City of Alexandria Provides COVID-19 Updates; Vaccines Reduce Risk; Updated Guidelines for City Facilities; Rare Vaccine Side Effects; Clarification on Restrictions in Schools

Page archived as of June 29, 2021

City of Alexandria Provides COVID-19 Updates; Vaccines Reduce Risk; Updated Guidelines for City Facilities; Rare Vaccine Side Effects; Clarification on Restrictions in Schools 

­­For Immediate Release: June 15, 2021

Help end the pandemic by wearing a mask over both your nose and mouth, washing your hands frequently, and getting vaccinated. 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.

Vaccines Significantly Reduce Risk

A recent study of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows vaccines offer significant protection against COVID-19. Between December 2020 and April 2021, nearly 4,000 health care workers, first responders, frontline workers, and other essential workers were evaluated on how vaccination protected them in real-world situations. The study concluded that vaccination offered an unprecedented degree of protection in many areas. Once fully vaccinated, the risk of infection decreased by 91%. 

Participants who became infected after being fully or partially vaccinated were more likely to have a milder and shorter illness. People who became sick spent an average of six fewer days sick and two fewer days sick in bed. They also had about a 60% lower risk of developing symptoms at all. The study also suggests that vaccinated people who get COVID-19 are less likely to spread the disease to others. Getting vaccinated is the best way for people to protect themselves and others from COVID-19. Get vaccinated; visit alexandriava.gov/Vaccines

Updated Guidelines for City Facilities

Effective today, visitors and employees in City of Alexandria facilities who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 are not required to wear a mask or maintain physical distance from others, but may choose to continue to do so. Everyone who has not been fully vaccinated is strongly encouraged to find an appointment at vaccines.gov, and should continue to wear a mask and maintain 6 feet of physical distance from others while inside City buildings. The CDC defines fully vaccinated people as anyone who has received either a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine or both doses of the Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, with 2 weeks having elapsed after the final dose.

Signs will be posted at City facilities to indicate the new guidance, and are available to download, print and display in English and Spanish as appropriate. The CDC guidance states that local businesses and workplaces may choose to require masks, therefore a bilingual ‘Masks Required’ sign is also available for use. More signs and resources are available from the City’s COVID-19 Catalog of Resources.

CDC Investigates Rare Vaccine Side Effects 

Since April 2021, the CDC has monitored reports of myocarditis and pericarditis, rare vaccine side effects involving inflammation of the heart, after vaccination. These reports are rare, and most cases are adolescents and young adults who received the Moderna or Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines. Patients who received care responded well and felt better quickly. Seek medical care if you or your child experience chest pain; shortness of breath; or feelings of a fast-beating, fluttering, or pounding heart within a week of COVID-19 vaccination. The many benefits of vaccination outweigh the small risk of vaccine side effects. Report any health problems after vaccination to the CDC’s Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). On June 18, the COVID-19 Vaccine Safety Technical Work Group of the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices will meet to review the cases.

Clarification on Restrictions in Schools

The Governor's office provides answers to frequently asked questions about the COVID-19 restrictions in schools outlined in Executive Order 79. In K-12 schools when student programs are in session, staff and students need to wear masks regardless of vaccination status. However, fully vaccinated staff do not need to wear masks when students are not attending programs in the school building. While outside on school property, students, teachers, staff, and visitors may remove their masks if fully vaccinated. If individuals are not fully vaccinated, they must wear a mask unless they can maintain at least six feet of distance. 

When camps are held at K-12 schools, fully vaccinated staff and campers can participate without masking and distancing if school is no longer in session and no student programs are being offered. Campers who are not fully vaccinated and are attending an overnight camp should be masked when outside their cohort. The CDC and Virginia Department of Health recommend that children aged 2-4 wear a mask in schools, but it is not required. Masks should be removed during nap times. 

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. Vaccination charts include total doses administered across all facilities, the percentage of residents ages 12 and older who have been partially and fully vaccinated, and weekly doses administered. Vaccination charts are available with definitions and data source information at alexandriava.gov/120654. Detailed data, including data on age, race and ethnicity, are available through links at alexandriava.gov/Coronavirus

Open an interactive version of a chart providing details of the vaccination progress
Open an interactive version of a chart providing details of the seven-day moving average number of COVID-19 cases, and the daily and cumulative case and fatality counts

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/122892.

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