There have been 12 more coronavirus-related deaths in Alexandria, bringing the death toll from the virus to 119.

Six of the deaths were residents in their 80s, four were in their 70s and two were in their 60s. Five victims were women and seven were men.

Alexandria’s caseload now stands at 10,342. That’s 146 more cases since this time last week, according to the Virginia Department of Health.

There have also been 509 total hospitalizations in Alexandria since the onset of the pandemic, and the city’s seven-day moving average is now at 22.4, which is down from last Monday’s total of 26.6 cases.

Across Virginia, there have been 8,783 deaths and there are or have been 577,174 cases of the virus. There have also been 5.9 million PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests and the state’s seven-day positivity rate is 7.1% (down from 8.1% this time last week).

Vaccine Update

VDH is now releasing vaccine demographic data for Alexandria, and 20,317 residents have received at least one dose and 13,004 have been fully vaccinated. There are now more than 45,000 city residents on the vaccine waiting list.

White residents far outpace other races in the city for first doses and full vaccinations.

  • White — 6,942 first doses, 3,493 fully vaccinated
  • Black — 1,723 first doses, 1747 fully vaccinated
  • Latino — 1,684 first doses, 809 fully vaccinated
  • Other — 1,416 first doses, 667 fully vaccinated
  • Asian of Pacific Islander — 505 first doses, 234 fully vaccinated
  • Native American — 45 first doses, 13 fully vaccinated

“Some of the disproportionality among people of color compared to white populations may be due to the current vaccination focus on older adults,” reported the Alexandria Health Department. “In addition to  AHD’s equitable vaccine prioritization process, AHD will use this data to reinforce existing engagement efforts, such as partnering with communities of color, to raise awareness about vaccine safety and effectiveness, and how to pre-register and how to obtain COVID-19 vaccination.” Read More

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There have been three more coronavirus-related deaths in Alexandria, and the case count has reached 10,186, according to the Virginia Department of Health.

That’s 149 cases since Monday, continuing a downward trend in cases. Two of the deaths were in their 80s and one was in their 60s. One victim was a woman and two were men.

There have also been 503 total hospitalizations in Alexandria since the onset of the pandemic, and the city’s seven-day moving average is now at 26.6, which is down from last Monday’s total of 37.4 cases.

Across Virginia, there have been 7,486 deaths and there are or have been 565,270 cases of the virus. There have also been 5.7 million PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests and the state’s seven-day positivity rate is 8.1%.

Vaccine Update

As of last Friday, 17,099 residents have received at least one dose and 5,799 residents have been fully vaccinated. More than 35,000 city residents have pre-registered to get the vaccine.

According to the Alexandria Health Department:

Between February 12 and February 18, AHD administered 1,192 first doses and 792 second doses. These numbers do not include vaccines administered by private providers and pharmacies. This week’s inclement weather forced rescheduled events, delayed vaccine shipments, and resulted in lower than expected weekly total of vaccinations. Alexandria continues to receive under 2,000 first doses a week, with about half going to AHD events and half going to private provider partners.

Across Virginia, 1.1 million people have received at least one dose, and 481,287 people have been fully vaccinated, according to VDH.

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Morning Notes

Beyer Wants Federal Employees to Get Vaccine — “Our region has the largest concentration of federal employees. Many qualify as essential workers with local jurisdictions responsible for vaccinations. We’re asking the federal government to vaccinate feds via a separate federalized allocation to speed up vaccinations in the DMV.” [Twitter]

Alexandria Vaccinates 20,000 Residents — “On a hopeful note, Alexandria also hit the milestone this week of more than 20,000 residents vaccinated. AHD and private providers continue to vaccinate and work to schedule the tens of thousands of residents who pre-registered for vaccines.” [City of Alexandria]

45,000 Pre-Registered for COVID-19 Vaccine in Alexandria — “As of this writing, 45,000 residents are pre-registered for the shot in Phase 1b. Because of the limited supply – 2,000 doses per week – the Alexandria Health Department (AHD) has had to prioritize within a group that includes tens of thousands of residents.” [Zebra]

ALIVE! Free Food Distribution on Saturday — “On Sat, Feb 20, 8:30-10:30am, @ALIVE4AlexVA will distribute food in Cora Kelly Elem School parking lot and parking lot B-1 of NOVA-Alexandria Campus (map at alive-inc.org, if college closes due to weather, distribution cancelled).” [Twitter]

Final Touches Being Made to Institute for Defense Analyses at Potomac Yard — “One step closer to moving into our new state-of-the-art facility in the high-tech #PotomacYard community of @AlexandriaVAGov! Windows are being installed as construction continues to progress.” [Twitter]

Today’s Weather — “Mainly cloudy with snow showers around in the morning. Some mixed winter precipitation possible. High around 40F. Winds NNW at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of snow 50%. Snow accumulations less than one inch… Partly cloudy skies (in the evening). Low 24F. Winds NW at 10 to 15 mph.” [Weather.com]

New Job: Termite Inspector/Salesman — “Moxie is seeking experienced/driven sales professionals who can join our team to help us grow our loyal customer base.” [Indeed]

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The number of COVID-19 cases in Alexandria are at 10,037, and the number of deaths is 104.

