City of Alexandria Provides COVID-19 Updates; Guidelines for Phased State Reopening; Virginia National Guard Assists with LTCF Survey; #MindfulMonday
For Immediate Release: May 4, 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.
Governor Northam Announces Guidelines for Phased State Reopening
Governor Ralph Northam announced today that since the rate of COVID-19 infection in Virginia has slowed and hospitals have not been overwhelmed, the state may begin easing public health restrictions later this month. Reopening is dependent on further decreasing the rates of positive tests and hospitalizations over the next 14 days; stable supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE); and an adequate number of hospital beds. Northam’s amendment of Executive Order 53, restricting business operations, was extended until May 15 in order to track progress on these percentages.
Executive Order 55, the stay-at-home order in effect until June, may also be modified to a less restrictive “safer at home” policy. Under the first phase of reopening, businesses would still have to maintain physical distancing and implement enhanced cleaning and workplace safety measures. Additional details will be released in the coming days. The risk from COVID-19 has not passed, and it is critical to continue practicing physical distancing, wearing cloth face coverings when physical distancing measures in public cannot be maintained, and other steps to stop the spread of COVID-19.
AHD Coordinates Point Prevalence Survey with Virginia National Guard
AHD is working with the Virginia National Guard to conduct point prevalence surveys (PPS) at long-term care facilities (LTCFs), to collect more information about how COVID-19 is affecting Alexandria. A PPS is a data collection tool used to identify the number of people with an infection at a specific point in time, even if they don't have symptoms. For example, it can be used in an LTCF like a skilled nursing or assisted living facility to help determine the spread of COVID-19 and separate those with the infection. Members of the Virginia National Guard, who are trained in specimen collection and transport for delivery to laboratories, greatly reduce the burden on LTCF staff and allow them to focus on providing care to their patients. AHD and the Virginia National Guard may conduct additional surveys at various settings in the future.
Resilience Week Virginia: #MindfulMonday
The City is participating in Resilience Week in Virginia, May 3-9. Building resilience can help individuals and communities bounce back from difficult experiences, like the COVID-19 crisis. Today’s focus is on mindfulness, a practice that can help build resilience by being fully aware of experiences, thoughts and emotions. Being mindful is easy to learn and becomes more readily available when practiced every day. There is growing research showing that training the brain to be mindful actually remodels its physical structure, and that mindfulness has positive benefits for health, happiness, work and relationships. Visit the City’s Resilience Week page to learn more.
41 New COVID-19 Cases and No New Fatalities Added in Alexandria
The cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in Alexandria is now 940, including 26 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/115231.