Summer 2020 COVID Updates

August 28th Update:

Released: 8/27/20

Virtual Braddock Implementation Advisory Group Meeting


Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic emergency, the September 10, 2020 meeting of the Braddock Implementation Advisory Group is being held electronically pursuant to Virginia Code Section 2.2-3708.2(A)(3), the Continuity of Government ordinance adopted by the City Council on June 20, 2020 or Sections 4-0.00(g) in HB29 and HB30 to undertake essential business. All of the members of the Board and staff are participating from remote locations through a Zoom Webinar. The meeting can be accessed by the public through: 


Meeting access:

The Braddock Implementation Advisory Group will hold a virtual meeting on Thursday, September 10 from 7-8 p.m. The Webinar will open at 6:30 p.m. to allow time for community members to join; the meeting start time is 7 p.m. Applicants for the proposed development project at 727 N. West Street will present a concept and answer questions from the community.

Public comment will be received at the meeting. A video recording of the meeting will be available on the project website following the meeting. 


For reasonable disability accommodation, contact Jackie.Cato@alexandriava.gov or 703.746.3810, Virginia Relay 711.


For meeting materials, detailed information on the Braddock Metro Neighborhood Plan and its implementation, please visit alexandriava.gov/Braddock. Questions? Contact Katherine Carraway, Urban Planner, 703.746.3855.

 

Blood Drive at Market Square

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a negative impact on blood supplies throughout Northern Virginia. Residents are encouraged to participate in a blood drive on Thursday, September 3, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., at Market Square (301 King St.). Appointments are required and last about an hour. To protect medical staff, volunteers and donors, masks must be worn at all times, and will be available onsite if needed. Participants must be eligible and healthy in order to donate blood.  

Ongoing Targeted COVID-19 Testing Events

AHD and the City recently conducted a targeted COVID-19 testing event in partnership with Neighborhood Health, Alexandria's federally qualified health center. More than 100 residents were tested at Armistead Boothe Park with assistance from AHD's Medical Reserve Corps volunteers. In addition to testing, each participant received a packet of health and support service information. AHD will continue to identify future sites and coordinate targeted testing events. Neighborhood Health is a provider of primary care and COVID-19 testing for residents with or without insurance. Make an appointment online or call 703.535.5568.

 


 

Alexandria Raises Awareness of Drug Overdose and Recovery; City Lights up Purple in Solidarity

Join the City of Alexandria and communities around the world in support of International Overdose Awareness Day on August 31. The goal of this annual day of recognition is to create a better understanding of drug overdoses; bring attention to drug-related deaths; acknowledge the grief felt by families and friends remembering those who have died or experienced permanent injury as a result of drug overdose; and raise awareness that substance use disorders can be successfully managed with treatment. 

To show solidarity, and in recognition of National Recovery Month in September, City Hall (301 King St.) will be lit purple with spotlights from the night of August 31 through the night of September 1. Throughout September, the City will continue to raise awareness and understanding of substance use disorders, including the launch of an opioid awareness campaign.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that more than 67,000 people died of drug overdoses in 2018, making it the leading cause of injury-related death in the U.S. On August 12, the City reported that there had been nine non-fatal overdoses in Alexandria since July 24, seven of which were related to opioids. 

Opioids are a class of highly addictive drugs that includes prescription painkillers like oxycodone and hydrocodone, and illegal drugs like heroin. However, addiction is not always the cause of an overdose. Overdoses can happen to a patient recovering from surgery or injury; a teenager experimenting with illegal drugs for the first time; or a child who ingests leftover medication from a home medicine cabinet. Learn more at alexandriava.gov/Opioids.

Residents can help prevent overdose deaths by being aware of the signs and knowing how to respond to an overdose. Symptoms of an opioid overdose may include a pale face, limp body, bluish lips or nails; vomiting or gurgling; drowsiness or unconsciousness; slow breathing or heartbeat; or muscle spasms. If an overdose is suspected, call 911 immediately.

Naloxone (Narcan) is a medicine that, if given in time, can save the life of someone overdosing on opioids. It is available for free from the Alexandria Health Department by calling 703.746.4888 or from the City’s Opioid Response Coordinator by calling 703.746.3326.

Residents can also dispose of unwanted medicines at permanent drug drop boxes during business hours at The Neighborhood Pharmacy (2204 Mt. Vernon Ave.), 24 hours per day inside the front entrance of the Alexandria Police Department Headquarters (3600 Wheeler Ave.), and 1 to 5 p.m. daily in the Visitor’s Center Lobby of Inova Alexandria Hospital (4320 Seminary Road).

The City’s Department of Community and Human Services can help locate treatment options in Alexandria for anyone dealing with addiction, and is available 24 hours a day at 703.746.3636 (Virginia Relay 711). To get help stopping the use of heroin or other opioids, call the Opioid Treatment Program intake line at 703.746.3610.

To provide information regarding past overdoses or any illegal drug activity, please call the Alexandria Police Department at 703.746.6277.

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

 

August 27th Update:

Released: August 26, 2020

The City of Alexandria and the Alexandria Health Department (AHD) remind everyone that you are safest at home. Older adults and persons with underlying medical conditions are at greater risk for severe disease and are advised to minimize potential exposures as much as possible. Please keep at least 6 feet of distance from others. Everyone is required to wear a mask over both their nose and mouth at all times in most indoor public settings. Download Virginia Department of Health's COVIDWISE app, which uses Bluetooth Low Energy technology to quickly and anonymously notify users who have likely been exposed, enabling you to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Your neighbors and loved ones are counting on you.   

Child Care Needs Survey

The City is asking Alexandria families to participate in an online survey to assess child care needs and preferences during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Emergency Child Care Collaborative and Smart Beginnings Alexandria are working with regional partners on the Child Care Task Force to support families and providers facing child care challenges resulting from the pandemic. The results will help the task force and local partners better understand the needs and preferences of Alexandria families as they work with child care providers to develop and provide child care offerings. The survey is open through Sunday, August 30.

Unpaid Utility Shutoff Moratorium Extended

The Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC) has extended the end date of the ban on utility shutoff due to unpaid bills from August 31 to September 16. The original measure was implemented in March to assist Virginians whose ability to pay their bills was impacted by workplace closures due to COVID-19. Utility companies have offered extended payment plans of up to 12 months to help avoid shutoffs. Customers who have established extended payment plans will continue to be protected from having their utilities shut off or late payment fees being assessed, even after the moratorium expires. The SCC has urged all utility companies to make every accommodation possible to customers who are making good-faith efforts to pay their bills. Alexandria residents experiencing difficulty paying electricity bills should contact their providers to discuss options, and may also be eligible for other assistance.     

CDC Guidance on Daily Activities

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers guidance for safely participating in daily activities while the COVID-19 virus remains a threat in the community. Guidance is provided for specific settings and activities, including going to the bank or a gas station, handling deliveries and takeout, having guests or workers in the home, attending various social gatherings, and handling groceries and food safety. While the suggested safety measures vary depending on the type of activity, the CDC recommends consistently following general guidance and always considering the risk factors before going out.  

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

The cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in Alexandria is now 3,324, including 61 fatalities. COVID-19 is spread by people whether or not they have symptoms, and AHD estimates that nearly 10% of infected Alexandrians have required hospitalization. Everyone must do their part to stop the spread: maintain at least 6 feet of distance from others, wear a mask over both the nose and mouth, and carry and use hand sanitizer with at least 60% ethyl alcohol. With a recent increase in cases, you are more likely to encounter someone who is infected. Be prepared to answer a call from the Alexandria Health Department in case you are identified as a close contact. Detailed data, including data on age, race and ethnicity, is available through links at alexandriava.gov/Coronavirus.  

  

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August 26th Update:

Released: August 25, 2020

All City of Alexandria government offices will be closed on Monday, September 7, in observance of Labor Day. The following list includes schedule information for other City facilities and partner agencies.

Resource Recovery: Residential refuse and recycling will not be collected on September 7. Collection services will be delayed by one day during the week of September 7, and yard waste will not be collected on Friday, September 11. The Household Hazardous Waste & Electronics Recycling Center (3224 Colvin St.) will be closed on September 7.

Animal Shelter: The Vola Lawson Animal Shelter will be open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on September 7 by appointment only, offering both virtual and in-shelter animal visiting opportunities. To make an appointment, visit AlexandriaAnimals.org/Adopt-By-Appointment. For an animal emergency or wildlife concern, call 703.746.4444.

Health Facilities: The Alexandria Health Department (4480 King St.), the Flora Krause Casey Health Center (1200 N. Howard St.), and the Teen Wellness Center at T.C. Williams High School (3329 King St.) will be closed on September 7. 

Historic Alexandria: On September 7, Gadsby's Tavern Museum and Alexandria’s History Museum at The Lyceum will be closed. All other City museums remain closed to the public until further notice due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information, visit alexandriava.gov/Historic or call 703.746.4554.

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

Libraries: All Alexandria Library branches and the Alexandria Law Library (520 King St.) will be closed on Monday, September 7. Curbside service will not be available on Friday, September 4 and Monday, September 7.

Parking: On September 7, the Alexandria Police Department will suspend enforcement of parking restrictions at metered spaces, residential permit parking districts and other areas with posted parking time limits. This suspension of enforcement applies only to the restrictions at legal parking spaces and does not permit parking in any location normally prohibited (for example, no-parking zones, loading zones or spaces for persons with disabilities). Temporary no-parking signs will be enforced on September 7.

Impound Lot: The City’s Impound Facility (5249 Eisenhower Ave.) will be closed September 7. 

Recreation and Arts Centers: On September 7, all recreation and nature centers will be closed, including Chinquapin Park Recreation Center & Aquatics Facility. The Torpedo Factory Art Center will be closed on September 7.

Outdoor Pools:  The Old Town Pool will be open for prearranged use through the City’s online ticketing and lottery systems on Monday, September 7, and on the weekend from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Memorial Pool and Warwick Pool remain closed. Visit alexandriava.gov/Aquatics for more information.

