; Networking & Interviewing Skills Webinar; Virtual Career Fair

Gov. Ralph Northam announced Tuesday that he would begin the process of making Juneteenth a holiday in the commonwealth.  Northam said he would introduce a bill making the day a state holiday, and declared that starting Friday, it would be a paid holiday for executive-branch state workers.

Virginia Beach native Pharrell Williams joined Northam as the governor said, “We’re changing what we celebrate in the commonwealth.” “The history that we teach now is insufficient and inadequate,” Northam said. “We must remember that Black history is American history.” Virginia has issued a written proclamation on the holiday in the past. “That’s nice,” Northam said, “but we need to do more.”

“We celebrate the Fourth of July, but that freedom was not for everyone,” Northam said.  Juneteenth “finally shut the door on enslavement,” the governor said, and making it a holiday “says to Black communities, ‘This is not just your history; it is everyone’s.'”

Juneteenth refers to June 19, 1865, the day that news of the Emancipation Proclamation finally arrived at Galveston, Texas, two and a half years after President Abraham Lincoln had issued it. “Finally, enslaved Black people there heard the news that they were free,” Northam said.

Northam acknowledged that the celebration was symbolic. “But symbols do matter,” he said. “If they didn’t, people wouldn’t be fighting so hard to keep Confederate flags and statues up. Symbols show what we value.”  Virginia would be the second state to make Juneteenth a state holiday, after Texas.

Earlier this year, Northam signed a bill eliminating the state holiday honoring Confederate Gens. Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson, replacing it with Election Day as a holiday.

 

New Resource: “Six Steps to Stop the Spread” Video

The City and AHD have created a new “Six Steps to Stop the Spread” video to remind the public of the concrete actions they can take to help protect their loved ones and our community from the spread of COVID-19 as the economy continues to reopen. The video, which is available in EnglishSpanishAmharic, and Arabic, is now available at alexandriava.gov/Coronavirus and the City’s YouTube channel

Networking and Interviewing Skills Webinar

The City’s Workforce Development Center is teaming up with AARP Virginia to offer a 60-minute webinar for job seekers on Thursday, June 25, from 2-3 p.m.. The goal is to help candidates prepare for what’s next in their career or job search, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Discover how to effectively network; create a winning "elevator pitch;" and learn tips to help ace a virtual interview. The webinar is free, but registration is required.

Employers and Job Seekers are Invited to Register for Virtual Career Fair 

The City’s Workforce Development Center is seeking employers and job seekers to participate in the Virginia Careerworks Alexandria/Arlington Virtual Job Fair on Wednesday, July 15, from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. The free event will allow employers and job seekers the opportunity to network via chat rooms, private chats and video chats during the COVID-19 pandemic. Job seekers will be able to apply and interview for jobs. Employers interested in attending can learn more and should register; deadline by July 6. Interested Job seekers can learn more and also need to register.

7 New COVID-19 Cases and 1 Fatality Added in Alexandria

The cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in Alexandria is now 2,175, including 48 fatalities. Note that the fatality report may be adjusted when the Virginia Department of Health reassigns a fatality between Alexandria and another jurisdiction. Detailed data is available through the links at alexandriava.gov/Coronavirus. Now that Northern Virginia is in Phase Two of the Forward Virginia blueprint, it is important to note that there is still community transmission of the virus that causes COVID-19 and everyone is safest at home. This is especially true for persons at higher risk for severe illness, including those over the age of 65 and those with underlying medical conditions. If you must go out, please remember to keep 6 feet of distance from others; wear a cloth face covering especially when inside public spaces; wash hands frequently; and remember to always carry tissues and hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol with you.

 

# # #

 

This news release is available at alexandriava.gov/116127.

June 17th Update:

Venturing Out Safely; Reporting Violations; Narcan Available; and Day Shelter Reopens

For Immediate Release: June 16, 2020

The City of Alexandria and the Alexandria Health Department (AHD) remind everyone that you are safest at home except for essential trips such as food purchases and medical care. If you must leave your home, wear a cloth face covering around others and keep at least 6 feet apart from others whenever possible. Your neighbors and loved ones are counting on you to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Venturing Out Safely

As Northern Virginia’s first full week under Phase Two of the Forward Virginia reopening blueprint continues, the public is reminded to continue taking the Six Steps to Stop the Spread of COVID-19. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers new guidance on how to resume daily activities as safely as possible. If you decide to engage in public activities or run errands, protect yourself by practicing everyday preventive actions. When going out, always carry a cloth face covering, tissues, and hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol. For more information about the face covering requirement, read these frequently asked questions from the Virginia Department of Health.

As a reminder, if you have COVID-19, have symptoms consistent with COVID-19, or have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19, it is important to stay home and away from other people. When you can leave home and be around others depends on different factors for different situations. AHD does not provide letters clearing people to return to work. Review “When You Can Be Around Others” (also in SpanishAmharic and Arabic) for guidance.

If you have been in public settings and develop symptoms, particularly if you have been out in places where physical distance is difficult (such as crowded social gatherings or protests), call your primary care doctor and ask whether you should come for an exam or test.  You can also call one of these healthcare facilities that provide COVID-19 screening and testing (Spanish | Amharic | Arabic ).

Virginia Department of Health Launches Form to Report Concerns About Face Coverings and Business Restrictions

Members of the public wishing to report violations of Executive Order 63 (wearing face coverings inside public buildings) or Executive Order 65 (Phase Two easing of certain temporary restrictions) may use Virginia Department of Health’s new online reporting form. The agency, which has the authority to enforce violations, will review complaints and follow up as needed. 

Narcan Available by Appointment

The City’s REVIVE! Opioid Overdose and Narcan Trainings are temporarily postponed due to physical distancing requirements, but the opioid overdose drug Narcan is still available, at no cost, at the Alexandria Health Department (4480 King St.). Persons wishing to obtain the drug must first call 703.746.4888 to make an appointment so staff can take appropriate safety precautions. If there is no answer, leave a message and you will receive a return call. 

 

Some common reasons for having Narcan on hand include having a friend, family member, roommate, or other association who may be at risk of overdose; using substances that have the potential to result in overdose; or wanting to help a member of the public who is experiencing an overdose. During times of individual and collective stress, there is a potential for increased opioid use as a way to self-medicate. Opioids, used in tandem with alcohol or other “downers” (such as Valium, Xanax, Ativan, and sleep medications) are particularly dangerous, and Narcan can save lives while help is on the way. Visit the City’s Be Safe, Get Narcan page for more information.

Day Shelter for Individuals Experiencing Homelessness Reopens

David's Place, a day shelter connected to Carpenter's Shelter, reopened today, June 16. Due to CDC recommendations regarding social distancing, David’s Place rules and procedures have been modified. Staff will provide daily pick-ups at City Hall and the Braddock Road Metrorail Stations during two morning timeframes; for more information, visit the Homeless Services web page. Individuals seeking emergency shelter are encouraged to go to the Department of Community and Human Services (2525 Mount Vernon Ave.) to complete a screening on a walk-in basis. Phone screening appointments are also available as needed by contacting the call center at 703.746.5700. The temporary shelter at Charles Houston Recreation Center is now closed.

8 New COVID-19 Cases and No New Fatalities Added in Alexandria

The cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in Alexandria is now 2,168, including 47 fatalities. Note that the Virginia Department of Health has reassigned one previously reported fatality to another jurisdiction. Detailed data is available through the links at alexandriava.gov/Coronavirus. Now that Northern Virginia is in Phase Two of the Forward Virginia blueprint, it is important to note that there is still community transmission of the virus that causes COVID-19 and everyone is safest at home. This is especially true for persons at higher risk for severe illness, including those over the age of 65 and those with underlying medical conditions. Those who do go out are reminded to remain 6 feet apart from others; wear a cloth face covering when physical distancing cannot be maintained outdoors and at all times in indoor public spaces; and wash hands frequently.

# # #

This news release is available at alexandriava.gov/116086.

June 16th Update:

For Immediate Release: June 15, 2020

The City of Alexandria and the Alexandria Health Department (AHD) remind everyone that you are safest at home except for essential trips such as food purchases and medical care. If you must leave your home, wear a cloth face covering around others and keep at least 6 feet apart from others whenever possible. Your neighbors and loved ones are counting on you to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Virginia Department of Health Releases New Race/Ethnicity Data

The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) updated its demographics dashboard to include additional racial reporting categories for case, hospitalization and death data. Previously, VDH published data for ethnicity and race separately. With the exception of the “White” and “Black or African American” categories, all other races were combined into a single “Other Race” category. The new categories are:

  • Asian or Pacific Islander (individuals who identify as “Asian” or “Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander” and not “Hispanic or Latino”)

  • Black (individuals who identify as “Black or African American” and not “Hispanic or Latino”)

  • Latino (individuals of any race who identify as “Hispanic or Latino”)

  • Native American (individuals who identify as “American Indian or Alaska Native” and not “Hispanic or Latino”)

  • White (individuals who identify as “White” and not “Hispanic or Latino”)

  • Other Race (individuals who select “Other Race” and not “Hispanic or Latino”)

  • Two or More Races (individuals who select more than one of the above race categories and not “Hispanic or Latino”)

The updated dashboard confirms existing race, ethnicity and ZIP code data that indicates Alexandria's Latinx population is disproportionately burdened by COVID-19. The data also confirms that people of color are experiencing higher rates of hospitalization due to COVID-19. AHD and the City are committed to working directly with community members and partners to address these disparities and develop solutions not just for COVID-19, but also for the underlying systems and policies that have led to these inequities. 

9 New COVID-19 Cases and No New Fatalities Added in Alexandria

The cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in Alexandria is now 2,160, including 48 fatalities. Detailed data is available through the links at alexandriava.gov/Coronavirus. Now that Northern Virginia is in Phase Two of the Forward Virginia blueprint, it is important to note that there is still community transmission of the virus that causes COVID-19 and everyone is safest at home. This is especially true for persons at higher risk for severe illness, including those over the age of 65 and those with underlying medical conditions. Those who do go out are reminded to remain 6 feet apart from others; wear a cloth face covering when physical distancing cannot be maintained outdoors and at all times in indoor public spaces; and wash hands frequently.

 

# # #

 

Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities Announces Program, Facility and Pool Updates

For Immediate Release: June 15, 2020

The Department of Recreation, Parks & Cultural Activities (RPCA) announces reopening updates about program registration, modified full-day summer camp, recreation center operating schedules, outdoor pool schedules, and outdoor amenities.

Registration for Recreation Programming Begins June 17

 

Registration for outdoor fitness and tennis classes will begin at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, June 17 for Alexandria residents, and Friday, June 19 for nonresidents. Summer programs take place June 26 through September 5. Program offerings will be added as they are confirmed, and registration will be ongoing.

 

In accordance with Phase Two of the Governor’s “Forward Virginia” reopening blueprint, recreation offerings are designed so that instructors and all participants maintain at least ten feet of physical distance between and classes do not exceed 30% of maximum capacity indoors. Participants are required to bring any necessary equipment to class and follow all current health guidance.

 

Register online at alexandriava.gov/Recreation. To register in-person, call the Registration & Reservation Office at 703.746.5414 to schedule an appointment. 

Complete the Summer Camp Pre-Registration Eligibility Form Today

 

Today is the last day to complete the Summer Camp Pre-Registration Eligibility Form to confirm eligibility and reserve a spot to participate in the modified full day summer program for children ages 6-12. The questionnaire is available online at alexandriava.gov/Recreation and paper copies are available for pick up and drop off at outdoor locations.

 

The six-week program is designed to meet the needs of Alexandria residents who are essential workers with limited options for childcare, with a priority to families who need financial assistance. The modified summer camp will be offered at several locations throughout Alexandria from July 6 through August 14 and will take place Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Before and after care will not be available. The program fee is $249 per child with financial assistance available. The program will meet guidelines for staff and participant symptom screening, enhanced cleaning, and physical distancing protocols. 

 

Once the pre-registration process is complete, general registration will open to Alexandria residents for any remaining capacity on a first come, first served basis. Registration will open  June 22 and will be available online at alexandriava.gov/Recreation and in person by appointment at the Registration & Reservation Office. Schedule an appointment by calling 703.746.5414.

Recreation Centers to Begin Modified Operations

 

To align with updated guidance, recreation centers will operate at 30% capacity with modified hours and access. Beginning on June 20, all recreation centers will be open for scheduled programming. The following centers will provide limited recreational access for teens, individuals, and families, as well as senior-only hours:

 

  • Charles Houston Recreation Center, 901 Wythe St.
  • Leonard “Chick” Armstrong Recreation Center, 25 W. Reed Ave.
  • Mount Vernon Recreation Center, 2701 Commonwealth Ave.
  • Patrick Henry Recreation Center, 4653 Taney Ave.
  • William Ramsay Recreation Center, 5650 Sanger Ave.

 

Recreational access schedules will be posted at alexandriava.gov/Recreation by Friday, June 19.

 

The Registration & Reservation Office at the Lee Center will be open by appointment only, Monday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. To schedule an appointment, call 703.746.5414.

 

Beginning June 22, Chinquapin Park Recreation Center & Aquatics Facility will offer Alexandria residents ticketed entry for racquetball, swimming, and use of the fitness room on Mondays through Fridays to ages 60 and older from 8 to 10 a.m., and to all ages from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Ticketed entry for racquetball and fitness room use will be available on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon for all ages. Advanced reservation is required for ticketed entry and reservations will be available each Thursday for the following week. Tickets for the week of June 22 will be available starting at 9 a.m. on Thursday, June 18. One ticket per day can be reserved per person. Tickets can be reserved online at alexandriava.gov/Recreation or by calling 703.746.6909. General admission fees apply and passes remain suspended throughout the summer.

 

Jerome “Buddie” Ford Nature Center is currently closed due to necessary repairs.

Outdoor Pools to Open July 1

 

The 2020 summer outdoor pool season will take place July 1 through Labor Day. In accordance with Phase Two guidance, indoor and outdoor swimming pools may be open for diving, exercise, and instruction, with lap swimming limited to three persons per lane. Swimmers must always maintain 10 feet of physical distance unless necessary to protect the physical safety of the swimmer.

 

As a result, the Memorial Pool, 901 Wythe St., will be open for scheduled programming only, with no drop-in or lap swimming. Warwick Pool, 3301 Landover St., will be open for scheduled programming with limited pop-up ticketed entry for swimming when possible. Old Town Pool, 1609 Cameron St., will offer ticketed entry for swimming from noon to 7 p.m. on weekdays and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends. Advanced reservation is required for ticketed entry. Reservations will be available each Thursday at 9 a.m. for the following week. One ticket per day can be reserved per person. Tickets can be reserved online at alexandriava.gov/Recreation or by calling 703.746.6909. General admission fees apply and passes remain suspended throughout the summer.

The Potomac Yard Park Interactive Fountain will remain closed until Northern Virginia enters Phase Three. For information about fees and pool amenities, visit alexandriava.gov/Aquatics.  

City Outdoor Amenities Now Open

All City parks, playgrounds, trails, paths, fields, dog parks, restrooms, parking lots, park roadways, and most sport courts will be fully opened by end of day on Monday, June 15. Replacement of basketball rims and tennis nets may take more time to complete. The playground at Charles Houston Recreation Center will remain closed to complete necessary repairs. For additional information about phased recreation reopenings, visit alexandriava.gov/Recreation

Visit alexandriava.gov/Recreation for RPCA reopening updates.

For reasonable disability accommodation, contact kelly.gilfillen@alexandriava.gov or 703.746.4644.

###

This release is available at alexandriava.gov/116065.

June 15th Update:

Long-Term Care Facility Strategic Action Framework; ALX Promise; Health Care Survey Reminder

The City of Alexandria and the Alexandria Health Department (AHD) remind everyone that you are safest at home except for essential trips such as food purchases and medical care. If you must leave your home, wear a cloth face covering around others and keep at least 6 feet apart from others whenever possible. Your neighbors and loved ones are counting on you to stop the spread of COVID-19.

AHD Publishes Long-Term Care Facility Strategic Action Framework

In the second of a series, AHD has published its Strategic Action Framework Supporting Long-Term Care Facilities. The document is a summary of priority objectives and tactics to reduce cases, hospitalizations, and deaths in Alexandria's residents who are most vulnerable to COVID-19: those who live in long-term care facilities (LTCFs) such as nursing homes, skilled nursing facilities and assisted living facilities. The Framework also highlights AHD's actions to date supporting LTCFs, such as coordinating point prevalence surveys; providing personal protective equipment (PPE); and conducting infection control assessments.

Priority tactics include: 

  1. Guidance, training and coaching on day-to-day healthcare worker infection prevention and control practices.

  2. Personal protective equipment management. 

  3. Contact tracing. 

  4. Serial point prevalence survey testing. 

  5. Continuous quality improvement plans.

  6. Business practices supporting a healthy workforce and living environment.

  7. Maintaining communications with partners.

All of the AHD Strategic Action Frameworks are living documents that may change as public health learns more about COVID-19. They are primarily used as internal project management documents, but are being released to the public to increase pandemic response transparency. Sensitive information about specific facilities has been redacted. 

More Than 300 Businesses Begin “ALX Promise” Pledge Process

Since AHD launched the ALX Promise program on May 23 in partnership with Visit Alexandria, more than 300 restaurants, retail shops and other businesses have started the pledge process to reopen safely during the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 80 businesses have completed training and have been awarded the ALX Promise Shield to show customers that they are committed to creating a safe and welcoming environment by using the highest safety standards. ALX Promise encourages businesses to adopt COVID-19 safety standards for employees and customers that exceed the minimum rules required by law. For more information about the program and a list of businesses who have successfully completed the training, visit Visit Alexandria’s ALX Promise webpage.

Reminder: COVID-19 Care Survey Closes June 19

AHD needs your help to improve healthcare in our community. If you haven’t done so already, take a brief, 5-minute COVID-19 Care Survey about your experience finding and receiving care. Translations in Spanish, Arabic, Amharic and Farsi (Persian) are available by clicking the drop-down menu next to the globe on the upper right hand corner of the screen.

