City of Alexandria Provides COVID-19 Updates; New Data on Age, Sex & Race Impacts
For Immediate Release: April 21, 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.
VDH Publishes New Alexandria Data on COVID-19 Impacts by Age, Sex, and Race
COVID-19 affects every age group, gender, and race and ethnicity. However, the burden and impacts of this disease vary depending on a number of factors. The Virginia Department of Health's (VDH) daily dashboard now includes case, hospitalization, and fatality information by age, sex, and race for Alexandria.
The distribution of COVID-19 cases in Alexandria by age and race are similar to the overall age and race distribution of Alexandria residents. However, patients over 65 and African Americans seem to have higher rates of hospitalization if they contract the virus. This aligns with nationwide research on health outcomes. Underlying health conditions such as diabetes and heart disease can create additional complications and more severe symptoms if someone contracts COVID-19. For generations, historically discriminatory systems in education, housing, and the workforce have created conditions that contribute to higher rates of chronic conditions in communities of color. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated these existing inequities in health outcomes.
These types of differences in health outcomes have been a longstanding concern in Alexandria and across the country. AHD and community partners like the Partnership for a Healthier Alexandria have been working for years to eliminate these differences and ensure everyone has the opportunity to attain their highest level of health and well-being. AHD and the City are working with diverse, at-risk communities throughout Alexandria to provide information about COVID-19: what it is, what people can do to prevent it, and, for those who do not have a doctor or health insurance, where they can seek testing and care.
AHD cautions that the published VDH data is incomplete; more than one-third of cases do not have race reported. AHD is working with doctors' offices throughout Alexandria to improve data collection. AHD is also working with VDH to expand the current analyses to include ethnicity, as well as the number of tests completed by age, gender, race and ethnicity.
41 COVID-19 Cases and 1 Fatality Added in Alexandria; New Case History Graph Available
The cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in Alexandria is now 462, including 11 fatalities. A new graph showing the history of cases and fatalities in Alexandria is now available at alexandriava.gov/Coronavirus. The Virginia Department of Health is now counting cases that are considered “probable” in addition to positive test results in this total number. Probable cases include symptomatic patients diagnosed in a clinical setting, but not tested. Cases added to the cumulative totals today may have occurred in the past and were recently recategorized. This change in case categorization provides a more accurate picture of how COVID-19 is impacting Alexandria. 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.
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This news release is available at alexandriava.gov/114889.