Schools: All Alexandria City Public Schools and administrative offices will be closed on September 7.

State Offices: The following Commonwealth of Virginia offices in Alexandria will be closed on September 7: the Circuit Court, Clerk of Circuit Court, General District Court, Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court, and Court Service Unit, located in the Alexandria Courthouse (520 King St.); and the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) office (2681 Mill Road).

Transit: On Monday, September 7, DASH bus service will operate on a Sunday schedule. The free King Street Trolley remains suspended until further notice due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information, visit dashbus.com.

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

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Resource Catalog: Tips for Using Masks Updated

AHD has made updates to its guidelines for the proper use of masks, which remains one of the most effective tools to stopping the spread of COVID-19 in the community. It is important to wear a mask that always fits snugly over both the nose and mouth. To avoid possible contact with virus droplets, do not touch the front of the mask while it is being worn or afterwards. Handwashing is critical before a mask is worn and after it is removed. Wash reusable cloth masks in hot water or throw away disposable masks after each use. Members of the public should not use N95 masks, as they remain in high demand for first responders and medical professionals. Always practice physical distancing, even when wearing a mask, and stay home when sick. Download or print “Tips for Using Masks” in English, Spanish, Amharic and Arabic, or submit a request for copies. 

Resource Catalog: Health Guidance Materials 

Learning of a potential exposure to COVID-19 or receiving a positive test result can create stress and anxiety. This reaction can make it difficult to think through the best next steps for self-care and keeping others safe until the isolation period is complete. AHD and the City have developed a series of resources to provide guidance about “What To Do If You Get Sick,” which is available in EnglishSpanishAmharicArabic, and Farsi; and “When You Can Be Around Others,” which is available in EnglishSpanishAmharic, and Arabic. Materials are available for download and sized to be easy to print. Visit the COVID-19 Resource Catalog for other signs and reproducible information.    

 

August 25th Update:

9-Day Faith Pilgrimage For Racial Justice To Stop In Alexandria

ALEXANDRIA, VA — A faith pilgrimage for racial justice from Charlottesville to DC will make a stop in Alexandria this week. The nine-day Faith Pilgrimage of Racial Reckoning, Resolve, and Love started in Charlottesville on Aug. 20 and will end on Aug. 28 at DC's Black Lives Matter Plaza.

The last leg of the pilgrimage — Alexandria to DC — will be preceded by a prayer and public action at 2 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 27. Area clergy and supporters will join the participants for the assembly at African American Heritage Park, 500 Holland Lane, Alexandria. Speakers will discuss Alexandria's historical role in supporting white supremacy through the slave market, the role of white faith institutions in promoting white supremacy and the role of white people of faith to overhaul white supremacy.

The assembly speakers will include Julio Hernandez, director of family ministries at Christ Crossman United Methodist Church in Falls Church; LaToya Archibald, director of partnerships at The HOPE Scholarship: Helping Others Pursue Education; CR Gibbs, a Washington, DC historian and author; Walter Clark, assistant minister at Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington; and Rev. Alexis Kassim, associate pastor at Little River United Church of Christ in Annandale. Participating organizations are Faith in Action, the Congregation Action Network, and DC Unity & Justice Fellowship.

On Friday, Aug. 28, participants will meet at 7 a.m. at Rivergate City Park (2 Montgomery Street, Alexandria) for a walk along Mount Vernon Trail to Lafayette Park in DC. At 10 a.m., a brief program will be held at Black Lives Matter Plaza (Lafayette Park) in front of St. John's Church. Participants will then head to the Lincoln Memorial for the Commitment March: Get Your Knee Off Our Necks. Lafayette Park is located at Pennsylvania Ave NW & 16th Street Northwest, Washington, DC 20001.

As the name suggests, the organizers' goals for the faith pilgrimage are "to Reckon with and apologize for personal and structural racism, white supremacy, and anti-Blackness actions and attitudes; to Resolve moving racial justice forward in the missions of in our faith traditions and nation, through voting, organizing, and advocacy; and to Reframe the faith narrative in this nation as we approach the 2020 election."

All participants are asked to wear a mask and keep a safe distance from others. Anyone interested in participating in the walk can register at www.walkthewalk2020.us.

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AHD Urges Community to Answer Calls from Case Investigators 

Due to the increasing number of interactions as businesses and facilities reopen, AHD anticipates that there will be more COVID-19 outbreaks, which is defined by the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) as two or more linked cases within 14 days in a given setting. The link between cases is applicable when there is no other or more likely source of exposure, such as a household member who is sick. AHD has responded to a total of 19 outbreaks of COVID-19 in Alexandria, and details can be found on the VDH website under the “Outbreaks” tab. The effectiveness of AHD case and outbreak investigations relies on the cooperation of individuals and organizations. AHD will never reveal confidential information and strongly urges residents to do their part to stop outbreaks by answering investigation calls. AHD will issue a news release warning the public of potential exposure to COVID-19 if the agency is unable to identify all close contacts. 

Limiting Secondary Transmission in Child Care Programs

It is critical for child care programs to follow guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in order to minimize exposure to COVID-19 among children, parents and other caregivers. Research of Rhode Island child care programs indicates that limiting class sizes and wearing face masks resulted in minimal secondary transmission. The programs that experienced secondary transmission were found to have acted outside of the CDC guidelines, particularly with staff switching between groups or classrooms. CDC guidance for child care programs includes adults wearing masks, limiting mixing or switching between established student-teacher groups, staying home when sick, and regularly cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces throughout the day. It is also important to participate in contact tracing and case investigation efforts to minimize outbreaks and to work with local health officials, child care licensing boards and community partners for the most up-to-date information. Every child care program should have a plan in place to protect staff, children, and families from COVID-19.  

Weekly Featured Jobs and Workshops

Residents who have lost employment due to COVID-19 are encouraged to review the list of employers who are hiring, which is compiled by the Alexandria Workforce Development Center (WDC). This list is updated with new job opportunities every Monday. WDC also has many free resources, such as the Labor Market and Career Assessment tool, and workshops to help residents enhance job readiness and improve their job search. Workshop topics this week include resume building, job search skills, and networking. All workshops take place online, are free, and registration is requested. Follow WDC on FacebookTwitter or LinkedIn for the latest flyer, or visit the WDC’s job board for a complete list of job opportunities.

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

The Virginia Department of Health reported an increase of 35 cases and no fatalities in Alexandria as of August 22; 19 cases and no fatalities as of August 23; and 13 cases and no fatalities as of August 24; bringing the total to 3,270 cases, including 61 fatalities. COVID-19 is spread by people whether or not they have symptoms, and AHD estimates that nearly 10% of infected Alexandrians have required hospitalization. Everyone must do their part to stop the spread: maintain at least 6 feet of distance from others, wear a mask over both the nose and mouth, and carry and use hand sanitizer with at least 60% ethyl alcohol. With a recent increase in cases, you are more likely to encounter someone who is infected. Be prepared to answer a call from the Alexandria Health Department in case you are identified as a close contact. Detailed data, including data on age, race and ethnicity, is available through links at alexandriava.gov/Coronavirus

 

August 24th Update:

The Alexandria Health Department (AHD) has determined that there may have been a COVID-19 exposure at Kidane Mehret Church (75 S. Bragg St.). Anyone who entered the building or was on the church grounds on August 14, 15, 16 or 17 may have been exposed to the virus and should immediately stay home and away from others for 14 days from their last visit to the church, and monitor for symptoms.

Potential symptoms may include fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, headache, chills, muscle pain, or new loss of taste or smell. Anyone with chest pain or shortness of breath should call or text 911 immediately.

Anyone who develops symptoms should immediately call a healthcare provider to be tested for COVID-19. Those who do not have a doctor or insurance can call any of the providers on this list of healthcare facilities.

 

POSSIBLE COVID-19 EXPOSURE AT AN ALEXANDRIA WEST END CHURCH

AHD urges anyone who visited Kidane Mehret Church on August 14, 15, 16 or 17 to call 703.309.8276 for further guidance. Visitors to the church on those days should avoid having guests visit them, not share items like towels and plates, stay at least 6 feet away from others, and wear a mask when around people who have not had the same exposure.

Kidane Mehret Church is currently working with AHD to take the necessary steps to protect their church community. Please share this news release or English and Amharic flyer immediately with anyone who may have spent time at the church.

August 21st Update:

Released: 08/20/2020

The City of Alexandria and the Alexandria Health Department (AHD) remind everyone that you are safest at home. Older adults and persons with underlying medical conditions are at greater risk for severe disease and are advised to minimize potential exposures as much as possible. Please keep at least 6 feet of distance from others. Everyone is required to wear a mask in most indoor public settings. Download Virginia Department of Health's COVIDWISE app, which uses Bluetooth Low Energy technology to quickly and anonymously notify users who have likely been exposed, enabling you to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Your neighbors and loved ones are counting on you.   

Travel Guideline Update

The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) has revised travel guidelines to align with recent guidance updates from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). VDH continues to advise Virginians to stay home as much as possible, especially if a trip is not essential or a traveler is either sick or at higher risk of serious illness. Virginia does not have quarantine requirements for travelers arriving from domestic or international locations; however, the CDC recommends a 14-day quarantine upon return from destinations with high rates of COVID-19.  Other high-risk activities associated with travel include attending gatherings -- such as weddings, parties, sporting events or concerts -- or being in crowded places such as restaurants, airports, bus or train stations, cruise ships or river boats. Many countries have entry requirements and restrictions for entry, so anyone considering international travel should check the list of countries and requirements prior to making reservations. If you may have been exposed before or during travel or you start to show COVID-19 symptoms, contact your healthcare provider and isolate at home.  

ALX Promise Training Program Now Available in Spanish

The ALX Promise safety training program is now available in Spanish. Business owners and employees can receive training in Spanish about how to safely reopen during all phases of the COVID-19 pandemic from an AHD Environmental Health Specialist. Businesses that successfully complete the training and commit to higher safety standards for their employees and customers than the minimum requirement receive an ALX Promise Shield to display and a kit of promotional materials and are added to the list of ALX Promise business partnersRegister to participate on the ALX Promise webpage, or by calling 703.746.4190.   

