Alexandria, VA

A second case of COVID-19 has been confirmed in Alexandria.

The news comes a day after the city declared a local emergency, and two days after Alexandria City Public Schools announced schools were closing until mid-April.

In a press release, the city says the second person to test positive had attended a conference in D.C. on Feb. 25 and “come in close contact with an individual later confirmed to have COVID-19.” The resident then travelled internationally, began to feel unwell, and returned home to start self-quarantining on March 6.

More from a press release:

The Alexandria Health Department (AHD) has reported a second presumptive positive case of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Alexandria. The results are considered presumptive, pending confirmation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The second case is an Alexandria resident who attended a conference in Washington, D.C. on February 25 and came in close contact with an individual later confirmed to have COVID-19. The Alexandria resident immediately departed for international travel, and began to feel unwell during the trip. As a result, the resident self-quarantined at home immediately upon return to Alexandria on March 6, and received regular monitoring from AHD. The resident was evaluated, tested and released from Inova Alexandria Hospital and is doing well at home. They will remain under self-isolation and be monitored by AHD until it is safe for them to return to their normal activities.

Individuals who came in close contact with the confirmed case at the February 25 conference have already been contacted by health officials. AHD is working closely with the Virginia Department of Health to identify and contact any additional people who may have come in close contact with this case. Those identified as close contacts will be asked to self-quarantine and actively monitor for fever and respiratory symptoms. If they start experiencing symptoms, they will immediately undergo testing.

The risk to the general Alexandria public remains low, because there have been no cases of COVID-19 in Alexandria other than the two related to other known cases. If you are not connected to a known case and are experiencing fever, cough, or shortness of breath, call your health care provider for an evaluation. AHD has provided guidance and recommendations on COVID-19 screening and testing to all Alexandria physicians.

A number of events and activities around Alexandria have been cancelled or postponed, according to an email sent by the city on Saturday.

Activities and programs produced by the Department of Recreation, Parks & Cultural Activities are cancelled through March 21; Office of Historic Alexandria through March 22; and Alexandria Library through March 31. These changes will be re-evaluated on a rolling basis; see each department website for details. City recreation centers, library branches, art centers and museums remain open on normal operating schedules. For a list of individual meeting schedules and cancellations, visit alexandriava.gov/Calendar.

The email also details how residents can protect themselves against the virus and the deadly disease it causes:

The most important ways to protect against COVID-19 are the easiest:

  • Wash your hands often by rubbing them together with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Stay home when you are sick. Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cough and sneeze into your elbow, not your hand. Alternatively, cough or sneeze into a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash, and wash your hands.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Photo by Fusion Medical Animation on Unsplash

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