Alexandria’s COVID-19 uptick continues to gain steam, as there have been 118 new cases reported in the last week, according to the Virginia Department of Health.

There were also 204 new cases reported in the month of July, a  343% increase over June, which only saw 43 new cases.

Alexandria’s numbers now reveal 12,165 reported cases since the onset of the pandemic in March 2020, as well as 577 COVID-related hospitalizations. The death count remains unchanged at 141 for the last three weeks.

VDH also says unvaccinated Virginians are making up 99.6% of new cases.

So far, 81,598 residents have been fully vaccinated, and 94,409 residents have been partially vaccinated. Just over 67% of residents below the age of 18 have been fully vaccinated,  so have 60% of residents 18 and older and 76% of seniors.

Alexandria City Public Schools will also determine this week whether face masks will be required when school starts on August 24, and the city is recommending residents wear face masks indoors again, regardless of their vaccination status.

Alexandria has a goal of fully vaccinating 110,000 residents, which is 80% of the population, and the Alexandria Health Department and mayor believe the city has already reached that goal. They say that city’s vaccination numbers don’t reflect shots given to residents outside of the city, like in Maryland or D.C.

Find vaccine providers in Alexandria here. If you feel sick, get tested.

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Morning Notes

ACT For Alexandria CEO wins nonprofit leadership award — “As nonprofit leaders in Greater Washington, Mike Di Marco, Kahina Haynes, and Heather Peeler are invested in improving and advancing their organizations–and themselves. This year, we’re excited to announce them as our fourth annual David Bradt Nonprofit Leadership Awardees. (They) will each receive up to $15,000 to attend an intensive executive training program of their choice.” [The Community Foundation]

City recommends monitoring for COVID-19 symptoms regardless of vaccination status — “Although the vast majority of new COVID-19 cases are among unvaccinated people, those who are fully vaccinated can still contract COVID-19 and are more likely to experience mild illness. Anyone experiencing the following symptoms should get tested: fever or chills; cough; shortness of breath or difficulty breathing; fatigue; muscle or body aches; headache; new loss of taste or smell; sore throat; congestion or runny nose; nausea or vomiting; or diarrhea. Protect yourself and others by getting vaccinated. Find your shot online today.” [City of Alexandria]

ALIVE! gets $100K Safeway grant — “@Safeway Foundation awarded ALIVE! a $100,000 grant to help connect individuals in Alexandria, VA with federal meal programs this summer. The grant is part of Safeway Nourishing Neighbors Community Relief Initiative to fight food insecurity.” [Twitter]

Today’s weather — “Intervals of clouds and sunshine (during the day). High near 85F. Winds N at 5 to 10 mph… Partly cloudy (in the evening). Low near 65F. Winds WNW at 5 to 10 mph.” [Weather.com]

New job: $200 a day tour guide — “Spirited Tours LLC provides day-long winery and brewery tours to D.C. residents and guests who’d like to explore Virginia’s countryside. Seeking a responsible, punctual, and social tour guide/driver to help with winery and brewery tours on weekends. Must be comfortable driving large groups (driving minivan or 15 passenger van).” [Indeed]

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Alexandria’s COVID uptick continues, as 90 new cases have been reported this month. The death of another city resident was also reported on July 13, and the number of deaths now stands at 141.

Some Alexandria businesses have returned to asking residents to wear masks indoors, like the 24 Express Food Store at 4007 Mount Vernon Avenue in Arlandria.

“It was too early to take off the masks,” the store owner told ALXnow. “A lot of customers haven’t been vaccinated yet.”

Fifty-one new cases were reported within the last seven days, according to data provided by the Virginia Department of Health.

Alexandria’s numbers now reveal 11,972 reported cases since the onset of the pandemic in March 2020, as well as 575 COVID-related hospitalizations.

VDH also says unvaccinated Virginians are making up 99.6% of new cases.

So far, 79,672 residents (about 72%) have been fully vaccinated, and 91,644 residents have been partially vaccinated. Just over 64% of residents below the age of 18 have been fully vaccinated, so 59% of residents 18 and older (77,019 residents), and 75% of seniors (14,630 residents).

Alexandria has a goal of fully vaccinating 110,000 residents, which is 80% of the population, and the Alexandria Health Department and mayor believe the city has already reached that goal. They say that city’s vaccination numbers don’t reflect shots given to residents outside of the city, like in Maryland or D.C.

Find vaccine providers in Alexandria here. If you feel sick, get tested.

via VDH

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On paper, Alexandria has had a hard time closing the gap to the city’s goal of 80% of residents getting vaccinated or even the Virginia target of 70%.

Several explanations for the challenge have been put forward, but in a town hall this week Mayor Justin Wilson put forward another: the city has already hit that goal, but the way the calculations work don’t show it.

“I get a lot of questions about ‘Why [are we] not at 70%?'” Wilson said. “The short answer is my view is we’ve actually made that goal.”

