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Alexandria Resident Tests Presumptive Positive For Coronavirus

An Alexandria resident has tested “presumptive positive” for the COVID-19 coronavirus, the Health Department announced on Wednesday night.

In a late-night press release, the city said that the resident tested positive after being in close contact with an infected Washington, D.C. resident who spent time at the Immanuel Chapel of the Virginia Theological Seminary. The city said that worshipers and visitors to the chapel between Feb. 26 and March 4 should monitor themselves for symptoms.

“The Alexandria Health Department has now confirmed the first presumptive positive COVID-19 test in our City,” Mayor Justin Wilson wrote on Facebook. “The patient is doing well and isolated at home.”

The full press release from the city is below.

On March 11, 2020, the Alexandria Health Department (AHD) announced that an Alexandria resident has tested “presumptive positive” for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The patient is currently doing well and is isolated at home.

“There have been cases of COVID-19 in most states and across the National Capital Region,” said AHD Director Dr. Stephen A. Haering. “The Alexandria Health Department and the City of Alexandria have been preparing for this. COVID-19 is an evolving situation, and we will continue to share information as it becomes available. Based on our current investigation, the general Alexandria community is still at low risk for COVID-19.”

Connection to Previous Case

On March 10, AHD was notified that a resident of Washington, D.C. associated with Christ Church in Georgetown, who now has a confirmed case of COVID-19, spent time at the Immanuel Chapel of the Virginia Theological Seminary (3737 Seminary Rd.). AHD’s investigation identified and called individuals who had close contact with the Washington, D.C. resident, to advise them to self-quarantine at home. One of those close contacts was the Alexandria resident who tested presumptive positive today. AHD was notified of the test earlier tonight. “Presumptive positive” means the test conducted by the state Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services in Richmond was positive and is pending confirmation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Self-Monitoring for Visitors to Immanuel Chapel

If you visited the Immanuel Chapel between February 26 and March 4 and were not contacted directly by AHD and asked to self-quarantine, you may have been exposed to the virus but are considered by the CDC to be at low risk. AHD recommends that anyone who visited the Immanuel Chapel on those dates self-monitor for symptoms for 14 days from their last visit.

Self-monitoring includes checking body temperature twice a day and monitoring for symptoms of cough, difficulty breathing, shortness of breath or temperature higher than 100.4 F. If you were potentially exposed at Immanuel Chapel and have any of these symptoms, or if you develop them within 14 days of the visit, call your primary care physician. If you develop these symptoms, you should also self-isolate and limit contact with others. If you visited Immanuel Chapel during the above dates but do not have the above symptoms, you do not need to call your physician or be tested for COVID-19.

About the COVID-19 Coronavirus

The coronavirus that causes COVID-19 can cause mild to more severe respiratory illness, and most patients who have had COVID-19 so far have recovered on their own. In a small proportion of patients, COVID-19 can cause severe illness, and even death, particularly among those who are older or who have chronic medical conditions. Symptoms include fever, cough and difficulty breathing. Symptoms appear within 14 days of being exposed to an infectious person. COVID-19 spreads primarily through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

How to Protect Yourself and Those Around You

The entire Alexandria community should stay updated and informed about COVID-19. Everyone can help prevent the spread of respiratory illness with these everyday actions:

  • Wash your hands often by rubbing them together with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If you can’t wash your hands, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

For More Information

For more information about the Alexandria Health Department’s response to COVID-19 and additional steps you can take to protect yourself and those around you, visit alexandriava.gov/Coronavirus. For questions about COVID-19, call the Alexandria COVID-19 Information Line at 703.746.4988, weekdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Photos via American Guild of Organists/Facebook and Virginia Theological Seminary/Facebook

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