6 New COVID-19 Cases and No New Fatalities Added in Alexandria

The cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in Alexandria is now 2,134, including 48 fatalities. Detailed data is available through the links at alexandriava.gov/Coronavirus. Now that Northern Virginia is in Phase Two of the Forward Virginia blueprint, it is important to note that there is still community transmission of the virus that causes COVID-19 and everyone is safest at home. This is especially true for persons at higher risk for severe illness, including those over the age of 65 and those with underlying medical conditions. Those who do go out are reminded to remain 6 feet apart from others; wear a cloth face covering when physical distancing cannot be maintained outdoors and at all times in indoor public spaces; and wash hands frequently.

 

# # #

 

Library Amnesty Period and Curbside Pickup: Car Loan Relief; Virtual Events & Activities

Alexandria Library Offers Amnesty Period, Curbside Pickup

 

While Alexandria Library buildings remain closed, services are available to provide safe access to and return of materials. Starting June 15, the Alexandria Library will offer an amnesty period, during which the library will waive fines and fees associated with materials that customers return during the amnesty period only. Fines and fees associated with items returned before the amnesty period will not be waived. Damaged and lost items will incur a replacement cost, but overdue fines will be removed. The amnesty period will last at least until July 31. As a reminder, items may be returned in the book drops at all library locations. Because returned items will be quarantined, they will continue to show on customer accounts for at least 72 hours until they are checked in. Contact any local branch for questions about amnesty. 

Curbside pickup will start on June 15 for customers who had items on hold before library branches closed.  These customers, who will receive a notification that their holds are available, can then make reservations to pick up the materials. On or around June 29, customers will be able to place new holds on items. Customers using the curbside service are asked to wait to receive notifications from the library before making reservations to pick up materials. For details, visit the Alexandria Library website.   

COVID-19 Car Loan Payment Relief

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many people are facing financial hardship and are unable to pay monthly bills, including auto loan payments. Many automakers and lenders are offering relief programs for borrowers. 

Virtual City Events, Recreation Activities

Many City meetings, events and activities can now be attended virtually. Visit the City Calendar for a complete list of virtual events, as well as cancellations. Looking for some virtual fun? Visit alexandriava.gov/Recreation for a listing of #RPCAatHOME virtual and on-demand programs. Choose from fitness classes, concerts, story times and more. Programming is updated regularly; check back often.

17 New COVID-19 Cases and No New Fatalities Added in Alexandria

The cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in Alexandria is now 2,151, including 48 fatalities. Detailed data is available through the links at alexandriava.gov/Coronavirus. Now that Northern Virginia is in Phase Two of the Forward Virginia blueprint, it is important to note that there is still community transmission of the virus that causes COVID-19 and everyone is safest at home. This is especially true for persons at higher risk for severe illness, including those over the age of 65 and those with underlying medical conditions. Those who do go out are reminded to remain 6 feet apart from others; wear a cloth face covering when physical distancing cannot be maintained outdoors and at all times in indoor public spaces; and wash hands frequently.

# # #

This news release is available at alexandriava.gov/116052.

June 12th Update:

College & K-12 School Reopening Guidance

For Immediate Release: June 11, 2020

The City of Alexandria and the Alexandria Health Department (AHD) remind everyone that you are safest at home except for essential trips such as food purchases and medical care. If you must leave your home, wear a cloth face covering around others and keep at least 6 feet apart from others whenever possible. Your neighbors and loved ones are counting on you to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Governor Announces Guidance for Reopening Higher Learning Institutions; K-12 Guidance Issued

Governor Ralph Northam announced today that Virginia’s universities and colleges may begin to offer in-person classes and reopen campuses, with similar guidance as that set for K-12 schools. Earlier this week, the governor announced a phased approach for reopening Virginia’s elementary and high schools, which allows them to slowly resume in-person classes for summer school and the coming academic year. The Virginia Department of Education has also developed comprehensive guidance, “Recover, Redesign, Restart,” to aid schools in planning for a return to in-person instruction and activities.

2 New COVID-19 Cases and 1 New Fatality Added in Alexandria

The cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in Alexandria is now 2,127, including 48 fatalities. Detailed data is available through the links at alexandriava.gov/Coronavirus. There is still community transmission of the virus that causes COVID-19, and everyone is safest at home. This is especially true for persons at higher risk for severe illness, including those over the age of 65 and those with underlying medical conditions. Those who do go out are reminded to remain 6 feet apart from others; wear a cloth face covering when physical distancing cannot be maintained outdoors and at all times in indoor public spaces; and wash hands frequently.

# # #

This news release is available at alexandriava.gov/116006.

June 11th Update:

Travel Considerations; Lower King Street

For Immediate Release: June 10, 2020

The City of Alexandria and the Alexandria Health Department (AHD) remind everyone that you are safest at home except for essential trips such as food purchases and medical care. If you must leave your home, wear a cloth face covering around others and keep at least 6 feet apart from others whenever possible. Your neighbors and loved ones are counting on you to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Travel Considerations

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has provided frequently asked questions for domestic and international travelers. Domestic travelers are advised to find out if COVID-19 is spreading in their local area or in the places being visited. Visiting family may be especially dangerous if travelers or their loved ones are more likely to get very ill from COVID-19, and people at higher risk for severe illness need to take extra precautions.  

The CDC recommends everyone to avoid nonessential international travel. Many countries are implementing travel restrictions and mandatory quarantines, closing borders, and prohibiting non-citizens from entry with little advance notice. Airlines have canceled many international flights and in-country travel may be unpredictable. Some healthcare systems are overwhelmed and there may be limited access to adequate medical care in affected areas. If you choose to travel internationally, your travel plans may be disrupted, and you could remain outside the United States for an indefinite length of time. For more information, see the CDC’s Considerations for Travelers.

Reconfiguration of Lower King Street to Continue in Phase Two

During Phase Two of the “Forward Virginia” reopening blueprint, the City will continue the temporary closure of the 100 block of King Street to vehicular traffic. Signage outdoors and in businesses reminds the public to maintain physical distance of at least 6 feet, wear cloth face coverings as recommended by the CDC and required by Executive Order 63, and wash hands regularly. Although restaurants are permitted to sell alcoholic beverages for carryout or delivery, these beverages are intended for responsible home consumption and may not be consumed in public places.

10 New COVID-19 Cases and No New Fatalities Added in Alexandria

The cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in Alexandria is now 2,125, including 47 fatalities. Detailed data is available through the links at alexandriava.gov/Coronavirus. There is still community transmission of the virus that causes COVID-19, and everyone is safest at home. This is especially true for persons at higher risk for severe illness, including those over the age of 65 and those with underlying medical conditions. Those who do go out are reminded to remain 6 feet apart from others; wear a cloth face covering when physical distancing cannot be maintained outdoors and at all times in indoor public spaces; and wash hands frequently.

 

# # #

June 10th Update:

NoVA to Enter Phase Two; Returning to Work; Swimming Cautions; Coping Resources

For Immediate Release: June 9, 2020

The City of Alexandria and the Alexandria Health Department (AHD) remind everyone that you are safest at home except for essential trips such as food purchases and medical care. If you must leave your home, wear a cloth face covering around others and keep at least 6 feet apart from others whenever possible. Your neighbors and loved ones are counting on you to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Northern Virginia to Enter Phase Two on Friday

Today, Governor Ralph Northam announced that on Friday, June 12, Northern Virginia will enter Phase Two of the “Forward Virginia” reopening blueprint. Under Executive Order 65, Phase Two increases the number of people allowed to gather in groups from 10 to 50; allows restaurants to offer indoor dining with 6-foot distances between groups and at up to 50% capacity; opens fitness and exercise facilities at 30% capacity; opens swimming pools for indoor and outdoor fitness and instruction purposes only; and more. Restrictions on religious services, non-essential retail and personal grooming services remain the same as Phase One. Overnight summer camps and most indoor entertainment venues remain closed. Executive Order 63, which requires face coverings to be worn in indoor public settings, remains in effect.

Governor Northam also announced that all public and private schools in Virginia will be able to reopen this fall, using a phased reopening plan that gives school divisions flexibility. Phase One will be mostly remote instruction with exceptions for students with disabilities. Most public schools are ready for Phase Two, under which schools may offer mostly remote instruction, with in-person classes for pre-K to third grade students and English language learners. Some school summer camps will be able to operate with restrictions. In Phase Three, schools will be able to hold in-person classes, but must space desks 6 feet apart and practice other physical distancing measures, conduct daily health screenings, and other measures.

Many Recreation Facilities to Reopen In Phase Two

Per the Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities’ Reopening Phases, outdoor amenities will begin reopening on Friday, June 12, and are expected to be fully reopened on Monday, June 15. Outdoor amenities include parks, trails, paths, fields, dog parks, restrooms, parking lots, park roadways and most sport courts. Replacement of basketball rims may take more time to complete. The Torpedo Factory Art Center will also open to the public on Friday, June 12. To align with updated guidance, installation of safety measures in recreation and nature centers are in progress. More information about program options and facility re-openings will be posted at alexandriava.gov/Recreation as they are confirmed.

Returning to Work after Isolation and Quarantine

AHD urges businesses to encourage workers who are in isolation or quarantine due to COVID-19 to follow the guidelines found in “ When You Can Be Around Others,” to determine when it is safe to return to work. AHD does not issue letters for return to work from isolation or quarantine, and letters from healthcare providers are usually unnecessary since return to work is based on reported symptoms. The guidelines are also available in SpanishAmharic, and Arabic.

Use Caution When Swimming in Natural Waters

As temperatures climb and many pools remain closed, a dip in a river, lake, or stream may be tempting, but risky, as shown by the recent drowning of a Loudoun County teen in a local creek. In addition to the potential for drowning, natural waterways may contain harmful bacteria and organisms, particularly after heavy rains or storms. Avoid swimming in natural waters for a few days after a heavy rain event; avoid swimming in muddy water of lakes, ponds and rivers; and avoid swimming in unfamiliar ponds, streams, creeks, ditches and canals. Look for posted signs; be aware of local weather conditions prior to recreational activities; and watch for dangerous waves and signs of rip currents. Visit the Virginia Department of Health’s pages for detailed information about swimming in natural waters and drowning and swimming-related injuries.

Coping with COVID-19 and Social Change    

Fear and anxiety about COVID-19, and events of national concern such as the killing of George Floyd, can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children. Taking care of yourself, your friends and your family can help you cope with stress. Helping others cope with their stress can also make your community stronger. The City’s Coping with Uncertainty and Fear and Multicultural Resources: Race Based Trauma and Support in Times of Civil Strife web pages provide information and resources to help during this difficult time. 

13 New COVID-19 Cases and 2 New Fatalities Added in Alexandria

The cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in Alexandria is now 2,115, including 47 fatalities. Detailed data is available through the links at alexandriava.gov/Coronavirus. There is still community transmission of the virus that causes COVID-19, and everyone is safest at home. This is especially true for persons at higher risk for severe illness, including those over the age of 65 and those with underlying medical conditions. Those who do go out are reminded to remain 6 feet apart from others; wear a cloth face covering when physical distancing cannot be maintained outdoors and at all times in indoor public spaces; and wash hands frequently.

# # #

This news release is available at alexandriava.gov/115973

June 9th Update:

Temporary Moratorium on Evictions; Stay Safe When Cleaning; Protect Yourself When Using Transportation

­­For Immediate Release: June 8, 2020

The City of Alexandria and the Alexandria Health Department (AHD) remind everyone that you are safest at home except for essential trips such as food purchases and medical care. If you must leave your home, wear a cloth face covering around others and keep at least 6 feet apart from others whenever possible. Your neighbors and loved ones are counting on you to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Temporary Moratorium on Evictions

At the Governor’s request, the Supreme Court of Virginia has issued a temporary statewide moratorium on all eviction proceedings. The order remains in effect through June 28 and modifies the Court’s earlier declaration of judicial emergency in response to COVID-19. The temporary moratorium will halt all eviction proceedings for a period of nearly three weeks, in order for tenants facing housing insecurity to continue to access rent relief programs. Visit the City’s COVID-19 Housing Resources webpage for more information.

Stay Safe When Cleaning

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reminds everyone to stay safe when using household cleaning and disinfectant products. A recent study showed that about 1 in 3 adults used chemicals or disinfectant unsafely while trying to protect against COVID-19. Some of these unsafe practices included using bleach on food products, applying household cleaners and disinfectants products to skin, and inhaling or ingesting cleaners and disinfectants.  One quarter of respondents reported adverse health effects. When working with disinfectants, cleaners and chemicals, always read product directions and follow them carefully; wear protective gear; do not mix chemicals; and keep these products out of the reach of children. These products should never be ingested or applied to the skin. Follow CDC’s guidance on cleaning and disinfecting your home.  

Protect Yourself When Using Transportation

As Northern Virginia progresses toward reopening and the use of transportation modes increases, the CDC has issued guidance for how travelers can protect themselves and stop the spread of COVID-19. When using public transportation, a hired or personal vehicle, or a rented bicycle or scooter, it is important to practice good hand hygiene; improve ventilation where possible; and avoid touching surfaces. Face coverings are required on all public transportation in the region, but riders are also reminded to carry a supply of sanitizer and disinfecting wipes with them when they go. Guidance is also available for workers whose jobs involve transportation, including public transit workers and deliveries. 

7 New COVID-19 Cases and No New Fatalities Added in Alexandria

The cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in Alexandria is now 2,102, including 45 fatalities. Detailed data is available through the links at alexandriava.gov/Coronavirus. Now that Northern Virginia is in Phase One of the Forward Virginia blueprint, it is important to note that there is still community transmission of the virus that causes COVID-19 and everyone is safest at home. This is especially true for persons at higher risk for severe illness, including those over the age of 65 and those with underlying medical conditions. Those who do go out are reminded to remain 6 feet apart from others; wear a cloth face covering when physical distancing cannot be maintained outdoors and at all times in indoor public spaces; and wash hands frequently.

 

This news release is available at alexandriava.gov/115819.

June 8th Update:

For Immediate Release: June 7, 2020

The City of Alexandria and the Alexandria Health Department (AHD) remind everyone that you are safest at home except for essential trips such as food purchases and medical care. If you must leave your home, wear a cloth face covering around others and keep at least 6 feet apart from others whenever possible. Your neighbors and loved ones are counting on you to stop the spread of COVID-19.

AHD Releases COVID-19 Strategic Frameworks and Community Testing Analysis

AHD’s pandemic response has continuously evolved as public health learns more about COVID-19. To build an Alexandria-specific approach, AHD has developed Public Health Justice Principles that, when combined with local data analysis, will inform a series of Strategic Action Frameworks. The Public Health Justice Principles prioritize science-based recommendations; focus resources on saving lives; and engage and empower Alexandrians most in need.

The first framework in the series is an analysis of the two community testing events on May 25 and next steps to continue and to increase the availability and accessibility of COVID-19 care and tests, particularly for the most vulnerable Alexandrians. Of the 2,953 attendees at both testing events, 236 (8%) tested positive for COVID-19. Only 69 positive cases (2% of all testing participants and 29% of those testing positive) were residents of Alexandria. The low percentage of Alexandrians testing positive indicates that residents who have symptoms and desire testing are successfully obtaining it through the many ongoing testing sites in Alexandria, including medical practices, urgent care centers, Inova Alexandria Hospital and Neighborhood Health. 

Given the current availability of testing in Alexandria and the significant resource demands of large-scale community testing, AHD will focus resources on Alexandria's most vulnerable residents in long-term care facilities, congregate living, and crowded or low-income housing situations. 

 

Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities Announces Program Updates

The Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities (RPCA) announces updates about summer camp eligibility, school year after school program registration and virtual programming.

RPCA will offer modified full day summer programs at several locations throughout Alexandria for children ages 6-12.

To ensure the safety of participants and prevent the spread of COVID-19, each program is designed with limited capacity. As a result, these programs are designed to meet the needs of essential workers who have limited options for childcare, with a priority to Alexandria families who need financial assistance.

Alexandria residents interested in participating are required to verify eligibility by completing a Summer Camp Pre-Registration Eligibility Form. The questionnaire is available online at alexandriava.gov/Recreation. Paper copies will be available beginning on Monday, June 8. A mailed paper copy can be requested by calling the Registration and Reservation Office at 703.746.5414. Or, it can be picked up and dropped off at an outdoor drop box at the following locations:

  • Lee Center Registration and Reservation Office, 1108 Jefferson Street
  • Leonard “Chick” Armstrong Recreation Center, 25 West Reed Avenue
  • William Ramsay Recreation Center, 5650 Sanger Avenue

 

Questionnaires must be submitted by June 15 for review and eligible families will be contacted June 16-17. Eligible families must complete their registration by June 21. Once the pre-registration process is complete, general registration for any remaining capacity will begin June 22 online on a first come, first served basis. Preferred location cannot be guaranteed.

Registration for school year 2020-2021 after school programs offered by RPCA is suspended until at least mid-July.

RPCA after school program offerings align with the Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS) schedule. Once ACPS announces their school year schedule, RPCA will make the necessary programmatic adjustments and provide information about program options. It is anticipated that significant changes to program capacity and structure will be required to align with federal, state and local health guidelines. Once appropriate adjustments can be planned for the Fall, registration information will be advertised.

The new pre-registration process for the Fall Out of School Time Power-On Program, which was to occur in June in advance of the open registration in July, will be rescheduled with the updated registration timeline. The pre-registration process aligns with the City of Alexandria’s Social Equity initiative and is available to families who qualify for financial assistance programs, including free or reduced school meals, SNAP, and TANF.

New RPCA at Home Virtual Programming options are now available.

Looking for ways to challenge your mind and body and keep children engaged? RPCA at Home offers a variety of free on-demand programs and classes that can be viewed again and again. Children can dress up in their favorite costume, sing along and Be Enchanted About Reading or learn the fundamentals of baseball in Lil Pro Sports. Adults can get fit from their living room with Strength Training at Home, Body Part Aerobics, Chinquacircuit and Yoga for Beginners. Looking for something different? Try Boxercise or Zumbata en Espanol.

