The City of Alexandria is back on the right track for the percentage of positive coronavirus testing, at least for now.
Percent positive — or the number people with a positive test result out of all those tested — is one of the more reliable ways of assessing the spread of the virus and the reach of testing, according to John Hopkins University. As the state began to consider reopening, a prolonged decrease in new cases was cited as one of the requirements for reopening.
For a little while there was cause for concern. The city faced percent positivity spikes in mid-April and early May, but for the most part, had been seeing a steady decline through June. Starting July 1, the city’s percent positivity tests for coronavirus started to go up. The uptick coincided with the city moving into Phase 3 of reopening, which began to loosen restrictions on activities.
The uptick peaked the following week, however. Since then, Mayor Justin Wilson said those numbers have started to steadily decline. Currently, the average percent positive has gone back down to 5.9%.
Alexandria was not alone in its Phase 3 uptick. Statewide the percent positive rate is 7.7% — an increase over previous weeks.
The city is advising residents to wear face masks when outdoors, observe social distancing and to stay home if possible.
“Everyone is safest at home,” notes the city’s website. “Older adults, persons with underlying medical conditions and pregnant women are at greater risk for severe disease and are advised to minimize potential exposures as much as possible. Please keep at least 6 feet of distance from others and wear a mask in public settings. Your neighbors and loved ones are counting on you to stop the spread of COVID-19.”
Staff photo by James Cullum