Newsletter

City Health Department Moves to Virtual Restaurant Inspections

The Alexandria Health Department is now conducting virtual restaurant inspections for the first time, and the department’s environmental health manager estimates that the COVID-19 pandemic has closed half of the city’s 860 permitted food establishments.

“We’re touching base with all of our restaurants and focusing very much on employee health, obviously, with a COVID-19 focus,” Rachel Stradling said. “We’re doing that so that we can keep in touch and keep up with our infection work.”

That means the department is reaching out to restaurants and businesses via email and phone, although if the pandemic continues for an extended period that may include getting more technology involved in touching base with business owners. Stradling currently has four staffers dedicated to the work, and she said that no businesses have been shut down since Union Street Public House was forced to close on March 17 for failing to follow the 10-person maximum for establishments.

“Right now it’s a matter of phoning up making an appointment to speak to the person in charge when they have a little time,” Stradling said. “I would say approximately 50% of our restaurants are open. Those that were able or previously doing a delivery and take out option, obviously the change was much easier for them.”

Many restaurants will not survive the pandemic, Stradling said.

“Unfortunately, some of the businesses that we have open today will not be open in three, four months time or however long it takes to get to the end of this COVID-19,” she said. “Alexandria is an amazing place to live and to work, and it’s important that we get those places back open as possible for the next generation of restauranteurs, and it’s horrible to say that, but I think that’s going to have to be one of our focuses.”

Stradling added, “Also, the restaurants that closed their doors, we’re going to help them get back open. The one thing I hope that we keep is the relationship that we’ve developed with our restaurants. It’s moved on from the health inspector coming along and telling you what to do into a much more combined joint force against a virus.”

The department is asking residents to stay home as much as possible, and also to order from their favorite restaurants.

“If you do have a favorite restaurant that you’d like to go to and if they are still offering a delivery and takeout option, I would encourage everyone to go,” Stradling said. “Please do the social distancing, please stay six feet apart… They desperately need our help and our money.”

From our kitchen to yours, we want to say thank you again for your continued support ❤•#buzzbakeshop #buzz #teambuzz…

Posted by Buzz Bakeshop on Thursday, April 16, 2020

Staff photo by James Cullum

Recent Stories

It was a busy week in Alexandria, with the City Council back in session and changes on the horizon for local restaurants. The Polk Avenue sidewalk saga came to its…

A new report on student safety should be taken with a grain of salt, according to members of the Alexandria School Board. The School Board received the report Thursday night…

Open houses in Alexandria this weekend

A 5 BD/3 BA corner lot home with hardwood floors, fenced rear yard and concrete driveway is included in Open Houses.

Just Listed in Alexandria

Just Listed includes a 2 BD/1 BA condo with carpet flooring and a balcony.

Are you tired of going to the gym? It might be the crowds, the locker room, waiting on equipment or the time it takes to commute to the gym.

Having a personal trainer come to your home will keep you accountable, save you time and allow you to workout in the comfort of your own home.

Skip the hassle of the gym and try our in-home personal training service.

Our services are reasonably priced, convenient, effective and are risk free.

Read More

Submit your own Community Post here.

At Nova Fencing Club, the beginner fencing classes are designed for students of all levels – including students who have never fenced before.

If you’re looking for a fun physical activity that improves your fitness, critical thinking and rapid decision making skills then come join us!

There’s no better time than now to give us a try – and take part in one of the fastest growing sports. Our highly educated, professional coaching staff includes Virginia’s only Maitre d’Armes, a member of USA Fencing’s coaching team, former members of the USA National Team, and our Head Coach, who has produced national champions.

Register for either our Youth Beginner Fencing Classes (7-12) or our Teen & Adult Beginner Fencing Classes (13 to Adult) and become a part of the club that champions call home.

Submit your own Community Post here.

Think BIG! About the Future of Movement

Join the City of Alexandria and Arlington County’s Initiative to Rethink Energy at our first ever electric vehicle (EV) and sustainable technologies showcase! Get inspired by seeing a variety of electric cars, scooters, bikes, motorcycles, police cars, buses, trucks and

Between Home and the Front: Book Talk and Signing

Join the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum on Zoom or in person at the museum for a special book talk with the curators behind Between Home and the Front: Civil War Letters of the Walters Family. A book signing will be

×

Subscribe to our mailing list