Alexandria, VA

With a bit of luck, Alexandria Health Director Stephen Haering said the city could start to get its hands on a vaccine by December.

A limited supply of vaccine and a high public demand has led to national, state, and local plans on determining who gets the vaccine, when, and how. Haering outlined some of the plans for Alexandria at a City Council meeting last night.

“We will be required to vaccinate certain persons first,” Haering said. “Our current understanding is [to prioritize] healthcare workers in long-term care facilities and hospitals… and those persons who live in long term care facilities and congregate settings.”

Haering said other recipients of the first phase will be essential workers — like first responders and “workers that keep government working and society intact” — and adults at high risk — like those over 65-years old and those with underlying medical conditions.

“We’re looking at those first phases being available as early as sometime in December,” Haering said. “We don’t know exactly if that will come through Health Department or through pharmacies. Large pharmaceutical chains have an arrangement to vaccinate long term care facilities directly. State health will be involved with coordinating that. We’ve been coordinating and planning on helping with vaccination there in case that falls through.”

Haering said that accelerated testing and vaccine production has allowed for some quick turnaround distribution.

“To tell you the process here: what they are doing, and one of the reasons they’ve been able to fast track this vaccine, is to combined some of the phases they typically do sequentially they are doing simultaneously,” Haering said. “Phase 2 trials are typically done for safety, and phase 3 is for safety and effectiveness, and they’re able to combine those. During phase 3 they actually start producing the vaccine. Typically a company would not do that because of the financial risk; you want to make sure it’s effective before you start producing it.”

Haering said the 90% effectiveness shown in the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines is promising. If both vaccines come to Alexandria, Haering said it will be important for those who get one vaccine to continue their booster shots with the same program. The Health Department is looking into putting together colored cards or other memory tools to help locals remember which shot they started with.

The vaccine can’t come soon enough for Alexandria, where cases are on the rise again.

“Our seven day moving average is over 46,” Haering said. “It was 47 or so at the end of April and in May. This is the highest it’s been since then. Our seven day moving average was in the teens in July through November, but it’s been going up statewide and nationally.”

Haering said hospitalizations are on the rise as well. Fatalities have not increased substantially, but Haering said the concern is that those could follow the increase in cases after two to four weeks. Of particular concern is the increase of cases in long-term care facilities, where the majority of the city’s deaths have been.

Though a vaccine could be on the horizon, in the meantime, Haering reiterated earlier pleas to city residents not to travel or host large gatherings for the holidays.

Staff photo by James Cullum

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With COVID-19 cases on the rise and the holiday travel season upon us, the Alexandria School Board on Monday approved a recommendation by Superintendent Gregory Hutchings, Jr. to delay an in-person plan bringing students back to school until January 2021.

Specifically, the move delays bringing back kindergarten through fifth graders with disabilities who receive self-contained Language Arts and Math, which was planned for Nov. 30, and middle schoolers in the citywide special education program in December. No new set dates were presented, and Hutchings told the Board on Monday that he is following the advice of the Alexandria Health Department and does not want to act impulsively.

“This global pandemic is not getting better,” Hutchings said. “We could be entering the most deadly phase of this pandemic, with all the travel that’s happening right now in Thanksgiving, as well as the travel that’s going to happen over the winter break.”

COVID-19 cases in Alexandria reached 5,051 on Tuesday, an increase of 41 cases since the previous day. The rise in cases is similar to what was seen in April and May, according to Alexandria Health Department Director Dr. Stephen Haering.

“We’re seeing increases across the board,” Haering said. “It’s an all age groups. This department, the city, I think everybody is really focused on reducing the transmission in order to prevent this from affecting our most vulnerable population — our elderly and those with underlying conditions that can put them at severe risk.”

ACPS staff also presented the board with results from its intent to return form, which was completed by 100% of ACPS employees. Out of the 2,601 respondents, approximately 55% of staff are able to return to work on-site at this time, while the remaining 45% of staff are impacted by COVID-related concerns.