Updates for Summer Camps and Other Recreational Programs

The Department of Recreation, Parks & Cultural Activities (RPCA) will offer modified full-day summer programs at several Alexandria locations for children ages 6-12. Due to limited capacity based on physical distancing requirements, priority will be given to Alexandria families who need financial assistance and essential workers who have limited options for childcare. Registration for after-school programs for the 2020-2021 school year is suspended until at least mid-July, and the new Out of School Time Power-On Program pre-registration process for families who qualify for financial assistance will also be rescheduled. RPCA at Home virtual programming options are also available for youth and adults with free on-demand programs and classes.

Visit alexandriava.gov/Recreation for updates about additional summer program options, virtual programming and registration for summer and after school programs.

June 5th Update: 

ALX B2B Accepting Grant Applications; Resources for Those Facing Eviction and Foreclosure; New Pet Guidance

For Immediate Release: June 4, 2020

 

The City of Alexandria and the Alexandria Health Department (AHD) remind everyone that you are safest at home except for essential trips such as food purchases and medical care. If you must leave your home, wear a cloth face covering around others and keep at least 6 feet apart from others whenever possible. Your neighbors and loved ones are counting on you to stop the spread of COVID-19.

ALX B2B Grants Program Accepting Applications

Businesses are invited to apply through June 8 for the Alexandria Back to Business (ALX B2B) grants program, a partnership between the Alexandria Economic Development Partnership and the City. Grants are available to Alexandria-based, for-profit businesses with two to 100 employees, who have experienced losses in revenue of 25% or greater due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Grants of $10,000 to $20,000 will be awarded based on business size. Applications will be accepted through Monday, June 8 at 5 p.m. For more information and to apply, visit the Alexandria Back 2 Business grants webpage.

Resources for Those Facing Eviction and Foreclosure

Courts, which have been largely closed since early April, are reopening and will begin to catch up on the backlog of dockets delayed since closing. Some eviction and foreclosure proceedings postponed during the closure may resume as soon as June 16. A number of resources are available for Alexandrians who are facing eviction and foreclosure, including short-term emergency rental assistance through the COVID-19 Emergency Rent Relief Assistance Program. The General Assembly also passed legislation earlier this year that gives tenants and property owners an additional 60-day continuance of an eviction or foreclosure proceeding, if they provide proof to the courts that their income has been adversely affected by COVID-19. Visit the City’s Web page for additional information about resources available to Alexandrians facing eviction, foreclosure, or housing insecurity.

Updated Guidance for Pet Owners

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) have provided updated guidance for people who own pets and other animals. Until more is learned about how COVID-19 affects animals, pets should be treated like human family members to protect them from a possible infection. Because there is a small risk that people with COVID-19 could spread the virus to animals, pet owners should limit their pets’ interaction with people outside their households. 

The new guidelines include recommendations regarding dog walking and dog parks. Dogs should be walked on leashes, maintaining at least 6 feet from other people and animals. Pets and their owners should not gather in groups or and should stay out of crowded places. Fenced dog parks in Alexandria remain closed.

Face coverings on animals may harm them and should not be used. Do not wipe or bathe a pet with chemical disinfectants or products not approved for animal use. Talk to a veterinarian if a pet gets sick, or there are any concerns about a pet’s health. For more information, see the CDC’s Pets and Other Animals, and VDH’s Animals and COVID-19.

15 New COVID-19 Cases and No New Fatalities Added in Alexandria

The cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in Alexandria is now 2,031, including 46 fatalities. Detailed data is available through the links at alexandriava.gov/Coronavirus. Now that Northern Virginia is in Phase One of the Forward Virginia blueprint, it is important to note that there is still community transmission of the virus that causes COVID-19 and everyone is safest at home. This is especially true for persons at higher risk for severe illness, including those over the age of 65 and those with underlying medical conditions. Those who do go out are reminded to remain 6 feet apart from others; wear a cloth face covering when physical distancing cannot be maintained outdoors and at all times in indoor public spaces; and wash hands frequently.

 

# # #

 

Alexandria Library Hosts Virtual 2020 Census Information Session

This Saturday, June 6, from 3-4 p.m., Alexandria Library is hosting the third virtual information session on the 2020 Census and why it’s so important to our community that everyone respond. The topic for this session is the Census and Local Government Services.

Join Councilman Canek Aguirre and City officials to examine which city services are most heavily impacted by Alexandria's response rates to the Census - and how an undercount will affect the everyday lives of our community. For every 1% of Alexandrians not counted, the city loses approximately $18 million dollars in federal funding over the next ten years.

This virtual event will be held via Zoom and registration is free by visiting alexlibraryva.org/event/4266874.

View Town Hall, Messages from City Leaders Regarding George Floyd

Access messages from City leaders and watch a video of the June 2 town hall regarding the killing of George Floyd on May 25. Read more.

 

New COVID-19 Resources: Small Business Grant Program, Employment and More

Share these recent updates and newly added resources and services with others, particularly those who are in need and vulnerable residents. Read more.

Residents Encouraged to Join Local, Global Campaigns to Show Solidarity With Refugees

Alexandria residents are invited to #StrideWithRefugees and #StepWithRefugees to raise awareness and support of refugees in Alexandria and around the world. Learn more.

Youth Invited to Submit Videos Explaining Why They Don’t Vape

Alexandria youth are invited to submit 30-60 second videos explaining why the don’t vape and what they do to stay healthy. Submissions are due June 18. Learn more.

 

June 4th Update:

COVID-19 Care Survey; Job Search Workshop; Resource Recovery Updates; Planning for Phase Two

For Immediate Release: June 3, 2020

 

The City of Alexandria and the Alexandria Health Department (AHD) remind everyone that you are safest at home except for essential trips such as food purchases and medical care. If you must leave your home, wear a cloth face covering around others and keep at least 6 feet apart from others whenever possible. Your neighbors and loved ones are counting on you to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Take the COVID-19 Care Survey 

Have you tried to access COVID-19 testing? The City and AHD encourage all residents to participate in a COVID-19 Care Survey to identify local challenges to accessing COVID-19 testing and care. Results from the survey will be analyzed by AHD and community partners to determine how different populations in Alexandria seek and receive care. AHD will draft a plan to address major issues and inform future work with local health care providers. The survey will be open through June 19, and is available in English, Spanish, Arabic, Amharic and Farsi. (To translate, click on the drop down menu in the upper right hand corner of the survey page.) It takes about five minutes to complete and all answers are anonymous. Please share the survey with family, neighbors, friends and others to ensure that every voice is heard.

Online Workshop to Focus on Job Search in the Digital Age

The City’s Workforce Development Center is partnering with AARP Virginia to offer a job search workshop on Thursday, June 11, from 11 a.m. to noon. The workshop will focus on mastering the online job search; how job search engines help job seekers find jobs; online networking; and resume tips, including how to age-proof resumes. Learn more about the workshop and how to register.

Resource Recovery Reopening Phases Announced

The City has announced reopening phases for resource recovery services:

  • Online mulch delivery ordering is now open, with deliveries slated to begin the week of June 15.

  • The Household Hazardous Waste Facility returns to normal hours of operation (Mondays and Saturdays from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.) beginning Monday, June 8.

  • Curbside yard waste collection will resume on Friday, June 19. Yard waste materials will be collected on Fridays only, rather than on regular residential trash collection days, until further notice. The final day of operation for the City's temporary drop-off site for yard waste will be June 12.

  • Collection of refuse and recycling materials placed outside of City-issued carts will resume on Monday, June 15. This includes items typically considered “bulk” (such as furniture), as well as collection of metal and appliances, which must be scheduled through Alex311.

  • Citywide street sweeping will resume on Monday, June 15. However, enforcement of residential “No Parking” rules related to street sweeping remains suspended. Crews will work around parked cars to the best of their ability; however, residents who are able to move their vehicles to accommodate street sweeping equipment are encouraged to do so.  

  • Farmers’ market food waste drop-off remains suspended until further notice. 

Planning Ahead: Phase Two Guidelines for Business

Although Northern Virginia remains in Phase One of the Forward Virginia reopening blueprint until further notice, organizations, businesses and other sectors are encouraged to start planning for the next steps for reopening with the Phase Two guidelines for business sectors. These guidelines continue to ease restrictions on individuals and businesses while maintaining a “Safer at Home” strategy, with continued recommendations for physical distancing, teleworking and the requirement for individuals to wear face coverings in indoor public settings. 

Correction

A June 2 news release about a June 4 contact tracing job opportunity event contained the wrong link. To learn more and to register, use this link: Meet the Employer Event

16 New COVID-19 Cases and 2 Fatalities Added in Alexandria

The cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in Alexandria is now 2,016, including 46 fatalities. Detailed data is available through the links at alexandriava.gov/Coronavirus. Now that Northern Virginia is in Phase One of the Forward Virginia blueprint, it is important to note that there is still community transmission of the virus that causes COVID-19 and everyone is safest at home. This is especially true for persons at higher risk for severe illness, including those over the age of 65 and those with underlying medical conditions. Those who do go out are reminded to remain 6 feet apart from others; wear a cloth face covering when physical distancing cannot be maintained outdoors and at all times in indoor public spaces; and wash hands frequently.

 

# # #

 

 This news release is available at alexandriava.gov/115710.

June 3rd Update:

Phase One Continues; Staying Safe While Speaking Out; SNAP Pilot; Contact Tracer Jobs; Contactless Payments

For Immediate Release: June 2, 2020

The City of Alexandria and the Alexandria Health Department (AHD) remind everyone that you are safest at home except for essential trips such as food purchases and medical care. If you must leave your home, wear a cloth face covering around others and keep at least 6 feet apart from others whenever possible. Your neighbors and loved ones are counting on you to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Northern Virginia to Remain in Phase One

Governor Ralph Northam today presented Phase Two orders and guidelines for the Forward Virginia blueprint, to continue safely and gradually easing public health restrictions while containing the spread of COVID-19. The Governor also amended Executive Order Sixty-One to keep Northern Virginia and the City of Richmond in Phase One until further notice. Most of Virginia is expected to enter Phase Two on Friday, June 5, as key statewide health metrics continue to show positive signs. Alexandrians are urged to continue practicing the Six Steps to Stop the Spread of COVID-19. As a reminder, Virginians are required to wear a face covering when indoors in public settings. View tips and videos on how to properly put on, take off, and maintain face coverings.

Staying Safe While Speaking Out

The City supports the peaceful expression of community concerns, and many City leaders have already spoken out in solidarity. The City is aware of a number of vigils, protests and other events this week, and will provide appropriate staffing to maintain public safety and traffic control. Call or text 911 if someone needs police, fire or emergency medical assistance. COVID-19 is still a threat in our region, and it is safest to stay at home and avoid crowded areas. If you do go out, wear a cloth face covering over your nose and mouth and stay at least six feet apart from others at all times.

Virginia Receives USDA Approval to Join SNAP Online Purchasing Pilot Program

As of May 29, Virginians who receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits can now pay for their groceries online through Walmart and Amazon platforms and have them delivered. Only eligible food may be purchased with SNAP benefits, not delivery fees and other associated charges. The U.S. Department of Agriculture approved Virginia to participate in an innovative online purchasing pilot program. Transactions will take place using SNAP customers’ secure Personal Identification Numbers (PINs). Learn more about the program, read frequently asked questions, and get a link to information for retailers interested in participating.

Online Event Highlights Contact Tracing Job Opportunities

The City’s Workforce Development Center is hosting a free, online “Meet the Employer” event on Thursday, June 4, from 11 a.m. to noon. Job seekers will learn more about immediate employment opportunities for COVID-19 contact tracers in Virginia. Attendance and registration are free. Learn more about the event and how to register.

Contactless Real Estate Tax Payment Options

Payments for 2020 first-half real estate taxes, refuse fees, and stormwater utility fees are due on June 15. To help keep residents and staff safe during the pandemic, the City provides many online and contactless ways to pay. Online, property owners can visit alexandriava.gov/Payments, as well as make payments by phone or mail. Checks can also be left in the drop box on the Royal Street side of City Hall (do not put cash in the drop box). The City still provides limited hours for in-person payments at City Hall on Tuesdays and Fridays from 8 a.m. to noon. However, if possible, taxpayers are encouraged to use one of the contactless options.  

19 New COVID-19 Cases and No New Fatalities Added in Alexandria

The cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in Alexandria is now 2,000, including 44 fatalities. Note that the Virginia Department of Health has reassigned one previously reported fatality to another jurisdiction. Detailed data is available through the links at alexandriava.gov/Coronavirus. Now that Northern Virginia is in Phase One of the Forward Virginia blueprint, it is important to note that there is still community transmission of the virus that causes COVID-19 and everyone is safest at home. This is especially true for persons at higher risk for severe illness, including those over the age of 65 and those with underlying medical conditions. Those who do go out are reminded to remain 6 feet apart from others; wear a cloth face covering when physical distancing cannot be maintained outdoors and at all times in indoor public spaces; and wash hands frequently.

 

# # #

June 2nd Update:

Metrorail, Metrobus Adjust Service Hours Today; Beware of Contact Tracing Scams;

For Immediate Release: June 1, 2020

The City of Alexandria and the Alexandria Health Department (AHD) remind everyone that you are safest at home except for essential trips such as food purchases and medical care. If you must leave your home, wear a cloth face covering around others and keep at least 6 feet apart from others whenever possible. Your neighbors and loved ones are counting on you to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Metrorail and Metrobus Adjusts Service Hours for Public Safety

Today only, June 1, Metrorail will close one hour early, with last outbound trains departing at 8 p.m. and inbound service ending earlier, and Metrobus service will suspend all service two hours early, at 9 p.m. No alternate transportation will be provided. This decision was made in the interest of public safety based on an announced 7 p.m. curfew in the District of Columbia. Customers are strongly encouraged to sign up for MetroAlerts email and text updates for alerts as changes occur.

Beware of Contact Tracing Scams

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is warning the public that scammers pretending to be contract tracers are using calls and text messages to steal private information. Contact tracing is when public health departments call people who have tested positive for an infectious disease to find out where they have been, so that they can warn others who have been in close contact with them to get tested or isolate. While public health officials may send an informational text message to contacts ahead of a phone call indicating they will get a call from a specific number, the message will not include a link. When legitimate contact tracers call, they will not ask for money or private information, like Social Security, bank account, or credit card numbers. If you receive a suspicious call or link, please hang up or delete it.

Links in scam text messages can download malware onto your phone, potentially allowing scammers to steal personal information. To prevent being scammed, the FTC recommends filtering unwanted text messages, turning on two-factor authentication and updating phone software to the latest version. Learn more about contact tracing scams on the FTC Blog.

7 New COVID-19 Cases and 1 New Fatality Added in Alexandria

The cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in Alexandria is now 1,981, including 45 fatalities. Detailed data is available through the links at alexandriava.gov/Coronavirus. Now that Northern Virginia is in Phase One of the Forward Virginia blueprint, it is important to note that there is still community transmission of the virus that causes COVID-19 and everyone is safest at home. This is especially true for persons at higher risk for severe illness, including those over the age of 65 and those with underlying medical conditions. Those who do go out are reminded to remain 6 feet apart from others; wear a cloth face covering when physical distancing cannot be maintained outdoors and at all times in indoor public spaces; and wash hands frequently.

 

# # #

 

This news release is available at alexandriava.gov/115671.

 

June 1st Update:

Volunteers Needed; Prepare for Hurricane Season; Virtual City Events and Activities

For Immediate Release: May 31, 2020

The City of Alexandria and the Alexandria Health Department (AHD) remind everyone that you are safest at home except for essential trips such as food purchases and medical care. If you must leave your home, wear a cloth face covering around others and keep at least 6 feet apart from others whenever possible. Your neighbors and loved ones are counting on you to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Volunteer Opportunities Available

Volunteer Alexandria is seeking volunteers for its COVID-19 Community Care activities. To register and for more information, click the appropriate link below. Here are just a few of the many opportunities offered:

  • Volunteers are needed on June 11 to help with setup, distribution and cleanup for a meal and grocery distribution sponsored by the Washington Street United Methodist Church, ALIVE!, Alexandria Redevelopment and Housing Authority, Royal Restaurant, Charles Houston Recreation Center, and Volunteer Alexandria. 

  • ALIVE! is seeking volunteers to serve as On Call Warehouse Workers and Grocery Bag Packers and Restockers, to help to prepare for mass food distributions in their warehouse. The organization is also looking for Quarantine Food Packers to bag groceries for safe distribution to food-insecure households that have a COVID-19 positive patient.

  • The Alexandria Medical Reserve Corps needs volunteers for their call center & outreach efforts.

For a complete list of opportunities (including virtual, home based volunteer work) and details, visit the Volunteer Alexandria webpage.

Prepare for Hurricane Season

Unfortunately, a pandemic doesn't keep other emergencies from happening. Hurricane season begins tomorrow, June 1. Be ready: make sure you and your family have an emergency kit and develop a plan for your safety. Stay informed and prepare now. Visit the City’s Hurricane page for more information and tips.

Virtual City Events and Activities

Many City meetings, events and activities can now be attended virtually. This week’s activities include live concerts, fitness classes and workshops. The City Calendar has a complete list of virtual opportunities, as well as cancellations

14 New COVID-19 Cases and No New Fatalities Added in Alexandria

The cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in Alexandria is now 1,974, including 44 fatalities. Detailed data is available through the links at alexandriava.gov/Coronavirus. Now that Northern Virginia is in Phase One of the Forward Virginia blueprint, it is important to note that there is still community transmission of the virus that causes COVID-19 and everyone is safest at home. This is especially true for persons at higher risk for severe illness, including those over the age of 65 and those with underlying medical conditions. Those who do go out are reminded to remain 6 feet apart from others; wear a cloth face covering when physical distancing cannot be maintained outdoors and at all times in indoor public spaces; and wash hands frequently.

 

# # #

 

This news release is available at alexandriava.gov/115654.

May 29th Update:

Face Coverings Required; Farmers’ Markets to Resume On-site Sales; Free Jobs Event

For Immediate Release: May 28, 2020

The City of Alexandria and the Alexandria Health Department (AHD) strongly urge everyone to follow state orders to STAY HOME except for essential trips such as food purchases and medical care. If you must leave your home, keep 6 feet apart from others when in public, and wear a cloth face covering if you cannot maintain physical distance. Your neighbors and loved ones are counting on you to stop the spread of COVID-19. 

