City of Alexandria Provides COVID-19 Updates; Community Mitigation Measures Reduce Spread; Hazard Pay for Home Health Workers; Training and Resources for Businesses; Ongoing Targeted Events
For Immediate Release: October 16, 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. To stop the spread of COVID-19, everyone ages 10 and older must wear a mask over their nose and mouth in indoor public places and when at least 6 feet of physical distance cannot be maintained between those of different households in outdoor public places. Learn more about the state order and City ordinance requiring masks, including exceptions. 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.
Community Mitigation Measures Reduce Spread
The City and AHD encourage residents and businesses to continue the good work of adhering to the mask ordinance and maintaining 6 feet of physical distance. A study in Arizona shows that community mitigation measures, including mandates to wear masks and enhanced sanitization, have a positive impact on reducing the spread of COVID-19. When state orders to close businesses and other public spaces were lifted, Arizona experienced a significant increase in positive cases, which required increased preventive measures. Local officials implemented mandates to wear masks in public, limit social gatherings and restaurant capacities, and closed gyms, bars, and movie theaters. As a result, numbers saw a significant decline in COVID-19 cases in less than a month. While studies on the effectiveness of mitigation measures are not yet conclusive, Alexandria’s efforts to follow public health guidance have avoided higher case and fatality counts.
Hazard Pay for Home Health Workers
Governor Ralph Northam has authorized funding from the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act to provide hazard pay to home health workers who served high-risk populations during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic. Home health personal attendants who provided services to clients and Medicaid members between March 12 and June 30 are eligible to receive a one-time, pre-tax payment of $1,500. Home health workers in Virginia will also receive a 7% increase in pay over two years (starting July 1, 2020), and will be provided with personal protective equipment, including masks, gloves and hand sanitizer. The Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services, which oversees Virginia’s Medicaid program, will administer the payments and equipment to eligible home health workers over the coming weeks.
Training and Resources for Businesses
Businesses play a key role in helping prevent the spread of COVID-19, by upholding state and local requirements in public places. The City and the Alexandria Economic Development Partnership are offering free training sessions from the National Center for Conflict Resolution to support businesses by ensuring employees are prepared to respectfully respond to clients and customers to achieve better outcomes. Registration is required for the two-hour training sessions, which will take place Monday, October 19, at 11:45 a.m. and 2 p.m.; and Tuesday, October 20, at 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. The City has compiled additional resources to support businesses as they respond to the impacts of COVID-19.
Ongoing Targeted COVID-19 Testing Events
AHD and the City recently conducted a targeted COVID-19 testing event in partnership with Neighborhood Health, Alexandria's federally qualified health center. Approximately 85 residents were tested at Casa Chirilagua, with assistance from AHD's Medical Reserve Corps volunteers. In addition to testing, each participant received 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.
9 New COVID-19 Cases and 1 New Fatality Added in Alexandria
The cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in Alexandria is now 4,086, including 74 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/118369.