Earlier this month, staffing issues kept Alexandria City Public Schools from expanding in-person learning for students with disabilities in grades 3-5 and who are in the citywide Special Education program.

The school system is currently evaluating several learning models for the future, including “concurrent teaching,” which would allow in-person and virtual classes to be held at the same time. If a teacher is not able to return under this model, they could still appear via video from home, while an adult supervises the classroom.

“The teaching will still occur from from that instructor, regardless of where the teacher is so they can be at home,” Hutchings said.

The School Board approved Hutchings’ plan to bring back in-person schooling last month. Staff reported that they are still working on bringing back kids to school, although ACPS presented no new timeline. The previous timeline is below.

  • November 30: Expand to include Students with Disabilities in grades K-5  instruction who opt into in-person learning
  • December 2020: Expand to include Students with Disabilities in grades 6-8 who are enrolled in the Citywide Special Education program who opt into in-person learning
  • January 2021: Expand to include all remaining students in grades PreK-5 who opt into in-person learning
  • February 2021: Expand to include all remaining students in grades 6-8 who opt into in-person learning
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An Alexandria man in his 30s is the latest victim of COVID-19, as the number of cases in the city has ballooned over the past week.

The death count from the virus now stands at 77 in Alexandria.

There are or have been 5,010 cases of COVID-19 in Alexandria since the first case was reported in March, according to the Virginia Department of Health.

That’s an increase of 312 cases since Nov. 16. Mayor Justin Wilson tweeted that the city has not seen such an increase of cases since May.

There have also been 348 total hospitalizations since the onset of the pandemic in Alexandria. About one in 13 city residents who tested positive for the virus have been hospitalized, according to the Alexandria Health Department.

The city is also advising residents to stay home this Thanksgiving, and on Saturday the annual Christmas Tree lighting at Market Square was celebrated virtually.

According to the city:

The best ways to stop the spread of COVID-19 remain wearing a mask in public, maintaining at least 6 feet of distance from others, and frequently washing your hands or carrying and using hand sanitizer with at least 60% ethyl alcohol. Help your loved ones and neighbors by answering a call from AHD if identified as a close contact of someone who tests positive for COVID-19, and download the Virginia Department of Health’s COVIDWISE app to be quickly and anonymously notified of likely exposure to the virus.

Across Virginia, there have been 3,942 deaths and there are or have been 221,038 cases of the virus. There have been 3.2 million PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests and the state’s seven-day positivity rate is 7.2%.

Demographics

There are or have been 2,603 women (with 38 deaths) and 2,394 men (with 39 deaths) in Alexandria with the virus. The only age groups that have not experienced a death so far are children and teenagers.

  • 80+    — 33 deaths, 140 cases
  • 70-79 — 21 deaths, 163 cases
  • 60-69 — Five deaths, 371 cases
  • 50-59 — 14 deaths, 606 cases
  • 40-49 — One death, 859 cases
  • 30-39 — Two deaths, 1,140 cases
  • 20-29 — One death, 1,011 cases
  • 10-19  — Zero deaths, 342 cases
  • 0-9     — Zero deaths, 361 cases

Latino residents have the most infections with 2,191 reported cases (with 13 deaths), white residents with 1,089 cases (40 deaths), and Black residents with 1,025 cases (19 deaths). There are 178 cases with Asian or Pacific Islander residents (and one death), 133 cases classified as “other” (with two deaths) and four native American cases (no deaths).

There have also been 41 outbreaks in the city, including 12 at long term care facilities, 22 in congregate settings, four in child care settings, one at a college, one in a K-12 setting and one at a correctional facility.

There have been 505 cases associated with the outbreaks. Health care workers also make up 336 positive COVID cases, according to VDH.

Testing Update

There have been 61,582 COVID tests administered in the city so far and 5,966 antibody tests. The city’s seven-day positivity rate is now at 6%.