Face Coverings Required Beginning Tomorrow 

The Governor's Executive Order 63 will require face coverings in indoor public settings starting tomorrow, May 29, and until further notice. This includes stores, governmental facilities, and public transportation. There will be exceptions for children under age 10; people with health conditions that do not allow them to wear face coverings; eating or drinking; and exercising. Violation of the order will be a Class 1 misdemeanor. For questions about the order, call the Virginia Department of Health at 877.ASK.VDH3. Watch a video to learn how to make and use cloth face coverings correctly. Remember that cloth face coverings do not protect the wearer; they protect other people from the wearer. They are not substitutes for staying home as much as possible and maintaining physical distance in public.

 Four Farmers’ Markets to Resume On-Site Sales 

The Del Ray, Four Mile Run, Old Town and Old Town North farmers' markets have submitted management plans to safely comply with the Governor's Forward Virginia Phase One blueprint for reopening, and may resume on-site sales. Vendors and staff must wear face coverings when entering or working at the market, and customers are strongly encouraged to do so, as well. Everyone should practice the Six Steps to Stop the Spread of COVID-19. Vendors will be required to use enhanced cleaning and sanitizing procedures, and there will continue to be no food preparation, food sampling, or on-site dining allowed. Customers are strongly encouraged to use pre-order and delivery options when offered; visit ALX at Home to browse options.  

Free Online Event for Job Seekers on May 29

The City of Alexandria Workforce Development Center and Catholic Charities of Arlington are hosting an online “Meet the Employer” event on Friday, May 29, 1-2 p.m. Job seekers will have the opportunity to meet the Premier Staffing Source team and learn more about immediate COVID-19 contact tracing employment opportunities in Virginia. Attendance and registration are free. Learn more about the event and how to register.

63 New COVID-19 Cases and 3 New Fatalities Added in Alexandria

The cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in Alexandria is now 1,887, including 44 fatalities. Detailed data is available through the links at alexandriava.gov/Coronavirus. As Northern Virginia moves into Phase One of the Forward Virginia blueprint, it is important to note that there is still community transmission of the virus that causes COVID-19 and everyone is safest at home. This is especially true for persons at higher risk for severe illness, including those who are pregnant, over the age of 65, or have underlying medical conditions. Those who do go out are reminded to remain 6 feet apart from others; wear a cloth face covering when physical distancing cannot be maintained outdoors and at all times in indoor public spaces; and wash hands frequently.  

 

# # #

This news release is available at alexandriava.gov/115626.

May 28th Update:

Temporary Expansion of Outdoor Dining; Isolation and Quarantine Guidance; Food Distributions

For Immediate Release: May 27, 2020

The City of Alexandria and the Alexandria Health Department (AHD) strongly urge everyone to follow state orders to STAY HOME except for essential trips such as food purchases and medical care. If you must leave your home, keep 6 feet apart from others when in public, and wear a cloth face covering if you cannot maintain physical distance. Your neighbors and loved ones are counting on you to stop the spread of COVID-19. 

City Council Approves Temporary Expansion of Outdoor Dining

The Alexandria City Council has approved a plan to allow restaurants to use sidewalks and parking spaces in front of their businesses for outdoor dining. This will help restaurants serve customers outdoors when Phase One of Governor Ralph Northam’s Forward Virginia blueprint takes effect in Northern Virginia on May 29. Outdoor dining under Executive Order 61 will be limited to 50 percent of the restaurant’s permitted capacity. Restaurants interested in participating must submit an application.

100 Block of King Street Closed to Vehicular Traffic During Phase One

In conjunction with the start of Phase One of the Forward Virginia blueprint in Northern Virginia on May 29, the City will temporarily close the 100 block of King Street to vehicular traffic. Lee Street will be restricted to local traffic only between Cameron and Prince Streets. These changes will allow restaurants to use portions of the sidewalk and street for outdoor dining tables as described above. A wide path will be maintained in the center of the street for pedestrians to maintain physical distancing while walking on the block, and for emergency vehicle access. These changes are not intended to create a pedestrian plaza or to encourage pedestrians to visit the area or to congregate. The temporary changes will remain in effect every day during Phase One, and the City will make a decision about next steps before the transition to Phase Two.

 

Signage outdoors and in businesses will remind the public to maintain physical distance of at least 6 feet, wear cloth face coverings as recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and required by Executive Order 63, and wash hands regularly. Although restaurants are permitted to sell alcoholic beverages for carryout or delivery, these beverages are intended for responsible home consumption and may not be consumed in public places. The Alexandria Police Department will have increased presence on lower King Street and along the Waterfront to help maintain compliance with the law.

COVID-19: Isolation and Quarantine Guidance

The City and AHD have developed guidance for people who have tested positive for COVID-19, have been exposed to the virus, or have recovered from the illness. “When You Can Be Around Others" (also available in SpanishAmharic and Arabic) includes detailed guidance on how people in these situations may determine the safest time to leave isolation or quarantine.

ALIVE! Food Distributions

ALIVE! is providing four food distributions this week. Although attendees are encouraged to drive up for contactless distribution, walk-ups are also welcome and encouraged. Persons who choose to attend these distributions on foot are asked to wear face coverings, maintain 6 feet of physical distance, and bring reusable bags or carts to carry meals and food home. Food may not be consumed at any site.

  • Thursday, May 28: Charles Houston Recreation Center Parking Lot (901 Wythe St.), 4 p.m.- 5:30 p.m. Distribution of  meals and 1-2 bags of shelf-stable groceries. Held in partnership with the City, Washington Street United Methodist Church, Royal Restaurant, and the Alexandria Redevelopment and Housing Authority.
  • Thursday, May 28: William Ramsay Elementary School Parking Lot (5700 Sanger Ave.), 5-6 p.m. Distribution of meals and two bags of shelf-stable groceries and produce. Held in partnership with World Central Kitchen and Hunger Free Alexandria. 
  • Saturday, May 30: Truck-to-Trunk Food Distribution: Cora Kelly Elementary School (3600 Commonwealth Ave.), and John Adams Elementary School (5651 Rayburn Ave.) Parking Lots, 8:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m. Drive-through food distribution at both sites, with walk-throughs allowed. Distribution includes at least 4 bags of shelf stable groceries, fresh eggs, and a box of farm fresh produce while supplies last. 

 

City of Alexandria Announces COVID-19 Emergency Rent Relief Assistance Program

The City of Alexandria is now accepting applications for the COVID-19 Emergency Rent Relief Assistance Program (Program) which provides $4 million in funding for emergency rental assistance for Alexandria residents experiencing housing insecurity due to COVID-19 related loss of income. Applications received through Friday, May 29 will be reviewed as part of the first application cycle, with priority given to applicants in the Tier 1 income range (see more below). Applications received after May 29 will be reviewed on a rolling basis contingent on funding availability.

 

Funds in the amount of $600/month for up to three months will be provided directly to property owners on behalf of eligible tenants. Financial assistance will be provided regardless of citizenship status. To apply for rental assistance, visit www.alexandriava.gov/housing or call 703.746.4311.

 

To be eligible for the COVID-19 Emergency Rent Relief Assistance Program, households must meet the following criteria:

·         Live in the City of Alexandria corporate limits   

·         Document loss of income directly related to COVID-19       

·         Be current on rent as of March 31, 2020

·         Have a gross monthly household income, adjusted for household size, at or below the

          following program maximums:

o   Tier 1: $2,117 for 1-person household, $2,847 for 2-person household, $3,517 for 3-person household, $4,187 for 4-person household, $4,856 for 5-person household, $5,526 for 6-person household OR

o   Tier 2: $4,410 for 1-person household, $5,040 for 2-person household, $5,670 for 3-person household, $6,300 for 4-person household, $6,805 for 5-person household, $7,310 for 6-person household

 

There are restrictions on household assets.  Who is not eligible, generally:

·         Households with a tenant-based voucher

·         Households residing in project-based voucher communities

·         Households residing in public housing

·         Households receiving other government-based rental assistance, including rent relief

          through COVID-19 Community Development Block Grant funding

 

The COVID-19 Emergency Rent Relief Assistance Program is part of a broader effort to provide support to vulnerable Alexandrians and small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Planned rent relief, food security support, and small business assistance will be funded by $13.9 million allocated to the City of Alexandria through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. 

 

For more information on City of Alexandria Office of Housing resources and other housing opportunities, please contact us at 703.746.4990, download our Housing Resource Guide, or visit our webpage. To learn about housing resources in response to the pandemic, visit our COVID-19 Housing Resources webpage.

 

# # #

This news release is available at alexandriava.gov/115604.

May 27th Update:

Moving to Phase One; Face Coverings Order; Recreation Reopening Phases; Food Distribution

For Immediate Release: May 26, 2020

The City of Alexandria and the Alexandria Health Department (AHD) strongly urge everyone to follow state orders to STAY HOME except for essential trips such as food purchases and medical care. If you must leave your home, keep 6 feet apart from others when in public, and wear a cloth face covering if you cannot maintain physical distance. Your neighbors and loved ones are counting on you to stop the spread of COVID-19. 

 

Gov. Northam to Allow Northern Virginia to Move to Phase One Reopening

Governor Northam announced today that he will allow Northern Virginia to move from Phase Zero to Phase One of the “Forward Virginia” blueprint for reopening on Friday, May 29. Phase One lifts some restrictions on businesses while continuing measures to help stop the spread of COVID-19. The region will move to a “Safer at Home” strategy, which continues the ban on gatherings of more than 10 people and maintains standards for physical distancing, teleworking, and wearing face coverings. Details of the Phase One reopening for Northern Virginia are expected to be published on Wednesday.

 

Face Coverings Required Statewide Starting Friday

Governor Northam announced today that effective Friday, May 29, Virginians will be required to wear face coverings in indoor public places, including in stores, governmental facilities, and public transportation. There will be exceptions for children under age 10; people with health conditions that do not allow them to wear face coverings; eating or drinking; and exercising.  

 

City Announces Reopening Phases for Recreation Activities

The City has announced reopening phases for programs and services offered by the Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities (RPCA). The timing of the RPCA reopening phases is anticipated to align with the phases in the Governor’s “Forward Virginia” blueprint for Northern Virginia, but is subject to change. Programs and facilities will operate according to federal, state and local health guidelines, which include significant adjustments to capacity and format. Fewer participants than usual will be accommodated during the first two phases in summer camps, classes, pools, fitness rooms and more. Some facility amenities will remain closed until it is safe to reopen in accordance with guidelines. Visit alexandriava.gov/Recreation for reopening updates, including details about registration and participation. 

 

World Central Kitchen Meal Distribution on May 28 

In partnership with World Central Kitchen, a nonprofit food distribution organization founded by chef José Andrés, meals will be distributed at Ramsay Elementary School on Thursday, May 28, at 5 p.m, and groceries will be distributed by the nonprofit community organization ALIVE! For more information, view the event flyer in English or Spanish.

 

31 New COVID-19 Cases and 3 New Fatalities Added in Alexandria

The cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in Alexandria is now 1,785, including 41 fatalities. Detailed data is available through the links at alexandriava.gov/Coronavirus. It is critical for all community members, even those who don't have a diagnosed illness, to stay home except for essential trips such as brief visits to the pharmacy, doctor, or grocery store. 
 

# # #
 

This news release is available at alexandriava.gov/115578.

May 26th Update:

Successful Day of Community Testing; City Events this week

For Immediate Release: May 25, 2020

The City of Alexandria and the Alexandria Health Department (AHD) strongly urge everyone to follow state orders to STAY HOME except for essential trips such as food purchases and medical care. If you must leave your home, keep 6 feet apart from others when in public, and wear a cloth face covering if you cannot maintain physical distance. Your neighbors and loved ones are counting on you to stop the spread of COVID-19. 

 

Successful Day of Community Testing

The Alexandria Health Department (AHD) and the City of Alexandria supported two free COVID-19 community testing events today, at which samples were collected from approximately 3,000 drive-through and walk-up participants at sites in the Arlandria and West End areas. Each testing participant will receive results once they are available, and those who test positive for COVID-19 will receive specific guidance from AHD about how to protect themselves and others. Case and test counts will be added to Alexandria’s overall data on the Virginia Department of Health Daily Dashboard as they are reported. A separate summary detailing the May 25 community testing is expected to be available next week.

Although testing was open to anyone over the age of 2, today’s events were held primarily for community members who have not previously been able to access testing. These events were funded by the Virginia Department of Health and the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, with significant in-kind support from AHD, the City, volunteers from the Medical Reserve Corps, and the Virginia Army National Guard.

City Events and Activities this Week 

Many City meetings, events and activities can now be attended virtually, including a May 26 City Council meeting devoted entirely to issues related to COVID-19. This week’s activities include live concerts, fitness classes and workshops. The City Calendar has a complete list of virtual opportunities, as well as cancellations

21 New COVID-19 Cases and No New Fatalities Added in Alexandria

The cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in Alexandria is now 1,754, including 38 fatalities. Detailed data is available through the links at alexandriava.gov/Coronavirus. It is critical for all community members, even those who don't have a diagnosed illness, to stay home except for essential trips such as brief visits to the pharmacy, doctor, or grocery store.

May 22nd Update:

Emergency Rent Relief

For Immediate Release: May 21, 2020

The City of Alexandria and the Alexandria Health Department (AHD) strongly urge everyone to follow state orders to STAY HOME except for essential trips such as food purchases and medical care. If you must leave your home, keep 6 feet apart from others when in public, and wear a cloth face covering if you cannot maintain physical distance. Your neighbors and loved ones are counting on you to stop the spread of COVID-19. 

Emergency Rent Relief Assistance Program Launched

The City is providing short-term emergency rental assistance to help Alexandria renters experiencing housing insecurity due to COVID-19 related loss of income. A total of $600 per month for up to three months may be paid directly to property owners on behalf of eligible tenants. Financial assistance will be provided regardless of citizenship status. Visit the COVID-19 Emergency Rent Relief Assistance Program webpage to learn more or apply. 

New Resources for Those Impacted by COVID-19

Includes multi-language resources, food distribution by chef Jose Andres' World Central Kitchen, job opportunities, housing assistance and more. Please share these resources with others, particularly those who are in need and vulnerable residents. Learn more.

67 New COVID-19 Cases and 3 New Fatalities Added in Alexandria

The cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in Alexandria is now 1,627, including 37 fatalities. Detailed data is available through the links at alexandriava.gov/Coronavirus. It is critical for all community members, even those who don't have a diagnosed illness, to stay home except for essential trips such as brief visits to the pharmacy, doctor, or grocery store.
 

# # #

 This news release is available at alexandriava.gov/115551.

May 21st Update:

Free Community Testing May 25; COVID-19 Screening Tool

For Immediate Release: May 20, 2020

The City of Alexandria and the Alexandria Health Department (AHD) strongly urge everyone to follow state orders to STAY HOME except for essential trips such as food purchases and medical care. If you must leave your home, keep 6 feet apart from others when in public, and wear a cloth face covering if you cannot maintain physical distance. Your neighbors and loved ones are counting on you to stop the spread of COVID-19. 

Free Community Testing on May 25

AHD and the City are supporting two free COVID-19 community testing events on Monday, May 25, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Drive-through and walk-up testing will be available at Landmark Mall (5801 Duke St.; enter from Van Dorn St.). Walk-up testing only will be available at Cora Kelly School for Math, Science and Technology (3600 Commonwealth Ave.). 

Everyone visiting a testing site should wear a cloth face covering or surgical mask, and walk-up participants should wear sunscreen. 

Testing will be open to anyone over the age of 2, but the primary purpose will be for community members who have not previously been able to access testing. These testing sites will not require doctor referrals, appointments, or identification. Spanish, Arabic, and Amharic translators will be available on-site. This event is made possible through funding by the Virginia Department of Health and the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, with significant in-kind support from AHD and the City.

COVID-19 Screening Tool

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the White House, in conjunction with Apple, have developed a detailed COVID-19 Screening Tool that can help users check symptoms and determine what to do next if they think they have COVID-19, The site also provides links to state health departments, resources, COVID-19 updates, and more.

33 New COVID-19 Cases and No New Fatalities Added in Alexandria

The cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in Alexandria is now 1,577, including 34 fatalities. Detailed data is available through the links at alexandriava.gov/Coronavirus. It is critical for all community members, even those who don't have a diagnosed illness, to stay home except for essential trips such as brief visits to the pharmacy, doctor, or grocery store.

# # #

This news release is available at alexandriava.gov/115537

 

May 20th Update:

City of Alexandria Announces Schedule of Services for Week of Memorial Day, May 25

For Immediate Release: May 19, 2020

City of Alexandria government offices and facilities remain closed to the public except by appointment. The following list includes schedule information for City services and partner agencies for the week of Memorial Day (May 25). For links to detailed information about changes to City services due to the COVID-19 pandemic, visit alexandriava.gov/Coronavirus

Resource Recovery: Residential refuse and recycling will not be collected on Monday, May 25. Collection services will be moved one day later during the week of May 25. The Household Hazardous Waste and Electronics Collection Center (3224 Colvin St.) is open on Saturdays only (including May 23) until further notice.

Animal Shelter: The Vola Lawson Animal Shelter will be open on Monday, May 25, by appointment only. To make an appointment, email info@alexandriaanimals.org or call 703.746.4774.

Health Facilities: The Alexandria Health Department (4480 King St.), the Flora Krause Casey Health Center (1200 N. Howard St.) and the Teen Wellness Center at T.C. Williams High School (3330 King St.) will be closed on Monday, May 25.

Historic Alexandria: All City museums remain closed to the public until further notice. For more information, visit alexandriava.gov/Historic or call 703.746.4554.

Hotlines: All emergency hotlines operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, including the child protective services hotline at 703.746.5800; the domestic violence hotline at 703.746.4911; the emergency services for mental health or substance abuse crisis hotline at 703.746.3401; the adult protective services hotline at 703.746.5778 and the sexual assault hotline at 703.683.7273. For immediate police, fire or emergency medical assistance, call or text 911.