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

The cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in Alexandria is now 3,186, including 61 fatalities. COVID-19 is spread by people whether or not they have symptoms, and AHD estimates that nearly 10% of infected Alexandrians have required hospitalization. Everyone must do their part to stop the spread: maintain at least 6 feet of distance from others, wear a mask, and carry and use hand sanitizer with at least 60% ethyl alcohol. With a recent increase in cases, you are more likely to encounter someone who is infected. Be prepared to answer a call from the Alexandria Health Department in case you are identified as a close contact. Detailed data, including data on age, race and ethnicity, is available through links at alexandriava.gov/Coronavirus.  

August 20th Update:

Released: August 19, 2020

The City of Alexandria and the Alexandria Health Department (AHD) remind everyone that you are safest at home. Older adults and persons with underlying medical conditions are at greater risk for severe disease and are advised to minimize potential exposures as much as possible. Please keep at least 6 feet of distance from others. Everyone is required to wear a mask in most indoor public settings. Download Virginia Department of Health's COVIDWISE app, which uses Bluetooth Low Energy technology to quickly and anonymously notify users who have likely been exposed, enabling you to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Your neighbors and loved ones are counting on you.   

Role of Ventilation in COVID-19 Prevention 

Although there is no clear evidence to date that COVID-19 has spread through Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems, ventilation is a secondary prevention strategy to consider. COVID-19 is primarily spread to others through an infected person’s respiratory droplets, which are released when a person sneezes, coughs or talks. The droplets land in the mouths, noses or eyes of others nearby; are transferred by touching infected surfaces; or are inhaled into the lungs. Droplets are relatively large, whereas aerosols are much smaller respiratory particles that can remain suspended in the air and have the potential of traveling much longer distances. Ventilation strategies become increasingly important when infectious particles spread via aerosols, also known as airborne transmission. Tuberculosis and measles are examples of infections known to be transmitted by airborne transmission. Research is still confirming the degree to which the virus that causes COVID-19 spreads via airborne transmission.

Staying home when ill, the use of face masks, maintaining physical distancing of 6 feet or more, frequent hand washing, utilization of acrylic barriers, and frequently sanitizing commonly touched surfaces have been shown to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and remain the primary components of a comprehensive approach. When ventilation is used as one component of a comprehensive strategy, HVAC systems should follow minimum standards published by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). Other considerations include improved filtration and ventilation practices for homes or businesses, including recommendations from the Environmental Protection Agency. Some of these strategies include increasing natural ventilation, running the HVAC system continuously, and upgrading to the highest-rated filter that the HVAC unit can accommodate. AHD reminds residents that increased ventilation is not enough to protect from exposure to COVID-19 and must be used in conjunction with other best practices.

New FDA Warnings for Hand Sanitizer

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a new warning about hand sanitizers that have tested positive for 1-propanol contamination and are now included on a list of unsafe hand sanitizer products. Hand sanitizers normally contain 2-propanol, also known as isopropanol or isopropyl alcohol, but 1-propanol can be toxic and life threatening if ingested. Symptoms of 1-propanol exposure can include confusion, decreased consciousness, slow pulse and breathing, and eye or skin irritation. Seek immediate medical attention if any of these symptoms occur after using a hand sanitizer product suspected of 1-propanol contamination. Young children and adolescents are most at risk of ingesting these products. The FDA recommends checking the regularly updated list prior to the use or purchase of unfamiliar hand sanitizers and properly disposing any unsafe products, including these toxic chemicals.     

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

The cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in Alexandria is now 3,165, including 61 fatalities. COVID-19 is spread by people whether or not they have symptoms, and AHD estimates that nearly 10% of infected Alexandrians have required hospitalization. Everyone must do their part to stop the spread: maintain at least 6 feet of distance from others, wear a mask, and carry and use hand sanitizer with at least 60% ethyl alcohol. With a recent increase in cases, you are more likely to encounter someone who is infected. Be prepared to answer a call from the Alexandria Health Department in case you are identified as a close contact. Detailed data, including data on age, race and ethnicity, is available through links at alexandriava.gov/Coronavirus.  

 

August 19th Update:

Released: August 18, 2020

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

Updated CDC Guidance for Post-Recovery Immunity

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently updated information and guidance regarding immunity to COVID-19 after recovery from the illness. Studies show that people can continue to test positive for COVID-19 up to three months after diagnosis without being infectious to others. This latest data suggests that retesting within three months of initial infection is unnecessary unless symptoms of COVID-19 cannot be attributed to another illness. The CDC continues to recommend that anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 should isolate for 10 days from the onset of symptoms, and for 24 hours from when a fever returns to normal temperature without the assistance of medication. Researchers continue to study the length of infection; duration of being contagious; and the variances between those who are mildly ill and those with severe illness and other underlying health issues.

Resource Catalog: Daily Health Checklist Before Leaving Home

In addition to following the Six Steps to Stop the Spread of COVID-19, you can help by conducting a self-assessment for symptoms daily. It is important to stay home if you have a cough, shortness of breath, or fever. Complete the home health checklist before leaving home to run errands, go to work or be in public. The checklist is also available in Spanish. This checklist and all the COVID-19 materials listed in the City’s COVID-19 Resource Catalog are available to the public for download, or can be printed for you by completing an online request form.  

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

The cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in Alexandria is now 3,146, including 61 fatalities. COVID-19 is spread by people whether or not they have symptoms, and AHD estimates that nearly 10% of infected Alexandrians have required hospitalization. Everyone must do their part to stop the spread: maintain at least 6 feet of distance from others, wear a mask, and carry and use hand sanitizer with at least 60% ethyl alcohol. With a recent increase in cases, you are more likely to encounter someone who is infected. Be prepared to answer a call from the Alexandria Health Department in case you are identified as a close contact. Detailed data, including data on age, race and ethnicity, is available through links at alexandriava.gov/Coronavirus

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This news release is available at alexandriava.gov/117274.

August 18th Update:

Released: August 17, 2020

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

CDC Encourages 2020 Census Participation During COVID-19

The City reminds residents that it’s not too late to participate in the 2020 Census. It’s fast, easy, and takes less than 10 minutes on average. Last month, census takers began visiting households that have not yet responded. An accurate count makes sure all Alexandrians are fairly represented in federal and state government, and that $675 billion in federal resources are allocated correctly across state and local jurisdictions. This week, the U.S. Census Bureau and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a joint statement to inform the public that participation in 2020 Census interviews should present a low risk of transmission of COVID-19. Census takers are trained to rigorously and universally follow CDC recommendations to wear face masks; maintain a physical distance of 6 feet or more; practice hand hygiene; not enter homes; and conduct interviews outside as much as possible or practical, in order to mitigate risk of coronavirus transmission. For more information about the Census in Alexandria, visit the City’s 2020 Census page.    

Weekly Featured Jobs and Workshops

Residents who have lost employment due to COVID-19 are encouraged to review the list of employers who are hiring, which is compiled by the Alexandria Workforce Development Center (WDC). This list is updated every Monday with new job opportunities. WDC also offers workshops to help residents enhance job readiness and improve their job search. Topics include resume building, transferable skills, mastering the interview, and navigating the virtual job fair. All workshops take place online, are free, and registration is requested. Follow WDC on FacebookTwitter or LinkedIn for the latest flyer, or visit the WDC’s job board for a complete list of job opportunities.

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

The Virginia Department of Health reported an increase of 32 cases and no fatalities in Alexandria as of August 15; 22 cases and no fatalities as of August 16; and 26 cases and no fatalities as of August 17; bringing the total to 3,130 cases, including 61 fatalities. COVID-19 is spread by people whether or not they have symptoms, and AHD estimates that nearly 10% of infected Alexandrians have required hospitalization. Everyone must do their part to stop the spread: maintain at least 6 feet of distance from others, wear a mask, and carry and use hand sanitizer. With a recent increase in cases, you are more likely to encounter someone who is infected. Be prepared to answer a call from the Alexandria Health Department in case you are identified as a close contact. Detailed data, including data on age, race and ethnicity, is available through links at alexandriava.gov/Coronavirus

August 17th Update:

Releases on: 08/16/2020

City Alerts Public to Local Rise in Drug Overdoses, Availability of Treatment Programs

On Friday, August 14, the City of Alexandria reported that it has responded to nine substance-related, nonfatal drug overdoses since July 24. Learn how to help someone overdosing on opioids and treatment options.

New COVID-19 Resources: Child Care Open House, Food Distribution, Employment Assistance and More

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

Virtual Child Care Open House on August 19 Will Showcase Local Child Care Programs

The Alexandria Emergency Child Care Collaborative and Smart Beginnings Alexandria will host the online open house on August 19, from 7-8:30 p.m.

WDC Launches New Customer Call Center

New Workforce Development Center customer call center provides faster service, enhances customer experience and introduces dedicated lines for English, Spanish, Amharic and Dari language speakers.

August 14th Update:

Released: August 13, 2020

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

avoidthe3C

New Research: Material Choice is Critical in Mask Effectiveness

recent demonstration study from researchers at Duke University found that fleece is less effective at preventing the spread of droplets compared to other materials. Masks are a critical tool in slowing the spread of COVID-19 and are most effective when they fit snugly over the nose and mouth; do not gap around the edges; and have a high thread count, fine weave, and multiple layers. Masks are still required to enter public spaces in Virginia.

 

While some have misinterpreted the Duke study to mean that gaiters are ineffective, there is no definitive evidence that mask style (e.g., gaiter, ear loops, pleated) significantly affects the value of wearing masks, but mask shapes that minimize air leakage are preferred. The gaiter-type neck fleece ranked the worst, not because the style was a gaiter, but because the fleece material broke up fewer larger droplets into more smaller droplets.

 

Additionally, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not recommend using masks that have one-way valves or vents. Masks with valves and vents allow respiratory droplets to be emitted and defeat the purpose of wearing a mask -- reducing respiratory droplets from reaching others.  

