City of Alexandria Provides COVID-19 Updates; New Rental, Food, Small Business Programs Coming; Checking Symptoms; Reviewing Development Plans Online
For Immediate Release: May 13, 2020
The City of Alexandria and the Alexandria Health Department 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.
City Council Approves COVID-19 Support Programs
At its May 12 meeting, the Alexandria City Council unanimously approved three programs to provide support to vulnerable Alexandrians and small businesses affected by COVID-19 pandemic. These rent relief, food security support and small business programs will be funded by $13.9 million allocated to the City through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
The $4 million Residential Rental Assistance Program will target eligible renters who have suffered income loss due to COVID-19; the $2.4 million Food Security Plan will support large-scale food distributions, home delivery for seniors, and augment ongoing food programs; and the $2.4 million Small Business Grants Program will provide eligible businesses with grants to offset costs and investments related to reopening. The programs are not yet accepting applications; additional information will be announced as soon as it is available.
Cold, Allergies, or COVID-19?
COVID-19 shares some of the same symptoms caused by the flu, colds, and other illnesses, including fever and cough. Seasonal allergies, with similar symptoms, are on the rise. For those unsure of their symptoms, the Virginia Department of Health has developed a graphic comparing symptoms of allergies, a cold, strep throat, flu, and COVID-19. If you think you may be experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, call your doctor right away to ask whether you should come in for screening or a test. You can also call one of these healthcare facilities that provide COVID-19 screening and testing (Spanish | Amharic | Arabic ). If you have chest pain or trouble breathing, call or text 911 immediately.
Reviewing Development Plans Online
This is the fifth and final story in a series about ways the City has used innovative telework solutions to help protect employees and customers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Staff from the City’s Departments of Code Administration, Planning & Zoning, and Transportation & Environmental Services are reviewing electronic plans for construction and development from home. Using the City’s new APEX permitting system, which was launched in November 2019, applicants can upload plans; track the status of their reviews; and receive permits online. This reduces contact between staff and customers while speeding the time from application to permit issuance. Staff have also been able to hold virtual meetings with applicants and their architects, engineers and land use lawyers, with proposed plans displayed simultaneously for joint review and discussion by all parties. This is often more efficient and effective than prior face-to-face meetings.
65 New COVID-19 Cases and 1 Fatality Added in Alexandria
The cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in Alexandria is now 1,305, including 31 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.
# # #
This news release is available at alexandriava.gov/115420.