Alexandria updates COVID-19 guidance as cases increase

With the city starting to see an upswing in COVID-19 cases, the city is updating some of it’s guidance for local residents and directing them to resources — like where to go if you lost that vaccination card that was frustratingly not wallet-sized.

Over the last few months, there’s been an average of 10-20 new COVID-19 cases reported daily; a far cry from the peaks of hundreds of new cases earlier this year but a noticable increase. There has been a total of 73 new cases per 100,000 persons for the last seven days, which is considered substantial transmission.

Alexandria is also still just barely shy of the state goal of 99,610 residents vaccinated (or 70%), currently sitting at 97,627 fully or partially vaccinated (or 68.6%). Mayor Justin Wilson has noted that there could be other reasons the number is lower than the city and state goals.

“Alexandria Health Department continues to monitor daily cases of COVID, along with hospitalization, death, and transmission levels,” said Kelly Gilfillen, acting director of the Office of Communications and Public Information. “AHD also continues to monitor the common sources of infection to best provide guidance to residents on how to stay safe. These are not different measures for the Delta (variant).”

Gilfilllen said face masks should be worn in public indoor settings, and that they are now required in city facilities and on public transportation.

Alexandria now has 12,298 cases since the pandemic started last year, and that’s an increase of 133 cases since this time last week.

With an uptick in cases in Alexandria, the city said it’s likely that more locals could be identified as a close contact of someone with COVID-19. The city recommends the following measures if that happens.

For fully vaccinated residents:

  • There is no need to quarantine
  • Wear a mask when you are around other people
  • Get tested 3-5 days after exposure
  • Monitor for symptoms for 14 days

If unvaccinated:

  • Quarantine for 14 days
  • Wear a mask when you are around other people
  • Get tested immediately and then again in 7-10 days
  • Monitor for symptoms for 14 days

The city also issued new guidance for those traveling internationally.

If fully vaccinated:

  • Get tested 3-5 days after you travel
  • There is no need to quarantine
  • Watch for symptoms of COVID-19 for 14 days after returning from travel

If unvaccinated:

  • Get tested 3-5 days after you travel
  • Quarantine for 7 days with a test, 10 days without a test
  • Watch for symptoms of COVID-19 for 14 days after returning from travel

But while the city is, in some ways, returning to precautions from last year, upcoming outdoor events that will bring thousands to the city are still proceeding as planned.

“The City of Alexandria is continuing to support CDC guidance that encourages outdoor gatherings over indoor activities and urges everyone to get vaccinated to keep themselves, their families and their community safe,” Gilfilllen said.

Also, for those who may have lost their vaccination card, the city said there are resources to get it replaced in case you need to be able to prove vaccination status.

“If you would like to replace your old vaccination card with an updated card from the CDC, or if you have since lost your vaccination card, please submit your information through an online form or call the Alexandria COVID-19 Hotline at 703.746.4988,” the city said. “Please note that the Alexandria Health Department (AHD) will process these requests on a first-come, first-served basis and may require up to three weeks to complete a request. Additionally, AHD is only able to provide replacement CDC cards to individuals who received their vaccinations during AHD clinics. If you received your vaccine from another provider and need a record of your vaccination, please visit vaccinate.virginia.gov.”

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