Wilson said the city’s figures are thrown out of wack in part because many Alexandrians didn’t get vaccinated in Virginia.

“Part of the data discrepancy that we have right now is that there are two very big populations excluded form the data we’re using,” Wilson said. “The [Virginia Department of Health] does not include Alexandrians vaccinated outside of the state. In other states that had lower demand and perhaps greater accessibility: we had a lot of Alexandrians who went to other states. They went to Maryland or DC. They’re not showing up in the numbers reported.”

The other factor Wilson said could be holding back Alexandria’s count is federal vaccinations. In 2019, the Alexandria Times noted that 12,831 Alexandrians are federal employees, citing the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

“Perhaps bigger than that is federal doses,” Wilson said. “These are folks who would have received doses through their employers, and in some cases dependents. That’s reported at the state level, so we know how many of those folks are Virginians, but we don’t have a good jurisdictional breakdown of those numbers.”

Currently, the city sits at around 60% of the city being partially vaccinated and 56% are fully vaccinated. Wilson said, between federal employees and those vaccinated out of state, the has probably at least hit the lower benchmark.

“I suspect we’re well over 70% for the 18+ folks,” Wilson said. “That being said, still have a lot of work to do.”

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The Alexandria Health Department has launched a COVID-19 testing and vaccine clinic at the Teen Wellness Center in an effort to get more 12-to-19-year-olds vaccinated.

The pilot will help the department figure out how to incorporate it into the school system, acting AHD Director Dr. Anne Gaddy told City Council and School Board members in a meeting Monday night.

So far, about 65% of city residents over the age of 16 have been at least partially vaccinated, as AHD works toward goal of getting 80% of that population (106,618 people) fully vaccinated.

“They don’t have to be attending T.C. to be able to get the vaccine,” Gaddy said. “The appointments are open not only to students, but to parents as well as to school staff.”

To date, 75,428 residents have been fully vaccinated and 90,319 residents have been partially vaccinated. There have been 11,880 COVID-19 cases reported in the City, and 139 deaths.

It is relatively easy process to get a vaccine. Anyone over the age of 12 is able to get the vaccine for free.

“Many of our grocery stores and pharmacies have the capacity to be able to offer you a walk-in shot, as do as any of our clinics and many other medical providers,” said AHD population health manager Natalie Talis. There’s really options all over the city, all of them are free, and you do not require insurance or an ID to get your vaccines.”

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Morning Notes

Alexandria Hospital President Dr. Rina Bansal asks residents to get vaccinated — “A healthy person can get COVID and survive, and if you have already had it, you may still have the antibodies to keep you safe for a period of time. But what about your community? It may not be readily apparent that a family member, friend or neighbor has an underlying health condition that puts them at higher risk for hospitalization or even death from COVID-19. Your choice to not be vaccinated isn’t just putting you at risk, it can impact so many others around you.” [ALXnow]

Historic Building that inspired ‘Mercy Street’ to be private residence, museum offices — “The building was converted into the Mansion House Hotel and served as a Union Hospital during the Civil War. Green and the hospital were depicted in the TV drama series “Mercy Street,” which aired on PBS from 2016-2017. NOVA Parks has owned the property since 1970, using it as office space and leasing the rest of the space to other companies. In 2019, NOVA Parks announced that it was marketing the sale or lease of the building.” [Alexandria Living]

Barkhaus expands outdoor play area for pets — “The new off-leash dog park attached to Barkhaus, at 529 E. Howell Ave., is more than twice as large as the old park and is furnished with umbrellas, lounge chairs, ice baths, mist and is partially turfed. This meant moving the parking to 516 E. Bellefonte Ave., behind the restaurant.” [Alexandria Living]

Today’s weather — “Some clouds in the morning will give way to mainly sunny skies for the afternoon. High 79F. Winds NW at 10 to 15 mph… Partly cloudy (in the evening). Low 57F. Winds NNW at 5 to 10 mph.” [Weather.com]

New job: Full-time assistant store manager at Aldi— “When you join our team as an Assistant Store Manager, you’ll take on key store management responsibilities including assisting with supervising day-to-day store activities, ensuring overall store performance, managing schedules, and developing operational action plans while identifying training opportunities to develop and grow the team.” [Indeed]

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Alexandria’s COVID-19 numbers are still trickling in.

There have been 11,854 cases, and of the City has not reported a death since May 25. There have been 137 total deaths.

Across Virginia there have been 11,318 deaths and 677,812 cases.

Below is the VDH breakdown of cases over the last six week in Alexandria:

  • Zero cases reported Sunday, June 13
  • Eight cases reported Saturday, June 12
  • Zero cases reported Friday June 11
  • Zero cases reported Thursday, June 10
  • Two cases reported Wednesday, June 9
  • Zero cases reported Tuesday, June 8
  • Zero cases reported Monday, June 7

On the vaccine front, 69,561 residents have been fully vaccinated, and 86,387 residents have been partially vaccinated. Alexandria has a goal of fully vaccinating 110,000 residents, which is 80% of the population.