  • Arlington County has 5,856 cases, 157 deaths and a 7.1% seven-day positivity rate
  • Fairfax County has 29,089 cases, 629 deaths and a 8.3% seven-day positivity rate
  • Loudoun County has 9,345 cases, 139 deaths and a 8% seven-day positivity rate

Need a test? Inova is now offering vehicle-side and walk-in testing services for diagnosing flu and COVID-19, at the Victory Center parking lot (5001 Eisenhower Avenue).

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 — 193 cases, 5,393 people tested (Estimated population 15,171)
  • 22302 — 557 cases, 9,712 people tested (Estimated population 20,238)
  • 22304 — 1,573 cases, 18,245 people tested (Estimated population 54,003)
  • 22305 — 989 cases, 7,183 people tested (Estimated population 16,095)
  • 22311 — 869 cases, 8,295 people tested (Estimated population 16,898)
  • 22312 — 1,260 cases, 10,424 people tested (Estimated population 6,901)
  • 22314 — 570 cases, 12,754 people tested (Estimated population 47,826)

Photo via CDC/Unsplash

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The following Letter to the Editor was written by Dr. Stephen Haering, Alexandria’s Health Department Director.

One of the most common questions we receive at Alexandria Health Department (AHD) is how to prevent a second wave of COVID-19 in our community. To start, we need to acknowledge some hard truths, including that we never truly left the first wave.

Across the U.S., COVID-19 cases are spiking. In Wisconsin, they are building field hospitals in parking lots to accommodate the overflow from hospitals that have run out of beds. Even in northern Virginia, our region has moved from “low” to “approaching substantial” community transmission, which means that our cases are increasing steadily. And although most Alexandrians have been taking the right precautions, we’re approaching a dangerous confluence of events–including flu season and holiday gatherings–that threaten our community’s safety.

So, how do we stem the tide and bring our community back to low levels of transmission? First, the easiest step: get your flu shot. It’s not too late for you and your whole family to check that off your list. Almost all healthcare providers and pharmacies carry the flu shot, and if you have health insurance, it is free. If you don’t have insurance, schedule an appointment at Alexandria Health Department (call 703.746.4888). COVID-19 shares many of the same symptoms as the flu, and it is possible for you to contract both illnesses at the same time.

Second, choose lower risk activities to celebrate Thanksgiving and the upcoming December holidays. Travelling for celebrations is a hallmark of these holidays but is especially risky with the COVID-19 increases across the country. If you can’t avoid travelling, know your travel risk and consider getting tested both before and after traveling, particularly if you are visiting or returning home to someone at high risk of severe illness. Keep in mind that the virus can take between 2-14 days to incubate. AHD recommends that you wait about 7-10 days after a gathering or travel to get tested.

Finally, maintain the momentum. As we’ve said from the beginning, this pandemic response is a marathon. However, with all the stressors from uncertainty, managing households on tighter budgets, and the racial and social injustice that have been exacerbated, it feels like we’re all operating at a sprint pace. It’s incredibly difficult for all of us to maintain the required vigilance for wearing masks, keeping our physical distance, and quarantining when identified as a close contact. But we can’t let this COVID-19 fatigue move us into a complacency that spreads illness — we need to remind each other, with compassion, that we all need maintain our 6-foot distances, consistently and correctly wear facemasks, sanitize hands and surfaces frequently, and stay away from others when ill.

We get it. You’re over COVID-19 and all the public health guidance that goes along with it. I wish there was an easy solution that I could summarize in a quip. Or even that the introduction of a vaccine would solve all our concerns. But my job isn’t to provide Alexandrians with false reassurances or empty promises. My job is to protect and promote health and wellbeing in our community. Alexandria Health Department carries out that work by following our public health justice principles to prioritize science-based recommendations, focus resources on saving lives, and engage and empower Alexandrians most in need. We can get through this pandemic but it will take all of us doing our part for our community.

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There are or have been 4,698 cases of COVID-19 in Alexandria since the first case was reported in March, according to the Virginia Department of Health.