AHD Publishes Strategic Action Framework for Routine Immunizations

In the seventh of a series, AHD has published its Routine Immunizations During COVID-19 Strategic Action Framework. Immunization rates have decreased during this pandemic, but it is critical that all Alexandrians stay up to date. Immunization requirements have not been waived for students attending school virtually.   

This framework highlights objectives and tactics that can save lives by increasing the rates of immunizations and eliminating vaccine-preventable illnesses.

Tactics include:

  • Supporting schools and school nurses as they communicate and enforce vaccination requirements for students starting school in the fall.
  • Strengthening relationships with local providers.
  • Supporting routine medical care for all children and adults, and continuing to serve as a safety net for families without a medical home.
  • Assessing the rate of missed immunizations among AHD patients and in the City, and performing targeted outreach.
  • Crafting and disseminating clear, evidence-based, compelling flu vaccination messaging.
  • Identifying opportunities for AHD to promote and strengthen support for immunizations through advocacy.

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

State Launches Pediatric Coronavirus Serology Study

Today, Governor Ralph Northam announced that the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) will conduct a pediatric coronavirus disease serology study in Northern Virginia to gauge COVID-19 antibodies in youth. Interim results from Virginia’s ongoing adult serology study show an estimated 2.4% of adults statewide have antibodies to COVID-19. The new pediatric study, conducted in collaboration with Inova Health System, will measure the proportion of children and teens with antibodies to COVID-19. Because COVID-19 appears to affect adults and children differently, these studies will provide key insight into how the virus spreads among different age and demographic groups, and provide critical information for determining ways to combat the virus. 

Northern Virginia was selected for this project due to the number of confirmed COVID-19 pediatric cases reported in the region, and for its diversity in ethnicity, socioeconomic status and race, which provides an important comparison to the rest of the Commonwealth. 

Inova Children’s Hospital will recruit up to 1,000 participants, aged 19 and younger, who live in Northern Virginia and seek care at participating clinical sites. Participants’ blood samples will be tested for COVID-19 antibodies, which indicate that a person had a COVID-19 infection in the past. VDH will use the information collected from this project to estimate the total number of children and teenagers that have been infected with the COVID-19 virus in Northern Virginia and statewide, including those who may have had mild or asymptomatic infections. VDH will also analyze children's risk factors for COVID-19 infection, including age, underlying health conditions, sociodemographic characteristics, history of COVID-19 infection within households and childcare exposures. Preliminary results are expected to be available by mid-September. For more information, including interim results from the adult study, read the news release.

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

The cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in Alexandria is now 3,020, including 60 fatalities. COVID-19 is spread by people whether or not they have symptoms, and AHD estimates that nearly 10% of infected Alexandrians have required hospitalization. Everyone must do their part to stop the spread: maintain at least 6 feet of distance from others, wear a mask, and carry and use hand sanitizer. With a recent increase in cases, you are more likely to encounter someone who is infected. Be prepared to answer a call from the Alexandria Health Department in case you are identified as a close contact. Detailed data, including data on age, race and ethnicity, is available through links at alexandriava.gov/Coronavirus

August 13th Update:

Released: August 12, 2020

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

AHD Featured in Local News Story About Contact Tracing

AHD was featured in an NBC4 news segment about contact tracing, how it works, and what to expect if you are contacted. The August 11 story spells out the process, illustrates the importance of contact tracing as a tool to help stop the spread of COVID-19, and describes resources offered to people who are required to quarantine as a result of close contact with an infected person. 

City Suspends Enforcement of Vehicle Inspection and Registration Requirements

In order to prevent confusion regarding different state requirements for vehicle registrationssafety inspections and emissions inspections during the COVID-19 pandemic, the City has suspended local enforcement of these requirements through October 31, 2020. This follows the City's prior suspension of enforcement, from mid-March through July 19, of the requirement to display a valid state safety inspection sticker while parked. Any parking tickets that were issued by the City for safety inspection violations after July 19 will be automatically voided, and any payments will be automatically refunded by October 16. For more information about tickets or payments, visit the City's website.

Motorists should check the state links above to determine which requirements pertain to their vehicles and may still be subject to state enforcement. Safety and emissions inspections remain available, and the City encourages vehicle owners to stay current on inspections while following COVID-19 guidelines like staying 6 feet apart from others, disinfecting commonly touched surfaces, and washing hands with soap and water or using hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Vehicle registrations may be renewed online

ALIVE! Food Distributions

The nonprofit organization ALIVE! is providing food at two distributions points this week:

  • Thursday, August 13: Food Distribution at Charles Houston Recreation Center Parking Lot (901 Wythe St.).  In coordination with the meal distribution of Washington Street United Methodist Church, Royal Restaurant, ARHA, and the City of Alexandria, ALIVE! will distribute bags of shelf-stable groceries, produce, and bread from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Drive-through and walk-up service will be available. 
  • Saturday, August 15: Truck-to-Trunk at Cora Kelly (3600 Commonwealth Ave) and John Adams Elementary (5651 Rayburn Ave.) parking lots. ALIVE! Truck-to-Trunk will distribute food from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m., in the parking lots at Cora Kelly and John Adams Elementary Schools. This distribution includes bags of shelf stable groceries, fresh produce, and eggs, while supplies last. People are encouraged to drive through.

Attendees are encouraged to drive through whenever possible for contactless distribution; however, walk-ups are welcome and should maintain 6 feet of physical distance, wear a face mask, and bring carts or reusable bags to carry food home. Food may not be consumed at any site.

Virtual Child Care Open House on Wednesday, August 19, 7-8:30 p.m.

Looking for available child care options? On Wednesday, August 19, the Alexandria Emergency Child Care Collaborative and Smart Beginnings Alexandria are hosting an online event to showcase current child care programs available in the city. The event, scheduled for 7-8:30 p.m., is free, but registration is required. A Zoom link will be provided. For more information, email robin.crawley@alexandriava.gov or call 703.746.5927.

Metro to Add More Trains, Buses, Service Hours

Beginning Sunday, August 16, Metro will add more trains and hours of service. This increase will restore most service to pre-COVID-19 levels while still maintaining a strong response to the pandemic. Metrorail opening hours will return to normal and closing times will be extended by two hours in anticipation of potential increases in ridership after Labor Day, and Metro expects to reopen several stations on the Orange and Silver Lines. To support overnight workers, Metro will double Lyft discounts during hours when trains and buses are not available. Eligible workers may apply to receive the discount.  Beginning Sunday, August 23, Metrobus will offer more buses, running more frequently, to restore approximately 75% of pre-pandemic service. Most routes will return to operating close to normal weekday service, and will run an hour later, until midnight.

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

The cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in Alexandria is now 3,014, including 60 fatalities. COVID-19 is spread by people whether or not they have symptoms, and AHD estimates that nearly 10% of infected Alexandrians have required hospitalization. Everyone must do their part to stop the spread: maintain at least 6 feet of distance from others, wear a mask, and carry and use hand sanitizer. With a recent increase in cases, you are more likely to encounter someone who is infected. Be prepared to answer a call from the Alexandria Health Department in case you are identified as a close contact. Detailed data, including data on age, race and ethnicity, is available through links at alexandriava.gov/Coronavirus

 

August 12th Update:

Released: August 11, 2020

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

COVIDWISE Webinar Series

The state Offices of the Secretary of the Commonwealth and the Secretary of Health and Human Resources are hosting a series of webinars on the disproportionate impact that COVID-19 has had on communities of color, and how the state’s recently launched smartphone app, COVIDWISE, can help mitigate that impact. COVIDWISE is an innovative exposure notification app that alerts users if they have been in close contact with an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19, without compromising privacy for anyone involved. The webinars are scheduled throughout August and September. View the event flyer for dates and times of all upcoming webinars, and share it with any individuals or organizations that might be interested in joining. To download the app, visit vdh.virginia.gov/covidwise.

Updated “When You Can Be Around Others” Guide

The City and AHD have recently updated guidance for people who have tested positive for COVID-19, have been exposed to the virus, or have recovered from the illness. The “When You Can Be Around Others" flyer (also available in SpanishAmharic and Arabic) provides detailed guidance on how people in these situations may determine the safest time to leave isolation or quarantine. The flyer is included in the COVID-19 Catalog of Resources, a collection of materials developed by AHD and the City to communicate guidelines and information to residents, businesses, facility managers, employees, customers and the general public. Materials in the Catalog of Resources can be downloaded and printed, or you can submit a request for the City to print them. 

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

The cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in Alexandria is now 2,995, including 60 fatalities. COVID-19 is spread by people whether or not they have symptoms, and AHD estimates that nearly 10% of infected Alexandrians have required hospitalization. Everyone must do their part to stop the spread: maintain at least 6 feet of distance from others, wear a mask, and carry and use hand sanitizer. With a recent increase in cases, you are more likely to encounter someone who is infected. Be prepared to answer a call from the Alexandria Health Department in case you are identified as a close contact. Detailed data, including data on age, race and ethnicity, is available through links at alexandriava.gov/Coronavirus

August 11th Update:

Alexandria Eviction Moratorium, Rent and Mortgage Relief Program

rentreliefva

The attached flyer provides information on the Virginia temporary statewide eviction moratorium which started: 8/10/2020.  Anyone struggling to pay rent, or a landlord whose tenant is struggling to pay rent, now is the best time to get support through the Virginia Rent and Mortgage Relief Program.  If any of the following conditions apply to you or your family, you may be eligible for support. Top priority is given to households currently facing eviction proceedings.  To check your eligibility and find a local organization distributing funding, call 2-1-1 or visit http://dhcd.virginia.gov/eligibility.