Libraries: All Alexandria Library branches and the Alexandria Law Library (520 King St.) remain closed to the public until further notice. 

Parking: On Monday, May 25, the Alexandria Police Department will suspend enforcement of parking restrictions for metered spaces, residential permit parking districts and other areas with posted parking time limits. This suspension of enforcement applies only to the restrictions at legal parking spaces and does not permit parking in any location normally prohibited, including no parking zones, loading zones or spaces for persons with disabilities). Temporary no-parking signs will be enforced on May 25.

Impound Lot: The City’s Impound Facility (5249 Eisenhower Ave.) will be closed on May, 25.

Recreation and Arts Centers: All City recreation, nature and art centers remain closed to the public until further notice..

Outdoor Pools: All City pools remain closed to the public until further notice. Visit alexandriava.gov/Aquatics for more information.

Schools: All Alexandria City Public Schools and administrative offices remain closed until further notice.

State Offices: The Alexandria Courthouse at 520 King St. (housing the Alexandria Circuit Court Clerk’s Office, the Alexandria Circuit Court, the Alexandria General District Court and the Alexandria Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court) remains closed to the public until further notice. Courts and clerks are available for certain emergency proceedings and appointment-only services; for more information, see alexandriava.gov/Courts. All Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) locations in Northern Virginia (including 2681 Mill Road) remain closed to the public until further notice. Many DMV services are available online.

Transit: On Monday, May 25, regular DASH bus service will operate on a Sunday schedule. Service on the free King Street Trolley remains suspended until further notice. For more information, visit dashbus.com.

For media information, contact Andrea Blackford, Senior Communications Officer, at andrea.blackford@alexandriava.gov or 703.746.3959.

 

 Managing Workplace Fatigue

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has provided general strategies workers and employers can use to manage workplace fatigue. Workers providing essential services to the community, including emergency responders and health care workers, have been especially stretched thin. They are working longer hours than usual, working more shifts or even overnight, and leaving less time to sleep and recharge. For optimal health and well-being, most adults need 7-9 hours of sleep per night, along with opportunities for rest while awake. Long work hours and shift work, combined with stressful or physically demanding work, can lead to poor sleep, extreme fatigue, and increased risk for injury and deteriorating health (infections, illnesses, and mental health disorders). The CDC page also includes training information from the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health for emergency responders and nurses.

 

May 19th Update:

Rare Pediatric Condition Possibly Linked to Coronavirus; World Central Kitchen Food Distribution; Virginia Beach Opens Soon

For Immediate Release: May 18, 2020

The City of Alexandria and the Alexandria Health Department (AHD) strongly urge everyone to follow state orders to STAY HOME except for essential trips such as food purchases and medical care. If you must leave your home, keep 6 feet apart from others when in public, and wear a cloth face covering if you cannot maintain physical distance. Your neighbors and loved ones are counting on you to stop the spread of COVID-19. 

 

Rare Pediatric Condition Possibly Linked to COVID-19

AHD is closely monitoring reports in the United States and internationally about the Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) possibly linked to COVID-19. MIS-C is a rare but serious inflammatory condition that affects the heart and other organs. Symptoms in children include fever lasting several days along with irritability or sluggishness, abdominal pain with no explanation, diarrhea, vomiting, rash, red or pink eyes, enlarged lymph node on one side of the neck, red cracked lips or red tongue that looks like a strawberry, or swollen hands or feet that might also be red.

Call your doctor immediately if your child becomes ill and has a continued fever. If your child is severely ill, you should go to the nearest emergency room or call 911 immediately. Continue to take steps (face coverings, hand washing, physical distancing) to prevent your child from being exposed to COVID-19.

 

City Assists World Central Kitchen With Meal Distribution 

On May 14, City staff and volunteers distributed 1,250 hot meals to 350 families in the third food distribution organized in Alexandria by World Central Kitchen, a nonprofit food distribution organization founded by chef José Andrés. Local nonprofit ALIVE! also distributed 800 pounds of food at the event. This food distribution will take place again at Casa Chirilagua on May 21 and Ramsay Elementary School on May 28. For details about locations and times for this meal distribution, and more information on food programs, visit the City’s Food Assistance webpage.

 

34 New COVID-19 Cases and No New Fatalities Added in Alexandria

The cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in Alexandria is now 1,510, including 34 fatalities. Detailed data is available through the links at alexandriava.gov/Coronavirus. It is critical for all community members, even those who don't have a diagnosed illness, to stay home except for essential trips such as brief visits to the pharmacy, doctor, or grocery store.

 

Northam To Reopen Virginia Beach In Time For Memorial Day Weekend

Gov. Ralph Northam said Monday he would reinstate restrictions or close beaches if social distancing guidelines aren't followed.

By Emily Leayman, Patch Staff 
May 18, 2020 4:40 pm ET | Updated May 18, 2020 5:09 pm ET

VIRGINIA — Gov. Ralph Northam will allow the beaches in Virginia Beach to open for recreational activity on Friday, May 22, ahead of Memorial Day weekend. The change only applies to the City of Virginia Beach and First Landing State Park, both of which will follow a plan for enforcing coronavirus-related safety guidelines. Other beachfront localities remain under restrictions, which allow fishing and exercise only on beaches.

Virginia Beach's visitors will be allowed to sunbathe, swim, fish, surf and exercise as outlined by local ordinance, according to Northam. Activities not allowed on beaches are group sports, alcohol consumption, use of speakers, use of tents and groups of umbrellas. Parking will be capped at 50 percent capacity.

Northam said in a news conference Monday Virginia Beach and other beachfront localities have been preparing comprehensive plans on reopening beaches. Northam asked other beachfront areas to use Virginia Beach's plan as a model for their plans.

Under Virginia Beach's enforcement plan, beach ambassadors will monitor compliance with social distancing, physical distancing and other safety guidelines. Enhanced cleaning will address high-touch areas. The change comes as other East Coast beach destinations announced reopening policies in recent days. Ocean City, Maryland allowed short-term rental restrictions as of 5 p.m. on Thursday, May 14. Localities in North Carolina's Outer Banks will allow visitors beginning Saturday, May 16. Delaware beaches will open for recreation to state residents on Friday, May 22, but a mandatory 14-day quarantine for out-of-state residents and ban on short term rentals continue.

May 18th Update:

VDH and AHD Job Openings; Virtual Events and Activities

For Immediate Release: May 17, 2020

The City of Alexandria and the Alexandria Health Department (AHD) strongly urge everyone to follow state orders to STAY HOME except for essential trips such as food purchases and medical care. If you must leave your home, keep 6 feet apart from others when in public, and wear a cloth face covering if you cannot maintain physical distance. Your neighbors and loved ones are counting on you to stop the spread of COVID-19. 

 

VDH and AHD Hiring Public Health Staff

The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) is hiring 1,300 contractors for work related to COVID-19 contact tracing, including district case investigators, district contact tracers, regional testing coordinators, contact tracing supervisors, district data managers, and regional analytics coordinators. For more information and a list of staffing agencies, visit the Virginia Department of Health Coronavirus page and look for the orange box on the left.

The Alexandria Health Department (a division of VDH) is seeking candidates for Communications OfficerSenior Epidemiologist, and two Public Health Nurse positions in the areas of Sexual Reproductive Health and Tuberculosis/Newcomer Health

 

Virtual City Events and Activities this Week 

Many City meetings, events and activities can now be attended virtually. This week’s activities include live concerts, fitness classes and workshops. The City Calendar has a complete list of virtual opportunities, as well as cancellations.

 

Metro, DASH to Require Face Coverings Effective May 18

Effective Monday, May 18, face coverings or masks will be required when traveling in all Metro stations, trains, buses, and MetroAccess vehicles, and all Alexandria Transit Company (DASH) buses. Per CDC guidance, face coverings may include bandanas, scarves, neck gaiters or homemade coverings easily made from t-shirts or other materials at minimal cost. Medical-grade masks should be prioritized for first responders and hospitals, and should not be used for this purpose. View a video from AHD for guidance on how to properly make and use a cloth face covering.

In accordance with current executive orders and public guidance, riders are reminded that these transit systems are open for essential travel only, and the public is encouraged to stay at home whenever possible. 

 

“Pandemic Parenting” Webinar

Formed Families Forward, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting foster, kinship, and adoptive families of children and youth with disabilities and other special needs, is presenting a webinar Pandemic Parenting: Brain Science, Help, and Hope on Monday, May 18, at 3 p.m. This session offers first-hand perspectives on why the COVID-19 reality is so challenging for parents and caregivers, and what they can do to promote resilient responses in ourselves and their children. The session will offer practical parenting tips, informed by brain science, and attendees will come away from this presentation empowered and confident to know their families will get through these challenging times. Registration is required

 

Virginia 30 Day Fund Provides Loans for Small Businesses

The nonprofit Virginia 30 Day Fund provides forgivable loans for Virginia-based small businesses. The loan is intended to provide immediate financial assistance to meet payroll, preserve healthcare coverage for employees, and save jobs. Help is designed to be quick, easy, and free of red tape, as small business owners work to keep employees on board in the near term. 

 

Alcoholic Beverages: Take Home, Not “Takeout”

Although bars and restaurants are temporarily allowed to sell beer, wine and mixed drinks along with food for carryout or delivery, these beverages are intended for home consumption. City Code prohibits consuming alcohol or carrying open containers of alcohol in public places, including parks, streets, sidewalks, alleys; any other public or private property open to the public; and vehicles in those locations. Bars and restaurants are helping distribute reminder cards to customers. Please consume alcoholic beverages responsibly, and at home.

 

Running Essential Errands Safely

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has provided updated advice about how to stay safe and healthy when running essential errands, such as buying groceries and medicine, and completing banking activities. Topics covered include shopping for groceries and household essentials; accepting delivery and takeout orders; banking; getting gasoline; and going to the doctor or getting medicine.

 

# # #

This news release is available at alexandriava.gov/115476.

 

May 15th Update:

Alexandria City Council to Hold Open Comment Public Hearing May 16

For Immediate Release: May 14, 2020

On Saturday, May 16, at 9:30 a.m., the Alexandria City Council will hold its regular monthly public hearing meeting. Due to COVID-19 physical distancing precautions, the meeting will be held virtually. Since there are no other items on the docket for Saturday’s meeting, the public is invited to speak on any topic, including comments about the COVID-19 pandemic.

The meeting will be broadcast live on Comcast cable channel 70 and streamed on the City's website at alexandriava.gov/Dockets. To speak at the meeting, register by submitting a Speaker's Form for docket item 2. As an alternative to speaking, members of City Council may be contacted individually or as a group through the links at alexandriava.gov/Council

For reasonable disability accommodation, call 703.746.4550 (TTY/TDD 703.838.5056).

# # #

New Testing Data; New Food Benefits; Household Hazardous Waste Drop Off Reopens Saturdays 

For Immediate Release: May 14, 2020

The City of Alexandria and the Alexandria Health Department (AHD) strongly urge everyone to follow state orders to STAY HOME except for essential trips such as food purchases and medical care. If you must leave your home, keep 6 feet apart from others when in public, and wear a cloth face covering if you cannot maintain physical distance. Your neighbors and loved ones are counting on you to stop the spread of COVID-19. 

Virginia Department of Health Releases Information on Testing Data:

The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) today released COVID-19 testing data broken out by diagnostic (PCR) and antibody (serology) tests. A diagnostic test uses an oral or nasal swab to determine whether the patient had the COVID-19 virus at the time the sample was collected. An antibody test uses a blood sample to tell whether the patient has had the virus at anytime in the past. In Virginia, antibody tests make up less than 9% of overall tests. When antibody tests are removed from total results, there is little change in the percentage of positives and no difference in overall trends. VDH defines a case as confirmed when there is a positive diagnostic test. A goal in monitoring the number of testing encounters, and the percentage of COVID-19 tests that are positive, is to gauge the capacity of the healthcare system to perform COVID-19 testing. In the past three weeks, the number of antibody tests being used in Virginia has increased. Due to this change, going forward, VDH will provide a breakdown of the COVID-19 test data by all test types, and by PRC tests.

 

Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer for Families with Children

The Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) is a temporary food benefit available in Virginia to families with children who would have received free or reduced-price meals if schools were open. The purpose of the P-EBT benefit is to supplement existing nutrition programs for low-income households during the pandemic. It does not replace meals provided through the school programs during unexpected closures, such as the summer meal programs that will begin when the school year ends. The Virginia Department of Social Services (VDSS) will issue benefits to eligible households with a total benefit of $376 per eligible student. Virginia households are eligible if they have students who are either eligible for free or reduced-price school meals or enrolled in a school that provides free meals to all students through the Community Eligibility Provision or another provision. Households do not have to apply for P-EBT; schools will provide information for all eligible students directly to VDSS. If you believe there are eligible students in your household, but you do not receive P-EBT by the middle of June, call 804.726.7000. For more information, read Frequently Asked Questions in English and Spanish.

 

Household Hazardous Waste & Electronics Drop-off Center to Open on Saturdays 

The City has reopened its Household Hazardous Waste & Electronics Drop-off Center on Saturdays only, from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The center closed last month to minimize risk to employees and the public, but will reopen on a limited basis to accommodate residents who cannot store materials at home indefinitely (such as those who are moving). Before visiting the center, please consider whether materials can be stored at home until a later date, when normal operations resume. For more information, including guidelines for visiting the center and a list of acceptable items, visit the Household Hazardous Waste & Electronics Drop-off Center web page or alexandriava.gov/ResourceRecovery

 

44 New COVID-19 Cases and 1 New Fatality Added in Alexandria

The cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in Alexandria is now 1,349, including 32 fatalities. Detailed data is available through the links at alexandriava.gov/Coronavirus. It is critical for all community members, even those who don't have a diagnosed illness, to stay home except for essential trips such as brief visits to the pharmacy, doctor, or grocery store.

# # #

This news release is available at alexandriava.gov/115431.

May 14th Update:

New Rental, Food, Small Business Programs Coming; Checking Symptoms; Reviewing Development Plans Online

For Immediate Release: May 13, 2020

The City of Alexandria and the Alexandria Health Department  strongly urge everyone to follow state orders to STAY HOME except for essential trips such as food purchases and medical care. If you must leave your home, keep 6 feet apart from others when in public, and wear a cloth face covering if you cannot maintain physical distance. Your neighbors and loved ones are counting on you to stop the spread of COVID-19. 

 

City Council Approves COVID-19 Support Programs

At its May 12 meeting, the Alexandria City Council unanimously approved three programs to provide support to vulnerable Alexandrians and small businesses affected by COVID-19 pandemic. These rent relief, food security support and small business programs will be funded by $13.9 million allocated to the City through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. 

The $4 million Residential Rental Assistance Program will target eligible renters who have suffered income loss due to COVID-19; the $2.4 million Food Security Plan will support large-scale food distributions, home delivery for seniors, and augment ongoing food programs; and the $2.4 million Small Business Grants Program will provide eligible businesses with grants to offset costs and investments related to reopening. The programs are not yet accepting applications; additional information will be announced as soon as it is available.

 

Cold, Allergies, or COVID-19?

COVID-19 shares some of the same symptoms caused by the flu, colds, and other illnesses, including fever and cough. Seasonal allergies, with similar symptoms, are on the rise. For those unsure of their symptoms, the Virginia Department of Health has developed a graphic comparing symptoms of allergies, a cold, strep throat, flu, and COVID-19. If you think you may be experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, call your doctor right away to ask whether you should come in for screening or a test. You can also call one of these healthcare facilities that provide COVID-19 screening and testing (Spanish | Amharic | Arabic ). If you have chest pain or trouble breathing, call or text 911 immediately.

 

Reviewing Development Plans Online

This is the fifth and final story in a series about ways the City has used innovative telework solutions to help protect employees and customers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Staff from the City’s Departments of Code Administration, Planning & Zoning, and Transportation & Environmental Services are reviewing electronic plans for construction and development from home. Using the City’s new APEX permitting system, which was launched in November 2019, applicants can upload plans; track the status of their reviews; and receive permits online. This reduces contact between staff and customers while speeding the time from application to permit issuance. Staff have also been able to hold virtual meetings with applicants and their architects, engineers and land use lawyers, with proposed plans displayed simultaneously for joint review and discussion by all parties. This is often more efficient and effective than prior face-to-face meetings.

 

65 New COVID-19 Cases and 1 Fatality Added in Alexandria

 

The cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in Alexandria is now 1,305, including 31 fatalities. Detailed data is available through the links at alexandriava.gov/Coronavirus. It is critical for all community members, even those who don't have a diagnosed illness, to stay home except for essential trips such as brief visits to the pharmacy, doctor, or grocery store.

# # #

This news release is available at alexandriava.gov/115420.
 

May 13th Update:

City of Alexandria Provides COVID-19 Updates; Phase One Reopening Delayed for NoVA; Updated Guidance for Funerals; Answering 911 and 311 Calls at Home

For Immediate Release: May 12, 2020

 

The City of Alexandria and the Alexandria Health Department (AHD) strongly urge everyone to follow state orders to STAY HOME except for essential trips such as food purchases and medical care. If you must leave your home, keep 6 feet apart from others when in public, and wear a cloth face covering if you cannot maintain physical distance. Your neighbors and loved ones are counting on you to stop the spread of COVID-19. 

 

Phase One Reopening Delayed for Northern Virginia 

Today, Governor Ralph Northam issued Executive Order Sixty-Two, delaying Northern Virginia’s transition to Phase One of the “Forward Virginia” reopening plan. This means the existing stay-at-home order and restrictions on certain business operations for Phase Zero will remain in effect in Northern Virginia until at least May 29, while the rest of the state is expected to move to Phase One on May 15. This allows Northern Virginia localities more time to achieve the health milestones required to move to Phase One. The order applies to the cities of Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Manassas, and Manassas Park; the counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William; and the towns in those counties. 

