City of Alexandria Provides COVID-19 Updates; Open Container Reminder

Page archived as of April 27, 2020

City of Alexandria Provides COVID-19 Updates; Open Container Reminder

­­For Immediate Release: April 13, 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. 

Carryout Alcoholic Beverages Must be Consumed At Home
Although the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority has temporarily allowed licensed restaurants and bars to sell beer, wine and mixed drinks for carryout and delivery, the Alexandria City Code still prohibits carrying open containers of alcohol in public. This includes parks, streets, sidewalks, alleys, and any other public or private property open to the public, and includes vehicles in those locations. Please consume alcoholic beverages responsibly, and at home. 

16 New COVID-19 Cases and 1 New Fatality in Alexandria, Totaling 241 Cases and 2 Fatalities
On April 13, the Alexandria Health Department confirmed 16 additional cases of COVID-19 in Alexandria and one additional fatality, bringing the total number of cases to 241 (including two fatalities). 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. It is essential for all community members to stay home as much as possible, even if they don't have a diagnosed illness. 

To respect the privacy of individuals and their families, AHD will not disclose additional details about cases or fatalities unless there is a public health need to do so. AHD is contacting all confirmed cases and providing them guidance to give to their close contacts (people who came within 6 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. 

If You Have Symptoms or a Diagnosis 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.

If you have COVID-19 symptoms or have tested positive, follow these steps to protect your neighbors and loved ones from infection. 

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/114699.



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