 

August 14th Food Distribution 

Food distribution will take place on Friday, August 14, 11 a.m.-1 p.m., at First Agape Baptist Community of Faith Church (2423 Mount Vernon Ave.), as part of the USDA Coronavirus Food Assistance Program. Families will receive pre-boxed items that may consist of a variety of fresh produce, dairy and meat products. The distribution is part of a USDA program designed to provide immediate relief to households affected by COVID-19 and ensure every household continues to receive and have access to the food they need. There are no eligibility requirements; anyone who would like to participate is welcome. For more information about this and other food distributions, visit the City’s Food Assistance page

55+ Job Seeker Meet the Employer Event 

To help Alexandrians who are ages 55 and over, and may have lost work due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the City’s Workforce Development Center (WDC) is sponsoring a virtual meet-and-greet event with the Northern Virginia Senior Community Employment Program this Thursday, August 13, 1-2 p.m. Individuals who are 55 and over, unemployed and looking for work may be eligible for a stipend while training, job searching and skill building. Attendance is free, but participants must register to attend.     

Online Job Readiness Workshops and Weekly Featured Jobs Flyer

Job seekers can enhance their job readiness and essential skills by registering for free, ongoing WDC workshops and webinars focusing on topics like virtual job searching, interviewing, and resume building. The WDC staff also provides one-on-one employment coaching and helps job seekers access resources to help support their job search and economic needs. For job coaching and other services, call 703.746.5900, or email wdc@alexandriava.gov. Registration and attendance are free. In addition to these services, each week the Alexandria Workforce Development Center (WDC) posts a list of employers who are hiring for a range of positions. Residents who have lost employment due to COVID-19 are encouraged to view the flyer or follow the WDC on FacebookTwitter or LinkedIn for the latest flyer, or visit the WDC’s Job Board for these and other job opportunities.


 

City of Alexandria Boards and Commission Vacancy Listing

The Alexandria City Council is seeking applications for vacancies on boards, commissions, and committees. All applicants must complete a Personal Data Form no later than 5:00 p.m., on Tuesday, September 1, 2020 for consideration at the September 8, 2020 Legislative meeting. For a complete listing of vacancies and to access the application form please visit:  https://www.alexandriava.gov/boards/info/default.aspx?id=2202

 

August 10th Update:

The Alexandria Health Department (AHD) has published an expanded analysis of data on COVID-19 cases in Alexandria. In addition to the monthly ZIP code data analyses AHD has published since May, the new analysis summarizes current data and changes for race, ethnicity and age groups. Relevant charts and key takeaways at a glance are also available.

Updated ZIP Code Data

The City of Alexandria has provided the estimated population for each local ZIP code to compare the number of cases per 1,000 residents. As of August 5, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) has reported the following cumulative COVID-19 cases.

Analysis by Cumulative ZIP Code Data

ZIP Code

Estimated Population (in Alexandria portion of ZIP code)

Date of Report

Confirmed Cases per ZIP Code

Total People Tested

Positivity Rate 1

Tests per 1,000 Alexandria Residents

Confirmed Cases per 1,000 Alexandria residents

22206

530

               

See note (2) below

22301

15,171

May 7

35

282

12.4%

18.6

2.3

June 9

68

685

9.9%

45.2

4.5

July 7

90

1,106

8.1%

72.9

5.9

Aug 5

98

1,760

5.6%

116.0

6.5

22302

20,238

May 7

101

378

26.7

18.7

5.0

June 9

220

1,364

16.1%

67.4

10.9

July 7

252

2,636

9.6%

130.3

12.5

Aug 5

285

3,592

7.9%

177.5

14.1

22304

54,003

May 7

296

1,142

25.9%

21.1

5.5

June 9

611

3,418

17.9%

63.3

11.3

July 7

707

4,873

14.5%

90.2

13.1

Aug 5

851

7,098

12.0%

131.4

15.8

22305

16,095

May 7

317

572

55.4%

35.5

19.7

June 9

572

1,899

30.1%

118.0

35.5

July 7

594

2,414

24.6%

150.0

36.9

Aug 5

656

3.239

20.3%

201.2

40.8

22311 3

16,898

May 7

190 3

517 3

36.8% 3

 

 

 

See note (3) below

 

June 9

417 3

1,927 3

21.6% 3

July 7

464 3

2,502 3

18.5% 3

Aug 5

547 3

3,462 3

15.8% 3

22312 3

6,901

May 7

196 3

659 3

29.7% 3

June 9

529 3

2,047 3

25.8% 3

July 7

616 3

2,989 3

20.6% 3

Aug 5

734 3

4,245 3

17.3% 3

22314

47,826

May 7

113

687

16.4%

14.4

2.4

June 9

185

1,645

11.2%

34.4

3.9

July 7

216

2,594

8.3%

54.2

4.5

Aug 5

265

4,142

6.4%

86.6

5.5

 

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

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

3 ZIP codes 22311 and 22312 are shared between the City of 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.

4 Data is cumulative from the onset of the pandemic to May 7, and includes cases and tests over a time period greater than one month.

Significant Changes since July 7, 2020, Analysis Using Cumulative Data

As expected with ongoing community transmission of COVID-19 in the region, there has been an increase in cumulative positive cases per 1,000 residents. The range of rates in the July analysis was 4.5 to 36.9 confirmed cases per 1,000 residents, and the range in the August analysis is 5.5 to 40.8 confirmed cases per 1,000 residents.

All Alexandria ZIP codes have continued to experience a significant decrease in their cumulative positivity rates since the May analysis. Positivity rates measure what percentage of tests conducted in a community are positive. This measure is influenced both by how many tests are conducted and by how rapidly the virus is spreading. While there is no perfect measure to describe the burden of COVID-19 infections during this pandemic, positivity rate is a widely used metric despite its limitations.

In the July analysis, the cumulative percent positivity rate ranged from 8.1% to 24.6%. In the August analysis, the range was 5.6% to 20.3%. The ZIP code with the highest cumulative positivity rates since May remains 22305, but this ZIP code has also experienced more than a 50% reduction in its cumulative positivity rate since the May analysis. ZIP code 22301 had the lowest cumulative positivity rate and the largest reduction (31.3%) in the cumulative positivity rate from the July to August analyses.

Due to efforts by AHD and the City, there have been increases in testing and testing awareness across all ZIP codes in Alexandria since May. ZIP codes 22301 and 22314 have both experienced more than 50% increases in tests per 1,000 residents since last month’s analysis. Timely testing is just one part of the multipronged pandemic response strategy, and prevention of new infections remains the priority. It is important for all members of the community to practice physical distancing, wear masks, wash hands frequently, and cooperate with case investigations and contact tracing if called by public health staff.

It is also important to look at the data incrementally (e.g., daily, weekly, monthly) to be aware of the current state of the pandemic. The following analysis is a monthly snapshot of new cases and tests since the prior month’s report. Multiple ZIP codes (22302, 22305, 22311, 22312) have experienced recent increases in their monthly positivity rates. 

Analysis by Monthly New Case ZIP Code Data

 

ZIP Code

Estimated Population (in Alexandria portion of ZIP code)

Date of Report

Confirmed Cases per ZIP Code

Total People Tested

Positivity Rate 1

Tests per 1,000 Alexandria Residents

Confirmed Cases per 1,000 Alexandria residents

22206

530

                   

See note (2) below

22301

15,171

May 7 4

35

282

12.4%

18.6

2.3

June 9

33

403

8.2%

26.6

2.2

July 7

22

421

5.2%

27.8

1.5

Aug 5

8

654

1.2%

43.1

0.5

22302

20,238

May 7 4

101

378

26.7

18.7

5.0

June 9

119

986

12.1%

48.7

5.9

July 7

32

1,272

2.5%

62.9

1.6

Aug 5

33

956

3.5%

47.2

1.6

22304

54,003

May 7 4

296

1,142

25.9%

21.1

5.5

June 9

315

2,276

13.8%

42.1

5.8

July 7

96

1,455

6.6%

26.9

1.8

Aug 5

144

2,225

6.5%

41.2

2.7

22305

16,095

May 7 4

317

572

55.4%

35.5

19.7

June 9

255

1,327

19.2%

82.4

15.8

July 7

22

515

4.3%

32.0

1.4

Aug 5

62

825

7.5%

51.3

3.9

22311 3

16,898

May 7 4

190 3

517 3

36.8% 3

 

 

See note (3) below

 

June 9

227 3

1,410 3

16.1% 3

July 7

47 3

575 3

8.2% 3

Aug 5

83 3

960 3

8.6% 3

22312 3

6,901

May 7 4

196 3

659 3

29.7% 3

June 9

333 3

1,388 3

24.0% 3

July 7

87 3

942 3

9.2% 3

Aug 5

118 3

1,256 3

9.4% 3

22314

47,826

May 7 4

113

687

16.4%

14.4

2.4

June 9

72

958

7.5%

20.0

1.5

July 7

31

949

3.3%

19.8

0.6

Aug 5

49

1,548

3.2%

32.4

1.0

 

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

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

3 ZIP codes 22311 and 22312 are shared between the City of 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.

4 Data is cumulative from the onset of the pandemic to May 7, and includes cases and tests over a time period greater than one month.

Disproportionate Impact of COVID-19 by Race and Ethnicity

Everyone is at risk for COVID-19, but the virus has disproportionately affected vulnerable populations within our community due to underlying systemic issues. VDH has published data on COVID-19 cases by race and ethnicity since the middle of June. The following table and charts present the same cumulative case data in several formats for readers’ ease.

Analysis by Cumulative Race and Ethnicity Data

Race

Cumulative Cases as of June 29

Cumulative Cases as of July 13

Cumulative Cases as of July 27

Cumulative Cases as of August 5

Other Race

39 (1.7%)

43 (1.8%)

46 (1.7%)

48 (1.7%)

Not Reported

135 (5.8%)

143 (5.8%)

165 (6.0%)

180 (6.3%)

White

443 (19.1%)

464 (18.9%)

508 (18.6%)

531 (18.5%)

Black

333 (14.4%)

370 (15.1%)

463 (16.9%)

524 (18.2%)

Two or more races

4 (0.2%)

5 (0.2%)

6 (0.2%)

6 (0.2%)

Latino

1,277 (55.1%)

1,344 (54.7%)

1,451 (53.1%)

1,482 (51.6%)

Asian or Pacific Islander

83 (3.6%)

85 (3.5%)

94 (3.4%)

99 (3.4%)

Native American

3 (0.1%)

2 (0.1%)

2 (0.1%)

2 (0.1%)

Total

2,317

2,456

2,735

2,872

 

 

Individuals who identify as Latino or Hispanic makeup 16.8% 5 of the population in Alexandria, but as of August 5, this community represents 51.6% of cumulative diagnosed COVID-19 infections and 44.9% 6 of cumulative hospital admissions due to COVID-19.

