Alexandria, VA

A second case of COVID-19 has been confirmed in Alexandria.

The news comes a day after the city declared a local emergency, and two days after Alexandria City Public Schools announced schools were closing until mid-April.

In a press release, the city says the second person to test positive had attended a conference in D.C. on Feb. 25 and “come in close contact with an individual later confirmed to have COVID-19.” The resident then travelled internationally, began to feel unwell, and returned home to start self-quarantining on March 6.

More from a press release:

The Alexandria Health Department (AHD) has reported a second presumptive positive case of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Alexandria. The results are considered presumptive, pending confirmation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The second case is an Alexandria resident who attended a conference in Washington, D.C. on February 25 and came in close contact with an individual later confirmed to have COVID-19. The Alexandria resident immediately departed for international travel, and began to feel unwell during the trip. As a result, the resident self-quarantined at home immediately upon return to Alexandria on March 6, and received regular monitoring from AHD. The resident was evaluated, tested and released from Inova Alexandria Hospital and is doing well at home. They will remain under self-isolation and be monitored by AHD until it is safe for them to return to their normal activities.

Individuals who came in close contact with the confirmed case at the February 25 conference have already been contacted by health officials. AHD is working closely with the Virginia Department of Health to identify and contact any additional people who may have come in close contact with this case. Those identified as close contacts will be asked to self-quarantine and actively monitor for fever and respiratory symptoms. If they start experiencing symptoms, they will immediately undergo testing.

The risk to the general Alexandria public remains low, because there have been no cases of COVID-19 in Alexandria other than the two related to other known cases. If you are not connected to a known case and are experiencing fever, cough, or shortness of breath, call your health care provider for an evaluation. AHD has provided guidance and recommendations on COVID-19 screening and testing to all Alexandria physicians.

A number of events and activities around Alexandria have been cancelled or postponed, according to an email sent by the city on Saturday.

Activities and programs produced by the Department of Recreation, Parks & Cultural Activities are cancelled through March 21; Office of Historic Alexandria through March 22; and Alexandria Library through March 31. These changes will be re-evaluated on a rolling basis; see each department website for details. City recreation centers, library branches, art centers and museums remain open on normal operating schedules. For a list of individual meeting schedules and cancellations, visit alexandriava.gov/Calendar.

The email also details how residents can protect themselves against the virus and the deadly disease it causes:

The most important ways to protect against COVID-19 are the easiest:

  • Wash your hands often by rubbing them together with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Stay home when you are sick. Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cough and sneeze into your elbow, not your hand. Alternatively, cough or sneeze into a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash, and wash your hands.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Photo by Fusion Medical Animation on Unsplash

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Businesses, nonprofits and hotels around the city are feeling the initial effects of COVID-19.

Many businesses are offering contact-less service, delivering goods from door-to-door, and providing workouts and other services online for customers who would otherwise have to venture from home.

At fibre space (1319 Prince Street) in Old Town, owner Danielle Romanetti has seen a 50% hit to her sales volume over the last several days. She says that because some office-type businesses are choosing to allow employees to work from home, there is extra pressure on retailers and restaurants to do the same, but unlike many government agencies and service/office-related businesses, restaurants and retail can not function with closed doors.

“We always take phone orders and are also happy to bring your order out to your car, if you don’t want to come in,” Romanetti said. “We have hand sanitizer available and also frequently disinfect our cash register area and credit card machines. We have two bathrooms open to you to use to wash your hands. We will ship or do curbside delivery for anyone who wants to use those options.

“Be aware that this virus is hitting our small business community particularly hard,” she said. “I appreciate all of you who are finding ways to support your locally owned businesses right now.”

The first Alexandria resident to test presumptive positive for the disease was announced on Wednesday night. The previous day, many local business owners watched a web conference with the city’s health department and the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce. On Friday, the city public school system announced that it will be closing starting on Monday until the end of spring break on April 14, meaning less free time during the day for thousands of parents.

Nonprofits like Carpenter’s Shelter, which provides temporary housing and food for the homeless, will also be affected, said Heather Peeler, CEO of ACT for Alexandria.

“Organizations like Carpenter’s Shelter are wholly dependent on volunteers to deliver a lot of the services to the homeless community,” Peeler said. “Without volunteers, a lot of the support they offer is not going to be available, and if there is a quarantine situation in a shelter, it’s going to be even more difficult to serve other homeless clients in the city.”