Find vaccine providers in Alexandria here. If you feel sick, here is how to get tested.

Courtesy VDH

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Morning Notes

Sheriff Dana Lawhorne to receive Lifetime Valor Award — “In recognition of his retirement, we are pleased to honor Sheriff Dana Lawhorne with a Lifetime Valor Award at this year’s Valor Awards. Join us virtually, on June 22nd, to honor Sheriff Lawhorne’s 43 years of law enforcement service to Alexandria.” [Chamber ALX]

West End Business Association hosting 1 p.m. conversation with Mayor — “Take this opportunity to ask questions and connect with Mayor Justin Wilson about how he would continue to serve the city of Alexandria.” [WEBA]

Chinquapin Recreation Center closing for improvements June 26 — “The City of Alexandria’s Chinquapin Park Recreation Center and Aquatics Facility (3210 King St.) will close Saturday, June 26 through Monday, Sept. 6, for several planned facility improvements and annual cleaning.” [Zebra]

Vaccine Equity Clinic on Route 1 in Fairfax County offering free transportation — “The Health Department and Fairfax Connector have partnered to offer free transportation to those who want to get vaccinated at the clinic, located in the former Safeway site at 7451 Mount Vernon Square Center in Alexandria. Fairfax Connector’s Free Vaccine Shuttle will run along Fairfax Connector’s line in that region.” [Fairfax County]

Annual Waterfront Commission walk is today — “The walk will be in person starting at (5 p.m. at) the intersection of Oronoco and South Union Streets and will proceed south to Robinson Landing. The walk is anticipated to end at 6:30 p.m.” [City of Alexandria]

Fire Department conducting community meeting on restructuring today — “The Alexandria Fire Department (AFD) will implement an organizational restructure, effective Saturday, June 12, 2021. The goals of the changes are to improve service efficiency and response times across the City; reduce cost; increase safety on the roadways; and improve response preparedness for specialty teams such as the Technical Rescue, Hazardous Materials, and Inland Water Rescue teams. AFD Representatives will present the upcoming changes to the community and answer questions.” [City of Alexandria]

Today’s weather — “Rain showers in the morning with numerous thunderstorms developing in the afternoon. High 81F. Winds ENE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 90%… Thunderstorms in the evening, then variable clouds overnight with still a chance of showers. Low around 65F. Winds E at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 70%.” [Weather.com]

New job: Ghost tour guide — “US Ghost Adventures, a national tour operation is seeking energetic storytellers to lead 90-minute walking tour groups downtown. This part-time position is ideal for self-motivated candidates looking for a fun way to make extra income in the evenings.” [Indeed]

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Alexandria has nearly hit 50% of its total population being fully vaccinated, but Mayor Justin Wilson said in a monthly town hall meeting that closing the gap to the city’s goal of 80% could be more of a challenge.

While much of the current percentage of vaccinated residents sought out the vaccine and signed up on waitlists, Wilson said many in the remaining half of the city could take convincing.

“Getting to a higher rate of vaccination is going to be a lot of work,” Wilson said. “If you know people who [aren’t vaccinated], go to Alexandriava.gov/vaccines. There’s a long list of clinics, including both sign up and walk-in clinics and pharmacy partners.”

Wilson said the vaccine should be fully accessible to any Alexandrian over 12.

“It is widely accessible,” Wilson said. “There is nobody 12 or above who should be unable to quickly get a vaccine right now. The 12-15 [age] is the newest category. I don’t suspect we’ll have authorization to do anyone under 12 until sometime in the fall.”

Today (Monday) the City of Alexandria announced relocated vaccine clinics for the Potomac Yard and George Washington Middle School sites.

AHD is now operating vaccine clinics at Francis C. Hammond Middle School (4646 Seminary Rd.) and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (600 Dulany Street). Due to the transition to the new clinic locations and the Memorial Day holiday, a single vaccination clinic was held this week and the number of vaccinations administered by AHD was significantly reduced.

Graphs via VDH

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Alexandria’s COVID-19 deaths have increased by one to 136, and the number of cases has reached 11,825, an increase of 26 cases since last Tuesday, according to the Virginia Department of Health.

The city’s seven-day moving average is now 3.9.

Below is the VDH breakdown of cases over the last six days in Alexandria:

  • Two new cases reported Monday, May 24
  • Three new cases reported Sunday, May 23
  • Four new cases reported Saturday, May 22
  • One new case reported Friday, May 21
  • 18 new cases reported Thursday, May 20
  • Zero cases reported Wednesday, May 19
  • Zero cases reported Tuesday, May 18

On the vaccine front, 60,950 residents have been fully vaccinated, and 79,801 residents have been partially vaccinated. Alexandria has a goal of fully vaccinating 110,000 residents, which is 80% of the population.

Find vaccine providers in Alexandria here. If you feel sick, here is how to get tested.

Graph via VDH

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