Novel Coronavirus COVID-19

The Alexandria Health Department is closely monitoring an outbreak of respiratory illness caused by coronavirus "COVID-19." Learn about the City's response and find information and resources related to COVID-19.

Page updated on Apr 2, 2020 at 7:41 PM

Latest on the COVID-19 Coronavirus


  • The City of Alexandria and the Alexandria Health Department (AHD) strongly urge everyone to follow Governor Northam's order to STAY HOME except for essential trips such as food purchases and medical care, and keep six feet apart from others whenever possible. Your neighbors and loved ones are counting on you to stop the spread of COVID-19. 
  • The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released new evidence on April 1, based on a study in Singapore, that COVID-19 can be transmitted up to 48 hours before a positive case shows symptoms. This research underscores that the best way to stop the spread of COVID-19 is through vigilant social distancing, including staying at home except for essential trips. In response to this new evidence, AHD will be shifting its protocol for identifying close contacts of positive cases, to include the 48 hours before the case became symptomatic. Since the U.S. healthcare infrastructure does not currently have the capacity for mass-scale testing, AHD and the City strongly urge all residents to take necessary preventive measures: staying six feet away from people outside of your household members, washing hands frequently, and cleaning and disinfecting surfaces.
  • For questions about COVID-19, call the Alexandria COVID-19 Information Line at  703.746.4988, weekdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Virginia residents can also call the Virginia Department of Health public information line at 877-ASK-VDH3. If you have chest pain or shortness of breath, call or text 911. 
  • To get alerts, text ALEXCOVID19 to 888777.
  • Browse Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19 .
  • This is a rapidly and continuously evolving situation; guidance and updates on this page may change frequently. 

Current COVID-19 Cases

  • On the evening of March 25, the Alexandria Health Department was notified that a non-resident of Alexandria later confirmed to have the COVID-19 coronavirus spent time at Murphy’s Irish Pub (713 King St.). AHD’s investigation has determined that patrons at Murphy’s Irish Pub on certain dates and times may have been exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19.
  • On April 2, the Alexandria Health Department confirmed 12 additional cases of COVID-19 in Alexandria, bringing the total to 67. AHD is identifying and contacting individuals who came in close contact with the confirmed cases. The close contacts will be asked to self-quarantine and actively monitor for fever and respiratory symptoms. If they start experiencing symptoms, they will immediately undergo testing. As a result of the AHD’s case investigations and expanded testing through private providers, the number of positive cases is expected to continue to increase.

Volunteer and Donation Opportunities

  • Alexandria Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) is a group of medical and non-medical volunteers who support the Alexandria Health Department in emergency preparedness, response and recovery. In response to COVID-19, new volunteers are urged to   join Alexandria MRC to help with staffing the call center and conducting community outreach to our most vulnerable populations. Training will be provided.
  • The City and AHD are distributing personal protective equipment (PPE) to high-priority groups, including first responders, healthcare workers and facilities supporting vulnerable populations. Community members and organizations are asked to consider donating clean, unused supplies. Acceptable supplies include surgical masks, N95 respirators (masks), disposable medical gowns, face shields, goggles, disposable medical coveralls, gloves and hand sanitizer. Homemade items are not being accepted at this time. 

  • For other ways to help, visit Volunteer Alexandria.

CDC & VDH Resources

Social Distancing

  • On March 23 and March 30, Governor Northam issued executive orders providing for the following restrictions. Be sure to click the link to see the full list in each category of restriction.

