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Alexandria’s Week in Coronavirus
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Alexandria’s Week in Coronavirus

Covid-19 Cases in Arlington and Alexandria.
Sources: Virginia Department of Health http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus/ Maryland: Maryland Department of Health https://coronavirus.maryland.gov/ Alexandria Source: City of Alexandria

Covid-19 Cases in Arlington and Alexandria. Sources: Virginia Department of Health http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus/ Maryland: Maryland Department of Health https://coronavirus.maryland.gov/ Alexandria Source: City of Alexandria Graphic by Laurence Foong/Compiled by Ken Moore

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Covid-19 Cases in Maryland, Virginia, Montgomery County and Fairfax County. Sources: Virginia Department of Health http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus/ Maryland: Maryland Department of Health https://coronavirus.maryland.gov/ Alexandria Source: City of Alexandria.

Monday, June 1

Alexandria Cases: 1,981

Virginia Cases: 45,398

United States Cases: 1,761,503

Alexandria Deaths: 45

Virginia Deaths: 1,392

United States Deaths: 103,700

NO PLACE LIKE HOME: The City of Alexandria and the Alexandria Health Department (AHD) remind everyone that the safest place to be is at home. If you must leave your home, for essential trips such as food purchases and medical care, wear a cloth face covering around others and keep at least 6 feet apart from others whenever possible. Your neighbors and loved ones are counting on you to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Sunday, May 31

Alexandria Cases: 1,974

Virginia Cases: 44,607

United States Cases: 1,737,950

Alexandria Deaths: 44

Virginia Deaths: 1,375

United States Deaths: 102,785

UP TO DATE: For up to date reports on reopenings, see:

https://www.virginia.gov/coronavirus/

https://www.virginia.gov/coronavirus/forwardvirginia/

https://www.virginia.gov/coronavirus/forwardvirginia/faq/

ZIP CODE ACCURACY: Virginia Department of Health (VDH) began reporting COVID-19 data on testing encounters by health districts using more accurate ZIP Code information. The new data will impact 37,362 test results that were previously not assigned a health district designation because incomplete patient address information was reported to VDH.

Beginning May 30, VDH will report test encounter data using a tiered approach. If a test record is missing a patient address ZIP Code, the ordering provider’s ZIP Code will be used. If neither ZIP Code for the patient or ordering provider is available, the testing laboratory’s ZIP Code will be used.

By using the new data reporting method, testing encounter numbers will increase the health district figures as follows: Alexandria by 699; Arlington by 187; Fairfax by 3,072.

Saturday, May 30

Alexandria Cases: 1,960

Virginia Cases: 43,611

United States Cases: 1,719,827

Alexandria Deaths: 44

Virginia Deaths: 1,370

United States Deaths: 101,711

LICENSES WON’T EXPIRE: Driver’s licenses and identification cards expiring on or before July 31, 2020, are extended for 90 days, not to exceed August 31, 2020. This means that a customer whose credential expires between March 15 and May 31 will have 90 days beyond the expiration date to renew, and credentials with an expiration date from June 1 to July 31 must be renewed no later than August 31, 2020. Vehicle registrations that expire in March, April, and May are extended for 90 days; those expiring in June are extended for 60 days; and those expiring in July are extended for 30 days. In addition to the credential extensions, selected customer service centers are open by appointment only for specific services. For details, visit the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles.

FOOD FOR PETS: The Animal Welfare League of Alexandria (AWLA) offers a variety of COVID-19 related services, including programs to assist pet owners in need. As part of these efforts, the organization has provided more than 5,000 pounds of pet supplies to Alexandria residents since mid-March. Assistance programs for pet owners include the Community Pet Pantry, which provides pet care items like wet and dry food, cat litter, and other supplies. Pet owners are invited to contact the AWLA at community@alexandriaanimals.org or 703.746.5508 to discuss what items are needed for their pet and how to arrange for pick-up or delivery. For eligible homebound seniors, the AniMeals on Wheels program, a partnership between the AWLA and Senior Services of Alexandria, provides monthly deliveries of pet supplies to eligible, housebound Alexandria seniors with pets. For more information about AniMeals on Wheels, contact Senior Services of Alexandria at 703.836.4414, ext. 113.