 

CDC Updates Funeral Guidance for Individuals and Families

Grieving the loss of a loved one, along with the fear and anxiety about the COVID-19 pandemic, can be overwhelming. It may be difficult for people to make decisions about how to safely grieve and honor their loved one. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has provided updated guidance for individuals and families working with funeral directors, community and religious leaders, and others to plan and hold funeral services during the COVID-19 pandemic. The guidance also includes recommendations for adapting funeral-related traditions to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

 

Answering 911 and 311 Calls at Home

This is the fourth in a series of stories this week about ways the City has used innovative telework solutions to help protect employees and customers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As the “first of the first responders,” public safety telecommunicators in the City’s Department of Emergency and Customer Communications (DECC) dispatch service calls for police officers, sheriff’s deputies, firefighters, emergency medical technicians and paramedics, and staff from many other departments. Department staff also handle requests for customer services through Alex311. Early in the pandemic crisis, DECC leadership recognized the critical importance of providing for continuity of operations in the event of a COVID-19 outbreak. Staff were divided into separate groups to maintain physical distance and prevent the possibility for infection to spread across all staff. Each group worked at the City’s primary Emergency Communications Center, a backup center, or in temporary isolation at a hotel or office.

 

Beginning March 6, another group of employees tested the ability to answer non-emergency calls remotely. After a successful one-month pilot, Alexandria became the first city in the United States to enable some staff to answer 911 calls from home. Rather than relying on employees’ home phone or internet connections, this remote setup uses wireless hotspots connected to a dedicated national public safety network called FirstNet. Regardless of the location, staff comply with the same strict confidentiality and quality assurance standards, and have access to the same computer-aided dispatch system that helps route public safety resources.

 

16 New COVID-19 Cases and No New Fatalities Added in Alexandria

 

The cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in Alexandria is now 1,240, including 30 fatalities. Detailed data is available through the links at alexandriava.gov/Coronavirus. It is critical for all community members, even those who don't have a diagnosed illness, to stay home except for essential trips such as brief visits to the pharmacy, doctor, or grocery store.

 

# # #

 

This news release is available at alexandriava.gov/115407.

May 12th Update:

Reopening NoVA; Caring for Someone Sick at Home; New Cleaning Guidance; Virtual Job Fair; Virtual Code Inspections

For Immediate Release: May 11, 2020

The City of Alexandria and the Alexandria Health Department (AHD) strongly urge everyone to follow state orders to STAY HOME except for essential trips such as food purchases and medical care. If you must leave your home, keep 6 feet apart from others when in public, and wear a cloth face covering if you cannot maintain physical distance. Your neighbors and loved ones are counting on you to stop the spread of COVID-19. 

 

Update on Phased Reopening in Northern Virginia

On May 10, the chief elected officials of the five largest localities in Northern Virginia sent a letter to Governor Northam, supporting his “Forward Virginia” reopening plan in general but urging him to implement it for the region only once regional threshold metrics have been met. Although the metrics appear likely to be met statewide by May 15, the region’s health directors have determined that this does not appear to be the case for Northern Virginia. Earlier today, Governor Northam indicated that a decision on the next steps for reopening Northern Virginia would be announced no later than May 13.

 

Caring for Someone Sick at Home

New guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention includes updated information on caring for someone with COVID-19 at home or in a non-healthcare setting. The guidance outlines what to do when someone has symptoms of COVID-19 or when someone has been diagnosed with the virus, as well as strategies for caregivers to keep themselves safe. This information also should be followed when caring for people who have tested positive but are not showing symptoms. Notably, older adults and people of any age with serious underlying medical conditions are at higher risk for developing more severe illness from COVID-19. People at higher risk of severe illness should call their doctor as soon as symptoms begin.

 

New CDC Cleaning Guidance for Businesses and Homes

New guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) outlines specific best practices for cleaning and disinfecting public spaces, workplaces, businesses, schools, and homes. As states begin considering reopening plans, the CDC urges all organizations to make a cleaning and disinfecting plan to ensure that both employees and the public stay safe. A flowchart on the CDC website helps you determine what to clean and disinfect and how to do so safely.  

 

Virtual Job Fair on May 13

Virginia Career Works is hosting three sessions of a Virtual Job Fair on May 13, at 9-11 a.m., 1-3 p.m. and 5-7 p.m. Participants will need access to the internet and a computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone. Participation is free, but registration is required. Once registered, job seekers can preview participating employers and job opportunities. During the three sessions, participants will have the opportunity to meet employers via text chats in a private chat room. Employers will also have the ability to initiate one-on-one video chats with job seekers. Watch a video to learn more about how the event will work. Learn more about the Virtual Job Fair or register now.

 

Conducting Virtual Code Inspections

This is the third in a series of stories this week about ways the City has used innovative telework solutions to help protect employees and customers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

To avoid close contact between staff and customers, the Department of Code Administration has offered virtual inspections of occupied residential interiors since March 24. Customers can schedule a time with inspectors to show their properties via streaming video on smartphones or tablets. If a residential interior inspection is too complex to be conducted virtually, the customer may use a pre-approved, certified third-party inspector. Customers eligible for virtual inspections may schedule them directly with the inspectors assigned to their inspection appointments. In-person inspections are still conducted for residential exteriors, inspections for new residential construction, and all commercial inspections.

 

31 New COVID-19 Cases and No New Fatalities Added in Alexandria

The cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in Alexandria is now 1,224, including 30 fatalities. Detailed data is available through the links at alexandriava.gov/Coronavirus. It is critical for all community members, even those who don't have a diagnosed illness, to stay home except for essential trips such as brief visits to the pharmacy, doctor, or grocery store.

 

# # #

 

This news release is available at alexandriava.gov/115382.

 

May 11th Update:

Keeping Children Vaccinated; Police and Teleworking; Virtual Events & Activities in Alexandria

For Immediate Release: May 10, 2020

 

The City of Alexandria and the Alexandria Health Department (AHD) strongly urge everyone to follow state orders to STAY HOME except for essential trips such as food purchases and medical care. If you must leave your home, keep 6 feet apart from others when in public, and wear a cloth face covering if you cannot maintain physical distance. Your neighbors and loved ones are counting on you to stop the spread of COVID-19. 

Keep Children Vaccinated

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the country could begin experiencing outbreaks of measles and other vaccine-preventable diseases because children are not getting the necessary immunizations during the COVID-19 pandemic. A newly released study found vaccinations of children and vaccine orders dropped in late March, about a week after a national emergency was declared. Vaccinations and well-child doctor visits are essential to avoid outbreaks and to keep children protected.  

Telework Helped Police Enhance Patrol and Lower Risk in April

This is the second in a series of stories this week about ways the City has used innovative telework solutions to help protect employees and customers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Following the closure of public schools on March 16 and the first state physical distancing order on March 23, many police officers in specialty units such as school resource, traffic safety and community relations were not able to engage in their normal assignments. The Police Department also experienced a 42% reduction in calls for service due to community compliance with physical distancing guidance and the March 30 statewide stay-at-home order. At some points in April, each patrol officer averaged only a single call for service during their entire shifts. As a result of COVID-19 impacts, there were substantially fewer officers on vacation, out sick, on military duty, on restricted duty due to injury, in training, or on special assignments. All these factors combined to provide the Police Department with a unique opportunity to implement telework.

 

During the month of April, officers from specialty units were merged with patrol divisions to increase the roster from which routine patrol shifts could be staffed. This allowed for some officers at a time to rotate through one-week telework periods, while the department still met required staffing levels on the street. This helped preserve PPE supplies, which were limited at the time; avoided risk to officers and their vehicles from potential exposure to the virus; and modeled the stay-at-home guidance everyone in the community was expected to follow. 

 

During telework periods, officers received reports of past offenses by telephone; followed up on past offenses by telephone and email; and completed online training. Calls for service that did not require in-person response could be dispatched to home-based officers, which resulted in more availability of patrol officers to respond to higher-priority calls. Telework periods also provided a less stressful time for officers and their families and a rare respite for front-line first responders. The telework model helped provide physical distance between officers to avoid the spread of infection and preserve staffing levels in the event of a wider outbreak.

 

Once PPE inventories stabilized, physical distancing guidelines in offices (such as spacing out occupied workstations and desks) were implemented; physical distancing approaches during patrol contacts were refined; demands on patrol and assignment needs were reviewed; officers from specialty units were reassigned to Police Headquarters in May; and the patrol divisions returned to their usual roster size without telework. As warmer weather draws more members of the public to crowded areas, this also keeps more officers available for immediate dispatch if needed.

Virtual City Events and Activities this Week 

Many City meetings, events and activities can now be attended virtually. This week’s activities include live concerts, fitness classes and workshops. The City Calendar has a complete list of virtual opportunities, as well as cancellations.  

51 New COVID-19 Cases and No Fatalities Added in Alexandria

The cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in Alexandria is now 1,193, including 30 fatalities. Detailed data is available through the links at alexandriava.gov/Coronavirus. It is critical for all community members, even those who don't have a diagnosed illness, to stay home except for essential trips such as brief visits to the pharmacy, doctor, or grocery store.

# # #

This news release is available at alexandriava.gov/115344.

May 8th Update:

Alexandria Health Department Provides Context to VDH Release of New COVID-19 Zip Code Data

For Immediate Release: May 7, 2020

 

The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) has published new data on COVID-19 cases by ZIP code, which show rates in Alexandria that vary from 2.3 to 19.7 cases per 1,000 residents for ZIP codes that can be reliably calculated. Viruses do not respect geographic boundaries, and ZIP codes are largely arbitrary areas that vary in shape and size. 

 

Since there is community-wide transmission of COVID-19 and people may have the virus without showing symptoms, everyone in Alexandria is at risk of infection. It is critical for everyone to stay home except for essential trips such as food purchases and medical care. Everyone should also keep 6 feet apart from others when in public; wear a cloth face covering over the nose and mouth when physical distance cannot be maintained; and continue meticulous hand hygiene - washing hands frequently for 20 seconds with soap and water or, when a sink is not readily available, using hand gel with at least 60% alcohol. 

New ZIP Code Data

The recent data release is a change from VDH’s long-standing policy not to disclose data at the ZIP code level, which is particularly important to protect patient privacy when there are relatively few cases of a disease. Now that there are more than 21,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 throughout Virginia, the risk to patient privacy is lower and VDH is publishing ZIP code data to help communities identify differences in the distribution of COVID-19 cases.

 

The City of Alexandria has provided the estimated population for each local ZIP code, so the number of cases per 1,000 residents can be compared. As of May 7, VDH has reported the following positive and probable COVID-19 cases:

ZIP Code Estimated Population
(in Alexandria Portion of ZIP code)
Confirmed Cases per ZIP code Total People Tested Positivity Rate* Tests Per 1,000 Residents Confirmed Cases Per 1,000 Residents
22206 530 ** ** ** ** **
22301 15,171 35 282 12.4% 18.6 2.3
22302 20,238 101 378 26.7% 18.7 5.0
22304 54,003 296 1,142 25.9% 21.1 5.5
22305 16,095 317 572 55.4% 35.5 19.7
22311*** 16,898 190*** 517*** 36.8%*** *** ***
22312*** 6,901 196*** 659*** 29.7%*** *** ***
22314 47,826 113 687 16.4% 14.4 2.4

* The positivity rate is the number of confirmed cases divided by the number of tests.

** ZIP code 22206 is mostly in Arlington County; the Alexandria portion of data for 22206 is not provided, therefore the numbers and calculations would not be reliable for reporting for Alexandria. 

*** ZIP codes 22311 and 22312 are shared between Alexandria and Fairfax County. The number of cases and number of people tested presented in this table, and accompanying calculations, are for the entire ZIP code. Cases per 1,000 Alexandrians cannot be reliably calculated.

 

It is important to note that the virus has widespread community transmission throughout all of Alexandria, northern Virginia, and Washington DC and Maryland. An individual’s risk of becoming infected is based on many factors, including individual exposures and health status, environmental conditions, policies and practices of businesses, and individual behaviors. 

Disproportionate Impact of COVID-19

Although viruses do not discriminate, the COVID-19 virus disproportionately impacts vulnerable populations just as other diseases and health conditions do. The ZIP codes with the highest rates of known COVID-19 cases in Alexandria are also the ZIP codes with higher concentrations of poverty, lower education levels, and crowded housing conditions. The populations living in some ZIP codes have historically experienced discriminatory policies and systems, resulting in inequitable access to healthcare, economic opportunities and affordable housing. 

 

Inequitable conditions have created disproportionate rates of chronic health issues resulting in large differences in life expectancy across Alexandria. Now, these chronic health issues also make people more susceptible to severe disease from COVID-19 infection. Additionally, these community members are more likely to work in jobs where they are underpaid, do not receive paid sick leave, and are not afforded telework opportunities, creating additional risk of exposure to the COVID-19 virus.

What the Alexandria Health Department is Doing

The Alexandria Health Department (AHD) has been working with vulnerable populations, community leaders and activists in communities of color and disadvantage for decades, including in the battles against HIV/AIDS, other communicable diseases, and teen pregnancy. AHD provides those communities targeted prevention services such as Immunization and Sexual & Reproductive Health Clinics and the Special Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC).

 

AHD’s efforts engage residents and partners to identify barriers to ideal health, to help build solutions that make sense for everyone. AHD’s Community Health Assessment underscores the existing disparities in Alexandria. The project’s steering committee – a group of committed, diverse community members and leaders – used equity as their guide throughout the process. Community members reviewed the results of this work and chose three focal points – poverty, housing and mental health – for a five-year Community Health Improvement Plan, developed in tandem with the Partnership for a Healthier Alexandria.

 

Since originally becoming aware of COVID-19 in late 2019, AHD has been working with community partners that serve populations at high risk for severe illness if they contract COVID-19. This has included targeted messaging to inform all Alexandrians, of all levels of health literacy, of what COVID-19 is, how to reduce the risk of catching it, where to seek testing and medical care, and how to take care of one’s self and loved ones at home who may become ill. 

 

AHD works with healthcare providers to inform them about the disease, how to protect their staff and patients, and how to conduct testing. AHD has also provided personal protective equipment to healthcare providers willing to perform COVID-19 testing, in an effort to increase testing options for community members. Additionally, AHD prioritizes efforts to protect Alexandrians most at risk, particularly those over the age of 65 and those living in congregate living facilities (e.g. long-term care facilities, group homes, the jail and detention center).

# # #

This news release is available at alexandriava.gov/115271.

May 7th Update:

Share Positive Messages Through #SpreadCheerALX

The City invites the community to share positive messages and post photos on social media with the hashtag #SpreadCheerALX. Messages can be displayed as signs in windows or yards, chalk art on driveways, notes to workers on trash cans, or decorated rocks in yards. Messages should highlight the “Six Steps to Stop the Spread“ of COVID-19, thank essential workers for supporting our community, or other messages of gratitude, hope, resilience, solidarity, or good cheer. Find out how you can help spread cheer!

Virginia Resilience Week

During Resilience Week, May 3-9, the City reminds residents that building resilience can help individuals and communities bounce back from difficult experiences, like the COVID-19 crisis. Play is both fun and good for you! The American Academy of Pediatrics explains that children engaging in play is key to building healthy brains, bodies and social bonds. Play can improve children's language, math and social skills as well as their abilities to plan and cope with stress. And the benefits of play aren’t limited to children. Studies show that laughter can help adults relieve pain and even increase immunity. So do your body good by making room for joy! Explore ways you can build resilience through play on 

Alexandria COVID-19 Resource Catalog

The City and AHD have produced many information products to help inform the community during the COVID-19 pandemic. All items in the COVID-19 Resource Catalog are available as downloadable PDFs for distribution or reproduction by residents, businesses and organizations. 

Sign Up for Smart911

The City urges all residents to sign up for the Smart911 service. This free service allows individuals and businesses to create online safety profiles with home, workplace and mobile phone numbers, along with additional information that would be valuable to dispatchers and first responders during an emergency. This information often includes home or work addresses, details about medical conditions, hazardous materials on the property, pets, and emergency contacts. Users are prompted to update their safety profiles every six months to ensure their information remains accurate. Even with a safety profile, it is still important that 911 callers, particularly those with mobile phones, provide their current locations to dispatchers at the start of each call. Visit the City’s Smart 911 webpage to set up a safety profile, or call 311 or 703.746.4311 for more information.

May 6th Update:

City of Alexandria Provides COVID-19 Updates; New Guidance for Community, Faith-Based Organizations; Keep Medical Appointments; #TraumaInformedTuesday

For Immediate Release: May 5, 2020

The City of Alexandria and the Alexandria Health Department (AHD) strongly urge everyone to follow state orders to STAY HOME except for essential trips such as food purchases and medical care. If you must leave your home, keep 6 feet apart from others when in public, and wear a cloth face covering if you cannot maintain physical distance. Your neighbors and loved ones are counting on you to stop the spread of COVID-19. 

Updated Guidance for Community and Faith-Based Organization

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued updated guidance for community- and faith-based organizations (CFBOs). The guidance is intended for administrators and leaders of congregations and places of worship, voluntary social service agencies and other nonprofit organizations, and community organizations. It answers frequently asked questions for CFBOs; provides updated information on how to plan, prepare and respond to COVID-19; offers a checklist for CFBO leaders, and more. 

Keep Medical Appointments, Seek Emergency Care if Needed

The City of Alexandria and the Alexandria Health Department urge residents to continue needed medical appointments and treatments they need for non-COVID-19 related conditions, and to seek emergency care if a life-threatening medical condition arises. A new poll from Morning Consult and the American College of Emergency Physicians shows that nearly a third of American adults are delaying or avoiding medical care due to COVID-19 related concerns. Data from the poll also confirm people are avoiding going to the hospital to get emergency medical care. While it is important to stay home and follow physical distancing guidelines, trips for medical appointments are exempt from the Virginia stay-at-home order. It is also critical to know when to go to the emergency roomIf you are experiencing a life threatening emergency, call or text 911.

Virginia Resilience Week: #TraumaInformedTuesday

During Resilience WeekMay 3-9, the City reminds residents that building resilience can help individuals and communities bounce back from difficult experiences, like the COVID-19 crisis. Today’s topic is trauma, experiences that cause intense physical and psychological stress reactions. Trauma can refer to a single event, multiple events or a set of circumstances that is experienced by an individual as physically and emotionally harmful or threatening. Understanding past trauma in ourselves and others helps us build resiliency. Visit the City’s Resilience Week page to learn more. 