    • All gatherings of more than 10 people are banned statewide. This does not include gatherings of members of a family who live together; or that involve the provision of health care or medical services; access to essential services for low-income residents, such as food banks; operations of the media; law enforcement agencies; or operations of government.
    • All individuals shall remain at their place of residence, unless an exception applies. Individuals in shared or outdoor spaces must maintain social distancing of at least six feet from any other person, with the exception of family or household members or caretakers. Exceptions to the stay-at-home order include obtaining food, beverages, goods or services from establishments permitted to be open; seeking medical attention, essential social services, governmental services, assistance from law enforcement, or emergency services; taking care of other individuals, animals, or visiting the home of a family member; travel required by court order or to facilitate child custody, visitation, or child care; engaging in outdoor activity, including exercise, provided individuals comply social distancing requirements; traveling to and from one’s residence, place of worship, or work; traveling to and from an educational institution; volunteering with organizations that provide charitable or social services; and leaving one’s residence due to a reasonable fear for health or safety, at the direction of law enforcement, or at the direction of another government agency.
    • All K-12 schools will remain closed through the end of this academic year. 
    • Non-essential recreation and entertainment businesses must remain closed to the public.
    • Dining and congregation areas of food service establishments and farmers' markets must remain closed to the public. These establishments may continue to offer delivery and takeout services. Visit Alexandria is helping everyone experience Alexandria’s restaurants, farmers' markets, shops and attractions via pickup and from the comfort of your own home.
    • Essential retail businesses may remain open during normal business hours, but must adhere to social distancing recommendations, enhanced sanitizing practices on common surfaces, and other appropriate workplace guidance from state and federal authorities. 
    • Non-essential retail businesses must limit all in-person shopping to no more than 10 patrons per establishment, adhere to social distancing recommendations, sanitize common surfaces, and apply relevant workplace guidance from state and federal authorities. If any such business cannot adhere to the 10-patron limit with proper social distancing requirements, it must close.
    • Non-essential professional businesses must use telework as much as possible. Where telework is not feasible, such businesses must adhere to social distancing recommendations, enhanced sanitizing procedures, and apply relevant workplace guidance from state and federal authorities.
  • The Alexandria Health Department encourages businesses and customers to use online or phone payments (rather than in-person credit card or cash payments) to avoid shared surfaces. Customers who pay in person should insert their own cards into readers when possible, and avoid sharing pens. Businesses should sanitize touch screens after each customer.
  • On March 17, Governor Northam recommended that individuals with chronic health conditions or age 65 or older should self-quarantine, because they are at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19. He encouraged neighbors and friends to stay in touch and regularly check in with high-risk individuals. 
    • As of March 31, the following grocery stores have notified the City of special hours for vulnerable customers. These hours are subject to change; please call the phone numbers listed to confirm. Vulnerable customers should avoid shopping in person at all and make use of delivery services or volunteers when possible. If in-person shopping is necessary, customers and staff should stay six feet apart from each other, wash hands frequently, and disinfect shared surfaces like shopping cart handles.
      • Aldi (425 E. Monroe Ave., 855.955.2534): Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. reserved for seniors, expectant mothers and those with underlying health concerns.
      • Aldi (4580 Duke St., 855.955.2534): Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. reserved for seniors, expectant mothers and those with underlying health concerns. 
      • Aldi (4602 Kenmore Ave., 855.955.2534): Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. reserved for seniors, expectant mothers and those with underlying health concerns. 
      • The Fresh Market (3680 King St., 703.824.5205): Daily from 8 to 9 a.m. reserved for seniors.
      • Giant Food (3131 Duke St., 703.461.6198): Daily from 6 to 7 a.m. reserved for seniors.
      • Giant Food (621 E. Glebe Rd., 703.518.4797): Daily from 6 to 7 a.m. reserved for seniors.
      • Harris Teeter (735 N. St. Asaph St., 703.419.3837): Mondays and Thursdays from 6 to 8 a.m. reserved for seniors.
      • Harris Teeter (4513 Duke St., 703.461.7082): Mondays and Thursdays from 6 to 8 a.m. reserved for seniors.
      • Safeway (3526 King St., 571.312.0029): Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7 to 9 a.m. reserved for seniors, expectant mothers, and immunocompromised customers.
      • Safeway (500 S. Royal St., 703.836.0380): Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7 to 9 a.m. reserved for seniors, expectant mothers, and immunocompromised customers.
      • Safeway (299 S. Van Dorn St., 703.751.4827): Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7 to 9 a.m. reserved for seniors, expectant mothers, and immunocompromised customers.
      • Trader Joe’s (612 N. St. Asaph St., 703.548.0611): Daily from 8 to 9 a.m. reserved for seniors and customers with disabilities.
      • Whole Foods Market (1700 Duke St., 703.706.0891): Daily from 7 to 8 a.m. reserved for seniors.
  • Individuals should modify regular activities in public by practicing social distancing by maintaining six feet of personal space whenever possible, and frequently wash their hands and use hand sanitizer. Individuals should also utilize alternative greetings to handshakes, such as elbow bumps or bows.
  • City employees are working remotely to the extent feasible. The City encourages all employers to maximize telework opportunities for employees whenever possible, both to increase social distancing and to help reduce the impact of school closures.
  • On March 18, the Virginia Department of Social Services issued  guidance that classroom childcare centers should limit capacity to 10 individuals per room to include staff. Parents looking for child care that remains open should call 866-KIDS-TLC.  
  • The CDC has issued detailed guidance for travelersbusinesses and employersschools and childcare; and community and faith-based organizations
  • Learn how you can protect your home and business. View one-page overviews of steps to take for homes, schools, businesses and commercial establishments.
  • Social distancing doesn't mean being anti-social. Learn how to avoid stigma and discrimination related to COVID-19.