Friday, May 29

Alexandria Cases: 1,941

Virginia Cases: 42,533

United States Cases: 1,698,523

Alexandria Deaths: 44

Virginia Deaths: 1,358

United States Deaths: 100,466

FACE MASKS: Virginians are now required to wear face coverings in public indoor settings as businesses slowly resume operation. Face coverings are in addition to public health guidelines to maintain six feet of physical distancing, to increase cleaning and sanitation, and to wash hands regularly.

“Science shows that face coverings are an effective way to prevent transmission of the virus, but wearing them is also a sign of respect. This is about doing the right thing to protect the people around us and keep everyone safe,” said Gov. Ralph Northam.

A face covering includes anything that covers your nose and mouth, such as a mask, scarf, or bandana. Under the Governor’s executive order, any person age ten and older must wear a mask or face covering at all times while entering, exiting, traveling through, and spending time in the following public settings: personal care and grooming businesses; essential and non-essential brick and mortar retail including grocery stores and pharmacies; food and beverage establishments; entertainment or public amusement establishments when permitted to open; train stations, bus stations, and on intrastate public transportation, including in waiting areas; state and local government buildings and areas where the public accesses services; any indoor space shared by groups of people who may congregate within six feet of one another or who are in close proximity to each other for more than ten minutes.

Exemptions to these guidelines include while eating or drinking; exercising; children younger than 10; when communicating with a hearing-impaired person when lips need to be visible; and anyone with a health condition that keeps them from wearing a face covering. Children over the age of two are strongly encouraged to wear a face covering to the extent possible.

RELIGIOUS INSTITUTIONS: Under Virginia’s Phase One guidelines, churches, synagogues, mosques, and temples may hold services in their houses of worship at 50% of their normal capacity. With the exception of families, congregants must sit six feet apart. Items should not be passed around during a religious service. Social gatherings remain limited to no more than 10 people. Additional guidelines for houses of worship at https://www.virginia.gov/coronavirus/forwardvirginia/#856622

BUSINESS REOPENING GUIDELINES:

RESTAURANTS, breweries, distilleries, and wineries may serve dine-in customers at tables outside, at 50 percent of their normal indoor capacity. Tables must be spaced six feet apart and no more than 10 people may sit at a table. A restaurant’s indoor bar area must remain closed. Disposable menus are required and servers must wear cloth face coverings.

GYMS, POOLS, recreation centers, sports centers, may open for outdoor activities only. Customers, trainers, and instructors must stay 10 feet apart from each other and equipment also must be spaced 10 feet apart. Exercise classes are limited to 10 people. Outdoor swimming pools may be open for lap swimming only, with one person per lane. Indoor pools, hot tubs and spas, and outdoor basketball and racquetball courts must remain closed.

PERSONAL CARE: Beauty salons, barbers, spas, massage centers, tanning salons, and tattoo shops are limited to 50% of their normal capacity and customers must make appointments to come in. Customers and employees are required to wear face coverings. These businesses must keep a record of all clients served, including name, contact information, and date and time of service.

RETAIL: Other retail businesses may reopen at 50% capacity and employees must wear face coverings. Essential businesses, such as grocery stores, should follow the state’s guidance for all businesses. https://www.virginia.gov/coronavirus/forwardvirginia/#856418

FARMERS MARKETS: The Del Ray, Four Mile Run, Old Town and Old Town North farmers' markets will resume on-sale sites after submitting management plans to safely comply with the Governor's Forward Virginia Phase One blueprint for reopening. Vendors and staff must wear face coverings when entering or working at the market, and customers are strongly encouraged to do so, as well. Everyone should practice the Six Steps to Stop the Spread of COVID-19. Vendors will be required to use enhanced cleaning and sanitizing procedures, and there will continue to be no food preparation, food sampling, or on-site dining allowed. Customers are encouraged to use pre-order and delivery options when offered; visit ALX at Home to browse options.

CARE SURVEY EFFECTS CHANGE: A COVID-19 Care Survey will help identify local challenges to accessing COVID-19 testing and care. Results from the survey will be analyzed and reviewed by the Alexandria health department and community partners to determine how different populations in Alexandria seek and receive care. The project will result in an AHD plan to address major issues that have been identified by the public and inform future work with local health care providers. The survey, which is available in English, Spanish, Arabic, Amharic and Farsi, will be open through June 19. It takes about five minutes to complete, and all answers are anonymous.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has provided COVID-19 Employer Information for Office Buildings, for employers who are preparing office buildings for returning workers. The updated guidance provides information on creating COVID-19 workplace health and safety plans; checking building systems to ensure they are ready for reopening; strategies to ensure physical distancing and other preventive measures; changing the way people work to avoid COVID-19 infection; and more.

