City of Alexandria Provides COVID-19 Updates; New Ethnicity Data; Resilience Week Virginia; Keeping Kids Healthy; Children with Special Needs
For Immediate Release: May 1, 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 Ethnicity
COVID-19 does not discriminate. Every age group, gender, race and ethnicity are at risk of infection. However, the burden and impacts of this disease vary depending on a number of factors. The Virginia Department of Health's (VDH) daily dashboard has added the ethnicity of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and fatalities for Alexandria.
While approximately 17% of Alexandria residents are Hispanic/Latinx, this community accounts for 39% of positive cases of COVID-19 and 38% of COVID-19 hospitalizations in Alexandria to date. Based on the data reported, this indicates that members of the Hispanic/Latinx community are experiencing higher rates of severe illness from COVID-19 than non-Hispanic/Latinx whites. However, there are still large gaps in the data. Ethnicity was not reported for 27% of cases and 7% of hospitalizations. The number of tests performed is not available by ethnicity. AHD is working with healthcare providers to improve reporting of demographic data.
While each individual’s risk of infection is based on their personal exposure to the virus, some groups, like the Hispanic/Latinx population, experience additional systemic challenges and barriers to ideal health. For example, without access to safe, affordable housing, people often live in overcrowded conditions that can easily spread infectious disease. Without access to jobs with a living wage and benefits, many people who are ill have no choice but to work to pay rent, buy food, and purchase necessities. Without access to trusted, affordable healthcare, many people will also go without medical care. AHD and the City of Alexandria continue to work with community leaders and residents to identify local needs and address them in a comprehensive way to support all Alexandrians.
Resilience Week Virginia
The City of Alexandria is participating in the inaugural Resilience Week in Virginia, May 3-9. Building resilience can help individuals and communities bounce back from difficult experiences, like the COVID-19 crisis. As part of the weeklong event, the City will share daily ideas and resources to help build resilience by individuals, families, businesses and communities. Each day of the week will focus on a different group of resources and practices, ranging from mindfulness to play and fun. Visit the City’s Resilience Week page to learn more.
Keeping Children Healthy When School is Out
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has provided guidance for keeping children healthy while school is out. The guidance recommends that parents limit their children’s time with other children and with older adults who have serious underlying medical conditions, and directs that children 2 years and older wear a cloth face covering and practice physical distancing measures when in community settings. The guidance also includes strategies for keeping children socially engaged, helping them continue their learning, and ways to keep them safe and healthy.
Caring for Children and Youth with Special Healthcare Needs
Children with complex, chronic medical conditions, including children with physical, developmental, behavioral, or emotional differences, can have special healthcare needs. It is not known yet whether all of these children are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19, however, the CDC provides frequently asked questions about COVID-19 and caring for children and youth with special needs or underlying health issues.
48 New COVID-19 Cases and 3 Fatalities Added in Alexandria
The cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in Alexandria is now 802, including 24 fatalities. Detailed data is available through the links at alexandriava.gov/Coronavirus. It is critical 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/115179.