City of Alexandria Provides COVID-19 Updates: Elective Surgeries Postponed; Compost Drop-off Suspended; Garage Hours Reduced
For Immediate Release: March 25, 2020
The City of Alexandria and the Alexandria Health Department continue to strongly urge everyone to stay home except for essential trips such as food purchases and medical care. Each individual is a critical part of slowing the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, in addition to government action at the local, state and federal levels.
Elective Surgeries Postponed
The Governor and the State Health Commissioner issued a public health emergency order on March 25 directing all hospitals to suspend elective surgeries or procedures to help conserve supplies of the personal protective equipment (PPE) used to shield first responders, health care providers and patients from the virus. The order does not apply to outpatient visits in hospital-based clinics; family planning services; emergency needs; or any procedure if the delay would cause harm to a patient.
Coping with COVID-19 Fear and Uncertainty
Fear and anxiety about COVID-19 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 has developed a page of resources and tips to help residents cope during this health crisis.
Updates on Transportation and Environmental Services
City compost drop-off locations have been suspended until further notice. Residents may deposit compostable items in refuse collection or their own backyard composting. Many City parking garages will have reduced hours of operation until further notice and accept credit card payment only. A map of new curbside pickup locations for restaurants and other businesses is available online.
One New COVID-19 Case in Alexandria, Bringing the Total to 14
On March 25, the Alexandria Health Department confirmed one additional case of COVID-19 in Alexandria, bringing the total to 14. 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 increase over time.
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. 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.
Protect Yourself and Others, Especially Vulnerable Community Members
Wash Your Hands. Rub hands together with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
Use Hand Sanitizer. If you can’t wash your hands, use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol as you would wash your hands, rubbing them together for 20 seconds.
Don’t Touch Your Face. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
Stay Home. If you are feeling sick, stay home. If you are well, avoid close contact with people who are sick.
Use Your Elbow. Cough and sneeze into your elbow, not your hand. Alternatively, cough or sneeze into a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash, and wash your hands.
Disinfect Surfaces. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
Manage Stress. The CDC recommends taking breaks from exposure to the news; take deep breaths or meditate; try to eat healthy; get sleep or rest; make time to do activities you enjoy; and connect with others to share your feelings.
To receive text message alerts from the City related to COVID-19, text ALEXCOVID19 to 888777. For more information about the COVID-19 coronavirus and how you can help 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. Virginia residents can also call the Virginia Department of Health public information line, 877-ASK-VDH3, for questions about the novel coronavirus situation. If you have chest pain or shortness of breath, call or text 911.
For inquiries from the news media only, contact Craig Fifer, Director of Communications and Public Information, at email@example.com or 703.746.3965.
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This news release is available at alexandriava.gov/114407.