PARK OPENINGS: George Washington Memorial Parkway will reopen parking lots and restrooms that were closed. This includes parking areas at Theodore Roosevelt Island, Gravelly Point (no parking allowed on overflow grass area), Fort Hunt Park, Jones Point Park, Collingwood Picnic Area, Riverside Park, Belle Haven Park, and Fort Marcy. Parking areas at Great Falls Park have already reopened. Updates on park operations will continue to be posted on https://www.nps.gov/aboutus/news/public-health-update.htm

VIRGINIANS GRADUATE TOGETHER: Gov. Ralph Northam hosted a statewide virtual celebration on Friday, May 29. “Virginia Graduates Together” celebrated 2020 graduates with a special address from the Governor and First Lady, musical performances, a keynote speech from United States Women’s National Soccer champion Angela Hucles Mangano, and well-wishes from notable Virginians.

IMMUNIZATIONS DECLINE: Senators Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine joined Senator Maggie Hassan and 14 of their colleagues in calling on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to address the declining rate of routine child immunizations for measles and other dangerous viruses amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Thursday, May 28

Alexandria Cases: 1,887

Virginia Cases: 41,401

United States Cases: 1,678,843

Alexandria Deaths: 44

Virginia Deaths: 1,338

United States Deaths: 99,031

FOOD DISTRIBUTION: In partnership with World Central Kitchen, a nonprofit food distribution organization founded by chef José Andrés, meals will be distributed at Ramsay Elementary School on Thursday and groceries will be distributed by the nonprofit community organization ALIVE! ALIVE! provided four food distributions this week.

May 28 at Charles Houston Recreation Center Parking Lot. Distribution of meals and 1-2 bags of shelf-stable groceries. Held in partnership with the City, Washington Street United Methodist Church, Royal Restaurant and the Alexandria Redevelopment and Housing Authority.

May 28 at William Ramsay Elementary School Parking Lot. Distribution of meals and two bags of shelf-stable groceries and produce. Held in partnership with World Central Kitchen and Hunger Free Alexandria.

May 30: Truck-to-Trunk Food Distribution: Cora Kelly Elementary School and John Adams Elementary School. Drive-through food distribution at both sites, with walk-throughs allowed. Distribution includes at least four bags of shelf stable groceries, fresh eggs and a box of farm fresh produce.

TIM KAINE POSITIVE: U.S. Senator Tim Kaine and his wife, Anne Holton, tested positive for antibodies to coronavirus.

“I tested positive for the flu earlier this year and was given standard medication to treat it. The symptoms lingered and I continued to receive treatment from my physician for the flu through mid-March. At the end of March, I experienced new symptoms that I initially thought were flu remnants and a reaction to an unusually high spring pollen count. Then Anne experienced a short bout of fever and chills, followed by congestion and eventually a cough.

“After Anne got sick, we each talked to our health providers in early April and they thought it possible that we had mild cases of coronavirus. We were both at home in Richmond, working remotely and isolated from others. Due to the national testing shortage, we were not tested for the virus but continued isolating and watched for any worsening of symptoms. By mid-April we were symptom free.

“We each tested positive for coronavirus antibodies this month. While those antibodies could make us less likely to be re-infected or infect others, there is still too much uncertainty over what protection antibodies may actually provide. So we will keep following CDC guidelines—hand-washing, mask wearing, social distancing. We encourage others to do so as well. It shows those around you that you care about them.”

PROTECT FAUCI: Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), Reps. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) and Stephen F. Lynch (D-Mass.) introduced legislation Wednesday to protect Dr. Anthony Fauci and other directors of National Research Institutes and Centers from being fired for politically-motivated reasons.

“Absent adequate leadership from the White House during this pandemic, the American people have relied on the expertise of officials like Dr. Fauci for guidance and accurate information. We cannot allow these officials to fall victim to President Trump’s war on civil servants. Preserving their independence from political interference is paramount to our efforts to defeat this virus,” said Connolly.

