Fresh from a bout with Covid that left Mayor Justin Wilson isolating in Spain, Wilson’s first virtual town hall of 2022 launched with a discussion of the current situation with COVID-19.
Alexandria has seen record-high levels of confirmed Covid cases thanks to the highly infections omicron variant. Wilson implored locals to swap out the simple cloth masks for more effective N95 or KN 95 masks.
“We need to up our masking game,” Wilson said. “The simple cloth masks are not going to be sufficient in the face of this highly transmittable variant. We’re encouraging people to get K-95 to prevent spread.”
Wilson said mask-wearing indoors was ubiquitous in Europe, which has helped keep the virus under control. But when asked about a mask mandate, Wilson deferred to the governor’s office, noting that the Dillon Rule makes Alexandria’s authority to enforce that mandate unclear.
“The authority on masking requirements has always been a little murky from the beginning,” Wilson said. “The city was one of the first jurisdictions to adopt a masking ordinance back in 2020. That ordinance was later replicated by the state and applied state-wide. We did not include enforcement in our ordinance, largely as a nod to some of the authority concerns in a Dillon Rule state.”
Wilson said a mask mandate would have to come from state authorities.
“In my view, and I’m not an attorney, but the governor has much clearer authority which is why we preferred those orders to come out of Richmond, and at this point that’s where they need to come,” Wilson said.
Today (Monday), Gov. Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency in Virginia as a result of the spike in COVID-19 cases, which gives hospitals authority to expand bed capacity, but stopped short of issuing a mask mandate or other Covid mitigation measures.
It’s a day of happiness in Alexandria, as more than 900 Alexandria City High School seniors graduated this morning at George Mason University’s EagleBank Arena. Perhaps student speaker Lenhle Vilakati…
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Time flies when you’re having fun! The T.C. Williams High School Class of 1973 will hold its 50th reunion July 21-23, 2023 in Alexandria. All graduates and their adult nears and dears are welcome. Events include a Friday evening icebreaker, Saturday dinner dance, and a Sunday brunch. For more information: tcwilliams73.com, 770.789.3534.
Spring Fling at Rising Sol Yoga School
Join us for a day of FREE hot yoga. Experience our class styles and meet our teachers. Buy a bite at the Bake Sale to benefit The Carpenter’s Shelter, peruse some special vendors, take advantage of in-person only discounts on