Protect Yourself and Those Around You
Every Alexandrian can take precautions to help reduce the spread of COVID-19: maintain at least 6 feet of distance from others, wear a mask over both your nose and mouth, wash your hands, and disinfect surfaces.
Mitigation Mandates In Effect
Effective May 28, Executive Order 79 removes Virginia’s mandates for physical distancing and capacity restrictions. This change comes as a result of the state’s rising vaccinations and falling COVID-19 rates. Organizations retain the ability to choose to require masks in their establishments, and individuals are still permitted to wear masks if they choose to. Anyone who is not yet vaccinated should wear masks in all settings. Masks are still required in K-12 settings, given low rates of vaccination among children. The federal government continues to require that masks are worn when using public transportation, including on buses, trains, and airplanes.
Effective June 15, the City of Alexandra has updated requirements for wearing masks and maintaining physical distance in City facilities per guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
- Visitors and employees in City facilities who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 are not required to wear a mask or maintain physical distance from others, but may choose to continue to do so.
- Everyone who has not been fully vaccinated is strongly encouraged to find an appointment at vaccines.gov, and should continue to wear a mask and maintain 6 feet of physical distance from others while inside City buildings.
- This new guidance is indicated with signs in English and Spanish at facility entrances.
- Meeting rooms, hallways and elevators will remain set up with safety measures in place to provide the option to maintain physical distance. Virtual options may be available for meetings as indicated at alexandriava.gov/Calendar. Plexiglass partitions will remain in place until it is determined they are no longer needed.
- CDC guidance states that masks are required in certain healthcare and congregate settings, therefore some City facilities may continue to require that visitors and employees wear masks and maintain physical distance. The following locations will be indicated with this sign at facility entrances
- 6101 Stevenson Avenue
- 4480 King Street
- 720 Saint Asaph Street
- 2355 Mill Road
- 1900 N. Beauregard Street
- 2525 Mt. Vernon Avenue
- Masks continue to be required on public transportation.
Cloth Face Coverings and Masks
The City's mask ordinance was amended by City Council on May 15 to align the City’s public mask requirements with current and future state executive orders. As Virginia continues to evolve its regulation to follow new guidance by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the requirements in Alexandria will remain consistent with the state.
Effective immediately, Alexandrians who are fully vaccinated are no longer required to wear masks in most indoor public settings. This follows increasing vaccination rates, dramatically declining COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, statewide test positivity rate, and revised federal guidelines.
What You Can Do If You See a Violation of an Executive Order
- First, determine that there really is a violation. Different businesses and venues have different restrictions – review the summaries below and the Executive Orders and FAQs.
- If an individual patron is not wearing a face covering, they may have a medical reason that prohibits them from wearing one. They are not required to provide medical documentation. Maintain at least 6 feet of distance and keep your face covering on yourself.
- If an employee of a business in a customer-facing role is not wearing a face covering, ask the employee or the manager if they will wear one. You may wish to say, “I would feel safer if you/your employee would wear a face covering” or “There is a requirement that customer-facing employees wear face coverings – will you please comply with that requirement?”
- 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, holidays and weekends will be returned the next business day).
- Consider not patronizing businesses and establishments that are not following or enforcing requirements of the Executive Orders, which are designed to reduce the risk of transmission of the virus that causes COVID-19. Advise the business of your decision. Feel free to adapt and send the Alexandria Health Department's template letter to the business.
- Look for the ALX Promise Shield, a marker that businesses have completed Alexandria Health Department’s voluntary safety training. Alexandria businesses with the ALX Promise Shield have gone above and beyond and are committed to higher safety standards for employees and customers than the minimum rules required. Find the full list of businesses here.
- Guidance for Community and Faith-Based Organizations
- Checklist for Food Safety at Meal Distribution Sites
- Checklists for Providing Rides, Home Visits and Other Services to Clients
- Protecting Your Child During Summer Activities
- When to Keep a Child Home from Daycare
- Daycare Assessment Checklist
- COVID-19 Emergency Child Care Options and Information
- Spanish Daycare Town Hall for Parents (November 21)
- Daycare Town Hall for Parents (October 19)
- Daycare Town Hall for Providers (October 7)
- Virginia Department of Social Services Letter to Childcare Providers (March 18)
Prepare for Possible Quarantine or Isolation
If you or someone in your household has COVID-19, or has been a close contact, you may be asked not to leave your home for an extended period. Learn more about when it’s safe to be around others. 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.
If you are caring for someone with COVID-19 either at your home or theirs, follow this guidance to avoid spreading the illness further.
Avoid Scams and Misinformation
Remain vigilant for scams related to COVID-19. You may receive fake phone calls or emails with malicious attachments or links to fraudulent websites, to try to trick you into revealing sensitive information or donating to fraudulent charities or causes.
If someone calls and identifies themselves as being from Alexandria Health Department, they will not ask for financial or sensitive information such as bank accounts or your social security number. Learn more about what happens during a case investigation or contact tracing call.
Exercise caution in handling any email with a COVID-19-related subject line, attachment, or hyperlink, and be wary of social media pleas, texts, or calls related to COVID-19.
Do not reveal personal or sensitive information in email, and do not respond to email solicitations for this information.
Avoid clicking on links in unsolicited emails from unofficial sources, and be wary of email attachments.
Learn how to avoid social engineering and phishing attacks.
Verify a charity’s authenticity before making donations. Review the Federal Trade Commission’s page on Charity Scams for more information.
- Businesses and organizations should review information about risk management related to COVID-19.
Grocery Stores and Farmers Markets
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 physical 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.