City Buckles Down for Potential Coronavirus Outbreak

The City of Alexandria is working on plans to handle a potential Coronavirus outbreak, but if you’re looking to a free face mask from the city, you’re out of luck.

“Our health department is not there to deliver masks,” said City Councilwoman Amy Jackson at a City Council meeting on Tuesday. “We’ve seen an increase in requests, but you have to find your own if that’s what you want to do.”

Councilman Mohamed “Mo” Seifeldein checked in with the City Manager at the meeting’s end to ensure the city is preparing for a potential coronavirus outbreak.

“With the announcement from the CDC, it seems like unwelcome news may be coming,” Seifeldein said. “In the event that we have to go into a short schedule, work from home, school [closures], I want to make sure plans are set.”

City Manager Mark Jinks confirmed that the city is working on plans to continue operating city services while minimizing the potential spread of disease.

“As the spread of the virus is on two continents, it’s a pandemic,” Jinks said. “We’ve had a staff group working and we’re going to be expanding that. We have a continuation of service plans in place with each department, however, this is a different circumstance than we have ever faced.”

“This is not a snowstorm. This is not a weather event,” he continued. “We’ve got to go back and look at those and see how we would respond differently. We’re in a different gear.”

Jinks said he and others on city staff are reading up on past pandemics.

“Nobody really knows how far it’s going to spread, but we have to plan for it,” Jinks said. “We have to be ready.”

Photo by CDC on Unsplash

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