43 New COVID-19 Cases and No New Fatalities Added in Alexandria

The cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in Alexandria is now 983, including 26 fatalities. Detailed data is available through the links at alexandriava.gov/Coronavirus. As Virginia starts considering phased relaxation of current restrictions, it is still critical for all community members -- even those who do not have a diagnosed illness and especially those at high risk for severe disease -- to stay home except for essential trips such as brief visits to the pharmacy, doctor, or grocery store.

# # #

This news release is available at alexandriava.gov/115252.

May 5th Update:

Guidelines for Phased State Reopening; Virginia National Guard Assists with LTCF Survey; #MindfulMonday

For Immediate Release: May 4, 2020

The City of Alexandria and the Alexandria Health Department (AHD) strongly urge everyone to follow state orders to STAY HOME except for essential trips such as food purchases and medical care, and keep 6 feet apart from others when in public. Your neighbors and loved ones are counting on you to stop the spread of COVID-19. 

Governor Northam Announces Guidelines for Phased State Reopening

Governor Ralph Northam announced today that since the rate of COVID-19 infection in Virginia has slowed and hospitals have not been overwhelmed, the state may begin easing public health restrictions later this month. Reopening is dependent on further decreasing the rates of positive tests and hospitalizations over the next 14 days; stable supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE); and an adequate number of hospital beds. Northam’s amendment of Executive Order 53, restricting business operations, was extended until May 15 in order to track progress on these percentages. 

Executive Order 55, the stay-at-home order in effect until June, may also be modified to a less restrictive “safer at home” policy. Under the first phase of reopening, businesses would still have to maintain physical distancing and implement enhanced cleaning and workplace safety measures. Additional details will be released in the coming days. The risk from COVID-19 has not passed, and it is critical to continue practicing physical distancing, wearing cloth face coverings when physical distancing measures in public cannot be maintained, and other steps to stop the spread of COVID-19

AHD Coordinates Point Prevalence Survey with Virginia National Guard

AHD is working with the Virginia National Guard to conduct point prevalence surveys (PPS) at long-term care facilities (LTCFs), to collect more information about how COVID-19 is affecting Alexandria. A PPS is a data collection tool used to identify the number of people with an infection at a specific point in time, even if they don't have symptoms. For example, it can be used in an LTCF like a skilled nursing or assisted living facility to help determine the spread of COVID-19 and separate those with the infection. Members of the Virginia National Guard, who are trained in specimen collection and transport for delivery to laboratories, greatly reduce the burden on LTCF staff and allow them to focus on providing care to their patients. AHD and the Virginia National Guard may conduct additional surveys at various settings in the future.

Resilience Week Virginia: #MindfulMonday

The City is participating in Resilience Week in Virginia, May 3-9. Building resilience can help individuals and communities bounce back from difficult experiences, like the COVID-19 crisis. Today’s focus is on mindfulness, a practice that can help build resilience by being fully aware of experiences, thoughts and emotions. Being mindful is easy to learn and becomes more readily available when practiced every day. There is growing research showing that training the brain to be mindful actually remodels its physical structure, and that mindfulness has positive benefits for health, happiness, work and relationships. Visit the City’s Resilience Week page to learn more.

41 New COVID-19 Cases and No New Fatalities Added in Alexandria

The cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in Alexandria is now 940, including 26 fatalities. Detailed data is available through the links at alexandriava.gov/Coronavirus. It is critical for all community members, even those who don't have a diagnosed illness, to stay home except for essential trips such as brief visits to the pharmacy, doctor, or grocery store.

# # # 

This news release is available at alexandriava.gov/115231.

May 4th Update:

Recreation Summer Camp and Program Registration Suspended Until Further Notice

For Immediate Release: May 2, 2020

Registration for summer camps and programs offered by the Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities (RPCA) is suspended until further notice.

Previously planned summer camps and programs will be adjusted to accommodate current guidance to stay home and to keep 6 feet apart from others when in public, as well as any potential new state guidance for summer months. Registration had been postponed to May 6 and is now being suspended until further guidance is received and necessary adjustments can be made. All Spring programs have been cancelled. RPCA staff will be contacting those who registered earlier in the year with information about their accounts.

Virtual programming options are now available through RPCA at Home! Looking for ways to challenge your mind and body while connecting with your community? Enjoy free performances, fitness classes, poetry and story readings, speaker series, and activities for youth. New activities are added regularly; visit alexandriava.gov/Recreation.

The following RPCA service adjustments remain in effect:

  • All recreation, nature and art centers are closed.
  • All activities, events and private rentals are canceled.
  • All reservations and registrations are suspended.
  • All public playgrounds are closed.
  • All public sport courts, fenced fields, fenced dog parks, outdoor fitness stations, restrooms and parking lots are closed.
  • Transient boater access to City Marina piers is prohibited (open to license holders only).

All unfenced City of Alexandria parks, trails and fields remain open to the public to provide opportunities for safe, physically distant exercise. The City and the Alexandria Health Department (AHD) believe that access to outdoor exercise is crucial to maintaining both the physical and mental health of our community.

Visit alexandriava.gov/Recreation for updates about summer camps and programs and service adjustments. 

For reasonable disability accommodation, contact kelly.gilfillen@alexandriava.gov or 703.746.4644, Virginia Relay 711.

 

Guidance for Child Care Programs; Business Resiliency Webinars; Virtual City Events

For Immediate Release: May 3, 2020

The City of Alexandria and the Alexandria Health Department (AHD) strongly urge everyone to follow state orders to STAY HOME except for essential trips such as food purchases and medical care, and keep 6 feet apart from others when in public. Your neighbors and loved ones are counting on you to stop the spread of COVID-19. 

Updated CDC Guidance for Child Care Programs, Facilities

Recently updated guidance from the U.S.Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for child care programs and facilities that are reopening or staying open during COVID-19 includes additional options for screening children upon arrival to ensure that those who have a fever or other signs of illness are not admitted to the facility. The guidance also includes information on caring for infants and toddlers, food preparation and meal service, vulnerable and high-risk groups, physical distancing strategies, and more. The Virginia Department of Health also provides updated frequently asked questions about child care.  

Business Resiliency Webinars

The Northern Virginia Economic Development Alliance (NOVA EDA) launched a free, three-part,12-session series, “Beyond COVID-19: Business Resiliency Webinars.” The series will focus on how to keep moving forward during and after the global pandemic. The webinars will include topics such as government financing, staffing, technology readiness, healthy workplaces, new business and revenue models, customer retention, and more. Visit NOVA EDA for more information and a list of upcoming webinars.

Virtual City Events and Activities this Week 

Many City meetings, events and activities can now be attended virtually. This week’s activities include storytelling, parkour, and an “Ask the Archaeologist” session. Visit the City Calendar for a complete list of virtual opportunities, as well as cancellations.  

51 New COVID-19 Cases and No New Fatalities Added in Alexandria

The cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in Alexandria is now 899, including 26 fatalities. Detailed data is available through the links at alexandriava.gov/Coronavirus. It is critical for all community members, even those who don't have a diagnosed illness, to stay home except for essential trips such as brief visits to the pharmacy, doctor, or grocery store.

 

May 1st Update:

City of Alexandria Provides COVID-19 Updates; Recreation Registration Suspended; Student Loan Relief; Immunization Reminder

For Immediate Release: April 30, 2020

The City of Alexandria and the Alexandria Health Department (AHD) strongly urge everyone to follow state orders to STAY HOME except for essential trips such as food purchases and medical care, and keep 6 feet apart from others when in public. Your neighbors and loved ones are counting on you to stop the spread of COVID-19. 

Recreation Summer Camp and Program Registration Suspended Until Further Notice

Registration for summer camps and programs offered by the City’s Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities (RPCA), which had been postponed to May 6, is now suspended until further notice. Previously planned summer camps and programs may need to be adjusted to accommodate the current stay-at-home order and physical distancing guidelines, as well as the potential for new state guidance for the summer months. All Spring programs have been cancelled.

All recreation, nature and art centers remain closed; all activities, events and private rentals are canceled; all reservations and registrations are suspended; all public playgrounds are closed; and all public sport courts, fenced fields, fenced dog parks, outdoor fitness stations, restrooms and parking lots at parks are closed. Transient boater access to City Marina piers is prohibited (open to license holders only). All unfenced City of Alexandria parks, trails and fields remain open to the public to provide opportunities for safe, physically distant exercise. The City and the Alexandria Health Department believe that access to outdoor exercise is crucial to maintaining both the physical and mental health of our community. Visit alexandriva.gov/Recreation for updates.

Virginia Expands Student Loan Payment Relief

Expanded payment relief is available for Virginians with privately held student loans. While the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act provided much-needed relief for students with federal loans until September 30, this relief did not apply to borrowers with student loans made by private lenders. Under the new initiative, Virginians with commercially-owned Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) loans, Perkins loans, or privately held student loans who are struggling to make payments due to the COVID-19 pandemic will be eligible for expanded relief. Borrowers must immediately contact their student loan servicers to identify the options that are appropriate to their circumstances. 

Parents Urged to Get Immunizations for Children  

The City and the Alexandria Health Department urge parents and caregivers to ensure their children and teens get regular vaccinations and booster shots on schedule. Infant vaccination rates have declined by 30% since early March, and adolescent vaccination rates are down 76%. Immunizations not only protect children; they also help to prevent community outbreaks of whooping cough, measles, and other preventable diseases. Parents and guardians are reminded that trips for medical appointments are exempt from the Virginia stay-at-home order.  

54 New COVID-19 Cases and No New Fatalities Added in Alexandria

The cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in Alexandria is now 754, including 21 fatalities. Detailed data is available through the links at alexandriava.gov/Coronavirus. It is critical for all community members, even those who don't have a diagnosed illness, to stay home except for essential trips such as brief visits to the pharmacy, doctor, or grocery store. 

April 30th Update:

Northam To Allow Elective Surgeries, Dental Procedures In May

State officials also said the Virginia Department of Health will have case data by zip code available in a few days.

By Emily Leayman, Patch Staff 
Apr 29, 2020 4:46 pm ET | Updated Apr 29, 2020 4:58 pm ET

 

VIRGINIA — Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam will allow his ban on elective surgeries at hospitals to expire after April 30 as the state avoided a hospital resource surge from the new coronavirus crisis. In addition to allowing elective surgeries, Northam said Friday non-emergency dental procedures can resume in May.

The March 25 order from Northam and Dr. Norm Oliver, the state health commissioner, aimed to preserve personal protective equipment for front-line workers in case Virginia saw a surge similar to New York City. The order did not apply to emergencies, procedures in which a delay would harm a patient, or outpatient visits in hospital-based clinics.

"Our efforts to slow the spread of this virus are showing success," said Northam. "Our hospitals have not been overwhelmed. We have been able to get more PPE and developed ways to decontaminate masks and gowns. Hospitals have ramped up testing with a much quicker turnaround time. Early on ... test results were taking more than a week, and now in most cases it takes less than a day."

 

Northam said hospitals and dental facilities have been working for weeks to reopen and are prepared to safely restart non-emergency procedures. The Virginia Dental Association issued guidelines to members Tuesday.

"We all recognize that the longer dental practices remain closed to preventative and non-emergent treatment the more likely that our patients' untreated dental diseases will progress, increasing the complexity and cost for treatment," said Dr. Elizabeth Reynolds, president of the Virginia Dental Association.

Reynolds said Virginia dentists will wear forms of protective equipment and follow interim guidelines from the state and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Offices will have new protocols such as mask-wearing during visits, COVID-19 screenings, and minimizing or eliminating patients in reception areas.

 

_________________________________

City of Alexandria Provides COVID-19 Updates; Living in Close Quarters; Funeral Arrangements 

­­For Immediate Release: April 29, 2020

 

The City of Alexandria and the Alexandria Health Department (AHD) strongly urge everyone to follow state orders to STAY HOME except for essential trips such as food purchases and medical care, and keep 6 feet apart from others when in public. Your neighbors and loved ones are counting on you to stop the spread of COVID-19. 

Living in Close Quarters

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has provided guidance for people living together in close quarters, available in multiple languages, for those who share a small apartment, live in the same household with large or extended families, or other similar situations. The City’s COVID-19 Information for Landlord and Renters page addresses frequently asked questions about COVID-19, including what to do if if a renter is diagnosed with the disease; cleaning and disinfecting; legal rights for renters; what landlords can do to stop the spread of COVID-19; and more.  

Handling Funeral Arrangements

State orders and guidance on how to handle funerals has changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, adding stress to families already grieving. The Virginia Department of Health provides frequently asked questions about holding funerals and visitation services, cremations and burials, as well as information about what funeral directors need to know.  

47 New COVID-19 Cases and 1 Fatality Added in Alexandria

The cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in Alexandria is now 700, including 21 fatalities. Detailed data is available through the links at alexandriava.gov/Coronavirus. It is critical for all community members, even those who don't have a diagnosed illness, to stay home except for essential trips such as brief visits to the pharmacy, doctor, or grocery store.

 

# # # 

 

Alexandria City Council Adopts Fiscal Year 2021 Budget

For Immediate Release: April 29, 2020

On April 29, the Alexandria City Council unanimously adopted a Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 General Fund Operating Budget of $753.3 million, which is 5.8% lower than the $799.9 million operating budget originally proposed by City Manager Mark Jinks in February. The adopted budget reflects the revised operating and capital budgets proposed by Jinks on April 7, due to the nearly $100 million budget gap created by the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“In the face of an unprecedented economic crisis, City Council’s adopted FY 2021 budget represents a responsible balance between meeting urgent community needs and deferring other expenses,” said Mayor Justin Wilson. “We are grateful to the City Manager, City staff, and all those who contributed to the development of this budget. Thanks to their hard work and City Council’s long history of prudent fiscal management, we are in a stable position to help our community through the current pandemic.” 

The approved budget, which represents a 1.6% decrease from the FY 2020 budget, focuses on continuing the City’s record of prudent fiscal management; relieving some of the burden on taxpayers; and delivering core services to the community.

As in the City Manager’s April 7 revised proposal, the budget approved by City Council does not include an originally proposed 2-cent increase in the 2020 real estate tax rate to fund City and Schools capital projects. The real estate tax rate approved by City Council remains at $1.13 per $100 of assessed value, and there are no other tax rate increases. This will require the beginning phases of the Waterfront Park and Flood Mitigation plan and the high school facility project at the Minnie Howard Campus to be rescheduled to FY 2023. However, the new MacArthur Elementary School project remains budgeted and will proceed on schedule. 

The adopted budget defers many previously proposed program enhancements (totaling $2.1 million of $3.9 million proposed), and reduces the scope of several projects in the 10-year Capital Improvement Program or defers them from FY 2021 to a future fiscal year. The budget defers previously proposed pay increases for City employees and implements a selective hiring freeze for much of FY 2021. This $22.5 million savings will avoid the need to eliminate any incumbent positions or furlough current employees. The budget also reduces the operating transfer to the Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS) by $7.4 million, an amount equivalent to previously proposed pay increases for ACPS staff (the final decision on ACPS employee compensation rests with the Alexandria School Board).

The approved budget allocates $1 million to the Alexandria Health Department from potential federal funding under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, to be used along with potential state funding for substantially increased epidemiological staffing. Although the Alexandria Health Department is a division of the Virginia Department of Health, more than 50% of its budget is funded by the City.  

Visit alexandriava.gov/Budget to learn more about the entire budget process and view all budget documents.

April 29th Update:

City of Alexandria Provides COVID-19 Updates; Managing Health and Wellness; Virtual Fun and Fitness 


For Immediate Release: April 28, 2020

The City of Alexandria and the Alexandria Health Department (AHD) strongly urge everyone to follow state orders to STAY HOME except for essential trips such as food purchases and medical care, and keep 6 feet apart from others when in public. Your neighbors and loved ones are counting on you to stop the spread of COVID-19. 

Mental Health and Wellness During COVID-19  

It can be emotionally draining to handle the stresses of being an essential worker on-site; working from home; educating and entertaining children; or managing a household. The City’s COVID-19 Wellness Resource Guide contains a range of resources for individuals, parents, children, families and responders.  

City Offers Virtual Fun, Fitness

Looking for ways to challenge your mind and body while connecting with your community? Virtual programming options are now available through RPCA at Home! Enjoy free performances, fitness classes, poetry readings, and activities for youth. New activities are added regularly; visit alexandriava.gov/Recreation.

26 New COVID-19 Cases and 2 Fatalities Added in Alexandria

The cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in Alexandria is now 653, including 20 fatalities. Detailed data is available through the links at alexandriava.gov/Coronavirus. It is critical for all community members, even those who don't have a diagnosed illness, to stay home except for essential trips such as brief visits to the pharmacy, doctor, or grocery store.

# # # 

This news release is available at alexandriava.gov/114995.

April 28th Update:

City of Alexandria Provides COVID-19 Updates; Six New Symptoms; Infant Immunizations; Food Calculator

For Immediate Release: April 27, 2020

The City of Alexandria and the Alexandria Health Department (AHD) strongly urge everyone to follow state orders to STAY HOME except for essential trips such as food purchases and medical care, and keep 6 feet apart from others when in public. Your neighbors and loved ones are counting on you to stop the spread of COVID-19. 

CDC Adds Six New Symptoms for COVID-19

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has added several new symptoms to its existing list of symptoms for COVID-19. Up until now, the agency has cited fever, cough and shortness of breath as indications that someone might have the disease. CDC has now added six more conditions that may come with COVID-19: chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat and new loss of taste or smell.

Parents Urged to Maintain Children’s Immunization Schedules

Pediatricians across Virginia have noted a decline in infants receiving their scheduled vaccinations, over concern about exposure to the coronavirus. During National Infant Immunization Week, parents are being reminded of the importance of keeping children on their vaccine schedules, to protect them from diseases that are preventable through the immunization process. Parents should feel free to ask doctors what practices their offices are maintaining to minimize risk of exposure to illness, both during the COVID-19 pandemic and at all other times.

“Stay at Home” Food Calculator

The COVID-19 pandemic has led some people to buy more food and other staples than necessary, resulting in empty store shelves at times. Reuters has produced graphic food calculators to help determine how much food is needed to stay at home. The calculators show common food items that saw large increases in U.S. sales in March 2020.