As case counts are growing throughout the region, Governor Ralph Northam’s newest restrictions also took effect Sunday night.

According to the City:

  • All public and private in-person indoor and outdoor gatherings must be limited to 25, down from the current 250
  • Everyone ages 5 and over will be required to wear masks in indoor public places, which is a decrease from the current age of 10
  • All essential retail businesses, including grocery stores and pharmacies, must adhere to state guidelines for physical distancing, requiring face masks and enhanced sanitization. Violations will now be enforceable by the Virginia Department of Health as Class 1 misdemeanors. AHD and the City anticipate additional guidance in the coming days.
  • Onsite alcohol sales, consumption and possession after 10 p.m. in any restaurant, dining establishment, food court, brewery, microbrewery, distillery, winery, or tasting room will be prohibited, and all such establishments must close by midnight. Bar areas of restaurants remain closed.

The City says that community transmission has shifted from low to moderate and there are now about 20 cases being reported every day.

“Regional hospitalizations, including the use of intensive care units and ventilators have also increased, suggesting that severe outcomes from COVID-19 persist despite the additional availability of testing and treatment options,” according to the city.

The death count from the virus remains unchanged at 76. Of the deaths, 98% have been residents above the age of 50.

Demographics

There are or have been 2,421 women (with 38 deaths) and 2,264 men (with 38 deaths) in Alexandria with the virus. The only age groups that have not experienced a death so far are children and teenagers.

  • 80+    — 33 deaths, 132 cases
  • 70-79 — 21 deaths, 156 cases
  • 60-69 — Five deaths, 350 cases
  • 50-59 — 14 deaths, 577 cases
  • 40-49 — One death, 810 cases
  • 30-39 — One death, 1,068 cases
  • 20-29 — One death, 932 cases
  • 10-19  — Zero deaths, 326 cases
  • 0-9     — Zero deaths, 334 cases

Latino residents have the most infections with 2,098 reported cases (with 13 deaths), white residents with 995 cases (40 deaths), and Black residents with 973 cases (19 deaths). There are 168 cases with Asian or Pacific Islander residents (and one death), 127 cases classified as “other” (with two deaths) and four native American cases.

There have also been 39 outbreaks in the city, including 12 at long term care facilities, 20 in congregate settings, four in child care settings, one at a college, one in a K-12 setting and one at a correctional facility.

There have been 467 cases associated with the outbreaks. Health care workers also make up 319 positive COVID cases, according to VDH.

Across Virginia, there have been 3,806 deaths and there are or have been 204,637 cases of the virus. There have been 2.9 million PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests and the state’s seven-day positivity rate is 7.3%.

Testing Update

There have been 56,985 COVID tests administered in the city so far and 5,622 antibody tests. The city’s seven-day positivity rate is now at 5.1%.

  • Arlington County has 5,380 cases, 157 deaths and a 6.8% seven-day positivity rate
  • Fairfax County has 25,095 cases, 625 deaths and a 7.4% seven-day positivity rate
  • Loudoun County has 8,894 cases, 136 deaths and a 8.3% seven-day positivity rate

Need a test? Inova is now offering vehicle-side and walk-in testing services for diagnosing flu and COVID-19, at the Victory Center parking lot (5001 Eisenhower Avenue).

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 — 179 cases, 4,932 people tested (Estimated population 15,171)
  • 22302 — 505 cases, 8,958 people tested (Estimated population 20,238)
  • 22304 — 1,478 cases, 16,965 people tested (Estimated population 54,003)
  • 22305 — 953 cases, 6,737 people tested (Estimated population 16,095)
  • 22311 — 820 cases, 7,809 people tested (Estimated population 16,898)
  • 22312 — 1,174 cases, 9,820 people tested (Estimated population 6,901)
  • 22314 — 534 cases, 11,584 people tested (Estimated population 47,826)

Photo via CDC/Unsplash

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Two more Alexandria residents have died from COVID-19, and the total case count in the city since the pandemic started in March is now at 4,444. That’s an increase of 81 cases since Monday.

