Alexandria now has 2,000 cases of COVID-19, an increase of 19 cases since yesterday, according to the Virginia Department of Health.
Yesterday VDH reported that a woman in her 80s is the latest victim of COVID-19 in the city, and that there have been 45 total deaths. That number was reduced in VDH data today to 44.
A large percentage of deaths occurred at long-term care facilities, and there has been one death of a person in their 20s. There are 20 reported deaths of residents in their 80s and 13 deaths of residents in their 70s.
Hispanic residents make up 17% of the population and lead with the highest number of cases in the city with six deaths, 992 cases and 86 total hospitalizations.
City Warns Against Contact Tracing Scams
Alexandria is now warning residents against falling for contact tracing scams.
“When legitimate contact tracers call, they will not ask for money or private information, like Social Security, bank account, or credit card numbers,” according to a city release. “If you receive a suspicious call or link, please hang up or delete it.”
Links in scam text messages can download malware onto your phone, potentially allowing scammers to steal personal information. To prevent being scammed, the Federal Trade Commission recommends filtering unwanted text messages, turning on two-factor authentication and updating phone software to the latest version. Learn more about contact tracing scams on the FTC Blog.
There have been 9,705 PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests administered in Alexandria so far, and the city’s seven-day positivity rate shows a 11.5% infection rate of those tested. There have also been 1,332 antibody tests in Alexandria. Across Virginia, there have been 328,889 PCR tests administered with a seven-day positivity rate of 11.5% (and 40,419 antibody tests).
Statewide, there have been 1,407 reported deaths (15 since yesterday), and 1,300 of those deaths are confirmed to have been COVID-19-related, according to VDH. There are now 46,239 cases (44,069 confirmed, 2,170 probable) and 4,770 hospitalizations (including 32 probable cases).
Alexandria Police are investigating a scam against a city resident, in which she reported losing $11,800 to someone claiming to be a representative of the Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes.
The victim reported to police on April 9 that she received a call telling her that she was the winner of Publisher’s Clearing House’s grand prize, but that in order to get the funds she would have to pay taxes beforehand, according to the police search warrant affidavit.
The victim spoke with more than one individual from different phone numbers instructing her to deposit $3,500 in a TD bank account, followed by a check for $8,500 to an address in the Bronx, New York. She was told that the money would then be deposited into her account, according to the affidavit.
The victim reportedly provided the scammers with her full name, bank account information and pin number and the last four digits of her Social Security number. She later realized there was a problem when her account password and email address were changed, according to police.
The city is warning residents against scams, as the coronavirus pandemic creates an opportunity for some to take advantage of the crisis.
Earlier this week, the Del Ray Business Association warned against a phishing scam that reportedly took advantage of one resident.
According to the city, common examples of scams include:
- Fake “test kits” or cures
- Illegitimate health organizations
- Malicious websites or applications that claim to share COVID-19 information but steal personal information or install malware; and fraudulent charities.
- Emails with a COVID-19-related subject line, attachment or hyperlink.