36 New COVID-19 Cases and No Fatalities Added in Alexandria

The cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in Alexandria is now 627, including 18 fatalities (yesterday’s count included one fatality mistakenly attributed to Alexandria). Detailed data is available through the links at alexandriava.gov/Coronavirus. It is critical for all community members, even those who don't have a diagnosed illness, to stay home except for essential trips such as brief visits to the pharmacy, doctor, or grocery store.

# # #

This news release is available at alexandriava.gov/114976.

April 27th Update:

SOCIAL DISTANCING TIMELINE 

Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House Coronavirus Task Force coordinator, told NBC News' "Meet the Press" on 4/26/2020, that while the coronavirus trends give her “great hope” for slow re-openings over the next few months, many of the social distancing measures that have upended American life will be a constant fixture through the summer. 

_____________________________________________________________________

Governor Northam and COG Board Issue Statements on Reopening

 

On April 22, the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG) Board of Directors issued a statement thanking the public for staying at home and practicing physical distancing, which have been working to reduce the spread of the virus. The statement acknowledges that while it will take more time before the public can return to daily routines, the localities in the National Capital Region are committed to working together to thoughtfully plan for the reopening of the regional economy. Any strategy to reopen must be cautious and deliberate, and consistent with the sound guidance of public health officials.

 

On April 24, Governor Northam presented the “Forward Virginia” blueprint, which will help guide the Commonwealth on when to safely begin easing public health restrictions. The blueprint includes a phased approach that is grounded in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines and has specific goals to contain the spread of the virus through increased testing, personal protective equipment and supplies, and medical capacity. Key indicators will include a 14-day downward trend in confirmed cases as a percentage of overall tests and in reduced COVID-19 hospitalizations. While hospitalization rates have largely stabilized in the Commonwealth, confirmed cases continue to rise.

______________________________________________

Governor Northam Announces Plans to Postpone Upcoming Virginia Elections in Response to COVID-19

Governor delays June primary by two weeks, asks General Assembly to move May elections to November

RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today requested the General Assembly move the May General Election and all special elections scheduled for May 5, 2020 to the November 3, 2020 General Election date to further mitigate the spread of COVID-19. The Governor is also exercising his statutory authority (§ 24.2-603.1 of the Code of Virginia) to move the June primary elections from June 9, 2020 to June 23, 2020.

“As other states have shown, conducting an election in the middle of this global pandemic would bring unprecedented challenges and potential risk to voters and those who work at polling places across the Commonwealth,” said Governor Northam. “Making these decisions now will help election officials prepare and implement the necessary changes. This is about protecting the health and safety of Virginians during this pandemic and ensuring our citizens can make their voices heard in a safe, fair, and uniform manner. I urge the General Assembly to do their part and take action to move our upcoming elections.” 

“Free and fair elections are at the core of our democracy and no Virginian should have to choose between their health and exercising their right to vote, said Attorney General Herring. “I’m proud to have worked closely with Governor Northam and his team on a solution that protects both public health and the integrity of our elections.”

Moving the upcoming May elections requires action by the General Assembly. The plan the Governor is proposing includes the following measures:

  • There will be one ballot in November.
  • Voters who are qualified in November will be able to vote in November. An individual who was not qualified in May but is qualified in November will be able to vote.
  • All absentee ballots already cast will be discarded. Virginians will have an opportunity to vote for local elected officials in November.
  • Those officials whose terms are to expire as of June 30, 2020 will continue in office until their successors have been elected on the November 3, 2020 and have been qualified to serve.
_________________________________________________________

 

City of Alexandria  - Food Safety and COVID-19
 

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) offers recommendations for the proper handling of food and how to support the food retail industry during the COVID-19 pandemic. While there is currently no evidence of transmission through the food supply chain, the FDA provides guidance for safety precautions to take when grocery shopping and proper handling of food purchased to minimize the possibility of coming in contact with surfaces that may have been exposed to the virus. There is also information available for restaurant owners, employees and customers; temporary changes to packaging and labeling of food; and frequently asked questions that address food supply.

April 24th Update:

City of Alexandria Provides COVID-19 Updates; Treatment FAQs; Caring for Pets; Vehicle & License Expirations Extended 

For Immediate Release: April 23, 2020

The City of Alexandria and the Alexandria Health Department (AHD) strongly urge everyone to follow state orders to STAY HOME except for essential trips such as food purchases and medical care, and keep 6 feet apart from others when in public. Your neighbors and loved ones are counting on you to stop the spread of COVID-19. 

Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19 Treatments

Over the last few weeks, several drugs, as well as home remedies, have been touted as ways to prevent or treat COVID-19. At this time, there is no specific treatment for coronavirus infections. Treatment consists of supportive care, relief of symptoms, drinking plenty of fluids, staying at home to rest, and practicing home isolation and physical distancing within the household to avoid spreading infection to others. The Virginia Department of Health has developed Frequently Asked Questions about proposed treatments, remedies, and over-the-counter drugs.

CDC Provides Guidance on Caring for Pets

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a small number of pets have been reported to be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, mostly after contact with people with COVID-19. At this time, there is no evidence that animals play a significant role in spreading the virus that causes the disease. Based on the limited information available to date, the risk of animals spreading COVID-19 to people is considered to be low. Treat pets as you would other human family members – do not let pets interact with people or animals outside the household. If a person inside the household becomes sick, isolate that person from everyone else, including pets. Visit the CDC website to learn more about COVID-19 and pets.

Expirations Extended for Driver’s Licenses, License Plates, Safety Inspections

Governor Northam has extended the closure of Virginia’s DMV offices and mobile units until May 11, and extended the validity of driver’s licenses and vehicle credentials that were due to expire. Those needing to renew a license or vehicle registration are encouraged to do so online. Governor Northam also directed the Virginia State Police to suspend enforcement of the time period in which new Virginia residents must get a driver’s license or register their vehicles, the expiration of temporary license plates, and the time period in which temporary residents may operate vehicles with out-of-state plates. This directive also continues the suspension of enforcement of motor vehicle inspections by Virginia State Police. Until further notice, the City will not issue citations for driver’s licenses, license plates, or safety inspection decals that expired after February 29, 2020. 

38 Cases and 2 Fatalities Added in Alexandria

The cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in Alexandria is now 512, including 15 fatalities. A graph showing the history of cases and fatalities in Alexandria is available at alexandriava.gov/Coronavirus. The Virginia Department of Health is now counting cases that are considered “probable” in addition to positive test results in this total number. Probable cases include symptomatic patients diagnosed in a clinical setting, but not tested. This expansion in case categorization provides a more accurate picture of how COVID-19 is impacting Alexandria. It is essential for all community members, even those who don't have a diagnosed illness, to stay home except for essential trips such as brief visits to the pharmacy, doctor, or grocery store.

# # #

This news release is available at alexandriava.gov/114923.

April 23rd Update:

City of Alexandria Provides COVID-19 Updates: Resources for Businesses; Preventing Alcohol Abuse; Plasma Donors Sought

For Immediate Release: April 22, 2020

The City of Alexandria and the Alexandria Health Department (AHD) strongly urge everyone to follow state orders to STAY HOME except for essential trips such as food purchases and medical care, and keep 6 feet apart from others when in public. Your neighbors and loved ones are counting on you to stop the spread of COVID-19. 

COVID-19 Resources for Businesses

Help is available for businesses impacted by COVID-19:

  • The Alexandria Economic Development Partnership has an updated collection of COVID-19 resources for businesses, including information on disaster assistance; tax and regulatory changes; support for affected workers; government response; how to support local small businesses, and more. 
  • Visit Alx at Home to experience Alexandria’s restaurants, shops and attractions while staying at home. From virtual shopping at local boutiques to restaurant delivery to virtual ghost tours, see more than 100 ways to support the independent businesses that make Alexandria so special.
  • The Alexandria Chamber of Commerce’s COVID-19 Updates and Resources webpage provides links to webinars and updates on the operating status of local businesses, and links to other resources.
  • The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has updated frequently asked questions for businesses, including information about reducing the spread of COVID-19; workplace cleaning and disinfection; dealing with potential or confirmed cases in the workplace; healthy business operations; and critical infrastructure.

SAPCA Reminds Residents of Healthy Coping Practices, Dangers of Alcohol

The risk for misusing alcohol and other substances increases during times of stress, like the COVID-19 crisis. The Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition of Alexandria reminds residents of the dangers of substance misuse and the importance of healthy coping practices. Visit the City’s web page to learn more and find resources to help.

FDA Seeks Donors for Convalescent Plasma

Individuals who have recovered from COVID-19 may be able to help others struggling with the disease. The U.S. Federal Drug Administration, in coordination with the American Red Cross and other organizations, is seeking people who have fully recovered from COVID-19 to donate blood plasma to help current patients. People who have fully recovered from COVID-19 have antibodies in their plasma that can attack the virus. This “convalescent plasma” is being evaluated as treatment for patients with serious or immediately life-threatening COVID-19 infections, or those judged by a healthcare provider to be at high risk of progression to severe or life-threatening disease. For more information, including eligibility criteria, visit the American Red Cross donor eligibility form.

12 Cases and 2 Fatalities Added in Alexandria

The cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in Alexandria is now 474, including 13 fatalities. A graph showing the history of cases and fatalities in Alexandria is available at alexandriava.gov/Coronavirus. The Virginia Department of Health is now counting cases that are considered “probable” in addition to positive test results in this total number. Probable cases include symptomatic patients diagnosed in a clinical setting, but not tested. Cases added to the cumulative totals today may have occurred in the past and were recently recategorized. This change in case categorization provides a more accurate picture of how COVID-19 is impacting Alexandria. It is essential for all community members, even those who don't have a diagnosed illness, to stay home except for essential trips such as brief visits to the pharmacy, doctor, or grocery store.

# # #

This news release is available at alexandriava.gov/114902.

April 22nd Update:

Coronavirus: Where To Get Face Masks, Face Coverings In Alexandria

As many wear face coverings for tasks like grocery shopping, small businesses have switched gears to make and sell them.

By Emily Leayman, Patch Staff

Apr 21, 2020 12:42 pm ET | Updated Apr 21, 2020 12:47 pm ET

 

ALEXANDRIA, VA — While wearing face masks in public places isn't required in Virginia, it's becoming the norm to see people wear them in places like grocery stores. Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention encourage residents to wear cloth face coverings in public places where physical distancing is hard to maintain, and Alexandria's Fresh Market grocery store is requiring customers to wear coverings. If you need these non-medical-grade coverings, Alexandria small businesses are selling them or offering DIY kits.

 

Visit Alexandria's ALX at Home has a new section detailing where you can get face coverings. Customers can contact individual businesses to order.

 

Below are the Alexandria businesses listed as selling face coverings. Let us know about other small businesses selling face coverings in the comments below. We'll keep adding to this list.

__________________________________________

City of Alexandria Provides COVID-19 Updates; New Data on Age, Sex & Race Impacts

­­For Immediate Release: April 21, 2020

 

The City of Alexandria and the Alexandria Health Department (AHD) strongly urge everyone to follow state orders to STAY HOME except for essential trips such as food purchases and medical care, and keep 6 feet apart from others when in public. Your neighbors and loved ones are counting on you to stop the spread of COVID-19. 

VDH Publishes New Alexandria Data on COVID-19 Impacts by Age, Sex, and Race

 

COVID-19 affects every age group, gender, and race and ethnicity. However, the burden and impacts of this disease vary depending on a number of factors. The Virginia Department of Health's (VDH) daily dashboard now includes case, hospitalization, and fatality information by age, sex, and race for Alexandria. 

 

The distribution of COVID-19 cases in Alexandria by age and race are similar to the overall age and race distribution of Alexandria residents. However, patients over 65 and African Americans seem to have higher rates of hospitalization if they contract the virus. This aligns with nationwide research on health outcomes. Underlying health conditions such as diabetes and heart disease can create additional complications and more severe symptoms if someone contracts COVID-19. For generations, historically discriminatory systems in education, housing, and the workforce have created conditions that contribute to higher rates of chronic conditions in communities of color. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated these existing inequities in health outcomes.   

 

These types of differences in health outcomes have been a longstanding concern in Alexandria and across the country. AHD and community partners like the Partnership for a Healthier Alexandria have been working for years to eliminate these differences and ensure everyone has the opportunity to attain their highest level of health and well-being. AHD and the City are working with diverse, at-risk communities throughout Alexandria to provide information about COVID-19: what it iswhat people can do to prevent it, and, for those who do not have a doctor or health insurance, where they can seek testing and care. 

 

AHD cautions that the published VDH data is incomplete; more than one-third of cases do not have race reported. AHD is working with doctors' offices throughout Alexandria to improve data collection. AHD is also working with VDH to expand the current analyses to include ethnicity, as well as the number of tests completed by age, gender, race and ethnicity. 

41 COVID-19 Cases and 1 Fatality Added in Alexandria; New Case History Graph Available

 

The cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in Alexandria is now 462, including 11 fatalities. A new graph showing the history of cases and fatalities in Alexandria is now available at alexandriava.gov/Coronavirus. The Virginia Department of Health is now counting cases that are considered “probable” in addition to positive test results in this total number. Probable cases include symptomatic patients diagnosed in a clinical setting, but not tested. Cases added to the cumulative totals today may have occurred in the past and were recently recategorized. This change in case categorization provides a more accurate picture of how COVID-19 is impacting Alexandria. It is essential for all community members, even those who don't have a diagnosed illness, to stay home except for essential trips such as brief visits to the pharmacy, doctor, or grocery store.

# # #

This news release is available at alexandriava.gov/114889. 

 

Six Steps to Stop the Spread

PROTECT YOURSELF & OTHERS • IF YOU'RE SICK • FAQs • HELP WITH BASIC NEEDS

To get alerts, text ALEXCOVID19 to 888777.
For questions about COVID-19, call 703-746-4988.
For chest pain or shortness of breath, call or text 911 immediately.

 

April 21st Update:

14 Questions to Ask the Long-Term Care Facility Caring for Your Loved Ones

Residents with loved ones in long-term care facilities may worry about how to best keep them safe from COVID-19. The Alexandria Health Department has extensive, standing relationships with all long-term care facilities, and has been working closely with them by providing guidance, equipment, assessments, and training to help them implement the best possible infection prevention measures. Consider calling facilities with loved ones and asking them these 14 questions.

Take Care When Cleaning

The City encourages the public to exercise caution when cleaning and disinfecting their homes against the COVID-19 virus. On April 20, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released research that shows calls to poison control centers for exposure to cleaners and disinfectant increased substantially in March, corresponding with the rise in COVID-19 cases. Follow CDC’s guidance on cleaning and disinfecting your home. When using household cleaners and disinfectants, follow label instructions; don’t mix chemicals; wear protective gear; and store chemicals out of reach of children.

April 20th Update:

City of Alexandria Provides COVID-19 Updates and Health Resources

For Immediate Release: April 19, 2020

The City of Alexandria and the Alexandria Health Department (AHD) strongly urge everyone to follow state orders to STAY HOME except for essential trips such as food purchases and medical care, and keep 6 feet apart from others when in public. Your neighbors and loved ones are counting on you to stop the spread of COVID-19. 

Resources for Mental Health in Response to COVID-19

As the COVID-19 pandemic and stay-at-home orders continue, everyone is dealing with overwhelming emotions. The City’s Coping with Fear and Uncertainty webpage includes information about how residents can access a variety of essential mental health services; resources to meet basic needs for those affected by COVID-19; and tips for coping, combating stigma, and more. If you feel you are in crisis, please contact the City’s emergency mental health services hotline at 703.746.3401, available 24 hours a day. 

29 New COVID-19 Cases and 1 New COVID-19 Fatality in Alexandria

The cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in Alexandria is now 383, including 8 fatalities. The Virginia Department of Health is now counting cases that are considered “probable” in addition to positive test results in this total number. Probable cases include symptomatic patients diagnosed in a clinical setting, but not tested. This change in case categorization provides a more accurate picture of how COVID-19 is impacting Alexandria. It is essential for all community members, even those who don't have a diagnosed illness, to stay home except for essential trips such as brief visits to the pharmacy, doctor, or grocery store.

If You Have Symptoms of COVID-19

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are coughing, fever of over 100.4 F, and shortness of breath. Use the CDC's Coronavirus Self-Checker to review your symptoms. If you are concerned you may have COVID-19, call your healthcare provider to ask whether you should come for an exam or test before visiting in person, or consult a list of resources for patients without a primary care physician or health insurance (also available in Spanish, Amharic and Arabic). Most people who get COVID-19 recover on their own at home and do not need testing or treatment. Anyone with symptoms of respiratory illness should isolate themselves; avoid contact with other people; wash their hands frequently; and disinfect surfaces regularly.

If you have symptoms of COVID-19 and believe you've been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19, call the Alexandria COVID-19 Information Line at 703.746.4988, weekdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The Alexandria Health Department does not provide COVID-19 diagnosis or testing. If you need a letter about your health status, contact your healthcare provider. If AHD has contacted you directly for active monitoring or quarantine, AHD can provide a letter for your employer clearing you to return to work once that is complete.

Protect Yourself and Others, Especially Vulnerable Community Members

  • Wash Your Hands. Rub hands together with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Use Hand Sanitizer. If you can’t wash your hands, use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol as you would wash your hands, rubbing them together for 20 seconds. 
  • Don’t Touch Your Face. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Stay Home. If you are feeling sick, stay home. If you are well, avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Use Your Elbow. Cough and sneeze into your elbow, not your hand. Alternatively, cough or sneeze into a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash, and wash your hands.
  • Disinfect Surfaces. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Manage Stress. The CDC recommends taking breaks from exposure to the news; take deep breaths or meditate; try to eat healthy; get sleep or rest; make time to do activities you enjoy; and connect with others to share your feelings. 

 

Previous updates:

April Updates

March Updates

Coronavirus Old Town Alexandria: What To Do If You Have Symptoms

Message from the CEO of ARHA

Tips from the Alexandria Health Department

How to Keep Yourself and Your Family Safe

 

 

Tell Us How We are Doing

Take Our Customer Satisfaction Survey

Take the Survey