Alexandria’s COVID-19 Community Level goes back to ‘high’

Art On The Avenue in Del Ray, Nov. 12, 2022 (staff photo by James Cullum)

Alexandria’s Covid community-level has gone from “low” to “high” this month, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Low, medium or high Covid community levels are determined by data on hospitalizations and cases, according to the CDC. Each level comes with steps recommended by the federal agency that people and communities can take to protect themselves and others from potentially severe impacts of the virus.

The city is still experiencing hundreds of new Covid cases monthly, but the numbers are trending down, according to data from the Virginia Dept. of Health. The seven-day average of new cases is now 37.1, down slightly from 39.1 reported at the end of December. There have been 628 new cases reported so far in January.

No new deaths have been reported, and the death toll stands at 224.

Regionally, Fairfax, Arlington and Loudoun counties, as well as D.C., have moved from low to medium designations, per the CDC.

New Covid cases this week in Alexandria (via VDH)

When community levels are “high,” the CDC recommends the following:

  • Wear a high-quality mask or respirator
  • If you are at high risk of getting very sick, consider avoiding non-essential indoor activities in public where you could be exposed
  • If you have household or social contact with someone at high risk for getting very sick, consider self-testing to detect infection before contact, and consider wearing a high-quality mask when indoors with them
  • Stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines, including recommended booster doses
  • Maintain ventilation improvements
  • Avoid contact with people who have suspected or confirmed COVID-19
  • Follow recommendations for isolation if you have suspected or confirmed COVID-19
  • Follow the recommendations for what to do if you are exposed to someone with COVID-19

Where to find Covid tests

Residents can get rapid COVID-19 test kits at the city’s libraries, and kits are limited to seven per-person. Covid tests can also be found for kids within Alexandria City Public Schools. A list of testing options is available on the city’s website.

2022 was the worst year for new cases

The redesignation comes after a difficult year for new Covid cases.

There were 28,743 new Covid cases reported last year in Alexandria, comprising 64% of the 44,826 total cases since the pandemic began in March 2020, according to the Virginia Department of Health. There were also 49 deaths in 2022.

This time last year, Alexandria was experiencing the worst month of the pandemic. There were 12,822 new Covid cases reported in January 2022, and the seven-day average of new cases peaked at 337.

In many ways, Alexandria went back to business as usual, with community events returning in full force — despite the number of new cases. In November, tens of thousands of people attended Art On The Avenue in Del Ray, as well as last month’s Scottish Christmas Walk Parade in Old Town.

The Alexandria Health Department’s last Covid-related release to the public was in June 2022, announcing vaccines for infants.

Below are the monthly totals of new cases for 2022.

  • January — 12,822 new cases
  • February — 1,227 new cases
  • March — 593 new cases
  • April — 1,488 new cases
  • May — 2,900 new cases
  • June — 2,357 new cases
  • July — 2,396 new cases
  • August — 1,499 new cases
  • September — 991 new cases
  • October — 526 new cases
  • November — 626 new cases
  • December — 1,318 new cases