City of Alexandria Provides COVID-19 Updates; Testing Options; Contact Tracing Methods Reminder; Transmission to Pets
For Immediate Release: December 9, 2020
The City of Alexandria and the Alexandria Health Department (AHD) strongly urge residents to stay home as much as possible during the current surge of COVID-19 cases in our community. Cases, hospitalizations, and deaths are increasing in Alexandria. Take immediate and ongoing action to control the spread by wearing a mask over both your nose and mouth, staying home unless it’s necessary to go out, and washing your hands frequently. Without these critical steps, additional lives may be at risk.
Positive cases of COVID-19 are increasing in Alexandria and residents who are experiencing symptoms or think they have been exposed to COVID-19 are urged to get tested. AHD and the City conduct targeted COVID-19 community testing events for people who live and work in the immediate neighborhood of each location, since parking may be limited. In partnership with Neighborhood Health, Alexandria's federally qualified health center, and assistance from AHD’s Medical Reserve Corps volunteers, 150 people were tested yesterday, December 8, at Armistead Boothe Park. The City’s “ Get Tested” web page contains a variety of resources, including testing options whether or not you are insured, have been exposed to COVID-19, or are experiencing symptoms. Call or book an appointment online before going to any facility. AHD will continue to identify future sites and coordinate targeted testing events.
Contact Tracing Methods Reminder
To prevent the spread of COVID-19, AHD asks residents to start contact tracing as soon as they receive a positive result. The City checklist, “ What To Do If You’re Sick,” helps residents identify who to contact and what to say, is also available in Spanish, Amharic, Arabic and Farsi, and can be downloaded and printed. The free COVIDWISE phone app can also help residents conduct contact tracing anonymously. Once downloaded and activated on a phone, COVIDWISE anonymously notifies participating contacts when a positive case has been identified. The app requires resident participation for maximum effectiveness. AHD may also help with contact tracing by calling to ask questions about when symptoms started, existing health conditions that might lead to severe illness, and the activities you participated in and places visited prior to the positive test. AHD will not ask questions about immigration status, bank account, or any sensitive personal security information. If AHD contacts you to help with contact tracing, be sure to answer the call.
Transmission to Pets
A small number of pet dogs and cats have been diagnosed with COVID-19, with most infections occurring after contact with a human who tested positive. There is no evidence that animals have played a significant role in the spread of COVID-19 to humans, but there is evidence emerging that it can be transmitted from humans to animals. Pets that tested positive for COVID-19 experienced mild or no symptoms, and recovered completely. Until more is known about the virus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises treating pets the same as human beings when considering the spread of COVID-19. They should be cared for by someone who is not sick and kept away from the sick person, avoiding petting, snuggling, being licked, sharing food or sleeping with pets. Pets should be kept at least 6 feet away from people outside the household; not allowed to roam freely outside; or be taken to places where people gather, like dog parks. Do not put a mask on a pet, and do not use hand sanitizer or sanitizing wipes on their fur.
Alexandria COVID-19 Data At-a-Glance
The chart below, containing the seven-day moving average number of COVID-19 cases and the daily and cumulative case and fatality counts, provides detailed information about how preventive measures are impacting Alexandria's response to the pandemic. (Note: Virginia Department of Health, upon record review, revised the number of COVID-19 related fatalities from 82 to 81 yesterday, December 8.) An interactive version is available at
alexandriava.gov/114883. Detailed data, including data on age, race and ethnicity, are available through links at
AHD estimates that approximately 1 in 15 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/119294.