The number of COVID infections in Alexandria continues to rise at an alarming rate, as the number of reported infections has reached 23,325, an increase of nearly 2,500 cases in less than a week. In the meantime, staff at Inova Alexandria Hospital are seeing hospitalizations rise to 2020.
“The staff is working overtime,” Inova Alexandria Hospital President Dr. Rina Bansal told ALXnow. “We’re making sure that they’re not working overtime to the extent where it compromises their safety or patient safety.”
There are about 20 patients in the hospital seeking treatment for COVID-19, according to the Virginia Department of Health. The number of fatalities due to the virus remains at 161, according to the Virginia Department of Health.
Visitation is also restricted at the hospital, although patients are allowed into the facility with a companion — just like the visitation policy that was in place at the beginning of the pandemic. Consequently, Bansal is asking that residents not come to the hospital unless they specifically need hospital-based treatment.
“Clinically we’re much more comfortable in managing the disease itself,” Bansal said. “At this point, we have almost two years of experience under our belt.”
By the numbers
- The seven day average of daily new cases is now 475.7, up from 399 last week
- The seven-day average of positive COVID-19 tests is now 30.9%, up from 28.6% last week
- There are 29,495 unvaccinated Alexandria residents
- About 69% of residents (106,456 people) are fully vaccinated
- 81% (124,385) of residents have gotten at least one dose
- 42,506 residents have gotten a booster shot
Alexandria surged past 20,000 new cases of COVID-19 going into the New Year, and on Sunday (Jan. 2) set yet another single-day record for the most reported cases ever.
COVID-19 peaked in Alexandria on Sunday with 1,040 newly reported cases, according to the Virginia Department of Health. As of today (Tuesday, Jan. 4) there have been 20,875 reported cases, which is more than 3,000 within the last week.
There have also been four more deaths, bringing the death toll from the virus to 161.
By the numbers
- The seven day average of daily new cases is now 399, up from 248 last week
- The seven-day average of positive COVID-19 tests is now 28.6%, up from 13.3% last week
- There are 20 infections currently being treated at Inova Alexandria Hospital
- There are 30,233 unvaccinated Alexandria residents
- About 69% of residents (106,155 people) are fully vaccinated
- 80% (123,647) of residents have gotten at least one dose
- 40,594 residents have gotten a booster shot
Alexandria set a new record of COVID infections on Christmas Day (Saturday, Dec. 25), according to the Virginia Department of Health. That beats the last single-day record of 316 cases, which was set just two days before.
As of today (Monday, Dec. 27), there have been 17,814 reported cases of the coronavirus in Alexandria, which is more than 1,700 new cases since this time last week. The number of deaths from the virus remains at 157.
By the numbers
- The seven day average of daily new cases is now 248, up from 111
- The seven-day average of positive COVID-19 tests is now 13.3%, up from 7.2%
- COVID-related hospitalizations in the city remain low, with eight infections treated in the hospital in the past week
Alexandria transmission rate went from “Substantial” to “High” at the end of November, and sharply rising numbers even prompted the cancellation of Alexandria’s New Year’s Eve celebration — although the fireworks show over the Potomac River is still on for the stroke of midnight.
Just as with Thanksgiving, the Alexandria Health Department recommends avoiding crowds, getting COVID-tested three-to-five days after returning from the winter holiday and get vaccinated.
- There are 32,189 unvaccinated Alexandria residents
- About 69% of residents (105,713 people) are fully vaccinated
- 80% (122,618) of residents have gotten at least one dose
- About 58% (10,179) of the city’s 5-17-year-olds are fully vaccinated
- 38,558 residents have gotten a booster shot
First Night Alexandria, the city’s New Year’s Eve celebration, has been canceled due to skyrocketing cases of COVID-19.
With testing at an all-time high, a record-setting 316 new cases of COVID-19 was reported in Alexandria today (Thursday, Dec. 23) by the Virginia Department of Health.
This is the second year in a row that the in-person event, which is usually attended by thousands, has been canceled, and refunds will be issued to event ticket-holders. The fireworks are still on for midnight, however, and will last 10 minutes.