A woman and a man in their 80s are the latest victims of the virus, according to the Virginia Department of Health.

Of the 76 deaths, 98% have been residents above the age of 50.

Additionally, Inova Alexandra hospital is at 68% capacity, which Mayor Justin Wilson said “is perfectly normal.”

“They have right now 12 patients that they are treating in Inova Alexandria (Hospital) who are COVID-positive,” Wilson reported in his monthly town hall meeting on Thursday night. “And they have another 17 patients that are under investigation. These are folks who may likely have COVID but have not yet tested positive.”

Health care workers also make up 305 positive COVID cases, according to VDH.

Demographics

There are or have been 2,297 women (with 38 deaths) and 2,134 men (with 38 deaths) in Alexandria with the virus. The only age groups that have not experienced a death so far are children and teenagers.

  • 80+    — 33 deaths, 130 cases
  • 70-79 — 21 deaths, 152 cases
  • 60-69 — Five deaths, 329 cases
  • 50-59 — 14 deaths, 556 cases
  • 40-49 — One death, 764 cases
  • 30-39 — One death, 1,009 cases
  • 20-29 — One death, 867 cases
  • 10-19  — Zero deaths, 314 cases
  • 0-9     — Zero deaths, 311 cases

Latino residents have the most infections with 2,015 reported cases (with 13 deaths), and Black (19 deaths) and white residents (40 deaths) both have 927 cases apiece. There are 162 cases with Asian or Pacific Islander residents (and one death), 108 cases classified as “other” (with two deaths) and four native American cases.

There have also been 35 outbreaks in the city, including 12 at long term care facilities, 17 in congregate settings, four in child care settings, one at a college and one in a K-12 setting. There have been 455 cases associated with the outbreaks.

Across Virginia, there have been 3,682 deaths and there are or have been 188,770 cases of the virus. There have been 2.7 million PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests and the state’s seven-day positivity rate is 5.9%.

Testing Update

There have been 53,065 COVID tests administered in the city so far and 5,414 antibody tests. The city’s seven-day positivity rate is now at 3.8%.

  • Arlington County has 4,919 cases, 154 deaths and a 4.9% seven-day positivity rate
  • Fairfax County has 25,152 cases, 609 deaths and a 5.3% seven-day positivity rate
  • Loudoun County has 8,225 cases, 134 deaths and a 6.3% seven-day positivity rate

Need a test? Inova is now offering vehicle-side and walk-in testing services for diagnosing flu and COVID-19, at the Victory Center parking lot (5001 Eisenhower Avenue).

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 — 171 cases, 4,57653 people tested (Estimated population 15,171)
  • 22302 — 480 cases, 8,174 people tested (Estimated population 20,238)
  • 22304 — 1,398 cases, 15,883 people tested (Estimated population 54,003)
  • 22305 — 890 cases, 6,271 people tested (Estimated population 16,095)
  • 22311 — 792 cases, 7,417 people tested (Estimated population 16,898)
  • 22312 — 1,123 cases, 9,280 people tested (Estimated population 6,901)
  • 22314 — 496 cases, 10,744 people tested (Estimated population 47,826)

Photo via CDC/Unsplash

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There are or have been 4,363 total cases of COVID-19 in Alexandria, which is an increase of 133 cases since last Monday, according to the Virginia Department of Health.

There have also been 325 total hospitalizations in the city (an increase of two hospitalizations since this time last week). The death count still stands at 74 with two probable cases associated with the virus.

The Alexandria Health Department says that one in 13 infected Alexandrians has been hospitalized.

According to the city:

An estimated 66% of Virginia adults who become infected never have symptoms, so everyone must maintain at least six feet of distance from others, wear a mask over both the nose and mouth, and carry and use hand sanitizer with at least 60% ethyl alcohol. Be prepared to help your family and neighbors by answering a call from AHD if you are identified as a close contact of someone who tests positive for COVID-19.

