Mayor: Household Contact Primary Source of COVID Transmission in Alexandria

In the latest virtual townhall, Mayor Justin Wilson said the largest source of COVID-19’s spread in Alexandria remains contact between family members or roommates.

“About 44% of folks who tested positive have lived with someone who recently had COVID,” Wilson said. “Household contact is a significant source.”

The data is the result of extensive contact tracing efforts undertaken over the last few months, though Wilson acknowledged that the data was only as reliable as those reporting it.

“About a quarter of those folks had gone to their workplace,” Wilson said. “About 10% had gone to a public event, social gathering or entertainment activity. Only 7% had travelled outside the D.C. area, with most of that travel inside the United States. Only 7% had gone to a restaurant or bar.”

The data comes as Alexandria sees a notable increase in cases after lows in October. Wilson said the city is seeing three new hospitalizations every day. Inova Alexandria is currently at 77% capacity with 40 COVID-19 cases hospitalized and eight under investigation. As the city heads towards the winter holiday season, local health officials have urged people not to gather in-person or risk further spread of the virus.

“It’s social gatherings and family gatherings within the household that’s still driving transmission,” Wilson said. “Things people normally focus on, like indoor dining and parties in the streets, are not as much of a transmission [factor].”

Staff photo by James Cullum

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