BREAKING: First Night Alexandria canceled as COVID cases skyrocket

First Night Alexandria, the city’s New Year’s Eve celebration, has been canceled due to skyrocketing cases of COVID-19.

With testing at an all-time high, a record-setting 316 new cases of COVID-19 was reported in Alexandria today (Thursday, Dec. 23) by the Virginia Department of Health.

This is the second year in a row that the in-person event, which is usually attended by thousands, has been canceled, and refunds will be issued to event ticket-holders. The fireworks are still on for midnight, however, and will last 10 minutes.

“We regret to inform you that ALL FIRST NIGHT ALEXANDRIA SHOWS AND ACTIVITIES HAVE BEEN CANCELLED to prevent the further spread of COVID-19,” First Night Alexandria said on its website. “This follows the Alexandria Health Department’s recommendation and the City of Alexandria’s agreement to cancel activities that encourage crowds to gather in a central location.”

Daily coronavirus counts since the pandemic started in Alexandria in March, 2020. (Via VDH)

First Night Alexandria recommends watching the fireworks from the following vantage points:

  • Canal Center Plaza (Center Canal Plaza)
  • Rivergate Park (2 Montgomery St.)
  • Oronoco Bay Park (100 Madison St.)
  • Founders Park (351 North Union St.)
  • Waterfront Park (1A Prince St.)
  • Windmill Hill Park (501 South Union St.)
  • Ford’s Landing Boardwalk (99 Franklin St.)
  • Jones Point Park (Jones Point Dr.)
  • George Washington Masonic Temple (101 Callahan Dr.)

Case Update

There are now 16,811 cases reported in Alexandria, and the death toll from the virus is 157. The previous single-day record for reported cases was 168 on Jan. 9.

There are 108,834 fully vaccinated residents, which is about 71% of the total population. There have been 37,376 residents who have gotten a booster shot.

COVID-related hospitalizations in the city remain low, however, with none reported today at Inova Alexandria Hospital. There have been seven infected patients treated in the hospital in the past week.