City of Alexandria Provides COVID-19 Updates; Donate Blood Plasma to Help Save Lives; Successful Testing Event; Mental Health Resources; Libraries Reopen Monday
For Immediate Release: August 14, 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.
Donate Blood Plasma to Help Save Lives
People who have recovered from COVID-19 have antibodies in their blood that may help treat those who have recently contracted the coronavirus. More than 40,000 patients have received plasma treatment for COVID-19 so far, and more plasma donations are needed. Alexandrians who have been fully recovered from COVID-19 for at least two weeks are encouraged to participate. Learn whether you are eligible and how to donate.
Successful Targeted COVID-19 Testing Event
AHD and Neighborhood Health recently conducted a targeted COVID-19 testing event in partnership with community organization Casa Chirilagua, with support from the City. Neighborhood Health, Alexandria's federally qualified health center, tested more than 120 residents with assistance from AHD's Medical Reserve Corps volunteers. In addition to testing, participants received two cloth face covers, hand sanitizer, and a packet of health and support service information. AHD will continue to identify future sites and coordinate targeted testing events. Neighborhood Health is a provider of primary care and COVID-19 testing for residents with or without insurance. Make an appointment online or call 703.535.5568.
CDC Reports on Mental Health Toll of COVID-19
A recent report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed that, between June 24 and 30, adults reported considerably elevated adverse mental health conditions associated with COVID-19. Approximately 20% of adults surveyed nationwide said they were struggling with mental health or substance use. Younger adults, racial and ethnic minorities, essential workers, unpaid adult caregivers, and those with pre-existing psychiatric conditions reported experiencing disproportionately worse mental health outcomes; increased substance use; and elevated suicidal ideation. Alexandrians are advised to seek help early from their healthcare providers, call or text the Virginia "warm line" at 877.349.6428, and access mental health resources online.
Alexandria Libraries Reopen Monday
On Monday, August 17, all Alexandria Libraries will reopen under modified operations for the safety of staff and patrons, and help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Each customer will have their temperature taken; will be issued a face covering if they did not bring one; and must maintain 6 feet of distance from others at all times. Face coverings are required for all customers over age 10 at all locations. Libraries will maintain a 25% occupancy rate and customers will have up to two hours inside the building, including computer time, but may re-enter 30 minutes later if space is available. Plastic shields and signage have been installed, and all high-touch areas will be disinfected regularly. All library online programs and curbside pick-up will continue, while meeting spaces will not be available for use. Visit the Alexandria Library website for a complete list of branch capacities, hours and changes in operations.
30 New COVID-19 Cases and 1 New Fatality Added in Alexandria
The cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in Alexandria is now 3,050, including 61 fatalities. The new fatality occurred months ago and was recently reassigned to Alexandria by the Virginia Department of Health after a data correction. COVID-19 is spread by people whether or not they have symptoms, and AHD estimates that 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.
# # #
This news release is available at alexandriava.gov/117243.