City of Alexandria Provides COVID-19 Updates; Contact Tracing in Many Languages; Locks and Lockboxes Help Prevent Suicide
For Immediate Release: September 29, 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.
Contact Tracing In Many Languages
Contact tracing plays a critical role in preventing the spread of COVID-19 in the community. AHD will initiate a case investigation when staff receive information that an Alexandria resident has tested positive for COVID-19. The process includes providing resources and guidance for how to quarantine safely and reaching out to everyone who has had close contact with the person who tested positive, while maintaining confidentiality. AHD will provide resources and guidance about how to protect others and will never ask for bank account information, immigration status, social security number or other information unrelated to the case. A Case Investigation and Contact Tracing Guide explains the contact tracing process, and is now available in Spanish, Amharic, and Arabic. These fact sheets are available for download and print, or prints can be requested.
Locks & Lockboxes Help Prevent Suicide
The heightened stress and anxiety during the COVID-19 pandemic make it especially important to be aware of ways to safeguard mental health and the steps to prevent suicide. Studies show that 61% of people who complete suicide use firearms and 19% use poisons or medication. The City offers locks for firearms and lockboxes for medications at no cost to residents through the Lock & Talk program, which helps to prevent suicides by limiting access to lethal means. This program is facilitated by the Suicide Prevention Alliance of Northern Virginia.
16 New COVID-19 Cases and No New Fatalities Added in Alexandria
The cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in Alexandria is now 3,841, including 69 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/118033.