As previously reported, Bill Blackburn, co-owner of the Homegrown Restaurant Group, said that he and his staff of 150 are “ramping up” sanitation practices and will deliver food to customers contact-free at the door.

“We share the concerns with the community, and this is something we are not taking lightly,” Blackburn said.

The Birchmere announced Friday that it is canceling all of its upcoming shows from March 20-29, and that refunds are available for upcoming shows.

UPDATE: Dear Birchmere Friends,We've been following the events of this week very closely. After our shows with The…

Posted by The Birchmere on Friday, March 13, 2020

Del Ray yoga studio Mind The Mat (2214 Mount Vernon Avenue) is now offering classes online, and The Dog Park (705 King Street) is encouraging customers to order online or pay over the phone to minimize contact.

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Some students and staff at five Alexandria City Public Schools have been advised to stay home and self-monitor for signs of COVID-19, and the school system is working out the logistics of shutting down completely.

Superintendent Gregory Hutchings, Jr. discussed the school system’s response to the coronavirus outbreak in a web conference on Wednesday.

As of yet, no one in the school system has tested positive for the coronavirus, but Hutchings said that an undisclosed number of students and personnel have been advised to stay home from the T.C. Williams Minnie Howard campus, Charles Barrett Elementary School, Ferdinand T. Day Elementary School, Cora Kelly School and Jefferson Houston PreK-8 IB School.

“We do not have anyone at this moment that has tested positive for coronavirus in Alexandria City Public Schools,” Hutchings said. “This is a situation that continues to evolve, and we’re in constant communication with the health department.”

The city reported its first presumptive positive case of coronavirus on Wednesday night. Nearby, the coronavirus has prompted Loudoun County Schools to close from March 12-20. Students in Alexandria are currently being provided with disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer, and school buses are being disinfected twice a day, according to Hutchings.

Hutchings said that the school system is working on a continuity plan and what shutting down the school system would entail. That includes how a meal program for students on free and reduced lunches would be conducted.

“This situation is not going to be over tomorrow, this is going to be a long haul,” he said. “This is going to require an indefinite amount of time to really resolve and we are not in a situation where we have been recommended or required to close our schools and to move into an online distance learning kind of service.”

Alexandria Mayor Justin Wilson tweeted Thursday morning that city administrators are making “decisions without precedent.”

In case the school system does shut down, Hutchings said it would provide some households with computers and information on discounting their monthly internet service. He added, however, that in the event of a shutdown, students would not be primarily learning online.

“We do not want our kids on a screen all day doing instructional work,” Hutchings said. “If we were put into a situation where we had to close our schools, we still want our students to have an educational experience outside of the classroom. That is going to require us to provide our families with hard copies of learning activities.”

Hutchings added, “And these are learning activities and not lessons, because this is not new information that we’re going to expect someone in the household to teach our young people if we happen to close our schools, but it is more so enrichment activities. It is extension activities of work that they’ve already been exposed to in their classrooms, as well as different, engaging opportunities for them just to keep their learning experience viable and engaged.”

Looking ahead, spring break in Alexandria is April 6-13, and Hutchings said there are no plans, so far, to push back graduation in June for T.C. Williams High School seniors.

Photo via T.C. Williams Minnie Howard Campus/Facebook

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Inova hospitals, including the one in Alexandria, announced today that it is implementing new restrictions on visitation to try to combat the spread of the coronavirus, also known as COVID-19.

According to a social media post, effective today (Thursday):

  • Visiting hours are restricted to two times per day: 10 a.m. to noon, and 6 to 8 p.m.
  • Visitation is limited to two visitors per patient at any given time.
  • Visitors under the age of 18 are strongly discouraged from entering our facilities.
  • Visitors entering an Inova facility will undergo a verbal screening. Individuals answering “yes” to any screening questions will be asked to delay their visit until they are well.
  • Visitation will not be allowed for suspected or confirmed patients with COVID-19 or those with active respiratory illness.

The move comes hours after an Alexandria resident tested positive for coronavirus. The restrictions on visitation are part of a broader plan enacted by Inova to handle the outbreak.

All patients are screened at registration and check-in, or by phone prior to entry into the facility, to keep the virus from spreading from patient to patient. The hospital said that all potential COVID-19 patients are given face masks and placed into isolation immediately, with treatment being brought in to them. Equipment used to care for the patients is not shared with any other patients.

“Our team members treat respiratory viruses and infectious diseases every day while keeping our patients, visitors and themselves safe,” the hospital said on its website.

