It was a cold and news-filled week in Alexandria.
It all started with the report of two public safety incidents over the weekend — a serious car crash in Old Town and another shooting in the West End.
On the coronavirus front, Alexandria is now at 104 fatalities and 9,342 cases. Mayor Justin Wilson said that there is a vaccine shortage in the city, as the waitlist to get inoculated is at more than 25,000. The Alexandria Health Department reported to the Alexandria Times that about 2,000 doses are being distributed weekly.
Our top story this week was on the body that was found last Friday in the water at Holmes Run Trail by Cameron Run Regional Park. In an update, police told us that the death was not suspicious in nature.
Additionally, 630 people responded to our weekly poll. This week, we asked about the proposed Heritage development in Old Town. About 67% of respondents don’t think it’s appropriate for the neighborhood and 33% don’t have a problem with it.
In case you missed it, here are some important stories:
- New Flood Warning Signs Installed in Del Ray
- Initial and Continued Unemployment Claims Go Down in Alexandria
- Despite COVID-19 Contractor Impacts, Potomac Yard Metro Station on Track for Spring 2022 Opening
- City Council Accepts Plan to Double Stormwater Utility Fees
- Victory Center’s Condominium Redevelopment Headed to Planning Commission
Here are our top stories of the week:
- BREAKING: Body Found in the Water Near Cameron Station
- Photos: The Regal Potomac Yard Movie Theater is Being Torn Down
- Citizens Group Vilifies Heritage High Rise Project in Old Town
- Atlantis Pizzeria and Family Restaurant Closing on Jan. 24
- Alexandrians with Joe Biden Yard Signs Get Anonymous Letters Saying Biden is a Pedophile
- Police: Shots Fired in West End, Car Crash in Old Town Over Weekend
- Snow in Alexandria: Winter Weather Advisory in Effect Until 9 A.M. Tuesday
- BREAKING: Woman Gets Arm Amputated, Police Investigate if She Was Thrown From Car in West End
- Local Business in Hot Water with City Architects After Unauthorized Paint Job
- Alexandria Mayor Formally Requests Dominion Energy Step Their Game Up
- JUST IN: ACPS Announces No In-Person Schooling For Week of Feb. 1
Have a safe weekend!
There are few details released so far on the man’s body discovered in Holmes Run last week near Cameron Station, but police said the death does not appear suspicious and foul play is not currently suspected.
“[The incident] does not appear to be suspicious,” said Alexandria Police Department Senior Public Information Officer Amanda Paga.
Paga said the police are still waiting on the results from the chief medical examiner for a final report on the cause of death and other information about the person.
Mayor Justin Wilson tweeted that there was no known danger to the community.
We do not suspect foul play in this matter however, we are waiting for the Medical Examiner to make that final determination. As always we are out patrolling and doing everything we can to ensure the residents (and visitors) of Alexandria are safe.
— Alexandria Police (@AlexandriaVAPD) January 27, 2021
A drive-through only testing event is planned today at Ben Brenman Park (4800 Brenman Park Drive) from noon to 2 p.m.
The event is intended for those who live and work in the immediate area, including Cameron Station and other nearby neighborhoods. Walk-up testing will not be available at the event and limited parking is available.
“It is not required, but please bring your ID and insurance card if you have those,” the city said in a press release. “The event will end at the stated time, or when test kits run out. You will receive take-home instructions and a call with results within 3-5 days.”
The event is intended primarily for people without insurance. Those who have insurance or are seeking testing for travel are asked to utilize other sources.
