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Traveling? Get tested before and after Thanksgiving, says Alexandria Health Department

The Alexandria Health Department is advising residents to take COVID-19 tests before and after traveling this Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

“Everyone has a role in keeping COVID-19 out of holiday gatherings,” AHD said in a release, and advised unvaccinated residents to skip traveling altogether. “If travel is unavoidable, get a COVID-19 test 1-3 days before and 3-5 days after travel. Those who are fully vaccinated should still monitor themselves for symptoms after travel or large gatherings and get tested if needed.”

AHD continued, “During gatherings, take steps to increase ventilation and consider using masks or maintaining physical distance if unvaccinated individuals or people at high risk of severe illness are attending.”

Alexandria has experienced “Substantial” COVID-19 transmission since the week beginning October 17, before which the city saw “High” transmission for two months. The city saw “Low” and “Moderate” transmission levels from May to June this year — the lowest the city has experienced since the beginning of the pandemic.

There are still 37,404 unvaccinated residents, and AHD says they account for a majority of new cases.

COVID-19 in Alexandria

As of today (Wednesday, November 24), cases stands at 14,728, up 157 cases since this time last week, according to the the Virginia Department of Health. There have also been two more deaths since last week, bringing the death toll to 154.

The seven-day average of new COVID-19 cases for every 100,000 people is 11.3, up from 9.5 last week. That’s still much lower than in mid-September, when the seven-day average was 36 cases for every 100,000 residents.

The seven-day average of positive COVID-19 tests is also up — now 3.2% versus 2.9% last week.

There have also been 62 cases reported within Alexandria City Public Schools in November. There were 77 cases reported in ACPS in October.

Vaccine update

About 38% of Alexandria’s 5-17-year-olds (6,735 people) have been fully vaccinated, according to VDH.

Additionally, 72% (94,456) of residents older than 18 are fully vaccinated, as are about 84% (16,195) of seniors. Additionally, 22,945 residents have gotten booster shots.

The City recently announced a number of upcoming vaccine clinics for residents, including children ages 5-11. Booster shots are also available for residents 18 and older.

Find vaccine providers in Alexandria here. If you feel sick, get tested.

Via CDC/Unsplash

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