Across Virginia, there have been 3,658 deaths and there are or have been 183,418 cases of the virus. There have been 2.7 million PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests and the state’s seven-day positivity rate is 5.8%.

Demographic, Age and Sex Breakdown

Of the 74 deaths, 96% have been residents above the age of 50.

Latino residents have the most infections with 1,992 reported cases, followed by white residents with 905 cases, Black residents with 903 cases, Asian or Pacific Islander residents with 162 cases, 108 cases classified as “other” and four native American cases.

There are or have been 2,260 women (with 37 deaths) and 2,090 men (with 37 deaths) in Alexandria with the virus. The only age groups that have not experienced a death so far are children and teenagers.

  • 80+    — 31 deaths, 130 cases (Two new cases)
  • 70-79 — 21 deaths, 150 cases (Four new cases)
  • 60-69 — Five deaths, 324 cases (10 new cases)
  • 50-59 — 14 deaths, 548 cases (17 new cases)
  • 40-49 — One death, 754 cases (24 new cases)
  • 30-39 — One death, 986 cases (30 new cases)
  • 20-29 — One death, 845 cases (28 new cases)
  • 10-19  — Zero deaths, 308 cases (Seven new cases)
  • 0-9     — Zero deaths, 305 cases (Nine new cases)

Testing Update

There have been 51,621 COVID tests administered in the city so far and 5,343 antibody tests. The city’s seven-day positivity rate is now at 4.4%.

  • Arlington County has 4,778 cases, 154 deaths and a 4.2% seven-day positivity rate
  • Fairfax County has 24,642 cases, 620 deaths and a 5.3% seven-day positivity rate
  • Loudoun County has 8,048 cases, 132 deaths and a 6.2% seven-day positivity rate

Need a test? Inova is now offering vehicle-side and walk-in testing services for diagnosing flu and COVID-19, at the Victory Center parking lot (5001 Eisenhower Avenue).

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 — 161 cases, 4,453 people tested (Estimated population 15,171)
  • 22302 — 475 cases, 7,867 people tested (Estimated population 20,238)
  • 22304 — 1,380 cases, 15,485 people tested (Estimated population 54,003)
  • 22305 — 872 cases, 6,131 people tested (Estimated population 16,095)
  • 22311 — 782 cases, 7,298 people tested (Estimated population 16,898)
  • 22312 — 1,101 cases, 9,043 people tested (Estimated population 6,901)
  • 22314 — 481 cases, 10,387 people tested (Estimated population 47,826)

Photo via CDC/Unsplash

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Alexandria is warning residents that toxic marijuana laced with “unusual substances” has led to four recent overdoses in Prince William County.

“One person died, and the other three were revived with Narcan (naloxone), suggesting that the marijuana may have been mixed with opioids,” the city said in a release. “While use of any illegal drug is dangerous, City officials are urging residents to be especially cautious given these recent overdoses.”

There have been 10 fatal opioid overdoses in Alexandria this year, and 62 non-fatal overdoses as of August 25, according to the city.

Virginia decriminalized marijuana on July 1, and there is a civil fine of $25 for possessing up to an ounce.

The Alexandria Health Department offers Narcan for free by calling 703-746-4888, and the medication will be shipped for free for residents who contact the city’s opioid response coordinator at [email protected]

According to the city:

If you or someone you care about needs help with addiction, call 703.746.3636 (Virginia Relay 711), 24 hours a day. Individuals who do not live in Alexandria can find treatment options at samhsa.gov or by calling 800.662.HELP (4357).

If you have information regarding past overdoses, call the Alexandria Police Department at 703.746.4444.

For life-threatening situations, call or text 911 immediately.

For more information on the opioid crisis and how the City is responding, including a printable flyer on overdose symptoms and how to get help, visit  alexandriava.gov/Opioids.

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Where are Alexandrians getting COVID-19 these days?

