This news release has been updated to include detail about the attributes of the B.1.1.7 variant.
City of Alexandria Provides COVID-19 Updates; UK Variant is Dominant Strain in the US; Updated Data for Underlying Medical Conditions
For Immediate Release: April 8, 2021
The City of Alexandria and the Alexandria Health Department (AHD) strongly urge residents to stay home as much as possible, wear a mask over both your nose and mouth, and wash your hands frequently. Pre-register to receive the vaccine and you’ll be notified once appointments are available. AHD estimates that approximately 1 in 20 Alexandrians who have tested positive for COVID-19 have required hospitalization, so without these critical steps, additional lives may be at risk.
UK Variant is Dominant Strain in the U.S.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced yesterday that the B.1.1.7 variant of the virus that causes COVID-19 has become the predominant strain in at least five regions of the United States. More than 27% of positive cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. are the B.1.1.7 variant, which was originally detected in the United Kingdom. B.1.1.7 has been categorized by the CDC as a variant of concern because there is evidence of an increase in transmissibility, at approximately 50% more contagious than the wild-type strain, and it can include more severe disease, resulting in increased hospitalizations and deaths. The B.1.1.7 variant has shown minimal resistance to treatment or vaccine, with minimal impact on neutralization by antibodies developed from previous infection or vaccination. It is normal for coronaviruses to develop variants over time. The CDC “Variant Proportions in the U.S.” webpage provides details of the new and emerging variants present in the U.S. Residents are strongly urged to continue wearing masks when out in public settings, regardless of their vaccination status.
Updated Data for Underlying Medical Conditions
The CDC has updated the list of underlying medical conditions with the most potential impact for severe illness for patients infected with COVID-19. Age is the biggest risk factor to severe illness, with more than 80% of COVID-19 related deaths in the U.S. occurring in patients ages 65 and older. The more chronic medical conditions a person has, the more likely they are to become severely ill if they become infected with COVID-19. High blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and chronic pulmonary disease were the most common comorbidities. While underlying medical conditions play a significant role in the severity of illness, nearly 30% of inpatients and almost 75% of outpatients diagnosed with COVID-19 had no comorbidities as defined in the study conducted.
Alexandria COVID-19 Data At-a-Glance
The seven-day moving average chart below shows the number of COVID-19 cases and the daily and cumulative case and fatality counts, and provides detailed information about how preventive measures are impacting Alexandria's response to the pandemic. An interactive version is available at
alexandriava.gov/114883. The vaccination chart includes total doses administered across all facilities and the percentage of residents ages 16 and older who have been partially and fully vaccinated, and is available at
alexandriava.gov/120654. Detailed data, including data on age, race and ethnicity, are available through links at
Continue following measures to stop the spread of COVID-19 even after vaccination. Get tested if you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19. If you test positive, help loved ones and neighbors by informing your close contacts using “ What to Do If You Get Sick” guidance, which is available in Spanish, Amharic, Arabic, and Farsi or this brief video.
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This news release is available at alexandriava.gov/121501.