- Fake phone calls, emails, or texts trying to get to revealing sensitive information or donating to fraudulent charities or causes
Neighborhood Restaurant Group Family Fund Raises $44K — “Our employees are the lifeblood of this company and form the backbone of this amazing industry; they are the core of our communities and the heart of our restaurant family. We are working to support them through our to-go and delivery efforts and through our gift card sales – and we will continue to do whatever it takes. With your help, we will survive this crisis so we can continue to support our team and the communities in which we operate.” [GoFundMe]
Greener Cleaner of Del Ray Looking For Business on National Laundry Day — “It’s a perfect time to ‘Spring Clean During the Quarantine!’ Winter coats, comforters, rugs, all clothes, and much more accepted. Masks are also available for sale for $8.” [Facebook]
ICYMI: Senior Services of Alexandria Hosts a Public TV Show — “We know most people are aware of the monthly speaker series and other outreach activities including the stocking of Senior Information Corners around town, but did you know that SSA produces a monthly 30-minute cable television program? Check out the current April program that we were able to produce during the current health situation thanks to our amazing volunteers.” [Zebra]
City Warns of Scams During Pandemic — “Remain vigilant for scams related to #COVID19. You may receive fake phone calls or emails with malicious attachments or links to fraudulent websites. Avoid scams and misinformation throughout the pandemic.” [Twitter]
Inova Needs Blood From Former COVID-19 Patients — “The liquid part of the blood (the plasma) will be used to treat some of our sickest COVID-19 patients as the antibodies developed by those who have recovered may assist in the recovery of those still battling COVID.” [Facebook]
Counseling Center Hiring Remote Office Assistant — “The ideal candidate will be a hard-working professional able to undertake a variety of office support tasks and work diligently under pressure. This person will be comfortable working with a high degree of attention to detail and discretion as well as incorporating new and effective ways to achieve better results.” [Indeed]
Del Ray Artisans Has Online Exhibit — “Rust Doug’s art begins with found items from hikes, and these items lead him through a path to his finished pieces.” [Facebook]
Old Town Books Thanks Customers Around the World — “We’ve sent out more than 1,500 orders since closing March 15th. It’s been hard, I’m not gonna lie. I’ve had some really bad days. We’re all so tired. We miss seeing customers and talking about books with you. But I have to remember there’s an end in sight, even if we don’t quite know when that might be. But we’re determined – We’ll be here. You’re keeping us here. We thank you and we love you for that.” [Facebook]
Junction Bakery & Bistro Donates Food to Alexandria Hospital — “To the tireless & hard-working staff at Inova Alexandria Hospital, thank you for letting us treat you to some fresh-baked pastries & cold brew coffee. We hope it was a pick-me-up. If anyone needs it right now, you do.” [Facebook]
Alexandria Film Festival Accepting Submissions — “It will take place over four days this fall – November 12-15 – at AMC Hoffman Center. In existence for 14 years, the festival showcases “exceptional” short and feature-length films by independent filmmakers. Q&A sessions follow screenings, along with related presentations.” [Zebra]
Bunnies, Guinea Pigs Available for Adoption — “As an open adoption facility, the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria sees more than just dogs and cats; they take in all types of animals brought it from across the city. Meet a few of the AWLA’s smaller — but no less furry — residents.” [Alexandria Living]
If someone calls and claims to be from the Alexandria Sheriff’s Office while demanding money, it’s a scam.
That’s the message local law enforcement is trying to get out, as more city residents report receiving phone calls from scammers. It’s not a new scam, but it’s pervasive, leading officials to continue to spread the word.
The advice from the Sheriff’s Office: just hang up if you get a call like this.
More from the city:
If you receive a call from someone saying they are from the Alexandria Sheriff’s Office (or any other Sheriff’s Office) and that you have to pay them money, hang up. Scammers will try a variety of approaches to intimidate and coerce people into giving them money. But actual sheriffs’ offices in Virginia will never call you and demand money.
Don’t be a victim! The callers may identify themselves as law enforcement officers and even use an official sounding title. They may state that you missed jury duty, have an outstanding warrant, failed to pay a fine, or did not appear in court on a summons, and as a result, you must pay them immediately. They may even threaten to have you arrested or send an officer or deputy to take you into custody, unless you give them money or provide them credit card or gift card information.
Do not pay them or disclose any financial or personal information. Simply hang up!
If you have been the victim of a scam, report it to your local police department. The Alexandria Police Department can be reached at 703.746.4444.
If you have any questions about this, please contact Lieutenant Sean Casey at 703.746.5116.
Scam alert! Criminals try different ways to scam people, like saying they are with the Sheriff’s Office and have a warrant for your arrest unless you pay $$$. But actual sheriffs' offices in Virginia will never call you and demand money or gift cards. https://t.co/ttDvQGooHN
— Alexandria Sheriff (@AlexVASheriff) January 17, 2020