First appointed to his position in 1984, Dr. Fauci has led NIAID, which is part of the NIH, under six U.S. presidents, beginning with Ronald Reagan. President George W. Bush awarded Dr. Fauci the nation’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Wednesday, May 27

Alexandria Cases: 1,824

Virginia Cases: 40,249

United States Cases: 1,662,414

Alexandria Deaths: 42

Virginia Deaths: 1,281

United States Deaths: 98,261

SIDEWALK DINING: The Alexandria City Council has approved a plan to allow restaurants to use sidewalks and parking spaces in front of their businesses for outdoor dining. This will help restaurants serve customers outdoors when Phase One of Governor Ralph Northam’s Forward Virginia blueprint takes effect in Northern Virginia on May 29. Outdoor dining under Executive Order 61 will be limited to 50 percent of the restaurant’s permitted capacity. Restaurants interested in participating must submit an application.

PEDESTRIAN KING STREET: The City will temporarily close the 100 block of King Street to vehicular traffic. Lee Street will be restricted to local traffic only between Cameron and Prince Streets. These changes will allow restaurants to use portions of the sidewalk and street for outdoor dining tables as described above. A wide path will be maintained in the center of the street for pedestrians to maintain physical distancing while walking on the block, and for emergency vehicle access. The temporary changes will remain in effect every day during Phase One, and the City will make a decision about next steps before the transition to Phase Two.

REMINDERS: Signage outdoors and in businesses will remind the public to maintain physical distance of at least six feet, to wear cloth face coverings and to wash hands regularly. The Alexandria Police Department will have increased presence on lower King Street and along the Waterfront to help maintain compliance with the law.

COVID-19: Isolation and Quarantine Guidance

The City and AHD have developed guidance for people who have tested positive for COVID-19, have been exposed to the virus, or have recovered from the illness. “When You Can Be Around Others" (also available in Spanish, Amharic and Arabic) includes detailed guidance on how people in these situations may determine the safest time to leave isolation or quarantine.

Mark R. Warner (D-VA) joined Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and six senators to request additional information on the Borrower Protection Program that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced in April. The agencies’ announcement stated that the CFPB and FHFA would share data under the program but did not say how that data would be used to protect borrowers. The Senators asked the agencies what information they would share and how each agency would use this new program to avoid unnecessary borrower defaults and foreclosures, as well as misinformation, unequal treatment of borrowers, or otherwise address servicers not complying with the law.

Tuesday, May 26

Alexandria Cases: 1,785

Virginia Cases: 39,342

United States Cases: 1,637,456

Alexandria Deaths: 41

Virginia Deaths: 1,236

United States Deaths: 97,669

Three more fatalities in Alexandria bringing the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in Alexandria is now 1,785, including 41 fatalities.

PHASE ONE: Northern Virginia’s request to enter into Phase One of the blueprint for reopening Virginia was approved by Gov. Ralph Northam. Phase One lifts some restrictions on businesses while continuing measures to help stop the spread of COVID-19. The region will move to a “Safer at Home” strategy, which continues the ban on gatherings of more than 10 people and maintains standards for physical distancing, teleworking, and wearing face coverings. Gov. Ralph Northam signed this Executive Order on May 26. See details. (Friday, May 29)

RECREATION OPENS SLOWLY: Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities will reopen phases for programs and services, aligned with the phases in the Governor’s “Forward Virginia” blueprint for Northern Virginia. Programs and facilities will operate according to federal, state and local health guidelines, which include significant adjustments to capacity and format. Fewer participants than usual will be accommodated during the first two phases in summer camps, classes, pools, fitness rooms and more. Some facility amenities will remain closed until it is safe to reopen in accordance with guidelines. Visit https://www.alexandriava.gov/Recreation for reopening updates, including details about registration and participation. All is subject to change.

SAFETY STANDARDS: Gov. Ralph Northam directed the Department of Labor and Industry to develop emergency temporary standards to prevent workplace exposure to COVID-19. These occupational safety standards will require the approval by vote of the Virginia Safety and Health Codes Board and must address personal protective equipment, sanitation, record-keeping of incidents, and hazard communication. Upon approval, the Department of Labor and Industry will be able to enforce the standards through civil penalties and business closures.