Alexandria, VA

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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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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It was a cold and news-filled week in Alexandria.

It all started with the report of two public safety incidents over the weekend — a serious car crash in Old Town and another shooting in the West End.

On the coronavirus front, Alexandria is now at 104 fatalities and 9,342 cases. Mayor Justin Wilson said that there is a vaccine shortage in the city, as the waitlist to get inoculated is at more than 25,000. The Alexandria Health Department reported to the Alexandria Times that about 2,000 doses are being distributed weekly.

Our top story this week was on the body that was found last Friday in the water at Holmes Run Trail by Cameron Run Regional Park. In an update, police told us that the death was not suspicious in nature.

Additionally, 630 people responded to our weekly poll. This week, we asked about the proposed Heritage development in Old Town. About 67% of respondents don’t think it’s appropriate for the neighborhood and 33% don’t have a problem with it.

In case you missed it, here are some important stories:

  1. New Flood Warning Signs Installed in Del Ray
  2. Initial and Continued Unemployment Claims Go Down in Alexandria
  3. Despite COVID-19 Contractor Impacts, Potomac Yard Metro Station on Track for Spring 2022 Opening
  4. City Council Accepts Plan to Double Stormwater Utility Fees
  5. Victory Center’s Condominium Redevelopment Headed to Planning Commission

Here are our top stories of the week:

  1. BREAKING: Body Found in the Water Near Cameron Station
  2. Photos: The Regal Potomac Yard Movie Theater is Being Torn Down
  3. Citizens Group Vilifies Heritage High Rise Project in Old Town
  4. Atlantis Pizzeria and Family Restaurant Closing on Jan. 24
  5. Alexandrians with Joe Biden Yard Signs Get Anonymous Letters Saying Biden is a Pedophile
  6. Police: Shots Fired in West End, Car Crash in Old Town Over Weekend
  7. Snow in Alexandria: Winter Weather Advisory in Effect Until 9 A.M. Tuesday
  8. BREAKING: Woman Gets Arm Amputated, Police Investigate if She Was Thrown From Car in West End
  9. Local Business in Hot Water with City Architects After Unauthorized Paint Job
  10. Alexandria Mayor Formally Requests Dominion Energy Step Their Game Up
  11. JUST IN: ACPS Announces No In-Person Schooling For Week of Feb. 1

Have a safe weekend!

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Alexandria’s COVID-19 deaths are now at 101, and the number of cases has reached 9,121.

That’s five more deaths and 311 cases since this time last week, according to the Virginia Department of Health. The fatal victims were in their 60s, 70s and 80s.

“This grim milestone is an important reminder that COVID-19 is still active in Alexandria and that every resident has a role in stopping the spread, particularly to safeguard those at highest risk of severe illness and death,” according to the Alexandria Health Department. “While the arrival of vaccines offers hope that a return to normalcy is within reach, it may still be many months until the majority of Alexandrians are fully protected.”

Across Virginia, there have been 6,081 deaths and there are or have been 478,619 cases of the virus. There have also been 5.1 million PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests and the state’s seven-day positivity rate is 12.6%.

According to Mayor Justin Wilson, the numbers are similar to what the city was experiencing over the summer.

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Five more Alexandria residents have died from COVID-19, and the death toll from the virus now stands at 96. The city has reached 8,810 cases, an increase of 654 cases since this time last week.

On the vaccine front, there have been more than 300,000 doses of the vaccine distributed across Virginia, and 36,826 people have been fully vaccinated, according to the Virginia Department of Health.

The vaccine is now available to seniors older than 65, anyone ages 16-64 with preexisting conditions and health care workers. Pre-register to receive a vaccine in Alexandria here. Need a test? Find where tests are administered here.

There have also been 469 total hospitalizations in Alexandria since the onset of the pandemic, and the city’s seven-day moving average is 84.1.

Across Virginia, there have been 5,798 deaths and there are or have been 451,076 cases of the virus. There have also been 4.6 million PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests and the state’s seven-day positivity rate is 16.7%.

Demographics

There are or have been 4,578 women (with 41 deaths*) and 4,183 men (with 49 deaths*) in Alexandria with the virus. The only age groups that have not experienced a death are children and teenagers.

  • 80+    — 39 deaths*, 227 cases
  • 70-79 — 23 deaths*, 296 cases
  • 60-69 — 10 deaths*, 655 cases
  • 50-59 — 14 deaths*, 1,028 cases
  • 40-49 — Two deaths*, 1,502 cases
  • 30-39 — Two deaths*, 2,040 cases
  • 20-29 — One death*, 1,776 cases
  • 10-19  — Zero deaths*, 634 cases
  • 0-9     — Zero deaths*, 622 cases

*Updated demographic information, including deaths, was not available on the VDH COVID-19 website.

Latino residents have the most infections with 3,189 reported cases, white residents with 2,157 cases, and Black residents with 1,768 cases. There are 381 cases with Asian or Pacific Islander residents, 251 cases classified as “other” and nine native American cases.

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 — 433 cases, 9,239 people tested (Estimated population 15,171)
  • 22302 — 981 cases, 15,997 people tested (Estimated population 20,238)
  • 22304 — 2,916 cases, 29,858 people tested (Estimated population 54,003)
  • 22305 — 1,369 cases, 10,986 people tested (Estimated population 16,095)
  • 22311 — 1,461 cases, 12,366 people tested (Estimated population 16,898)
  • 22312 — 2,091 cases, 16,447 people tested (Estimated population 6,901)
  • 22314 — 1,220 cases, 22,337 people tested (Estimated population 47,826)

Photo via CDC/Unsplash

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