City of Alexandria Provides COVID-19 Updates; New Testing Data; New Food Benefits; Household Hazardous Waste Drop Off Reopens Saturdays
For Immediate Release: May 14, 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.
Virginia Department of Health Releases Information on Testing Data:
The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) today released COVID-19 testing data broken out by diagnostic (PCR) and antibody (serology) tests. A diagnostic test uses an oral or nasal swab to determine whether the patient had the COVID-19 virus at the time the sample was collected. An antibody test uses a blood sample to tell whether the patient has had the virus at anytime in the past. In Virginia, antibody tests make up less than 9% of overall tests. When antibody tests are removed from total results, there is little change in the percentage of positives and no difference in overall trends. VDH defines a case as confirmed when there is a positive diagnostic test. A goal in monitoring the number of testing encounters, and the percentage of COVID-19 tests that are positive, is to gauge the capacity of the healthcare system to perform COVID-19 testing. In the past three weeks, the number of antibody tests being used in Virginia has increased. Due to this change, going forward, VDH will provide a breakdown of the COVID-19 test data by all test types, and by PRC tests.
Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer for Families with Children
The Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) is a temporary food benefit available in Virginia to families with children who would have received free or reduced-price meals if schools were open. The purpose of the P-EBT benefit is to supplement existing nutrition programs for low-income households during the pandemic. It does not replace meals provided through the school programs during unexpected closures, such as the summer meal programs that will begin when the school year ends. The Virginia Department of Social Services (VDSS) will issue benefits to eligible households with a total benefit of $376 per eligible student. Virginia households are eligible if they have students who are either eligible for free or reduced-price school meals or enrolled in a school that provides free meals to all students through the Community Eligibility Provision or another provision. Households do not have to apply for P-EBT; schools will provide information for all eligible students directly to VDSS. If you believe there are eligible students in your household, but you do not receive P-EBT by the middle of June, call 804.726.7000. For more information, read Frequently Asked Questions in English and Spanish.
Household Hazardous Waste & Electronics Drop-off Center to Open on Saturdays
The City has reopened its Household Hazardous Waste & Electronics Drop-off Center on Saturdays only, from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The center closed last month to minimize risk to employees and the public, but will reopen on a limited basis to accommodate residents who cannot store materials at home indefinitely (such as those who are moving). Before visiting the center, please consider whether materials can be stored at home until a later date, when normal operations resume. For more information, including guidelines for visiting the center and a list of acceptable items, visit the Household Hazardous Waste & Electronics Drop-off Center web page or alexandriava.gov/ResourceRecovery.
44 New COVID-19 Cases and 1 New Fatality Added in Alexandria
The cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in Alexandria is now 1,349, including 32 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/115431.