The hospital has continued to release new updates on its website.

Photo via Inova Alexandria Hospital/Facebook

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Morning Notes

Senior Communities Taking Extra Precautions — “In Alexandria specifically, we are screening visitors as they come in the door. We’re checking temperatures, [and] doing questionnaire work.” [WAMU]

NOVA Shifts to Remote Learning — “With growing concerns about the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19, Northern Virginia Community College, NOVA, is shifting to remote learning for all students beginning March 18. All classes will be cancelled March 16-17 to allow for the transition, according to a statement from the school.” [InsideNova]

Lost Boy Cider Posts Covid-19 Protocol — The microbrewery posted on social media a number of measures it’s taking to protect customers from the coronavirus, including a “Fresh air intake system [not recirculating],” and the assurance that all surfaces are being cleaned with anti-viral agents per shift. [Instagram]

Senior Services of Alexandria Gala Postponed — “SSA’s top concern in all things is the health and well-being of Alexandria’s older adults and those who support them. We feel that any risk, no matter how small, is not worth the potential consequences given the populations we serve.” [Zebra]

Chamber Extends 40 Under 40 Deadline — The annual program recognizes 40 outstanding leaders and innovators under the age of 40 living or working in the city, and the nomination deadline has been extended from March 13 to March 20, 2020. [Chamber of Commerce]

Port City Brewery in Running For USA Today’s Top 10 — “We have been nominated by @USATODAY for #BestBreweryTour on the @10best list! Help us secure our spot and be named one of the 10 Best Brewery Tours in the USA! Voting ends March 17!!” [Twitter]

Alexandria Students Awarded By C-SPAN — “Amal Sharif, Alex Conkey and Ben Janusz, students at T.C. Williams High School are honorable mention winners and will receive $250 for the documentary, ‘Which Side of the Story Will You Be On?’ about asylum seekers. Andrew Caslow, a student at Episcopal High School, is an honorable mention winner and will receive $250 for the documentary, ‘America in the Age of Artificial Intelligence.'” [Zebra]

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An Alexandria resident has tested “presumptive positive” for the COVID-19 coronavirus, the Health Department announced on Wednesday night.

In a late-night press release, the city said that the resident tested positive after being in close contact with an infected Washington, D.C. resident who spent time at the Immanuel Chapel of the Virginia Theological Seminary. The city said that worshipers and visitors to the chapel between Feb. 26 and March 4 should monitor themselves for symptoms.

“The Alexandria Health Department has now confirmed the first presumptive positive COVID-19 test in our City,” Mayor Justin Wilson wrote on Facebook. “The patient is doing well and isolated at home.”

The full press release from the city is below.

On March 11, 2020, the Alexandria Health Department (AHD) announced that an Alexandria resident has tested “presumptive positive” for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The patient is currently doing well and is isolated at home.

“There have been cases of COVID-19 in most states and across the National Capital Region,” said AHD Director Dr. Stephen A. Haering. “The Alexandria Health Department and the City of Alexandria have been preparing for this. COVID-19 is an evolving situation, and we will continue to share information as it becomes available. Based on our current investigation, the general Alexandria community is still at low risk for COVID-19.”

Connection to Previous Case

On March 10, AHD was notified that a resident of Washington, D.C. associated with Christ Church in Georgetown, who now has a confirmed case of COVID-19, spent time at the Immanuel Chapel of the Virginia Theological Seminary (3737 Seminary Rd.). AHD’s investigation identified and called individuals who had close contact with the Washington, D.C. resident, to advise them to self-quarantine at home. One of those close contacts was the Alexandria resident who tested presumptive positive today. AHD was notified of the test earlier tonight. “Presumptive positive” means the test conducted by the state Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services in Richmond was positive and is pending confirmation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Self-Monitoring for Visitors to Immanuel Chapel

If you visited the Immanuel Chapel between February 26 and March 4 and were not contacted directly by AHD and asked to self-quarantine, you may have been exposed to the virus but are considered by the CDC to be at low risk. AHD recommends that anyone who visited the Immanuel Chapel on those dates self-monitor for symptoms for 14 days from their last visit.

Self-monitoring includes checking body temperature twice a day and monitoring for symptoms of cough, difficulty breathing, shortness of breath or temperature higher than 100.4 F. If you were potentially exposed at Immanuel Chapel and have any of these symptoms, or if you develop them within 14 days of the visit, call your primary care physician. If you develop these symptoms, you should also self-isolate and limit contact with others. If you visited Immanuel Chapel during the above dates but do not have the above symptoms, you do not need to call your physician or be tested for COVID-19.