If You Have Symptoms of COVID-19

  • The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are coughing, fever of over 100.4 F, and shortness of breath. Use the CDC's Coronavirus Self-Checker to review your symptoms.
  • If you are concerned you may have COVID-19, call your primary care physician to ask whether you should come for an exam or test before visiting in person. View resources for patients without a primary care physician or health insurance, or call an urgent care center to check their availability and to ensure they are prepared for your visit. (If you receive conflicting information from these facilities, please call the COVID-19 Information Line at 703.746.4988, weekdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.)
  • Most people who get COVID-19 recover on their own at home and do not need testing or treatment. Anyone with symptoms of respiratory illness should isolate themselves; avoid contact with other people; wash their hands frequently; and disinfect surfaces regularly. 
  • If you have other questions about COVID-19, call the Alexandria COVID-19 Information Line at 703.746.4988, weekdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Virginia residents can also call the Virginia Department of Health public information line,  877-ASK-VDH3, for questions about the novel coronavirus situation.
    • The Alexandria Health Department does not provide COVID-19 diagnosis or testing.
    • If you need a letter about your health status, please contact your healthcare provider. If AHD has contacted you directly for active monitoring or quarantine, AHD can provide a letter for your employer clearing you to return to work once that is complete.
  • View updates from Inova Health System on hospital visiting hours and when to use the emergency room
  • On March 18, Mayor Wilson sent a letter to Vice President Pence (in his capacity as chair of the Federal COVID-19 Task Force), urging that the National Capital Region be added to the list of priority locations for federally-supported COVID-19 testing sites.

Protect Yourself and Those Around You

There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19 infection. However, everyday preventive actions help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses like COVID-19 as well as influenza and the common cold, including:

  • Wash your hands often by rubbing them together with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Maintain six feet of personal space whenever possible.
  • Stay home when you are sick. Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cough and sneeze into your elbow, not your hand. Alternatively, cough or sneeze into a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash, and wash your hands.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Prepare for Possible Quarantine or Isolation

During a local COVID-19 outbreak, stores may run out of some supplies, and residents may be asked not to leave their homes for an extended period. Residents should plan and prepare by doing the following: 

  • Have on hand enough food, household and pet supplies to last for two weeks. 
  • Gather enough medical supplies to last for one month, especially prescriptions and other medicines you may need.
  • Identify a list of people who can help you or will need to be notified in the event of an emergency,  including family, friends, neighbors, carpool drivers, healthcare providers, teachers, employers, the local public health department and other community resources. 
  • Identify people who may need help, like neighbors, friends, family and co-workers who are older adults, have limited resources, have special needs, don’t understand English well or are new to the area.  
  • Talk to your employer about changes at work, how family and sick leave will be handled and if there are plans to work from home or elsewhere. 

Grocery Stores and Farmers Markets

Check the website or phone number for grocery stores and farmers markets in case hours or policies have changed. While there is no evidence that COVID-19 is spread through food or food from certain countries, any food can be a surface for the transmission of viruses if safe food handling practices are not followed.

To permit access to food while employing social distancing and hygiene best practices, merchants and customers at grocery stores and farmers markets should follow these guidelines in addition to the ones directly above:

  • Merchants should use gloves properly and in addition to washing or sanitizing. Change gloves frequently.
  • Everyone should maintain personal space of six feet whenever possible.
  • Merchants should discontinue sampling of cut or open foods.
  • Everyone should use non-cash forms of payment when possible. Wash or sanitize hands immediately after handling cash or payment devices.
  • Before preparing or eating, customers should wash all fruits and vegetables in accordance with FDA guidance for cleaning produce.

Guidance For...

Help with Jobs, Food, Housing and Human Services

  • View resources to meet basic needs for those impacted by COVID-19.
  • View resources to cope with fear and uncertainty.
  • View information about unemployment benefits for  workers whose jobs have been impacted by COVID-19.
  • View a letter from Mayor Wilson to landlords ( en Español) on March 16, requesting accommodations for tenants with difficulty making rent payments.
  • Mayor Wilson joined the mayors and chairs of Northern Virginia localities in a letter to Governor Northam on March 19, urging him to use his emergency powers to suspend foreclosures and evictions, waive late fees and penalties for rent, and reduce restrictions on human services programs.
  • Many grocery stores in the region are having trouble keeping up with demand for products. The City is relaxing regulations to allow grocery stores to receive extra deliveries of stock.  
  • On March 14, the Alexandria City Council unanimously approved a matching grant of $100,000 in City funds to the ACTNow Fund, to help solicit donations from the community. The fund, administered by the ACT for Alexandria community foundation, streamlines grants to nonprofit service providers to assist with food, housing, medical and other financial hardships.
  • On March 14, City Council unanimously approved a grant of $20,000 to the ALIVE! food bank, which will provide for bulk food purchases equivalent to 17,000 meals. 

Enforcement Changes