Alexandria Health Department Reports First COVID-19 Death

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Alexandria Health Department Reports First COVID-19 Death

­­For Immediate Release: April 6, 2020

The Alexandria Health Department (AHD) has reported the first death of an Alexandria resident who previously tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19. The resident, who had been hospitalized, died from respiratory complications from COVID-19.

“My colleagues and I are saddened by the first confirmed death of an Alexandria resident due to COVID-19, and our thoughts are with their loved ones,” said AHD Director Dr. Stephen A. Haering. “The best way to honor our neighbor is to recommit ourselves to the most effective ways to stop this virus: stay at home as much as possible, wash hands frequently, and maintain six feet of personal space whenever you can. Everyone has a role in reducing the impacts of this pandemic. We must all be vigilant to protect ourselves and especially our most vulnerable community members.”

Anyone who was in close contact with the patient after they may have become infectious was already contacted by health investigators and provided with guidance. To protect patient privacy, AHD will not release additional information about the patient.

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. If you have chest pain or shortness of breath, call or text 911.

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 craig.fifer@alexandriava.gov or 703.746.3965.

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This news release is available at alexandriava.gov/114582.

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