City of Alexandria Provides COVID-19 Updates; Trash and Recycling Clarifications; Grab-and-Go Meals for Students; Capital Bikeshare for Essential Workers

Page archived as of April 20, 2020

City of Alexandria Provides COVID-19 Updates; Trash and Recycling Clarifications; Grab-and-Go Meals for Students; Capital Bikeshare for Essential Workers

­­For Immediate Release: April 6, 2020

The City of Alexandria and the Alexandria Health Department (AHD) strongly urge everyone to follow state orders 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. 

Trash Goes in Plastic Bags; Recycling Does Not
Beginning Monday, April 13, residents receiving City trash and recycling service must place all materials in their City-issued bins or carts. Trash should be tied or sealed in plastic bags within the bins or carts. Recycling should be placed loose, with no plastic bag, inside the blue bins or carts. Residents who have not been issued a City trash container should place tied or sealed plastic trash bags on the curb. Those without a City recycling bin or cart should place recyclables in paper bags on the curb. For the safety of collection crews and to encourage waste to be reduced, loose trash or recycling on the curb will not be collected. For additional service changes related to Resource Recovery, see

Some City Employees to Wear Face Coverings or Masks
Some City employees will begin wearing cloth face coverings or surgical masks on the job, to help protect coworkers and customers. This is in accordance with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendation that everyone wear cloth face coverings in public settings where other physical distancing measures would be difficult to maintain. Learn more about how to correctly use cloth face coverings and surgical masks.

Grab-and-Go Meals to be Distributed for Alexandria City Public School Students
While Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS) students are on spring break this week, the City will provide grab-and-go meal distribution on a modified schedule. Meals can be picked up from the Chinquapin side of T.C. Williams High School (3330 King St.) on Wednesday, April 8, and Friday, April 10, from 9 a.m. to noon. Any ACPS student or other child age two or older is eligible. ACPS will resume normal distribution at all 10 of the usual distribution sites on Monday, April 13. Read more about ongoing ACPS food access, and learn about other food resources in Alexandria.

Capital Bikeshare Offers Free Memberships to Essential Workers
Capital Bikeshare will provide free 30-day memberships to essential workers in the Washington metropolitan area. Eligible essential workers include first responders, healthcare workers, food service workers and retailers, and other essential industries. Companies employing essential workers can enroll now through May 1 for unlimited 30-minute trips for 30 days. Enrollment is free and the free membership will not auto-renew into a paid membership. In addition, Capital Bikeshare users can purchase $1 single ride passes for essential trips, in both the Capital Bikeshare and Lyft apps, through May 31. Employers that want to enroll their staff, as well as essential workers wishing to enroll directly, should visit the Capital Bikeshare Essential Workers Program page

First COVID-19 Death and 26 New Cases in Alexandria, Bringing Total Cases to 130
The Alexandria Health Department 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. Also on April 6, AHD confirmed 26 additional cases of COVID-19 in Alexandria, bringing the total to 130. Many of the recent results were from tests done four to eight days prior. This lag in test results underscores the continued need for all community members to stay home as much as possible, even if they don't have a diagnosed illness.

AHD is contacting all confirmed cases and providing them guidance to give to their close contacts (people who came within six feet of cases for more than 10 minutes). AHD is also calling close contacts of confirmed cases in high risk settings (e.g. nursing homes, assisted living facilities, healthcare centers). All close contacts are asked to self-quarantine and actively monitor for fever and respiratory symptoms. If they start experiencing symptoms, they are advised to seek medical care if their symptoms are severe or if they are healthcare workers or first responders. The rise in positive cases is likely due to a combination of additional testing capacity through private healthcare providers as well as an increase in community transmission.

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 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 or 703.746.3965.

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This news release is available at