A majority of recent coronavirus cases in Alexandria might be the result of contacts at home, indoor gatherings and eating out, according to the Alexandria Health Department.

“The activities an individual participant reported may or may not have been the sources of COVID-19 exposure for that individual; however, they do demonstrate trends and suggest common links for people who become ill,” according to AHD.

The department interviewed 422 city residents with the virus from September 21 to October 19, and discovered the following trends:

  • 44% lived with someone who recently had COVID-19
  • 25% went to their workplace
  • 10% went to a public event, social gathering, or entertainment activity, with most gatherings occurring indoors
  • 7% travelled outside of the Alexandria/D.C. area, with most travel in the U.S.
  • 7% went to a restaurant or bar, with two-thirds eating indoors and one-third eating outdoors

The Health Department recommends that residents avoid travel as much as possible, limit gatherings, wear face masks and take precautions when a family member tests positive for the virus.

There have been 74 confirmed COVID-related deaths in Alexandria, and there are or have been 4,248 cases since the pandemic started in March, according to the Virginia Department of Health.

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The Alexandria Courthouse was deep cleaned last weekend after an employee of the General District Court tested positive to COVID-19, according to the Alexandria Sheriff’s Office.

“On Friday October 16, 2020 the Alexandria General District Court was notified that an employee tested positive for COVID-19,” Undersheriff Tim Gleeson of the Judicial and Special Operations Bureau told ALXnow in an email.

Gleeson said that the court “immediately” asked for help from the Virginia Supreme Court and the Alexandria Health Department. He also said that this is the first time anyone in the courthouse has tested positive for the virus since the pandemic began in March.

“Following the Health Department’s guidance, the remaining Court dockets of the day were continued to later dates in order to get the Court deep cleaned,” Gleeson said. “The deep cleaning of the General District Court, including all courtrooms, public spaces, and workspaces was completed on Friday afternoon.”

Court operations continued on Monday, October 19.

As previously reported, thousands of cases have been continued in Alexandria due to the pandemic.

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Morning Notes

Beyer Says People Will Suffer Without Unemployment Insurance Program Extension — “”We’re making a deeply fundamental mistake not reauthorizing all our unemployment insurance programs. When we take the money away, that’s what’s been propping up consumer spending and the ability of people to get by.” [Twitter]

City Opens Additional Locations for Absentee Voting — “Absentee voting will be available at the Charles Beatley Library (5005 Duke St.) from October 23 through October 31, except Sundays. Absentee voting will also be available at Minnie Howard School (3801 W. Braddock Rd.) and George Washington Middle School (1005 Mt. Vernon Ave.), on Saturdays, October 24 and 31, only.  All three locations will have ballot drop boxes available during voting hours, which vary according to the list below.” [City of Alexandria]

West End Business Association Hosting PPP Loan Meeting — “The West End Business Association (WEBA) will host a virtual Lunch and Learn on Monday, October 26, 12:30-2 p.m., to help small business owners learn how to prepare for the PPP loan forgiveness application process. A panel of local experts will offer advice and guidelines to both the simple and the advanced applications. Registration is free for WEBA members and $10 for guests.” [City of Alexandria]

City Celebrating 20th Anniversary of the Alexandria Campaign on Adolescent Pregnancy — “The virtual event will feature an annual summary of pregnancy data by the Alexandria Health Department (AHD) and a proclamation by Mayor Justin Wilson. Teen pregnancy in Alexandria has dropped 76% since 2000 to an all time low. This reflects good choices by teens, supported by evidence-based approaches to prevention from ACAP, City agencies and community partners, including Alexandria City Public Schools and AHD’s Teen Wellness Center.” [City of Alexandria]

Classical WETA’s Nicole Lacroix Narrates Alexandria Author’s New Thriller — “Nicole Lacroix can be heard every weekday afternoon on Classical WETA 90.9 FM. She has that familiar, soothing voice that tells listeners the stories behind their favorite pieces. Now she has a part-time gig: audiobook narrator. Recently, she completed her recording of Alexandria author John Adam Wasowicz’s new thriller, ‘Slaters Lane.’ On Wednesday, October 21, she will headline a virtual discussion of her work on the book from 7-8 p.m.” [Zebra]

