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Alexandria’s Covid community level goes from ‘Low’ to ‘Medium’

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has downgraded Alexandria’s Covid community level from “Low” to “Medium,” according to the Alexandria Health Department.

There were 71 new cases of COVID-19 in Alexandria reported today (Wednesday, April 20), which is the most new cases in a single day since February 11, when 98 new cases were reported, according to the Virginia Department of Health. There have been 186 deaths and 31,020 total cases of the virus reported in Alexandria.

Alexandria now joins Arlington and Falls Church with the elevated level, while Fairfax and Loudoun Counties continue to have “Low” community levels.

Mayor Justin Wilson keeps a face mask handy just in case, and continues to wear them on airplanes and trains.

“It’s certainly not a surprise to see case numbers going back up given what we have seen around the world,” Wilson told ALXnow. “Unfortunately, we know this cycle well. The good news is that we know what to do. If you are sick, you should stay home and isolate. Masks are still a good idea indoors, particularly if you are vulnerable due to medical condition or age or you come in contact with vulnerable people frequently. Residents should make sure they have access to home test kits so that they can quickly learn their condition. Vaccinations, boosters and second boosters for those eligible are widely available and encouraged.”

Earlier this month, the city issued a spring break travel warning.

Daily coronavirus counts over the past 13 weeks in Alexandria. (Via VDH)

Alexandria’s community level went to “Low” in February — a month that saw a steep drop in the number of new cases. There were 12,822 cases in January, 1,227 cases in February and 593 cases in March. There have been 852 cases reported so far in April, and the city is on track to exceed the number of new cases in February.

“Everyone should stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines, get tested if they have symptoms, improve ventilation in indoor spaces, and follow guidelines for isolation or quarantine if sick or exposed,” the Alexandria Health Department advised. “Individuals may choose to wear a mask at any time. Specific settings, such as health care and congregate facilities, may require masks.”

According to AHD:

In areas with a medium community level, the CDC recommends that everyone stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines, improve ventilation in indoor spaces, and follow guidelines for isolation or quarantine if sick or exposed. Individuals who are immunocompromised, at high risk for severe illness, or who spend time with high risk individuals, may want to wear a mask around others.

Those individuals should also speak to their health care provider about whether they are a candidate for COVID-19 treatments if they become sick. Make a plan in advance for how you would get tested if needed. Individuals can request free tests at covidtests.gov, purchase a test at a pharmacy and submit a claim to their insurance, or pick up a free COVID-19 home test at some Alexandria Library locations. Find PCR test availability online at alexandriava.gov/COVIDtesting.

The city remains in a state of emergency until June 30.

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