Today from noon until 2 PM, the City will be hosting another free COVID testing event in partnership with @NeighborhoodHth
Today’s event is a drive-through event at Ben Brenman Park (4800 Brenman Park Drive).https://t.co/0uXWBEr7iu
— Justin Wilson (@justindotnet) December 29, 2020
Image via Google Maps
Beyer, National Capital Region’s House Delegation Write Letter to White House Over COVID Outbreak — “This is no time for publicity stunts that put people at risk, or for playing down the seriousness of this pandemic. The American people will never trust the Administration to keep them safe if the White House cannot protect its own staff.” [Twitter]
City Offices Closed for Indigenous Peoples Day on Oct. 12 — “City government offices will be closed October 12 in observance of Indigenous Peoples’ Day. Trash and recycling will be collected one day later that week, and yard waste will not be collected on October 16.” [Twitter]
Free Online Job Fair on Oct. 15 — “Looking for a job? Attend a free online recruitment event on October 15, 12 – 1 p.m., and learn more about immediate job opportunities with Atlantic Personnel Search. Attendance is free but registration is required.” [Twitter]
Senior Services of Alexandria Local Tours are Back — “We are going virtual starting with the Stabler-Leadbeater “Wicked” Apothecary on Friday, October 30 from 10:30 to 11:30 am. Just in time for Halloween, join us for this special program created just for SSA about some of the more diabolical concoctions created at the Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary.” [Facebook]
New Dog Groomer Opens in Cameron Station — “The salon’s priority is making sure pets are comfortable and healthy without the added frills like pet facials and fancy styling products. Pet owners can choose from different bathing packages, grooming or a la cart services as well as a self-serve option.” [Alexandria Living]
Today’s Weather — “A mainly sunny sky (during the day). High 82F. Winds WSW at 10 to 20 mph. A mostly clear sky (at night). Low 56F. Winds NW at 5 to 10 mph.” [Weather.com]
New Job: Entry Level Arabic Intelligence Analyst — “Leidos Integrated Mission Solutions Group has an immediate opening in Alexandria, VA for an Entry Level Arabic Intelligence Analyst.” [Indeed]
Uncertainty Lingers for Furloughed Alexandrians — “When Joy Phansond was furloughed from her job as sales coordinator at the Holiday Inn in Old Town, the temporary layoff was initially supposed to last until April 5. Then it was extended to May 5. Then it was extended again until June 5.” [Gazette]
Cinema Del Ray Canceled Due to Coronavirus — “Due to COVID-19, we must ensure the safety of our fellow community members by canceling Cinema Del Ray 2020. We greatly appreciate the support Cinema Del Ray has been shown in the past. We will be back next year, better than ever!” [Facebook]
Old Town Spanish Restaurant ‘La Tasca’ Files for Bankruptcy — “In the past two years, La Tasca has closed two locations in Chinatown and Clarendon.” [Washington Business Journal]
Food Trucks Lift Spirits in Cameron Station — “Rothschild started reaching out to various food truck vendors on March 25, and shortly thereafter she landed her first truck to visit the neighborhood, at the corner of Cameron Station Boulevard and Harold Secord Street – barbecue purveyor Smoking Kow. And neighbors were ready for a feast.” [Gazette]
Tenants and Workers United Raises $16K for Arlandria Community — “Many of our members have had their work hours reduced or been laid off completely. For the undocumented community, there is no social safety net: no unemployment benefits and no stimulus check from the federal government.” [actblue.com]
Contest: Alexandria Living Magazine Gives Away $600 in Merchandise — “Along with KH Giving, we can finally announce the winner of this week’s Mission Masks giveaway! Dixie won $600 worth of prizes including $250 in gift cards from Sweet Fire Donna’s, $100 from Chadwicks and $100 from Bastille and more! These gift cards are all purchased from local restaurants as a way to support them.” [Facebook]
Photos: Meal Distribution at William Ramsey Elementary — “Enjoy these photos of ACPS meal distribution at William Ramsey Elementary School. Thank you to volunteer and photographer, Chris Castillo.” [Facebook]
How Funeral Homes and Cemeteries are Coping in Alexandria — “Some immediate families of the deceased elect to have ceremonies recorded or live streamed for extended family and friends who cannot be present. Others are opting to hold a memorial service at a later date, when larger groups may be able to congregate, rather than a funeral with restricted attendees now.” [Alex Times]
‘La Brocante’ and ‘Top It Off’ Open This Weekend in Del Ray — “La Brocante and Top It Off are now both open on the weekends only (including TODAY until 5 p.m.), with social distancing measures in place (extra sanitizing, limits on the number of people in the stores, and face masks).” [Facebook]
‘Pacers Running’ Donates Shoes to ‘Together We Bake’ — “Thank you @runpacers and @on_running for giving running shoes to our TWB family! We’re excited to break in our shoes.” [Facebook]
New Job: Member Marketing Manager — “We are looking for someone passionate and analytical who loves product marketing. The purpose of this role is to help drive many stakeholders across many departments to inspire members to act on our top opportunities. If you love coordinating complex marketing campaigns, then this job is for you.” [Indeed]
There are now 1,224 cases of COVID-19 in Alexandria, an increase of 31 new or probable case since yesterday.
No new deaths have been announced and there have been 30 fatalities due to the virus in the city. Additionally, the city’s Hispanic population leads with positive cases at 533 and four reported deaths.
The most recent fatality was a woman in her 70s, whose death was announced Saturday by the Virginia Department of Health.
There are nearly 400 new or probable cases in the city in the month of May alone. VDH also reported that there are 139 COVID-19-related hospitalizations in Alexandria, and that there have been 86 cases associated with 11 outbreaks in the city, and that 88 of those cases have been health care workers.