About the COVID-19 Coronavirus

The coronavirus that causes COVID-19 can cause mild to more severe respiratory illness, and most patients who have had COVID-19 so far have recovered on their own. In a small proportion of patients, COVID-19 can cause severe illness, and even death, particularly among those who are older or who have chronic medical conditions. Symptoms include fever, cough and difficulty breathing. Symptoms appear within 14 days of being exposed to an infectious person. COVID-19 spreads primarily through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

How to Protect Yourself and Those Around You

The entire Alexandria community should stay updated and informed about COVID-19. Everyone can help prevent the spread of respiratory illness with these everyday actions:

  • Wash your hands often by rubbing them together with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If you can’t wash your hands, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

For More Information

For more information about the Alexandria Health Department’s response to COVID-19 and additional steps you can take to protect yourself and those around you, visit alexandriava.gov/Coronavirus. For questions about COVID-19, call the Alexandria COVID-19 Information Line at 703.746.4988, weekdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Photos via American Guild of Organists/Facebook and Virginia Theological Seminary/Facebook

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The coronavirus is coming to Alexandria, if it’s not here already, and the Alexandria Health Department is asking residents to wash their hands and to be mindful as the city prepares to keep its services running with fewer staff.

“We know we’re going to get it here. It’s just a matter of time when we get it here,” Alexandria Health Department Director Dr. Stephen Haering told city council on Tuesday night.

“I think everybody needs to… practice new hand hygiene instead of shaking hands,” Haering added. “Some other gesture is one way to keep our hands clean.”

The city announced last night that a person who tested positive for the coronavirus recently spent time in a chapel at Virginia Theological Seminary.

“The majority of the people that would have been in the chapel are just being advised to self-monitor for fever, cough, shortness of breath,” Haering said.

City Manager Mark Jinks said Alexandria has banned city-related overnight travel and is asking residents to do their business with city hall over the phone or computer.

“We don’t need our folks exposed and have them expose our employees when they come back,” he said. “We’re working through how to basically manage the city government, keep it open and keep its services going. But we figure we’re probably going to have to do so with with with less staff, and less staff actually front and center here on a day-to-day basis.”

“It’s in everybody’s interest that we have basically less face-to-face interaction,” Jinks added.

Haering conducted a web conference with the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday morning, and said that the city is working to slow the spread of the virus until there is a vaccine.

“We know that won’t happen… before December, in terms of a vaccine, and more likely next spring,” Haering said. “Our goal is really to mitigate the impact that this will have on our community throughout the United States. So that way, we can protect those most at risk.”

Bill Blackburn of the Homegrown Restaurant Group employs more than 150 people and participated in the web conference. He said that his businesses, which include Pork Barrel BBQ and Holy Cow Del Ray, have not yet been impacted.

“We share the concerns with the community, and this is something we are not taking lightly,” Blackburn said. “We are ramping up our sanitation practices, which includes increased handwashing and glove use for employees, and a contact surface cleaning program with commonly shared surfaces — door knobs, handles, touch screens, counters and other commonly touched surfaces and areas.”

“We also are explicitly reminding our employees if they are showing symptoms that they are not to come to work,” Blackburn added. “If they do have an employee that contracts the virus, we will financially compensate that individual until they are cleared to come to work.”

Fire Chief Corey Smedley conducted a department-wide situational awareness conference call with staff on coronavirus on Tuesday evening.

“We have policies and procedures on how many consecutive hours personnel can work,” Smedley said. “We have policies and procedures for call-backs in the event that staffing levels go below where they should be. We can alter our normal response patterns based on what the parameters that we’re dealing with. So, there are many options for us to ensure that we have the adequate staffing, we’re meeting the community’s expectation, and where we’re concerned and preparing for the quality of life of our first responders.”

The city will conduct an online virtual information session on Thursday from 8-9 p.m.