When looking at the cumulative cases over time stratified by race and ethnicity, there is a slight decreasing trend observed in the percentage of cases among those who identify as Latino or Hispanic. This improvement, while small, may be an early reflection of AHD, City, and community partner efforts.

It is also important to note that there is a slight increasing trend in the proportion of cumulative cases among those who identify as Black. Moreover, when looking at the monthly analysis, the proportion of cases among those who identify as Black is 35.1% while only making up 21.9% 7 of the City’s population. If cases were distributed equitably based on population composition, AHD would expect to see that whites have the highest number of cases, with almost double the number of cases compared to the Black population.

5 Population statistics were taken from 2019 estimates.

6 Data is not shown in this report.

7 Population statistics were taken from 2019 estimates.

 

Analysis by Monthly New Case Race and Ethnicity Data

Race

New cases from July 6-August 5

Other Race

8 (1.6%)

Not Reported

39 (7.9%)

White

80 (16.1%)

Black

177 (35.7%)

Two or more races

2 (0.4%)

Latino

176 (35.5%)

Asian or Pacific Islander

15 (3.0%)

Native American

0 (0.0%)

Total

496 8

 

8 Based on the total number of cases reported by VDH as of August 5 (2,872) and July 5 (2,376), there were 496 new cases reported from July 6 to August 5. The sum of all cases in the chart is 497 because the cumulative number of positive COVID-19 cases reported by VDH among people who identify as Native American changed from 3 to 2.  

 

Mortality by Race and Ethnicity

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the case fatality rate has been highest among individuals who identify as white. However, the mortality rate among persons identifying as Black or white are similar.

There are significant discrepancies in life expectancy in Alexandria by census tract, race, ethnicity and other factors. Since people who are older are more likely to die from COVID-19, and because Alexandria’s white population has a longer life expectancy on average, the white population would be expected to have a higher COVID-19 associated mortality. However, because the two mortality rates are similar, this is actually an inequity and represents a disproportionate burden of severe illness on Black residents. AHD is closely following these trends and working to provide immediate and proactive assistance to members of the community.

Disproportionate Impact of COVID-19 by Age

The majority of cases have occurred in those aged 20-39 years old. This age bracket represents almost half of all new cases in the past month. When looking at cumulative data, the largest proportion of cases are among those 30-39 years old, which is to be expected based on Alexandria’s population. 

Analysis of Cases by Cumulative Age Data

 

May 5

June 5

July 5

August 5

0-9

41

116

133

162

10-19

50

134

170

211

20-29

138

311

377

499

30-39

247

479

549

663

40-49

187

390

439

530

50-59

131

264

305

359

60-69

87

173

200

232

70-79

57

90

101

108

80+

44

78

90

97

Missing

1

10

12

11

Total

     

2,872

 

 

Analysis by Monthly New Case Age Data

The following analysis examines the change in cases per age group from June to July, and July to August. Those who are 20-29 represent the largest proportion of new cases from July 6 to August 5. This same age group, along with those 40-49, had the highest percent changes in cases from the previous month. There was also a large percentage increase seen in the 0-9 age group. 

Percentage Change in New Cases

 

June to July

July to August

0-9

-77.3%

70.6%

10-19

-57.1%

13.9%

20-29

-61.8%

84.8%

30-39

-69.8%

62.9%

40-49

-75.9%

85.7%

50-59

-69.2%

31.7%

60-69

-68.6%

18.5%

70-79

-66.7%

-36.4%

80+

-64.7%

-41.7%

Missing

-77.8%

-150.0%

 

 

What the Alexandria Health Department is Doing

AHD is a mission-driven organization whose response to this pandemic is consistent with public health justice principles. AHD continues to develop and update Strategic Action Plans that guide efforts and help prepare for future challenges. The most recent Strategic Action Plan, to help prepare for the distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine, was released last week.

AHD activities in the past month to combat the COVID-19 pandemic include:

  • Virginia entered Phase Three of reopening on July 1, and AHD has taken steps to avoid losing ground due to uncontrolled spread of the virus. AHD continues to support businesses who have made the ALX Promise, and AHD staff have made unannounced site visits to restaurants and bars to enforce the Governor’s executive orders on face coverings, crowding and other guidelines. AHD has conducted targeted outreach to small, women and minority-owned businesses, particularly in Alexandria’s high-positivity rate ZIP codes, to promote the ALX Promise program and to provide free signage that corresponds to the executive orders.
     
  • The pandemic has led to decreases in routine vaccinations since March. AHD has been increasing immunization clinic appointment availability to accommodate the increased need for catch-up vaccinations. Everyone is encouraged to remain up-to-date on vaccinations and schedule visits with their primary care physicians, or call the AHD immunization clinic at 703.746.4888.
  • AHD provided technical support to Neighborhood Health to organize targeted testing events for communities who may not have otherwise had access to testing. AHD analyzes data and has identified these communities based on need and burden of infections.
  • AHD provides focused support to schools and daycares by reviewing reopening plans, communicating best practices, and providing clear guidance on how to handle COVID-19 related concerns that are consistent with U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.
  • AHD is providing proactive and responsive technical assistance and support to vulnerable communities living in long-term care facilities, congregate living homes, and residential buildings.
  • AHD is reviewing data with community partners to identify which additional interventions or strategies would be appropriate.

AHD continues to perform quality case investigations and contract tracing as community transmission increases, and shares accurate knowledge and advice with community partners, City colleagues, other government officials, and members of the community on the rapidly evolving research and recommendations related to COVID-19.

# # #

 

This news release is available at alexandriava.gov/117164.   
 

 

August 7th Update:

Released: August 6, 2020

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

Fall School Sports Postponed

The Virginia High School League (VHSL), the governing body for most public and private high school sports, has postponed the start of all VHSL sports and related activities until at least December 14. This will provide for the possibility of playing the sports seasons as they are currently aligned, in the event state guidance permits them later this year. Winter sports would run from December 14 through February 20, 2021; fall sports would run from February 15 through May 1, 2021; and spring sports would run from April 12 through June 26, 2021. VHSL will continue to work closely with the Governor’s Office, the Virginia Department of Health and the Virginia Department of Education, and may revise these plans as needed. 

Virtual Meeting for Parents to Discuss Kids’ Mental Health

The City encourages parents to participate in a virtual meeting, “Back to School Worries: How to Protect Your Kid’s Mental Health,” on Thursday, August 13, from 7:30 to 8:45 p.m. Children are expressing fear and anxiety about going back to school during the COVID-19 pandemic, and parents are looking for answers to address their questions and worries. Learn tips and tricks from experts and local educators on how to navigate tough conversations with kids who are headed back to school in-person or remotely. This event is free, but registration is required.    

National Night Out Celebration Cancelled

Due to the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 and to protect the health of residents and City employees, the City has cancelled the 2020 National Night Out celebration. National Night Out had been postponed from August 4 to October 6 following guidance from the National Night Out organization, but the event is now cancelled out of an abundance of caution.  

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

The cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in Alexandria is now 2,887, including 60 fatalities. COVID-19 is spread by people whether or not they have symptoms, and AHD estimates that nearly 10% of infected Alexandrians have required hospitalization. Everyone must do their part to stop the spread: maintain at least 6 feet of distance from others, wear a mask, and carry and use hand sanitizer. With a recent increase in cases, you are more likely to encounter someone who is infected. Be prepared to answer a call from the Alexandria Health Department in case you are identified as a close contact. Detailed data, including data on age, race and ethnicity, is available through links at alexandriava.gov/Coronavirus


City of Alexandria Launches Resource Text Line in Spanish

The City of Alexandria has launched a free service to provide Spanish-speaking subscribers with accurate and timely text messages with information that is important to them and their families, throughout COVID-19 and thereafter. 

Topics include jobs and training; housing and rent assistance; food assistance; the public charge rule; healthcare and mental health; local COVID-19 information; childcare and more, including opportunities to ensure the voices of the Latinx community are heard.

Text ALEXINFOESP to 888777 to receive messages in Spanish from the City. To receive messages in English about COVID-19, text ALEXCOVID19 to 888777.

For more information about how to access community resources, and how to protect yourself from COVID-19, visit alexandriava.gov/Coronavirus. To translate the webpages, select the language translator tool in the upper-right corner of the page.

For inquiries from the news media only, contact Jennifer Cohen Cordero, Communications Manager, Department of Community and Human Services at jennifer.cohen@alexandriava.gov or 703.746.3484.

 

August 6th Update:

A Coronavirus Exposure Notification App Launches In Virginia

The Virginia Department of Health's COVIDWISE app notifies someone if they've been around a person who tested positive.

The Virginia Department of Health has launched an app to notify people of potential contact with confirmed coronavirus cases. The COVIDWISE app sends an alert if a person has been close to a person who tested positive for the virus.

"Virginia is the first state in the nation to use this technology," said Gov. Ralph Northam at a Wednesday news conference announcing the app.  The COVIDWISE app functions with Apple and Google's Bluetooth Low Energy technology, using random Bluetooth keys shared between devices within close proximity for at least 15 minutes. Each day, the device downloads a list the keys associated with positive coronavirus results and checks them against the keys it encountered in the last 14 days. If the time was at least 15 minutes and devices distance was within six feet, the app will send an alert. That notification won't provide the identity or location of the positive case.

The app doesn't show everywhere a person who tested positive has been; rather, it only tells if an app user has been in close proximity to a positive case. The governor says the app can help a person determine if they need to be tested or self-quarantine away from others.

