City of Alexandria Provides COVID-19 Updates; New Child Care Funding; Teleworking Webinar

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City of Alexandria Provides COVID-19 Updates; New Child Care Funding; Teleworking Webinar

­­For Immediate Release: April 18, 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 6 feet apart from others when in public. Your neighbors and loved ones are counting on you to stop the spread of COVID-19. 

Virginia Receives New Funding for Child Care Services
An additional $70 million in Child Care and Development Block Grant Funding is now available through the federal CARES Act to further support and improve child care services for essential workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. The funding will help provide incentive grants to child care providers through the end of June; eliminate co-payments for low-income, working families who receive federal child care subsidy dollars; prepare schools to act as emergency child care centers, if necessary; and provide additional funding for providers who participate in the federal subsidy program, but have had to close.

For parents participating in the State Subsidy Program, copayments for April, May and June will be waived. Child care subsidy staff are available to speak with families to discuss their ongoing child care needs. For more information, call 703.746.5437 or email lillian.vagnoni@alexandriava.gov. For parents looking for child care that remains open, Childcare Aware of Virginia has an interactive childcare map illustrating child care programs across the state that are still operating. For essential personnel seeking child care, see Smart Beginnings Alexandria’s child care providers.

RethinkingGO: Facts on Teleworking Webinar
The City's mobility options program, GO Alex, is co-hosting a telework webinar with the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce and Telework!VA on Tuesday, April 21, from 1- 2 p.m. Representatives from these groups will answer telework questions from Alexandria businesses and share information on maintaining operations via remote work. This is an opportunity to learn from telework professionals and receive ongoing support. The webinar is free; registration is required.

33 New COVID-19 Cases and No New COVID-19 Fatalities in Alexandria
The cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in Alexandria is now 354, including 7 fatalities. The continued rise in positive cases reflects the additional testing capacity of private healthcare providers, as well as continued community transmission. It is essential for all community members, even those who don't have a diagnosed illness, to stay home except for essential trips such as brief visits to the pharmacy, doctor, or grocery store.

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, or consult a  list of resources for patients without a primary care physician or health insurance (also available in  Spanish,  Amharic and  Arabic). 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. 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/114844.



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