That’s 293 cases more since this timer last week, according to the Virginia Department of Health.

Across Virginia, there have been 7,037 deaths and there are or have been 553,308 cases of the virus. There have also been 5.6 million PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests and the state’s seven-day positivity rate is 9.1%.

Vaccine Update

There are more than 35,000 city residents on the waiting list to get the vaccine.

According to the city:

Currently, residents ages 65 and over and frontline essential workers are eligible. When contacted by phone, the number will likely show up as 703-746-4988 and people will be called three times; a voicemail will be left if no one answers. Emails will come from [email protected], and may end up in spam folders, so check frequently.

As of last Friday, there have been 11,141 first doses and 2,898 second doses of the vaccine administered by the Alexandria Health Department around the city.

There have been more than 1.6 million doses of the vaccine distributed across Virginia, and 171,077 people have been fully vaccinated, according to VDH.

Demographics

There are or have been 5,063 women (with 50 deaths) and 4,624 men (with 54 deaths) in Alexandria with the virus*. The only age groups that have not experienced a death are children and teenagers.
*One death not reported

  • 80+    — 43 deaths, 250 cases
  • 70-79 — 27 deaths, 328 cases
  • 60-69 — 15 deaths, 753 cases
  • 50-59 — 14 deaths, 1,189 cases
  • 40-49 — Two deaths, 1,699 cases
  • 30-39 — Two deaths, 2,335 cases
  • 20-29 — One death, 2,007 cases
  • 10-19  — Zero deaths, 736 cases
  • 0-9     — Zero deaths, 713 cases

Latino residents have the most infections with 3,460 reported cases (17 deaths), white residents with 2,515 cases (54 deaths), and Black residents with 2,056 cases (26 deaths). There are 454 cases with Asian or Pacific Islander residents (four deaths), 304 cases classified as “other” (two deaths) and 10 native American cases (no deaths).

There have also been 84 outbreaks in the city, including 19 at long term care facilities, 45 in congregate settings, five at health care settings, nine in child care settings, two at a college, two in a K-12 setting and two at a correctional facility. There have been 869 cases associated with the outbreaks. Health care workers also make up 562 of those positive COVID cases, according to VDH.

There have also been 497 total hospitalizations in Alexandria since the onset of the pandemic, and the city’s seven-day moving average is now at 37.4, which is down from last Monday’s total of 42.1 cases.

Testing Update

There have been 116,893 2,618 Polymer Chain Reaction (PCR) tests administered in the city; 6,670 antibody tests and 11,578 antigen tests.

Alexandria’s seven-day positivity rate is now at 8.2%. Below are statistics for neighboring jurisdictions:

  • Arlington County has 12,653 cases, 210 deaths and a 6.2% seven-day positivity rate
  • Fairfax County has 64,950 cases, 849 deaths and a 8.7% seven-day positivity rate
  • Loudoun County has 22,310 cases, 195 deaths and a 9.8% seven-day positivity rate

Need a test? Find where tests are administered here.

Cases By ZIP Code

The areas of the city with the leading number of cases are the 22304, 22305 and 22312 ZIP codes, which include the West End and Arlandria, Potomac Yard and Potomac West neighborhoods.

Some of the areas share jurisdictions between Alexandria and Arlington and Fairfax Counties:

  • 22301 — 508 cases, 10,792 people tested (Estimated population 15,171)
  • 22302 — 1,1119 cases, 19,076 people tested (Estimated population 20,238)
  • 22304 — 3,346 cases, 34,494 people tested (Estimated population 54,003)
  • 22305 — 1,485 cases, 12,534 people tested (Estimated population 16,095)
  • 22311 — 1,630 cases, 14,030 people tested (Estimated population 16,898)
  • 22312 — 2,446 cases, 18,818 people tested (Estimated population 6,901)
  • 22314 — 1,437 cases, 25,967 people tested (Estimated population 47,826)

Photo via CDC/Unsplash

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Even as more age groups get inoculated against the coronavirus, Alexandria’s Health Department director told City Council on Tuesday that the pandemic is far from over.

For one thing, it’s estimated that variant strains of the virus with up to 45% greater transmissibility will be the primary type of the COVID-19 virus by March.

