City of Alexandria Provides COVID-19 Updates; VDH Announces Antibody Study Results; Virtual City Events and Activities
For Immediate Release: September 18, 2020
The City of Alexandria and the Alexandria Health Department (AHD) remind everyone that you are safest at home. Older adults and persons with underlying medical conditions 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 over both their nose and mouth at all times in most indoor public settings. Use the Virginia Department of Health’s COVIDWISE app to be quickly and anonymously notified of likely exposure to the virus. Your neighbors and loved ones are counting on you.
VDH Announces Antibody Study Results
In an effort to estimate the number of people in the state who have contracted COVID-19, the Virginia Department of Health conducted a serology study in partnership with health systems from all regions. Of those with evidence of past or recent infection, 66% were presumed to have had an asymptomatic infection, reinforcing the importance of wearing masks and physical distancing even if people don’t feel sick. The study found that between 2.4% and 3% of Virginia adults have COVID-19 antibodies, which signifies that they have had a past or recent infection. The study also noted that presence of COVID-19 antibodies was higher among Hispanic individuals (10.2%), the Northern Virginia region (4.4%), the 40-49 age category (4.4%), and uninsured individuals or those receiving Medicaid health coverage (3.8%). Study participants visited outpatient health care facilities for non-COVID related care and agreed to provide a blood sample for antibody testing. It remains unclear whether the presence of antibodies provides long-term protection from another COVID-19 infection. At this point, antibody testing is only recommended for public health surveillance, such as this study, rather than for individual determination of immunity.
Virtual City Events and Activities
City meetings, events and activities continue to be modified in an effort to encourage residents to stay safe while COVID-19 remains present in the community. The City Calendar contains a complete list of virtual meetings, fitness classes, concerts, and other events that promote physical distancing. Historic Alexandria offers a number of online resources to explore from home, while some museums are now open for limited self-guided tours.
22 New COVID-19 Cases and 1 New Fatality Added in Alexandria
The cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in Alexandria is now 3,671, including 67 fatalities. Detailed data, including data on age, race and ethnicity, is available through links at alexandriava.gov/Coronavirus.
AHD estimates that approximately 1 in 12 infected Alexandrians have required hospitalization. An estimated 66% of Virginia adults who become infected never have symptoms, so everyone must maintain at least 6 feet of distance from others, wear a mask over both the nose and mouth, and carry and use hand sanitizer with at least 60% ethyl alcohol. Be prepared to help your family and neighbors by answering a call from AHD if you are identified as a close contact of someone who tests positive for COVID-19.
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This news release is available at alexandriava.gov/117853.