“We regret to inform you that ALL FIRST NIGHT ALEXANDRIA SHOWS AND ACTIVITIES HAVE BEEN CANCELLED to prevent the further spread of COVID-19,” First Night Alexandria said on its website. “This follows the Alexandria Health Department’s recommendation and the City of Alexandria’s agreement to cancel activities that encourage crowds to gather in a central location.”
First Night Alexandria recommends watching the fireworks from the following vantage points:
- Canal Center Plaza (Center Canal Plaza)
- Rivergate Park (2 Montgomery St.)
- Oronoco Bay Park (100 Madison St.)
- Founders Park (351 North Union St.)
- Waterfront Park (1A Prince St.)
- Windmill Hill Park (501 South Union St.)
- Ford’s Landing Boardwalk (99 Franklin St.)
- Jones Point Park (Jones Point Dr.)
- George Washington Masonic Temple (101 Callahan Dr.)
There are now 16,811 cases reported in Alexandria, and the death toll from the virus is 157. The previous single-day record for reported cases was 168 on Jan. 9.
There are 108,834 fully vaccinated residents, which is about 71% of the total population. There have been 37,376 residents who have gotten a booster shot.
COVID-related hospitalizations in the city remain low, however, with none reported today at Inova Alexandria Hospital. There have been seven infected patients treated in the hospital in the past week.
A number of local nonprofits are rolling up their sleeves to increase outreach for COVID-19 vaccines for children with families ages 5-11.
The “Sleeves Up, ALX: COVID-19 Vaccine Partnership Program” is a collaboration between ACT for Alexandria and the Alexandria Health Department, which dispersed $145,657 in grant funding to increase awareness of booster shots with populations disproportionately affected by the virus and provide information for young families.
“These organizations bring that critical message to our underserved communities by meeting people where they are and in the language they prefer,” said Natalie Talis, AHD’s population health manager. “Our residents deserve access to life-saving information and vaccines.”
The following nonprofits received grant funds:
- African Communities Together
- Capital Youth Empowerment Program
- Communities In Schools NOVA
- EnDependence Center of Northern Virginia
- Restoration Immigration Legal Aid
- Senior Services of Alexandria
- Tenants and Workers United
“These organizations have the trusted relationships, innovative ideas and know how that will enable us to reach neighbors who are most at-risk,” said ACT’s President and CEO Heather Peeler.
The program started last month and will run until March 2022.
In the last two weeks, Alexandria went from just over 15,000 reported cases of COVID-19 to surpassing 16,000 cases.
As of today (Monday, Dec. 20) there have been 16,075 reported cases of the coronavirus in Alexandria, and more of 800 of new infections have listed since this time last week by the Virginia Department of Health. There have also been 156 deaths from the virus.
The Alexandria Health Department says “individual actions” will slow down the spread, and urged “practical” safety precautions over the holidays.
In the meantime, the First Night Alexandria celebration on New Year’s Eve in is still on. The event brings thousands of people to Old Town for dozens of events and culminates with fireworks on the waterfront.
“First Night Alexandria is committed to keeping the health and safety of our community our top priority,” First Night Alexandria says on its website.
Alexandria’s transmission rate went from “Substantial” to “High” at the end of November, and AHD advises residents to limit the number of people at celebrations, take COVID tests, avoid travel and get booster shots.
“Cases have been increasing over the past few weeks following a post-Thanksgiving surge,” the city said in a weekly release. “Based on a recent AHD analysis of November cases, unvaccinated people are 4 times more likely to get COVID-19, and 5 times more likely to be hospitalized compared to fully vaccinated people. However, with the significantly increased transmission rates, there is also a rise in cases among those who are fully vaccinated.”
The seven day average of daily new cases is now 111, and the seven-day average of new COVID-19 cases for every 100,000 people is 69, up from 25.3 last week. The seven-day average of positive COVID-19 tests is now 7.2%, up from 5.1% last week.
The rise in cases has forced the health department’s contact tracers to shift their workload, and they will no longer make multiple attempts to reach residents who test positive.