“I don’t think we’re anywhere near the end of the road,” AHD Director Dr. Stephen Haering told Council. “We have a long way to go, and until we get there we need to stay focused on the mitigation strategies that we know that work, because the mitigation strategies of wearing a face mask of maintaining a six foot distance, of sanitizing hands works against the new variants.”

Within the next week, AHD will start offering vaccine appointments to residents under the age of 65 with underlying medical conditions.

The Virginia Department of Health has given out more than 1.6 million vaccines, although they have been disproportionately given to whites. VDH data shows that 562,000 vaccine doses have been given to white Virginians; less than 100,000 doses have been given to black residents; 44,000 vaccines have been given to Latinos and 38,000 doses have been given to Asian or Pacific Islanders. More than 400,000 vaccines do not have demographic data.

But with more than 30,000 city residents on the vaccination waiting list, Haering said that the problem is the number of vaccines. Additionally, this week, AHD reported that CVS Pharmacy will start registering residents ages 65 and older for COVID-19 vaccination appointments on Feb. 12. The city’s COVID-19 call center is reportedly getting upward of 400 calls per day.

“The biggest limit right now is vaccines,” Haering said.

Virginia is currently in phase 1a and 1b, and those eligible for the vaccine are:

  • Senior citizens over the age of 65
  • Frontline health care workers
  • Frontline essential workers
  • People ages 16-64 with an underlying medical condition
  • People in prisons, homeless shelters and migrant labor camps
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Alexandria’s COVID-19 deaths are now at 105, and the number of cases has reached 9,744.

That’s one more death and 623 cases since this time last week, according to the Virginia Department of Health. The latest death was a man in his 60s.

Across Virginia, there have been 6,820 deaths and there are or have been 530,825 cases of the virus. There have also been 5.4 million PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests and the state’s seven-day positivity rate is 10.2%.

Vaccine Update

There are more than 36,000 city residents on the waiting list to get the vaccine.

“Alexandria receives less than 2,000 first doses a week, so vaccinating the entire eligible population will take time,” according to the city. “When there are available appointments, AHD contacts people by phone or email in the order that they pre-registered, from within the currently eligible categories.”

Currently, residents ages 65 and over and frontline essential workers are eligible. When contacted by phone, the number will likely show up as 703.746.4988 and people will be called three times; a voicemail will be left if no one answers. Emails will come from [email protected], and may end up in spam folders, so check frequently.

As of last Friday, there have been 9,764 first doses 907 second doses of the vaccine administered by the Alexandria Health Department around the city.

There have been more than 1.6 million doses of the vaccine distributed across Virginia, and 171,077 people have been fully vaccinated, according to VDH.

Demographics

There are or have been 5,063 women (with 50 deaths) and 4,624 men (with 54 deaths) in Alexandria with the virus*. The only age groups that have not experienced a death are children and teenagers.
*One death not reported

  • 80+    — 44 deaths, 247 cases
  • 70-79 — 27 deaths, 321 cases
  • 60-69 — 15 deaths, 730 cases
  • 50-59 — 14 deaths, 1,149 cases
  • 40-49 — Two deaths, 1,659 cases
  • 30-39 — Two deaths, 2,265 cases
  • 20-29 — One death, 1,953 cases
  • 10-19  — Zero deaths, 705 cases
  • 0-9     — Zero deaths, 688 cases

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Alexandria City Public Schools will reopen its doors to students on March 16, after being shut down for a little more than a year due to the coronavirus, Superintendent Gregory Hutchings, Jr. told the School Board on Thursday.

“Now it’s time, and we will be returning back to our school buildings,” Hutchings said. “We are now ready. It is now time for this pivot to occur.”

The students who opted to participate (about half of students) in hybrid learning will be able to go back to school on March 16. On March 2, the school system will allow back special needs students in kindergarten – fifth grade. They will be followed by special education students in grades 6-12 on Tuesday, March 9.

The reality is that we really don’t know how long COVID is going to continue to affect our community,” said School Board Member Michelle Rief. “This is gonna be a big transition and it may it may be a little bumpy, but my hope is that we’ll work together to get through this challenge, and just remain flexible, too, because we really don’t know what the future is gonna hold.”

The news comes as Virginia Governor Ralph Northam is calling on school systems across the Commonwealth to open for some form of in-person learning by March 15.

Hutchings said that coronavirus community transmission levels have been downgraded to a sufficient level by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Virginia Department of Health. The planned reopening of school has been pushed back numerous times this year due to staffing shortages and increased community transmission numbers.

“We are seeing a consistent decline in our community health measurements, which is huge,” Hutchings said. “This is a big deal. This is why we are now at the point where we are looking forward to our transition over the next six weeks.”

