City of Alexandria Provides COVID-19 Updates; NoVA to Enter Phase Two; Returning to Work; Swimming Cautions; Coping Resources
For Immediate Release: June 9, 2020
The City of Alexandria and the Alexandria Health Department (AHD) remind everyone that you are safest at home except for essential trips such as food purchases and medical care. If you must leave your home, wear a cloth face covering around others and keep at least 6 feet apart from others whenever possible. Your neighbors and loved ones are counting on you to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Northern Virginia to Enter Phase Two on Friday
Today, Governor Ralph Northam announced that on Friday, June 12, Northern Virginia will enter Phase Two of the “ Forward Virginia” reopening blueprint. Under Executive Order 65, Phase Two increases the number of people allowed to gather in groups from 10 to 50; allows restaurants to offer indoor dining with 6-foot distances between groups and at up to 50% capacity; opens fitness and exercise facilities at 30% capacity; opens swimming pools for indoor and outdoor fitness and instruction purposes only; and more. Restrictions on religious services, non-essential retail and personal grooming services remain the same as Phase One. Overnight summer camps and most indoor entertainment venues remain closed. Executive Order 63, which requires face coverings to be worn in indoor public settings, remains in effect.
Governor Northam also announced that all public and private schools in Virginia will be able to reopen this fall, using a phased reopening plan that gives school divisions flexibility. Phase One will be mostly remote instruction with exceptions for students with disabilities. Most public schools are ready for Phase Two, under which schools may offer mostly remote instruction, with in-person classes for pre-K to third grade students and English language learners. Some school summer camps will be able to operate with restrictions. In Phase Three, schools will be able to hold in-person classes, but must space desks 6 feet apart and practice other physical distancing measures, conduct daily health screenings, and other measures.
Many Recreation Facilities to Reopen In Phase Two
Per the Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities’ Reopening Phases, outdoor amenities will begin reopening on Friday, June 12, and are expected to be fully reopened on Monday, June 15. Outdoor amenities include parks, trails, paths, fields, dog parks, restrooms, parking lots, park roadways and most sport courts. Replacement of basketball rims may take more time to complete. The Torpedo Factory Art Center will also open to the public on Friday, June 12. To align with updated guidance, installation of safety measures in recreation and nature centers are in progress. More information about program options and facility re-openings will be posted at alexandriava.gov/Recreation as they are confirmed.
Returning to Work after Isolation and Quarantine
AHD urges businesses to encourage workers who are in isolation or quarantine due to COVID-19 to follow the guidelines found in “ When You Can Be Around Others,” to determine when it is safe to return to work. AHD does not issue letters for return to work from isolation or quarantine, and letters from healthcare providers are usually unnecessary since return to work is based on reported symptoms. The guidelines are also available in Spanish, Amharic, and Arabic.
Use Caution When Swimming in Natural Waters
As temperatures climb and many pools remain closed, a dip in a river, lake, or stream may be tempting, but risky, as shown by the recent drowning of a Loudoun County teen in a local creek. In addition to the potential for drowning, natural waterways may contain harmful bacteria and organisms, particularly after heavy rains or storms. Avoid swimming in natural waters for a few days after a heavy rain event; avoid swimming in muddy water of lakes, ponds and rivers; and avoid swimming in unfamiliar ponds, streams, creeks, ditches and canals. Look for posted signs; be aware of local weather conditions prior to recreational activities; and watch for dangerous waves and signs of rip currents. Visit the Virginia Department of Health’s pages for detailed information about swimming in natural waters and drowning and swimming-related injuries.
Coping with COVID-19 and Social Change
Fear and anxiety about COVID-19, and events of national concern such as the killing of George Floyd, can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children. Taking care of yourself, your friends and your family can help you cope with stress. Helping others cope with their stress can also make your community stronger. The City’s Coping with Uncertainty and Fear and Multicultural Resources: Race Based Trauma and Support in Times of Civil Strife web pages provide information and resources to help during this difficult time.
13 New COVID-19 Cases and 2 New Fatalities Added in Alexandria
The cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in Alexandria is now 2,115, including 47 fatalities. Detailed data is available through the links at alexandriava.gov/Coronavirus. There is still community transmission of the virus that causes COVID-19, and everyone is safest at home. This is especially true for persons at higher risk for severe illness, including those over the age of 65 and those with underlying medical conditions. Those who do go out are reminded to remain 6 feet apart from others; wear a cloth face covering when physical distancing cannot be maintained outdoors and at all times in indoor public spaces; and wash hands frequently.
# # #
This news release is available at alexandriava.gov/115973.