Nine of the outbreaks occurred at long-term care facilities, and 15 deaths have occurred at such facilities, although that number has not been updated since the city’s release on May 2. The other outbreaks occurred at a “congregate” setting and an educational setting.
Meanwhile, Alexandria Mayor Justin Wilson and other regional leaders are asking Governor Ralph Northam to stall his phased reopening of the economy in Northern Virginia. It is not clear how many people have recovered from the virus, and an accurate count on the number of cases is difficult to maintain in Alexandria since the highest infection rates are in the city’s poorest areas.
The area of the city with the leading number of cases is in the 22305 ZIP code, although VDH did not provide updated data this morning on case and test counts by ZIP code. As of yesterday, the 22305 ZIP code, which includes the Arlandria, Potomac Yard and Potomac West neighborhoods, had the largest number of reported cases at 360, with an estimated population of 16,095 residents.
Local groups are demanding that Virginia Governor Ralph Northam authorize supplying 10,000 testing kits to the Arlandria area, and providing housing for poor COVID-positive patients living in jam-packed housing.
People under the age of 50 have been getting infected in greater numbers, while there were relatively few new cases for residents above the age of 70. A large percentage of deaths have occurred at long-term care facilities, and there has been one death of a person in their 20s. There have been 13 reported deaths of residents in their 80s.
There are now reportedly 632 females with the virus (with 16 deaths and 65 hospitalizations) and 589 males (with 14 deaths and 74 hospitalizations) who tested positive for COVID-19 in the city. The sex of three cases was not reported.
The age breakdown of deaths and new cases:
- 80+ — 13 Deaths, 50 cases, 19 hospitalizations (Three new cases)
- 70-79 — Eight deaths, 70 cases, 28 hospitalizations (No new cases)
- 60-69 — One death, 106 cases, 21 hospitalizations (Three new cases)
- 50-59 — Seven deaths, 155 cases, 27 hospitalizations (Six new cases)
- 40-49 — Zero deaths, 246 cases, 20 hospitalizations (Eight new cases)
- 30-39 — Zero deaths, 297 cases, 17 hospitalizations (18 new cases)
- 20-29 — One death, 176 cases, four hospitalizations (Five new cases)
- 10-19 — Zero deaths, 74 cases, one hospitalization (No new cases)
- 0-9 — Zero deaths, 49 cases, two hospitalizations (Four new cases)
Statewide, there have been 850 reported deaths, which is an increase of 11 deaths since yesterday, and 823 of those deaths are confirmed to have been COVID-19-related, according to VDH. There are now 25,070 cases (23,889 confirmed, 1,181 probable) and 3,300 hospitalizations (including 22 probable cases). Additionally, 167,758 tests have been administered in Virginia.
Cameron Cafe never really closed, but the little cafe that mostly serves the Cameron Run community is celebrating a ribbon-cutting for its new wine and beer bar.
The Facebook event for the celebration noted that the cafe owner and staff will be at the cafe (4911 Brenman Park Drive) from 5-8 p.m. this afternoon (Monday) to show off the new beer and wine menu. Complimentary hors d’oeuvres will also be served.
Staff at the restaurant said the new wine and beer menu is part of an expansion of the venue that’s been taking place over the last several months. While the cafe didn’t close, staff said they are still planning to host a “grand reopening” next month.
Photo via Cameron Cafe/Facebook
Key Leader Chosen for New VT Campus — “Virginia Tech has found its founding director for the computer science program at its forthcoming Innovation Campus in Alexandria. Sara Hooshangi, a faculty member at George Washington University’s College of Professional Studies since 2010, will join Virginia Tech in January to build the curriculum at the new campus.” [Washington Business Journal]
Va. Tech Flags at Market Square — “Thanks to @AlexandriaVAGov #VirginiaTech flags are flying on Market Square commemorating the one-year anniversary of the #VTInnovationCampus announcement. Snap your photo – they’ll be up all week.” [Twitter]
City Urges Food Bank Donations — “The City of Alexandria urges the public to participate in a regional ‘rolling food collection drive’ to help replenish local food banks before the holiday season. The ‘Food2Feed’ collection drive, sponsored by Howard University and WHUR 96.3, will visit Alexandria’s Market Square (301 King St.) on Tuesday, November 19, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.” [City of Alexandria]
Smoke from Generator Causes Fire Scare — “AFD on scene of a reported possible fire at 400 Cameron Station Blvd condo complex. Source of smoke determined to be a malfunctioning generator, most firefighters now leaving the scene.” [Twitter]