City of Alexandria Provides COVID-19 Updates; New FDA Hand Sanitizer Warning; Targeting Testing Event; Medicaid Assistance Updates
For Immediate Release: July 30, 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 mask in most indoor public settings. Your neighbors and loved ones are counting on you to stop the spread of COVID-19.
New FDA Hand Sanitizer Warning
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is seeing an increase in reports of methanol poisoning due to the use of several hand sanitizer brands found to contain the dangerous chemical commonly used to create fuel and antifreeze. The FDA’s “do not use” list of hand sanitizer brands testing positive for the presence of up to 80% methanol also continues to grow. If any hand sanitizer product you possess matches the identifiers on the list, the FDA strongly urges consumers to stop use immediately and treat its disposal as hazardous waste. Do not pour or flush it down the drain, or mix it with other liquids. Methanol exposure can result in nausea, vomiting, headache, blurred vision, permanent blindness, seizures, coma, permanent damage to the nervous system or death. Consumers experiencing any of these symptoms should seek immediate medical attention and report confirmed methanol poisoning to the FDA’s MedWatch safety information and adverse event reporting program. While not always convenient, washing your hands for at least 20 seconds remains the best way to completely disinfect and sanitize your hands and stop the spread of COVID-19.
Successful Targeted COVID-19 Testing Event
Backed by City funding, AHD and Neighborhood Health recently conducted a targeted COVID-19 testing event for residents of Brent Place. Neighborhood Health, Alexandria's federally qualified health center, tested more than 50 residents with support from AHD's Medical Reserve Corps volunteers. The City and AHD also provided a bag of supplies to each participant, including two cloth face covers, hand sanitizer, and a packet of health and support service information. AHD will identify and coordinate future sites for targeted testing events. In addition to such events, Neighborhood Health is available for primary care and COVID-19 testing for residents with or without insurance. Make an appointment online or call 703.535.5568.
Medicaid Assistance Updates
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a sharp increase in the demand for Medicaid assistance since March. To comply with the federal “Families First Coronavirus Response Act,” Virginia Medicaid has adopted policies to protect Medicaid subscribers from losing coverage, and implemented strategies to make the application process more efficient. Most significantly, no Virginia resident’s Medicaid coverage will be canceled or closed for any reason, for the duration of the COVID-19 health emergency. The City has also compiled a list of resources available for individuals receiving Medicaid, which is available in multiple languages, or can be translated into 11 other languages using the “Translate” button at the top right corner of the page.
20 New COVID-19 Cases and No New Fatalities Added in Alexandria
The cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in Alexandria is now 2,779, including 57 fatalities. COVID-19 is spread by people whether or not they have symptoms, and nearly 10% of infected Alexandrians have required hospitalization. Everyone must do their part to stop the spread: maintain at least 6 feet of distance from others, wear a mask, and carry and use hand sanitizer. With a recent increase in cases, you are more likely to encounter someone who is infected. Be prepared to answer a call from the Alexandria Health Department in case you are identified as a close contact. Detailed data, including data on age, race and ethnicity, is available through links at alexandriava.gov/Coronavirus.
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This news release is available at alexandriava.gov/116970.