City of Alexandria Provides COVID-19 Updates; Strategic Action Framework for Houses of Worship, Nonprofits, Businesses; ACPS Playgrounds Reopen; Virtual Bicycle Safety Training
For Immediate Release: July 17, 2020
The City of Alexandria and the Alexandria Health Department (AHD) remind everyone that you are safest at home. Older adults, persons with underlying medical conditions and pregnant women are at greater risk for severe disease and are advised to minimize potential exposures as much as possible. Please keep at least 6 feet of distance from others. Everyone is required to wear a face covering in most indoor public settings. Your neighbors and loved ones are counting on you to stop the spread of COVID-19.
AHD Publishes Strategic Framework for Houses of Worship, Nonprofits and Businesses
In the fifth of a series, AHD has published its Strategic Action Framework: Houses of Worship, Nonprofits and Businesses. This framework summarizes objectives and tactics being used to support Alexandria’s houses of worship, nonprofit organizations and businesses to operate safely during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Develop best-practice guidance and produce materials that are easily digestible, and communicate state requirements for businesses and other facilities in multiple languages; and disseminate to businesses, nonprofits and faith groups for printing and display.
Create and implement a voluntary safety training program (ALX Promise) for accreditation, analyzing the role ALX Promise plays in preventing complaints to AHD; launch extensive outreach to West End and minority-owned businesses; work with community groups to promote the program; hand deliver required signage and make follow-up phone calls; and promote the program and accredited businesses through the news media, including in Spanish.
Communicate regularly with targeted groups through phone calls or virtual town halls to answer staff or resident questions; develop content for weekly emails to faith-based and nonprofit groups; and launch AHD phone hours for faith groups to troubleshoot reopening challenges.
All of the AHD Strategic Action Frameworks to date are available online, and are living documents that may change as public health learns more about COVID-19. They are primarily used as AHD internal project management documents, but are being shared with the public to increase pandemic response transparency. Sensitive information about specific facilities has been redacted.
ACPS Playgrounds Reopen
All playgrounds operated by the City of Alexandria and the Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS) are now open to the public, following approval by the Virginia Department of Education to reopen ACPS sites. This includes the two playgrounds at John Adams Elementary School and Matthew Maury Elementary School. The fields at T.C. Williams High School will remain closed for the summer while the facility is modernized. For additional information related to the reopening of ACPS playgrounds, contact the ACPS Department of Facilities and Operations.
The public is reminded to exercise caution when using public playgrounds, as it is not practical for the City or ACPS to keep equipment sanitized and disinfected between uses. Families should use playgrounds and parks only if they are not sick. They should frequently use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. In accordance with CDC guidance, AHD reminds everyone that face coverings are essential when physical distancing is not possible, but they should not be used by children younger than 2 years of age or by anyone who has trouble breathing. AHD advises families to only use parks and playgrounds that are not crowded. Based on guidance from Executive Order 65 for fitness and exercise equipment, families using parks and playgrounds are advised to always remain 10 feet apart from those outside their households, and to clean and disinfect playground equipment before and after each use.
Virtual Bicycle Safety Training
An increase in the use of bicycles during the COVID-19 pandemic has led to an increase in bicycle-related crashes, sometimes resulting in injury to cyclists. The City is sponsoring two virtual bicycle safety training sessions, in collaboration with the Washington Area Bicyclist Association. The sessions address how to properly navigate through traffic and communicate with motorists; how to prepare for a ride; and where to ride in the road. These virtual training sessions are free. The City also has numerous resources for bicyclists, including a map that shows bike lanes, trails, and Metrorail stops in Alexandria and provides other useful information for local cyclists. For more information, visit the City Calendar entries for the training sessions on Wednesday, July 29, and Saturday, August 22.
16 New COVID-19 Cases and No New Fatalities Added in Alexandria
The cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in Alexandria is now 2,523, including 56 fatalities. Detailed data, including data on age, race and ethnicity, is available through links at alexandriava.gov/Coronavirus. The virus that causes COVID-19 is spread both by people who are symptomatic and by those who do not know that they are infected. Everyone is safest at home. This is especially true for those in high-risk populations (such as older adults, persons living in long-term care facilities, and those with serious underlying medical conditions). If you must go out, please maintain 6 feet of distance from others, wear a cloth face covering, and always carry hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol with you. Everyone must do their part to stop the spread.
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This news release is available at alexandriava.gov/116789.