The Latest on the COVID-19 Coronavirus (As of May 22nd)

covid-19

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.
 

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 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.

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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.

 

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.
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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

 

 

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