City of Alexandria Provides COVID-19 Updates; Don’t Delay Calling 911; Phase Three to Begin July 1; Hand Sanitizer Warning
For Immediate Release: June 23, 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, you are required to wear a face covering when inside buildings. Please keep at least 6 feet of distance from others whenever possible. Your neighbors and loved ones are counting on you to stop the spread of COVID-19.
AHD Urges Community Members Not to Delay Emergency Care
A June 22 report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveals that visits to U.S. emergency departments decreased for potentially life-threatening conditions during the first 10 weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic: a 23% decrease for heart attacks, 20% decrease for strokes, and 10% decrease for uncontrolled high blood sugar. The report suggests that patients may have avoided or delayed seeking emergency care because of fear of COVID-19, or because of unintended consequences of stay-at-home orders. AHD reminds everyone that persons experiencing signs or symptoms of a heart attack (chest pain, shortness of breath); stroke (loss of motor function, altered mental status); uncontrolled high blood sugar (feeling very tired, feeling thirsty, blurred vision) or any other life-threatening issue, should call or text 911 immediately.
Phase Three to Begin in Virginia July 1
Governor Ralph Northam announced today that Virginia will enter Phase Three of the “Forward Virginia” blueprint on July 1. View a summary of the differences between Phase Two and Phase Three. Governor Northam noted that Virginia now has nearly 1,000 contact tracers; hospitalizations have been trending downward and hospitals have bed capacity; and that while 8,000 to 12,000 tests are administered daily, positive tests are also trending downward. Phase Three eases capacity restrictions for social gatherings, nonessential businesses, restaurants, fitness centers and pools; and child care and entertainment facilities can reopen. Because COVID-19 is still present, face coverings will still be required, and physical distancing, good hand hygiene and teleworking whenever possible are still vitally important.
FDA Issues Advisory Against Use of Several Hand Sanitizer Brands
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a warning against the use of any hand sanitizers manufactured by Eskbiochem. The FDA sampled nine hand sanitizer products produced by Eskbiochem and found the presence of up to 81% methanol, which can be toxic if ingested or absorbed by the skin. Symptoms of substantial methanol exposure can include nausea, vomiting, headache, blurred vision and permanent blindness, and can lead to permanent damage to the nervous system and death if untreated. Consumers who have been exposed to these brands should seek immediate medical attention, which is critical to reversing the effects of methanol poisoning. FDA recommends the immediate disposal of any hand sanitizing product containing methanol, using a hazardous waste container; do not flush or pour them down the drain. The best method for sanitizing hands is to wash them with soap and running water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% ethyl alcohol.
12 New COVID-19 Cases and No New Fatalities Added in Alexandria
The cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in Alexandria is now 2,248, including 49 fatalities. Detailed data is available through the links at alexandriava.gov/Coronavirus. It is important to note that 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. If you must go out, please remember to keep 6 feet of distance from others; wear a cloth face covering, especially when inside public spaces; wash hands frequently; and remember to always carry tissues and hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol with you.
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This news release is available at alexandriava.gov/116221.