“Currently, staff will only make one phone call with a voicemail and send one text message,” AHD said. “Residents are strongly urged to answer calls from AHD or to return them for guidance on next steps. Those who are positive should also begin calling their potential close contacts to let them know they may have been exposed and to get tested as soon as possible, regardless of vaccination status.”
About 57% of Alexandria’s 5-17-year-olds (10,024 people) have been fully vaccinated, as have 73% (95,273) of residents older than 18, and about 84% (16,244) of seniors. Additionally, 35,886 residents have gotten booster shots.
There are still 32,493 unvaccinated residents.
Alexandria’s COVID-19 infections jumped after Thanksgiving, and the numbers continue to rise going into the winter holidays.
There were 116 new cases reported in the city today (Friday), which is the most single-day cases reported since January 2021. There have been 301 new cases reported in the City in the last three days alone, and this “exponential” jump in COVID-19 cases, as described by the Health Department Thursday night, has stretched to Alexandria City Public Schools, as it waves farewell to 15,000 students for the two week winter break starting Monday.
There were 32 new cases reported across ACPS on Dec. 15 (Wednesday); 52 cases reported between Dec. 14 and Dec. 16, and more than 40 new cases reported last week, the Alexandria Health Department reported to the School Board on Thursday night.
Superintendent Gregory Hutchings, Jr. told the Board that ACPS will not revert to system-wide virtual learning, and will monitor rising numbers to determine if individual schools need to shift back to an all-virtual environment on a case-by-case basis.
Hutchings also told the Board that the ACPS COVID-19 Dashboard will be updated more regularly to provide current numbers, which will be used to “determine if we need to revert to a virtual setting.”
Earlier this week, the Dashboard showed only 19 infections in the month of December. That has since been changed to 59 reported cases, significantly below the 122 cases reported since Dec. 6.
The Virginia Department of Health reports that 56% of the city’s 5-17-year-olds are fully vaccinated. In ACPS, 120 staffers are not vaccinated due to religious and medical exemptions, but they are being tested weekly and none have been fired because of refusing to take the vaccine, Hutchings said.
Alexandria’s transmission rate went from “Substantial” to “High” at the end of November, and the numbers of new infections have climbed at rates not seen since January of this year.
Consequently, ACPS recommends the following travel guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
- Delay travel until you are fully vaccinated
- Check your destination’s COVID-19 situation before traveling. State, local, and territorial governments may have travel restrictions in place
- Wearing a mask over your nose and mouth is required in indoor areas of public transportation (including airplanes) and indoors in U.S. transportation hubs (including airports)
- Do not travel if you have been exposed to COVID-19, you are sick, or if you test positive for COVID-19
- If you are not fully vaccinated and must travel, get tested both before and after your trip
ACPS also asks families to check their emails and answer phone calls, since callers could be contract tracers with the Health Department or ACPS informing of an exposure.
Alexandria’s transmission rate remains “High” for the second week in a row, as the first case of the Omicron variant has been detected in Virginia, which just surpassed 1 million cases of COVID-19.
There have been 1,000,694 reported cases of COVID-19 in Virginia since the pandemic began in March 2020. There have also been 14,957 deaths statewide.
Additionally, the first case of the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant was reported on Dec. 9 in northwest Virginia by an adult resident who recently traveled domestically.
“We knew it was only a matter of time before we would record our first Omicron infection in the Commonwealth,” said Virginia Health Commissioner M. Norman Oliver said in a statement. “Right now, the highly transmissible Delta variant is causing almost all cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. We have very effective vaccines that can interrupt the chain of transmission and reduce the odds that unpredictable mutations like the Delta and Omicron variants will emerge. Do your part. Get vaccinated if you are eligible. Get your booster shot if you’re eligible.”
Local COVID numbers
In Alexandria, there are now 15,300 reported cases of COVID-19, an increase of 273 cases since this time last week. The number of reported cases in a single day peaked at 50 on Dec. 12 — the highest since February 12, 2021, when 57 cases were reported.
The death toll in the city remains at 155.
There have also been 19 cases reported within Alexandria City Public Schools this month. There were 62 cases reported in ACPS in November.