Today’s Weather — “Cloudy skies early will become partly cloudy later in the day. Areas of patchy fog. High 79F. Winds S at 5 to 10 mph. Clear skies with a few passing clouds (in the evening). Low near 60F. Winds light and variable.” [Weather.com]

New Job: Alexandria Environmental Health Outreach Specialist — “Alexandria Health Department (AHD) is seeking an experienced, self-motivated candidate to join our Environmental Health Outreach Specialist position. This position will investigate bite reports to prevent the spread of rabies within our community, manage mosquito complaints, and be responsible for championing outreach efforts within the City.” [Indeed]

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Two more Alexandria residents have died from COVID-19 since last week, and the death toll now stands at 75, according to the Virginia Department of Health.

The victims were two men in their sixties.

There are or have been 4,123 cases of COVID-19 (up 78 cases since last Tuesday) in Alexandria since the pandemic started in March. There have also been 323 total hospitalizations in the city.

The Alexandria Health Department says that one in 12 infected Alexandrians have been hospitalized.

“Be prepared to help your family and neighbors by answering a call from AHD if you are identified as a close contact of someone who tests positive for COVID-19,” the city said in a release.

Across Virginia, there have been 3,457 deaths and there are or have been 166,828 cases of the virus. There have been 2.4 million PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests and the state’s seven-day positivity rate is at 5%.

Demographic, Age and Sex Breakdown

Of the 75 deaths, 96% have been residents above the age of 50.

Latino residents have the most infections with 1,891 reported cases, followed by Black residents with 857 cases, white residents with 831 cases, Asian or Pacific Islander residents with 150 cases, 93 cases classified as “other” and four native American cases.

There are or have been 2,132 women (with 37 deaths) and 1,978 men (with 38 deaths) in Alexandria with the virus. The only age groups that have not experienced a death so far are children and teenagers.

  • 80+    — 31 deaths, 125 cases (Unchanged since Monday)
  • 70-79 — 21 deaths, 143 cases (Two new cases)
  • 60-69 — Six deaths, 299 cases (Five new cases)
  • 50-59 — 14 deaths, 508 cases (Five new cases)
  • 40-49 — One death, 693 cases (Five new cases)
  • 30-39 — One death, 927 cases (Nine new cases)
  • 20-29 — One death, 767 cases (12 new cases)
  • 10-19  — Zero deaths, 292 cases (Six new cases)
  • 0-9     — Zero deaths, 280 cases (Six new cases)

Testing Update

There have been 46,595 COVID tests administered in the city so far and 5,071 antibody tests. The city’s seven-day positivity rate is now at 3.6% and has been under 10% for more than our months.

  • Arlington County has 4,384 cases, 152 deaths and a 3.5% seven-day positivity rate
  • Fairfax County has 22,916 cases, 617 deaths and a 3.5% seven-day positivity rate
  • Loudoun County has 7,576 cases, 129 deaths and a 5.3% seven-day positivity rate

Need a test? Inova is now offering vehicle-side and walk-in testing services for diagnosing flu and COVID-19, at the Victory Center parking lot (5001 Eisenhower Avenue).

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 — 153 cases, 3,960 people tested (Estimated population 15,171)
  • 22302 — 445 cases, 7,034 people tested (Estimated population 20,238)
  • 22304 — 1,299 cases, 13,982 people tested (Estimated population 54,003)
  • 22305 — 830 cases, 5,651 people tested (Estimated population 16,095)
  • 22311 — 742 cases, 6,683 people tested (Estimated population 16,898)
  • 22312 — 1,046 cases, 8,245 people tested (Estimated population 6,901)
  • 22314 — 440 cases, 9,285 people tested (Estimated population 47,826)

Photo via CDC/Unsplash

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