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Morning Notes

School System Gives Parents Update on Coronavirus — “We are finalizing our operational and instructional plan should we need to close for any length of time… Anyone with a fever should stay home from school for at least 24 hours after the fever has gone without the use of medication. Individuals who need medical care should contact their primary care physician. Anyone who has come into contact with anyone confirmed with coronavirus should contact the Alexandria Health Department. Potentially impacted schools will be thoroughly cleaned overnight.” [ACPS]  

CVS to Waive Prescription Delivery Fees — “CVS Health announced Monday that beginning immediately, the drugstore chain will ‘waive charges for home delivery of prescription medication,’ including locations in Alexandria… With the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention encouraging people at higher risk for COVID-19 complications to stay at home as much as possible, this is a convenient option to avoid coming to the pharmacy for refills of prescriptions.” [Patch]

Beyer to Self-Quarantine After Exposure — “As coronavirus continues its rapid spread, Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) is among those self-quarantining after coming into contact with someone who had the disease. Beyer announced Tuesday night that he recently dined with a friend in D.C. who later tested positive for COVID-19.” [ARLnow]

Beyer Gains a GOP Challenger — “On Friday, Mark Ellmore officially filed to seek the Republican nomination for Congress from Virginia’s Eighth District in 2020…. It is currently represented in Congress by Democratic Rep. Don Beyer.” [Falls Church News-Press]

NOVA Teen Book Fest This Weekend Cancelled — “Our priority, as a festival, has been to create a transformative, positive and safe environment for all of our participants. With the recent spread of COVID-19 to the Northern Virginia, Maryland and DC Metro areas, we are unable to ensure that all of our authors, volunteers, exhibitors, staff and attendees will be safe at the festival this weekend.” [NOVA Teen Book Festival]

D.C.-Area Coronavirus Cases Rise — “Six new coronavirus cases were announced in Maryland and Virginia on Tuesday, and officials said several universities in the region will temporarily halt in-person classes in an effort to stop the virus from spreading. Twenty-two coronavirus cases have now been reported in the region.” [Washington Post]

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A person who tested positive for the coronavirus spent time in a chapel at Virginia Theological Seminary, the City of Alexandria announced Tuesday night.

In a press release, the city said that worshipers and visitors to Immanuel Chapel between Feb. 26 and March 4 should monitor themselves for symptoms.

Separately, ALXnow has learned that Alexandria firefighters held an internal conference call at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday “to provide the department with information for situational awareness regarding coronavirus.” First responders received at least one call earlier in the day for a person with a fever who had been in contact with someone who had the virus.

The full press release from the city is below.

On March 10, 2020, the Alexandria Health Department was notified that a resident of Washington, D.C., who now has a confirmed case of the COVID-19 coronavirus spent time at the Immanuel Chapel of the Virginia Theological Seminary (3737 Seminary Rd.). The Alexandria Health Department’s investigation and consultation with the Virginia Department of Health have determined that all congregants and visitors to the Immanuel Chapel between February 26 and March 4 may have been exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19. While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) consider this type of exposure to be low risk, the Alexandria Health Department recommends that anyone who visited the Immanuel Chapel on those dates monitor themselves for symptoms for 14 days from their last visit.

Self-monitoring includes checking body temperature twice a day and monitoring for symptoms of cough, difficulty breathing, shortness of breath or temperature higher than 100.4 F. Any individual who was potentially exposed at Immanuel Chapel and has any of these symptoms, or develops them within 14 days of visiting, should notify the Alexandria Health Department by phone at 703.746.4988, weekdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. If they develop these symptoms, they should also self-isolate and limit contact with others.

Individuals who visited Immanuel Chapel during the above dates but do not have the above symptoms do not need to call. The Alexandria Health Department is identifying and contacting individuals who are at higher risk to provide further guidance.

The entire Alexandria community should stay updated and informed about COVID-19. Everyone can help prevent the spread of respiratory illness with these everyday actions:

  • Wash your hands often by rubbing them together with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If you can’t wash your hands, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

For more information about the Alexandria Health Department’s response to COVID-19 and additional steps you can take to protect yourself and those around you, visit alexandriava.gov/Coronavirus.

Photo via Virginia Theological Seminary/Facebook

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With the first confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the D.C. area, Alexandria’s DASH transit agency says it will be taking extra precautions.

In a press release Friday afternoon, DASH said it is “increasing facility and vehicle cleaning with a special focus on critical touchpoints such as door handles, handrails and other surfaces.” It is also encouraging passengers “to utilize everyday methods to prevent the spread of germs recommended by the CDC and Alexandria’s Health Department.”

