City of Alexandria Provides COVID-19 Updates; Regional Cases and Hospitalizations Increasing; Child Care Micro Pods; Ongoing Targeted Testing Events; Guidance for Returning to the Workplace
For Immediate Release: November 6, 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. To stop the spread of COVID-19, the state order and City ordinance require everyone ages 10 and older to 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, with limited exceptions. Your neighbors and loved ones are counting on you.
Regional COVID-19 Cases and Hospitalizations Increasing
Community transmission in Northern Virginia has increased from low to moderate. Average case numbers in Alexandria are currently hovering around 20 per day, which is comparable to the number of daily cases seen in late July and August. Regional hospitalizations, including the use of intensive care units and ventilators have also increased, suggesting that severe outcomes from COVID-19 persist despite the additional availability of testing and treatment options. All Alexandrians must remain vigilant about staying home when sick, wearing masks, and maintaining physical distance from others. The upcoming holiday and flu season has the potential to dramatically increase the local spread of COVID-19, and every resident can do their part by getting a flu shot and following the Six Steps to Stop the Spread of COVID-19.
Child Care Micro Pods Now Available in Alexandria
Child care continues to be a vital part of Alexandria’s response for families who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. To meet the rapidly changing needs and the preferences of families affected by the crisis, the City is offering a Micro Pod Child Care program as well as other traditional child care arrangements, at no cost to eligible working parents while slots are available. Micro pods, also called “quaranteams,” are small groups of child care providers and families who agree to follow strict safety protocols, such as wearing a mask and maintaining physical distance, when they are in public or interacting with others outside the pod. Pod members then participate in child care and virtual learning and socialize in-person in settings where the rules can be relaxed, without increased risk of contracting or spreading the virus. The initiative is providing all childcare options to 150 children ages 0-13 on a first-come, first-served basis through December 2020. Priority will be given to families with low income or families who are no longer eligible for child care subsidy because they lost employment.
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. A total of 95 residents were tested at Charles Houston Recreation Center on November 5, 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.
Guidance for Returning to the Workplace
When returning to the workplace after a period of telework, time off, unemployment, quarantine or isolation, it is important to monitor for symptoms of illness every day and stay home when symptoms are present. If COVID-19 infection is suspected, self-isolate and get tested to prevent the possible spread of the virus. If someone in the household is at increased risk of severe illness, employees should work with supervisors to telework or modify responsibilities. Consider ways to minimize the amount of time spent in the workplace and any in-person interaction. Wear a mask whenever in common areas, maintain at least 6 feet of physical distance from others, avoid contact with high-touch areas, wash hands frequently or use hand sanitizer, always cover coughs and sneezes and relocate workspaces to increase distance between coworkers. The City has developed a Home Health Check (available for download and print in English and Spanish), and guidance on When You Can Be Around Others (available for download and print in English, Spanish, Amharic, and Arabic).
Alexandria COVID-19 Data At-a-Glance
This chart provides information about how preventive measures are impacting Alexandria’s response to the pandemic. Click or tap the chart to view an interactive version that provides details of the seven-day moving average number of COVID-19 cases, and the daily and cumulative case and fatality counts. Detailed data, including data on age, race and ethnicity, are available through links at alexandriava.gov/Coronavirus.
AHD estimates that approximately 1 in 13 Alexandrians who tested positive for COVID-19 have required hospitalization. An estimated 66% of Virginia adults who become infected never have symptoms. The best ways to stop the spread of COVID-19 remain wearing a mask in public, maintaining at least 6 feet of distance from others, and frequently washing your hands or carrying and using hand sanitizer with at least 60% ethyl alcohol. Help your loved ones and neighbors by answering a call from AHD if identified as a close contact of someone who tests positive for COVID-19, and download the Virginia Department of Health’s COVIDWISE app to be quickly and anonymously notified of likely exposure to the virus.
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This news release is available at alexandriava.gov/118759