Reported cases rose sharply at the end of November, pushing the city from a “Substantial” to “High” transmission rate. The seven-day average of new COVID-19 cases for every 100,000 people is 25.3, down from 36 last week. The seven-day average of positive COVID-19 tests is now 5.1%, up from 4.3% last week.
About 53% of Alexandria’s 5-17-year-olds (9,444 people) have been fully vaccinated, according to VDH.
Additionally, 73% (94,847) of residents older than 18 are fully vaccinated, as are about 84% (16,206) of seniors. Additionally, 31,804 residents have gotten booster shots.
— Va Dept of Health (@VDHgov) December 10, 2021
Alexandria’s COVID transmission rate has risen from “Substantial” to “High”, as the number of reported cases has surpassed 15,000.
As of Tuesday, Dec. 7, there have been 15,056 reported cases of COVID-19 in the city, according to the the Virginia Department of Health. There has also been another death since last week, bringing the death toll from the virus to 155.
Alexandria, which remains under a state of emergency until Jan. 22, 2022, experienced “Substantial” COVID-19 transmission from mid-October 17 until the end of November, before which it saw “High” transmission for two months.
The city saw “Low” and “Moderate” transmission levels from May to June this year — the lowest since the beginning of the pandemic. The only localities not experiencing “High” COVID transmission levels in Northern Virginia are Manassas Park and the City of Fairfax, which have maintained “Moderate” levels.
The Omicron variant and rising COVID numbers
Last week, VDH announced that it is monitoring the Omicron variant, and that it is tracking COVID-19 samples to detect it and other variants.
“Even with new variants, safety measures like wearing a mask and maintaining physical distance are highly effective,” the Alexandria Health Department said in a release. “Vaccination remains the most important tool to fight the pandemic. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, individuals ages 18 and older who are fully vaccinated should get a booster to maximize their protection against COVID-19.”
COVID numbers have risen sharply over the last week, with 251 residents infected since Dec. 1. The seven-day average of new COVID-19 cases for every 100,000 people is 36, up from 7.8 last week. The seven-day average of positive COVID-19 tests is also up — now 4.3% versus 2.7% last week.
There have been 19 cases reported within Alexandria City Public Schools so far this month. There were 62 cases reported in ACPS in November.
About 50% of Alexandria’s 5-17-year-olds (8,852 people) have been fully vaccinated, according to VDH.
Additionally, 73% (94,540) of residents older than 18 are fully vaccinated, as are about 83% (16,179) of seniors. Additionally, 28,845 residents have gotten booster shots.
Meanwhile, the City now plans to reduce its COVID-19 updates from twice a week to once a week.
“With nearly 77% of Alexandrians ages 5 and up partially vaccinated and the 7-day moving average of positive cases at a third of the peak in early fall, the frequency of this COVID-19 news release will reduce to once per week,” the city recently announced.
As the city prepares for the Scottish Christmas Walk Weekend, Alexandria’s COVID-19 infections have continued a steady decline through the holidays.
The upcoming annual festivities were put on hold last year, and it usually bring thousands of visitors to Alexandria.
As of today (Monday, November 29), cases stands at 14,789, up 97 since this time last week. There death toll also remains at 154, according to the the Virginia Department of Health.
The seven-day average of new COVID-19 cases for every 100,000 people is 7.8, down from 11.3 last week. The seven-day average of positive COVID-19 tests is also down — now 2.7% versus 3.2% last week.
There have been 62 cases reported within Alexandria City Public Schools in November. There were 77 cases reported in ACPS in October.
Alexandria has experienced “Substantial” COVID-19 transmission since the week beginning October 17, before which the city saw “High” transmission for two months. The city saw “Low” and “Moderate” transmission levels from May to June this year — the lowest since the beginning of the pandemic.
About 38% of Alexandria’s 5-17-year-olds (6,735 people) have been fully vaccinated, according to VDH.
Additionally, 73% (94,720) of residents older than 18 are fully vaccinated, as are about 84% (16,221) of seniors. Additionally, 24,774 residents have gotten booster shots.