More from the press release:

Alexandria Transit Company (DASH) is joining regional transit agencies and local authorities in taking steps to prepare for and prevent the spread of COVID-19 or novel coronavirus. As a public transportation agency responsible for the safety and security of thousands of passengers daily, DASH is increasing measures to maintain a safe and healthy environment for its passengers and personnel.

“We’re a public transit agency, so of course safety is always our top priority. We are taking precautions and preparing in accordance with CDC guidelines to protect both our passengers and our personnel,” said Stephanie Salzone, DASH safety and security manager.

DASH is increasing facility and vehicle cleaning with a special focus on critical touchpoints such as door handles, handrails and other surfaces. These cleanings will incorporate disinfection procedures indicated to be effective against COVID-19. These measures apply to all DASH buses and King Street Trolleys.

In addition to these efforts, DASH encourages all passengers to utilize everyday methods to prevent the spread of germs recommended by the CDC and Alexandria’s Health Department. These include frequently and effectively washing hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Be sure to follow the CDC’s guidelines for proper handwashing.

The public is also encouraged to cover any coughing or sneezing with a tissue or sleeve. Used tissues should be immediately discarded in an appropriate garbage receptacle. Hands should be washed immediately after coughing or sneezing.

Finally, anyone experiencing fever, coughing, sneezing and shortness of breath is encouraged to stay home and avoid outside contact whenever possible.

According to the CDC, general risk among the American public outside of areas with confirmed cases of COVID-19 is low. Of the 164 of coronavirus across 19 states, none have been reported in Virginia or the district. As of March 5, three individuals in Maryland have tested positive for the virus and Governor Hogan has declared a state of emergency.

The City of Alexandria, the Alexandria Health Department, Inova Health System, and the Alexandria City Public Schools will host an online virtual information session on Thursday, March 12, from 8 to 9 p.m., to provide information and answer questions about the COVID-19 coronavirus. The session will also address how government agencies, businesses and residents can prepare. A recording of the session will be available after the session end

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Morning Notes

Biden Wins Virginia — “Virginia voters have overwhelmingly given former Vice President Joe Biden a sizable win over Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in Tuesday’s primary election. According to unofficial state election returns, Biden has been called the winner of the state with 53.3 percent of what was a record primary turnout, and will capture the largest share of its 99 delegates.” [Patch, Washington Post]

City Holding Coronavirus Info Session — “The City of Alexandria, the Alexandria Health Department, Inova Health System, and the Alexandria City Public Schools will hold an online virtual information session on Thursday, March 12, from 8 to 9 p.m., to provide information and answer questions about the COVID-19 coronavirus. The session will be accessible at alexandriava.gov/Health.” [City of Alexandria, Alexandria Living]

North Old Town Quickly Developing — “Old Town North has been witnessing metamorphic change evolving before our eyes over the last two decades. Residential and mixed-use developments, including rental apartments, townhouses, condos, and retail spaces scattered throughout. Among notable additions are the Harris Teeter at The Kingsley, the Gables Old Town North with apartments, restaurants and retail built on the old Giant/ABC Store site. Redevelopment of the abandoned Bus Barn site has just commenced.” [Zebra]

Nearby: Redevelopment Floated for Shopping Center — “One developer is proposing putting 900 apartments where the Belle View Shopping Center — recently ravaged by a fire — now stands.” [Alexandria Living, Covering the Corridor]

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Morning Notes

Schools Preparing for Coronavirus — “ACPS has partnered with the Alexandria City Health Department and local first responders to form a COVID-19 Task Force Planning Committee to work closely to monitor this evolving situation. We plan to provide updates as we progress with this planning and work.” [ACPS]

Reminder: Primary Day is Tomorrow — “On Tuesday, March 3, there will be a Democratic Party presidential primary election in the City of Alexandria. Polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.” [City of Alexandria]

Business Robbed in Old Town on Sunday — “The Alexandria Police Department is investigating a commercial robbery in the 800 block of South Washington Street. Expect police activity in the area.” [Twitter]

Kaine Campaigning for Biden Today — Sen. Tim Kaine is scheduled to help Joe Biden’s re-energized presidential campaign phone bank at its Eisenhower Avenue office this afternoon.

Resident: Parking Is Too Sparse in Old Town — “Personally, I have consciously put off or cancelled Old Town plans several times because the parking crisis made visiting a business or meeting up with friends impossible with my own vehicle. I believe our city planners should consider building a public parking deck or similar facility somewhere in the neighborhood in order to alleviate the impossibly high demand on our limited parking situation.” [Gazette Packet]

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