"We know people are contagious before they show symptoms," said Northam. "This can really help us catch new cases early before they spread as far. You get that alert, you can get a test, and then you can quarantine yourself."Participation in the app is voluntary, including for those who tested positive. The Virginia Department of Health does not automatically add positive results into the app, but people who tested positive are given a PIN number if they wish to report to the app.  "I want to be clear this app, COVIDWISE, does not track or store your personal information," said Northam. "It doesn't track you at all. It doesn't rely on GPS or your personal information. And while we want everyone to download it, it is voluntary."

To use COVIDWISE, download the app from Apple's App Store or Google Play and opt in to the notification system.  COVIDWISE app 

 

Virginia Sales Tax Holiday 2020: Dates, What It Includes

If you don't want to shop in person, the three-day tax holiday also applies to qualifying items bought online.

By Emily Leayman, Patch Staff


Each summer before the school year, Virginia sets a sales tax holiday to allow tax-free purchases of certain items. While the start of the school year may look different due to the pandemic, it's an ideal time to stock up on clothing, school supplies, emergency preparedness items and select appliances.

This year's sales tax holiday runs from Friday, Aug. 7 at 12:01 a.m. to Sunday, Aug. 9 at 11:59 p.m. The state's 4.3 percent state sales tax, the 1 percent local option tax, and other applicable regional taxes are waived on qualifying items during the three-day period.  The Virginia General Assembly sets the sales tax holiday for the first Friday of August through the following Sunday. Before fiscal year 2016, sales tax holidays happened in May, August and October, but the legislature opted to combine them for one big sales tax weekend in August. The sales tax holidays are extended at least through July 1, 2022.

Sales tax will be waived for certain items purchased in store and online. This includes qualifying clothing and footwear priced at $100 each, school supplies at $20 each, select hurricane and emergency preparedness products, and Energy Star and WaterSense products at $2,500 or less.

Ineligible clothing items are classified as accessories, such as briefcases, cosmetics, handbags, umbrellas and wallets. Protective equipment such as breathing masks, face shields, hard hats and protective gloves are not included in the tax exemption. Sports or recreational equipment such as life preservers, mouth guards, and ski boots also do not qualify.

Eligible school supplies priced at $20 or less include book bags, notebooks, calculators, disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizer, pens, tissues and more. Items do not have to be purchase for school use to qualify for the exemption.  Given the recent impact of the latest tropical storm and other severe weather events, it's an opportune time to buy supplies you may need in an emergency. Qualifying items priced at $60 or less include batteries, flashlights, battery-powered radios, smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, bottled water, cell phone chargers, first aid kits and more. Items priced at $1,000 or less include portable generators and cords, inverters and inverter power cables, and photovoltaic devices that produce electricity. Chain saws for $350 or less and parts for $60 or less also qualify.

EnergyStar and WaterSense products for $2,500 or less can be purchased tax-free for noncommercial or personal use. The qualifying EnergyStar products include air conditioners, ceiling fans, dehumidifiers, washing machines, dishwashers, light bulbs, and refrigerators. The WaterSense products include bathroom sink faucets, faucet accessories, shower heads, toilets, urinals, and landscape irrigation controllers.

For more about the sales tax holiday, visit www.tax.virginia.gov/virginia-sales-tax-holiday.


 

###


 

FDA Adds Additional Products to Hand Sanitizer Warning List

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning that certain brands of hand sanitizer contain insufficient amounts of ethyl or isopropyl alcohol to effectively deactivate the virus that causes COVID-19. This warning follows others regarding brands that contain the toxic chemical methanol. As a result, the list of hand sanitizer brands that are banned from being imported into the United States from Mexico continues to grow. Hand washing for at least 20 seconds, especially after using the bathroom; before eating; and after coughing, sneezing, or blowing the nose, remains the best method for prevention. Hand sanitizer containing at least 60% ethyl alcohol (or ethanol) should only be used when soap and water are not available. The FDA requests that health care professionals, consumers, and patients report adverse events or quality problems with hand sanitizers to their MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program, providing as much information as possible to identify the product.   

Employee Rights Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act

The federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) requires employers with fewer than 500 employees to provide paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. The Act ensures that workers are not forced to choose between their paychecks and covering the expenses associated with following public health guidance to combat COVID-19, and also reimburses businesses. FFCRA generally requires employers covered under the Act to provide sick leave if an employee is required to self-quarantine or has symptoms of COVID-19; is caring for an individual in quarantine or a child whose school or daycare is closed; or is experiencing a similar situation due to COVID-19. Part-time employees are also eligible for sick leave. Employers may not discharge, discipline, or otherwise discriminate against any employee who lawfully takes paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave under the FFCRA, and are subject to penalties and enforcement by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division. These provisions will apply through December 31, 2020.  

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

The cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in Alexandria is now 2,872, including 60 fatalities. COVID-19 is spread by people whether or not they have symptoms, and AHD estimates that nearly 10% of infected Alexandrians have required hospitalization. Everyone must do their part to stop the spread: maintain at least 6 feet of distance from others, wear a mask, and carry and use hand sanitizer. With a recent increase in cases, you are more likely to encounter someone who is infected. Be prepared to answer a call from the Alexandria Health Department in case you are identified as a close contact. Detailed data, including data on age, race and ethnicity, is available through links at alexandriava.gov/Coronavirus

 

# # #

August 5th Update:

Released: August 4, 2020

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

Non-Emergency “Warm Line” for Coping with COVID-19 Stress

The Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services and Mental Health America of Virginia have established a non-emergency “warm line” for those struggling with isolation, fear, grief, or trauma caused by COVID-19. A warm line may be a more comfortable choice for those who do not feel their concerns are urgent enough to call a hotline. Trained staff provide support, community resources, and referrals for any Virginia resident in need. Counselors are available by phone or text at 877.349.6428, Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-9 p.m., and Saturday-Sunday, 5 p.m.-9 p.m. Calls are anonymous, and Spanish-speaking counselors are available. This service should not be used as an emergency or crisis hotline. If you or a loved one are having thoughts of suicide, please call the National Crisis Hotline at 800.273.8255, or call or text 911. More information about the program is available at vacopes.com and Facebook page (VA COPES). Additional resources are also available at the Virginia Association of Community Service Boards.  

Senior Services of Alexandria's “Groceries to Go” Program 

Senior Services of Alexandria has partnered with Giant Foods to offer a grocery delivery program for seniors living in Alexandria. Screened volunteers shop for and deliver groceries to seniors every other week. Groceries are ordered based on the recipient’s personal shopping list, which is created with volunteers over the phone. There are no delivery fees and no minimum order requirements. To be eligible, seniors must be 60 years of age or older, an Alexandria resident, and have a debit, credit or electronic benefits transfer (EBT) card. To learn more about the program or how to apply, email groceries@seniorservicesalex.org or call 703.836.4414, ext. 119. Senior Services of Alexandria also has many other programs that support senior residents.    

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

The cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in Alexandria is now 2,867, including 60 fatalities. COVID-19 is spread by people whether or not they have symptoms, and AHD estimates that nearly 10% of infected Alexandrians have required hospitalization. Everyone must do their part to stop the spread: maintain at least 6 feet of distance from others, wear a mask, and carry and use hand sanitizer. With a recent increase in cases, you are more likely to encounter someone who is infected. Be prepared to answer a call from the Alexandria Health Department in case you are identified as a close contact. Detailed data, including data on age, race and ethnicity, is available through links at alexandriava.gov/Coronavirus

 

August 4th Update:

Released: August 3, 2020

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

Healthcare and Testing Locations for the Uninsured

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

Meet the Employer Event this Thursday 

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

Weekly Featured Jobs Flyer 

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

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

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

August 3rd Update:

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

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

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

Healthcare, COVID-19 Testing Options for Uninsured Alexandrians

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

Virtual Gala to Benefit Children in Foster Care on August 14

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

Alexandria’s Trauma Informed Community Network Celebrates First Birthday

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

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

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

Read these articles and more on DCHS Connect.

July 31st Update:

Released: July 30, 2020

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

New FDA Hand Sanitizer Warning

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

Successful Targeted COVID-19 Testing Event

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

Medicaid Assistance Updates

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

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

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

 

# # #

July 29th Update:

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

Hurricane Preparedness During a Pandemic

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

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

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

July 28th Update:

For Immediate Release: July 27, 2020

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

Study After Study Proves the Importance of Wearing Masks

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

“Strive & Thrive” Job Readiness Workshops

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

Weekly Featured Jobs Flyer 

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

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

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

 

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

 

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July 27th Update:

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

COVID-19 Can Result in Prolonged Return to Health

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

Sheriff’s Office Virtual “Junior Deputy” Camp

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

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

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

 

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July 24th Update:

­­For Immediate Release: July 23, 2020

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

Resources for Support during Minority Mental Health Awareness Month

whomentalhealth

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

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

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

 

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This news release is available at alexandriava.gov/116869

July 23rd Update:

For Immediate Release: July 22, 2020

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

AHD Investing Resources Toward Business Safety

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

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

Family Open Swim Lottery

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

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

City Recreation Registration Now Open

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

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

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

Participate in DASH Coronavirus Ridership Survey

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

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

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

 

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July 22nd Update:

For Immediate Release: July 21, 2020

 

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

Cooling Centers Extended Through Thursday

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

The following locations will be made available for cooling centers:

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

HIV Testing in Alexandria Now Includes Home Testing

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

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

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

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

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

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

Resource Catalog: Physical Distancing

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

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

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

 

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July 21st Update:

For Immediate Release: July 20, 2020

 

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

Do Your Part, Answer the Call

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

Reminder: Full Parking Enforcement Resumes Today

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

Meet the Employer Opportunity: WMATA

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

Weekly Featured Jobs Flyer 

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

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

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

 

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2020 Census Takers to Begin Visiting Alexandria Households This Month

For Immediate Release: July 20, 2020

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

WHAT HOUSEHOLDS CAN EXPECT

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

HOW TO IDENTIFY CENSUS TAKERS

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

HOUSEHOLDS CAN STILL SELF-RESPOND

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

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

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

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

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

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

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July 20th Update:

