City of Alexandria Provides COVID-19 Updates; Warning About Unproven Treatments; Zero Tolerance for Violations of State Order; Parking Enforcement Changes
For Immediate Release: March 29, 2020
The City of Alexandria and the Alexandria Health Department (AHD) strongly urge everyone to STAY HOME except for essential trips such as food purchases and medical care, and keep six feet apart from others when in public. Your neighbors and loved ones are counting on you to stop the spread of COVID-19.
AHD Cautions Against Using Unproven Medical Treatments
The Alexandria Health Department urges residents to discuss all medical treatments with their healthcare providers. Medicines such as chloroquine products used for other health conditions or for treating pets may be ineffective, and possibly fatal, for the treatment or prevention of COVID-19. Chloroquine, and the related compound hydroxychloroquine, should be used only under the supervision of a healthcare provider as prescribed medications. Hoarding these types of medicines may also put others who depend on them for various conditions at risk of running out.
Zero Tolerance for Violations of State Order
With the increase of community transmission in Northern Virginia, everyone must do their part to stop the spread of COVID-19. State and local officials have zero tolerance for individuals and establishments violating the state order banning gatherings of more than 10 people, closing certain non-essential businesses, and restricting restaurants to pickup and delivery only. To report a business violating the order, call the Alexandria COVID-19 Information Line at 703.746.4988, weekdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. To report a violation involving individuals, or any violation on evenings or weekends, call the Alexandria Police Department at 703.746.4444.
City Suspends Enforcement of Residential Parking Zones, Weekend Meters, Inspection Stickers
To assist vehicle owners who are now working from home, caring for others, or trying to ensure the flow of goods and services, the City has suspended enforcement of the following parking restrictions until further notice:
- Time restrictions for the general public in residential parking permit zones. (Signs in these zones include the language “residential permit exempt.”)
- Weekend 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.
These changes do not permit parking in any location otherwise prohibited, including “no parking” zones. All other time restrictions not listed above, such as 15-minute spaces or time limits in commercial corridors, will continue to be enforced. Parking enforcement officers will have the discretion to enforce suspended restrictions in exceptional circumstances where a significant traffic safety or community concern exists, or as necessary to ensure the safe and orderly movement of vehicles. For more information about parking, visit alexandriava.gov/Parking.
Four New COVID-19 Cases in Alexandria, Bringing the Total to 32
On March 29, the Alexandria Health Department confirmed four additional cases of COVID-19 in Alexandria, bringing the total to 32. 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.
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 healthcare provider 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.
If you have symptoms of COVID-19 and believe you've been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19, call the Alexandria COVID-19 Information Line at 703.746.4988, weekdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The Alexandria Health Department does not provide COVID-19 diagnosis or testing. If you need a letter about your health status, 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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or 703.746.3965.
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This news release is available at alexandriava.gov/114438.