At T.C. Williams High School, which is the largest public high school in Virginia, Principal Peter Balas is working out how students will transition between classes. Students will be required to have their temperatures taken, socially distance and wear face masks.

“One of the things that we are carefully planning around is that transition from class to class,” Balas said. “That’s definitely still in the planning phase.”

Many parents were relieved to get the news.

“I’m excited that ACPS has gotten to the point of a firm date,” an ACPS parent told ALXnow. “After a year of uncertainty, any sort of clear forward momentum feels good. I hope they follow the data and apply this new decisive and determined approach toward an on time in person opening for the 2021-2022 school year as well.”

But some parents have caused a bit of a controversy in recent days. The Facebook Group Open ACPS! recently published information it acquired through the Freedom of Information Act on staffing levels at schools. The posts, which have been removed, included emails on ACPS classroom sizes, and included employee identification numbers that were not redacted.

Hutchings has repeatedly said that staffing resources have been strained because of the pandemic and that the school system will need to hire additional employees to accommodate in-person learning.

“It’s unfortunate that that occurred,” Hutchings said. “It was just a disruption, and was really a breach of trust, which I personally don’t take lightly at all.”

The group responded that it was not at fault when ACPS released the information.

“The board and superintendent didn’t own up that the mistake was on their side,” Open ACPS told ALXnow. “ACPS gave this information to a parent through Freedom of Information Act. ACPS failed to remove any sensitive information. Yet a parent was chastised for ACPS’ mistake.”

Photo via ACPS/Facebook

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Alexandria’s COVID-19 deaths are now at 104, and the number of cases has reached 9,121.

That’s three more deaths and 361 cases since this time last week, according to the Virginia Department of Health. The fatal victims were in their 60s and 70s.

Across Virginia, there have been 6,474 deaths and there are or have been 507,640 cases of the virus. There have also been 5.3 million PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests and the state’s seven-day positivity rate is 11.7%.

Vaccine Update

There are more than 30,000 city residents on the waiting list to get the vaccine.

As of last Friday, there have been 8,633 first doses and 223 second doses of the vaccine administered by the Alexandria Health Department around the city. That does not include the number of vaccines given by private providers and pharmacies.

The vaccine is currently available to health care workers, seniors older than 65, and anyone ages 16-64 with preexisting conditions.

There have been more than 458,000 doses of the vaccine distributed across Virginia, and 64,381 people have been fully vaccinated, according to the Virginia Department of Health.

“There are more than 30,000 entries in the pre-registration waitlist, including a large pool eligible for Phase 1b who are currently working almost entirely remotely with no exposure to the public,” according to the city. “If that applies to you, consider waiting to receive your vaccine until supplies are more plentiful to ensure that those on the frontline without telework capabilities can be protected while they interact with the public.”

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The Del Ray Business Association just launched a GoFundMe campaign to support Inova Alexandria Hospital.

Hospital workers are on the front line of the pandemic in the city, and the DRBA campaign is just the latest of numerous efforts to show appreciation.

“Here’s the important thing to know — every dollar that you contribute will go directly for a meal for a local hero,” according to DRBA. “To show our gratitude and support, our community is undertaking two initaitives.  One is a letter writing campaign that will be delivered to Inova Hospital workers for Valentine’s Day and the second is a fundraiser to fund meals provided by our local Del Ray restaurants.”

Here’s how it works:

  • Contribute funds to provide a meal or meals to healthcare workers and their essential teams – every $15 purchases a meal!  Our goal is to raise $3,750 to purchase 250 meals  for the workers
  • Write a thank you letter or make a card, to be presented to workers at INOVA Alexandria Hospital on Saturday, February 6 from 8am to 12pm, or leave them in the basket on the porch at 110 E. Del Ray Avenue
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Neighborhood Health just got a $20,000 boost to improve its telemedicine capabilities from Medicaid health plan company Anthem’s HealthKeepers Plus. The donation will allow the nonprofit to buy laptops and tech accessories.

Neighborhood Health, which has provided free COVID-19 tests and other medical services for more than 40,000 patients throughout Alexandria during the pandemic, mostly provides care for low income residents.

“The additional equipment allows our teams to further reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19 for both our staff and our patients by offering more virtual visits from home instead of the office,” said Eduardo Mantilla-Torres, Outreach & Enrollment Manager for Neighborhood Health. “This will help lower the number of staff needed on-site and the number of people in the office in general, allowing for a safer distribution of services.”

With telemedicine being the new normal, Anthem’s Thomas Rayner, director of marketing and member engagement, said that the company is “happy to support efforts that provide better healthcare access for Virginia’s low-income residents.”

Photo via Anthem

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