City of Alexandria Provides COVID-19 Updates; Carryout and Delivery Guidance; Honoring Asian Americans; Telework; #SelfCareSaturday
For Immediate Release: May 9, 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. If you must leave your home, keep 6 feet apart from others when in public, and wear a cloth face covering if you cannot maintain physical distance. Your neighbors and loved ones are counting on you to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Recommendations for Safe Carryout and Delivery
AHD reminds residents of best practices to reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection while out in the community, including while picking up food and accepting deliveries.
Maintain 6 feet of distance between you and others who are not your household members. Utilize contactless payment methods such as ordering online and over the phone when possible.
Wear a cloth face covering or mask over your nose and mouth if you can’t maintain at least 6 feet of physical distance. That includes when approaching cashiers or picking up food.
Don't touch your face, particularly after handling money, credit cards, and deliveries.
Wash your hands frequently and for 20 seconds with warm water and soap after handling items and before eating. If handwashing facilities aren't available, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
Carryout food should be taken home to consume. Restaurant outdoor dining spaces are closed.
Following these steps may help save lives and stop the spread of COVID-19. Remember to keep 6 feet of distance between yourself and others while waiting on carryout orders. More best practices on safe takeout dining are available from the CDC.
Honoring Asian Americans
Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, observed annually in May, is an opportunity to honor and celebrate the contributions that people of Asian descent have made to our Commonwealth, and to our nation’s history, culture and heritage. In light of increasing incidents of discrimination against people of Asian descent, the observance this month is a reminder that race, ethnicity, and national origin are not related to an individual’s chances of getting COVID-19 or giving it to someone else. Learn what you can do to help reduce discrimination and stigma related to COVID-19, and visit Alexandria Library’s Asian Pacific American Heritage Month page for books, activities, and other information.
Increased Telework Protects Employees and Customers
Over the last two months, the City has implemented innovative telework solutions to help protect employees and customers from unnecessary risk during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our number one priority is always the health and safety of our workforce and the community we serve,” said City Manager Mark Jinks. “Our use of telework, sometimes in groundbreaking ways, has helped us implement guidance from public health officials while improving the efficiency of the services we provide. In many cases, the telework successes we’ve seen during this crisis will lead to permanent improvements in how we work and deliver services. The City encourages all employers and employees to explore ways to use telework -- now and in the future -- to protect health and reduce traffic congestion and pollution.”
Since March 16, the City has expanded its existing telework program to include all employees for whom it is feasible to work from home while maintaining core services to customers. With more than half of employees now teleworking, City government has remained open and operational for the residents and businesses who depend on City services. Telework is only performed to the extent it can be done safely while protecting the confidentiality of any records or other information involved.
Employees whose job responsibilities require them to work on-site are provided with personal protective equipment (PPE) appropriate to their duties, such as cloth face coverings, surgical masks, N95 respirators, gloves, gowns and plastic shields. Since April 6, the City has provided a premium pay supplement of $4 for each hour employees below management level are required to work on-site.
Virginia Resilience Week: #SelfCareSaturday
The City is participating in Resilience Week in Virginia, May 3-9. Resilient people take responsibility for their well-being. They know that if they don’t practice self-care, then caring for others and managing stress will be all the more difficult. Some people may not feel like they have time to take care of themselves and put their needs before others, but it’s actually an essential way to build resilience and cope with stress. When you start to feel tense, overwhelmed, a dip in energy or a headache or stomach ache coming on, then you know you’re overdue for a dose of self-care. The way you practice self-care is up to you. Find what brings you joy and helps you recharge and do more of it. Explore ways you can be kind to yourself on #SelfCareSaturday.
32 New COVID-19 Cases and 1 Fatality Added in Alexandria
The cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in Alexandria is now 1,142, including 30 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/115340.