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

Tactics include:

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

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

ACPS Playgrounds Reopen

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

 

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

Virtual Bicycle Safety Training

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

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

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

 

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This news release is available at alexandriava.gov/116789

July 17th Updates:

For Immediate Release: July 16, 2020

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

Successful Public-Private Partnership for Targeted COVID-19 Testing

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

Virginia Becomes First State to Adopt Emergency Workplace Safety Standards

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

 

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

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

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

 

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Alexandria Awarded $75 Million for Duke Street Transitway Project

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

July 16 Updates:

Released: July 15, 2020

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

New Hand Sanitizer Brands to Avoid

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

City Pools Updates

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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July 15th Updates:

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

Staying Safe with Masks in Residential Buildings

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

Resource Catalog: Mask Signs

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

Correction to MRC Volunteer Hours

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

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

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

 

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ARHA Sponsors Senior COVID Testing in Alexandria This Week

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

July 14th Updates:

For Immediate Release: July 13, 2020

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

Reminder: Parking Enforcement Resumes July 20

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

Virtual Job Fair this Wednesday

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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This news release is available at alexandriava.gov/116712

July 13th Updates:

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

For Immediate Release: July 10, 2020

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

July 10th Updates:

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

For Immediate Release: July 9, 2020

 

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

FDA Issues Updated Advisory Against Use of Several Hand Sanitizer Brands

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

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

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

  

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

Alexandria and Fairfax County Collaborate on Parent Support Line

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

 

Read these articles and more on DCHS Connect.

July 9th Updates:

Saturday Food Distribution; Lyceum to Reopen

For Immediate Release: July 8, 2020

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

Plan Ahead for Saturday Emergency Food Distribution

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

Recovery: The Lyceum Reopens with New Safety Protocols

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

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

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

 

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City of Alexandria to Resume Parking Enforcement on July 20 

For Immediate Release: July 8, 2020 

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • The requirement to display a valid state inspection sticker. 

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

 

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

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

 

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

July 8th Updates:

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

For Immediate Release: July 7, 2020

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

Regional Support Line for Parents

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

Guidance for Sick Parents and Caregivers

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

Helping Alexandrians Get Back to Work 

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

Weekly Featured Jobs Flyer 

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

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

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

 

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July 7th Updates:

For Immediate Release: July 7, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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July 6th Update:

For Immediate Release: July 5, 2020

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

Virtual Events and Activities for the Week

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

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

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

 

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This news release is available at alexandriava.gov/116501

July 2nd Update:

Phase Three Begins; Small Businesses Receive ALX B2B Grants

For Immediate Release: July 1, 2020

 

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

Bar Areas Remain Closed as Phase Three Begins Today

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

What’s New for City Operations in Phase Three

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

For Immediate Release: July 1, 2020

 

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

 

Drivers must stop for pedestrians in crosswalks:

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

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

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

Vulnerable road users receive additional protection: 

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

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

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

 

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

 

 

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July 1st Update:

Alexandria Fire Department Reminds Community that Fireworks are Dangerous and Illegal 

For Immediate Release: June 30, 2020

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

Caution for Travelers; Handwashing Signs; Business Tax Moratorium Ends

For Immediate Release: June 30, 2020

 

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

AHD Urges Caution for Travelers

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

Resource: Handwashing Signs Available in Online Catalog

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

Business Personal Property Tax Moratorium Ends July 1

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

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

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

 

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June 30th Update:

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

For Immediate Release: June 29, 2020

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

Employer Registration for Virtual Career Fair Ends July 6 

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

Weekly Featured Jobs Flyer 

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

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

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

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This news release is available at alexandriava.gov/116347

June 29th Update:

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

For Immediate Release: June 28, 2020

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

Home Cooling Assistance for Seniors

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

Shop Local for Face Coverings

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

Virtual City Events and Activities this Week 

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

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

For Immediate Release: June 27, 2020

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

Alexandria Health Department Emphasizes Public Health Justice Principles

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

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

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

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

AHD Publishes Vulnerable Residential Buildings Strategic Action Framework

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

Priority tactics include:

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

  2. Determining use of infection control measures.

  3. Working with building staff to utilize best practices.

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

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

Out of School Time Summer Camp Options

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

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

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

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

June 26th Update:

ALX Promise for Phase Three Business

For Immediate Release: June 25, 2020

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

Businesses Can Prepare for Phase Three with ALX Promise

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

 

City of Alexandria to Host Community Conversation on Policing

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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June 25th Update:

Signs and Flyers for Phase III; and Interviewing Skills Webinar 

For Immediate Release: June 24, 2020

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

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

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

Networking & Interviewing Skills Webinar Reminder

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

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

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

  

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

 

June 24th Update:

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

For Immediate Release: June 23, 2020

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

For Immediate Release: June 23, 2020

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

AHD Urges Community Members Not to Delay Emergency Care

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

Phase Three to Begin in Virginia July 1

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

FDA Issues Advisory Against Use of Several Hand Sanitizer Brands

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

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

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

June 23rd Update:

Metro and Water Taxis to Resume; Weekly Jobs Flyer

For Immediate Release: June 22, 2020

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

Eisenhower Avenue and Van Dorn Street Metrorail Stations to Reopen

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

Alexandria Water Taxi Resumes Service

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

Weekly Featured Jobs Flyer 

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

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

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

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

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

June 22nd Update:

Alexandria City Council Prohibits Firearms on City Property

­­For Immediate Release: June 21, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

­­For Immediate Release: June 19, 2020

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

New Funding and Guidelines for Long-Term Care Facilities

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

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

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

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

New Visual Artist Relief Program

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

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

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

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

June 18th Update:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

Networking and Interviewing Skills Webinar

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

June 17th Update:

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

For Immediate Release: June 16, 2020

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

Venturing Out Safely

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

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

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

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

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

Narcan Available by Appointment

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

 

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

Day Shelter for Individuals Experiencing Homelessness Reopens

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

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

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

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

June 16th Update:

For Immediate Release: June 15, 2020

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

Virginia Department of Health Releases New Race/Ethnicity Data

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

For Immediate Release: June 15, 2020

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

Registration for Recreation Programming Begins June 17

 

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

 

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

 

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

Complete the Summer Camp Pre-Registration Eligibility Form Today

 

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

 

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

 

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

Recreation Centers to Begin Modified Operations

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

Outdoor Pools to Open July 1

 

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

 

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

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

City Outdoor Amenities Now Open

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

Visit alexandriava.gov/Recreation for RPCA reopening updates.

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

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This release is available at alexandriava.gov/116065.

June 15th Update:

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

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

AHD Publishes Long-Term Care Facility Strategic Action Framework

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

Priority tactics include: 

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

  2. Personal protective equipment management. 

  3. Contact tracing. 

  4. Serial point prevalence survey testing. 

  5. Continuous quality improvement plans.

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

  7. Maintaining communications with partners.

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

More Than 300 Businesses Begin “ALX Promise” Pledge Process

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

Reminder: COVID-19 Care Survey Closes June 19

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

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

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

 

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

Alexandria Library Offers Amnesty Period, Curbside Pickup

 

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

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

COVID-19 Car Loan Payment Relief

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

Virtual City Events, Recreation Activities

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

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

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

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

June 12th Update:

College & K-12 School Reopening Guidance

For Immediate Release: June 11, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

June 11th Update:

Travel Considerations; Lower King Street

For Immediate Release: June 10, 2020

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

Travel Considerations

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

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

Reconfiguration of Lower King Street to Continue in Phase Two

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

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

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

 

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June 10th Update:

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

For Immediate Release: June 9, 2020

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

Northern Virginia to Enter Phase Two on Friday

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

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

Many Recreation Facilities to Reopen In Phase Two

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

Returning to Work after Isolation and Quarantine

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

Use Caution When Swimming in Natural Waters

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

Coping with COVID-19 and Social Change    

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

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

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

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This news release is available at alexandriava.gov/115973

June 9th Update:

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

­­For Immediate Release: June 8, 2020

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

Temporary Moratorium on Evictions

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

Stay Safe When Cleaning

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

Protect Yourself When Using Transportation

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

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

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

 

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

June 8th Update:

For Immediate Release: June 7, 2020

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

AHD Releases COVID-19 Strategic Frameworks and Community Testing Analysis

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

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

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

 

Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities Announces Program Updates

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

New RPCA at Home Virtual Programming options are now available.

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

Updates for Summer Camps and Other Recreational Programs

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

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

June 5th Update: 

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

For Immediate Release: June 4, 2020

 

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

ALX B2B Grants Program Accepting Applications

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

Resources for Those Facing Eviction and Foreclosure

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

Updated Guidance for Pet Owners

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

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

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

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

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

 

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Alexandria Library Hosts Virtual 2020 Census Information Session

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

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

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

View Town Hall, Messages from City Leaders Regarding George Floyd

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

June 4th Update:

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

For Immediate Release: June 3, 2020

 

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

Take the COVID-19 Care Survey 

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

Online Workshop to Focus on Job Search in the Digital Age

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

Resource Recovery Reopening Phases Announced

The City has announced reopening phases for resource recovery services:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Planning Ahead: Phase Two Guidelines for Business

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

Correction

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

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

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

 

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

June 3rd Update:

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

For Immediate Release: June 2, 2020

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

Northern Virginia to Remain in Phase One

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

Staying Safe While Speaking Out

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

Virginia Receives USDA Approval to Join SNAP Online Purchasing Pilot Program

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

Online Event Highlights Contact Tracing Job Opportunities

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

Contactless Real Estate Tax Payment Options

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

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

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

 

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June 2nd Update:

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

For Immediate Release: June 1, 2020

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

Metrorail and Metrobus Adjusts Service Hours for Public Safety

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

Beware of Contact Tracing Scams

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

June 1st Update:

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

For Immediate Release: May 31, 2020

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

Volunteer Opportunities Available

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

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

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

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

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

Prepare for Hurricane Season

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

Virtual City Events and Activities

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

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

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

 

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

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