Alexandria Health Department Confirms First “Presumptive Positive” Case of COVID-19
For Immediate Release: March 11, 2020
On March 11, 2020, the Alexandria Health Department (AHD) announced that an Alexandria resident has tested “presumptive positive” for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The patient is currently doing well and is isolated at home.
“There have been cases of COVID-19 in most states and across the National Capital Region,” said AHD Director Dr. Stephen A. Haering. “The Alexandria Health Department and the City of Alexandria have been preparing for this. COVID-19 is an evolving situation, and we will continue to share information as it becomes available. Based on our current investigation, the general Alexandria community is still at low risk for COVID-19.”
Connection to Previous Case
On March 10, AHD was notified that a resident of Washington, D.C. associated with Christ Church in Georgetown, who now has a confirmed case of COVID-19, spent time at the Immanuel Chapel of the Virginia Theological Seminary (3737 Seminary Rd.). AHD’s investigation identified and called individuals who had close contact with the Washington, D.C. resident, to advise them to self-quarantine at home. One of those close contacts was the Alexandria resident who tested presumptive positive today. AHD was notified of the test earlier tonight. “Presumptive positive” means the test conducted by the state Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services in Richmond was positive and is pending confirmation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Self-Monitoring for Visitors to Immanuel Chapel
If you visited the Immanuel Chapel between February 26 and March 4 and were not contacted directly by AHD and asked to self-quarantine, you may have been exposed to the virus but are considered by the CDC to be at low risk. AHD recommends that anyone who visited the Immanuel Chapel on those dates self-monitor for symptoms for 14 days from their last visit.
Self-monitoring includes checking body temperature twice a day and monitoring for symptoms of cough, difficulty breathing, shortness of breath or temperature higher than 100.4 F. If you were potentially exposed at Immanuel Chapel and have any of these symptoms, or if you develop them within 14 days of the visit, call your primary care physician. If you develop these symptoms, you should also self-isolate and limit contact with others. If you visited Immanuel Chapel during the above dates but do not have the above symptoms, you do not need to call your physician or be tested for COVID-19.
About the COVID-19 Coronavirus
The coronavirus that causes COVID-19 can cause mild to more severe respiratory illness, and most patients who have had COVID-19 so far have recovered on their own. In a small proportion of patients, COVID-19 can cause severe illness, and even death, particularly among those who are older or who have chronic medical conditions. Symptoms include fever, cough and difficulty breathing. Symptoms appear within 14 days of being exposed to an infectious person. COVID-19 spreads primarily through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
How to Protect Yourself and Those Around You
The entire Alexandria community should stay updated and informed about COVID-19. Everyone can help prevent the spread of respiratory illness with these everyday actions:
- Wash your hands
often by rubbing them together with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If
you can’t wash your hands, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60%
- Avoid touching
your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close
contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when
you are sick.
- Cover your
cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
For More Information
For more information about the Alexandria Health Department’s response to COVID-19 and additional steps you can take to protect yourself and those around you, visit alexandriava.gov/Coronavirus. 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.
For inquiries from the news media only, contact Craig Fifer, Director of Communications and Public Information, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 703.746.3965.
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This news release is available at alexandriava.gov/114129.