COVID-19 update for May 26: 1,785 cases, 41 deaths in Alexandria

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(Graphic/Lyvi Sieg)
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By Staff

As of May 26, the City of Alexandria has reported 1,785 positive cases of COVID-19 in Alexandria, including 41 fatalities. In addition, 175 Alexandria residents have been hospitalized as a result of COVID-19.

That is an increase of 31 cases and three fatalities in the last 24 hours. There were no new reported hospitalizations in the past 24 hours. 

Women account for the majority of COVID-19 deaths in Alexandria, 21, compared to 20 for men. The fatalities include 25 white people, 10 black people, one other reported race and five cases with no race reported. The ethnicity breakdown in deaths is 32 non-Hispanic or Latino, six Hispanic/Latino and three deaths where ethnicity was not reported. Of the 41 fatalities, 32 – or 78 percent – have been residents age 70 and older. This is in line with the statewide total of 77 percent of fatalities being people age 70 and older.

There are COVID-19 outbreaks at nine Alexandria long-term care facilities. According to a May 2 city press release, “There are five skilled nursing and four assisted living facilities in Alexandria,” so it would appear that every long-term care facility in the city now has a COVID-19 outbreak.

As of May 26, there are 95,363 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Virginia, Maryland and D.C., according to the Washington Post. Virginia has reported 39,342 cases, including 1,236 deaths and 4,325 hospitalizations as of May 26, according to VDH.

On May 24, Northern Virginia’s leaders sent a letter to Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D-VA) saying the region had met four of six benchmarks to reopening. Northam is expected to announce today that the Northern Virginia region will enter phase one of reopening at midnight Thursday night.

Northam issued Executive Order 62 on May 12, delaying Northern Virginia’s first stage of reopening from the pandemic until at least May 28. He had announced that Virginia would begin phase one of reopening on May 15, but faced resistance from Northern Virginia leaders who opposed reopening that soon. Previously declared “non-essential” businesses such as personal and pet grooming salons will be allowed to reopen when regions enter phase one, provided the establishments adhere to strict sanitation and social distancing protocols. Restaurants with outdoor seating will also be able to serve customers in those areas, up to 50 percent seating capacity.

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As the novel coronavirus began spreading in Virginia in March, Northam issued a stay-at-home order on March 30 for the state. Residents were advised to not leave their homes unless for essential reasons.

On April 3, both the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention and the City of Alexandria issued recommendations that all residents wear cloth masks every time they leave their homes to prevent community spread of COVID-19.

Alexandria cases

The Alexandria Health Department has reported 1,785 COVID-19 cases in Alexandria, including 41 fatalities. 

AHD reported the first case of coronavirus in Alexandria on March 11. Below is a list of reported cases in Alexandria by date.

  • March 11: 1
  • March 15: 2
  • March 17: 4
  • March 20: 6
  • March 23: 9
  • March 24: 13
  • March 25: 14
  • March 26: 20
  • March 27: 24
  • March 28: 28
  • March 29: 32
  • March 30: 36
  • March 31: 44
  • April 1: 55
  • April 2: 67
  • April 3: 77
  • April 4: 93
  • April 5: 104
  • April 6: 130
  • April 7: 141
  • April 8: 149
  • April 9: 170
  • April 10: 181
  • April 11: 200
  • April 12: 225
  • April 13: 241
  • April 14: 248
  • April 15: 273
  • April 16: 303
  • April 17: 321
  • April 18: 354
  • April 19: 383
  • April 20: 421
  • April 21: 462
  • April 22: 474
  • April 23: 512
  • April 24: 547
  • April 25: 575
  • April 26: 591
  • April 27: 627
  • April 28: 653
  • April 29: 700
  • April 30: 754
  • May 1: 802
  • May 2: 848
  • May 3: 899
  • May 4: 940
  • May 5: 983
  • May 6: 1,022
  • May 7: 1,060
  • May 8: 1,110
  • May 9: 1,142
  • May 10: 1,193
  • May 11: 1,224
  • May 12: 1,240
  • May 13: 1,305
  • May 14: 1,349
  • May 15: 1,396
  • May 16: 1,460
  • May 17: 1,476
  • May 18: 1,510
  • May 19: 1,544
  • May 20: 1,577
  • May 21: 1,627
  • May 22: 1,657
  • May 23: 1,703
  • May 24: 1,733
  • May 25: 1,754
  • May 26: 1,785

AHD will not reveal identities or discuss individual cases or fatalities – unless there is a public health need to do so – in order to respect the privacy of the individuals and their families, according to a news release.

State orders

In accordance with guidelines from the CDC, on April 3 Gov. Northam urged residents to wear cloth masks when they leave their homes.

Gov. Northam issued an executive order on March 30 ordering all Virginians to stay at home. Per the mandatory order, people cannot go out except for food, supplies, work, exercise or to seek medical care. The order is in place until June 10, unless rescinded or extended by another executive order. 

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser also issued stay at home orders on March 30.

City response

City council declared a local state of emergency at its public hearing on March 14. Council has held several emergency meetings since. 

As of March 22, all City of Alexandria facilities are now either closed to the public or open by appointment only until further notice, according to a news release. Closed facilities include recreation, nature and art centers, museums, indoor historic sites and library branches. The city closed its public playgrounds, fenced play areas and fenced dog parks on March 21. 

All other facilities, including city hall, are available by appointment only. For more information or to request an appointment, call 311 or 703-746-4311. 

The city government’s core services remain open; however city employees are working remotely when possible, according to the city website.

ACT for Alexandria and the City of Alexandria have partnered to reinstate the ACT Now Fund during the COVID-19 outbreak.

On March 14, council approved allocating $100,000 to the ACT Now Fund. On April 15, council approved an additional $100,000 contribution of city matching funds. 

All money collected through the ACT Now Fund will go toward providing critical resources to nonprofit organizations on the frontline of serving the community, according to an ACT for Alexandria news release.

As of May 24, the fund had raised $668,851. Donate at www.givegab.com/campaigns/actnowcovid19fund.

As far as parking, the city has suspended enforcement of restrictions for the general public in residential parking permit zones, weekend time restrictions and meter fees on blocks with pay stations, time restrictions for street sweeping, the prohibition against parking on the street for more than 72 hours and the requirement to display a valid state inspection sticker. 

The city has has also suspended enforcement of certain regulations in order to help struggling restaurants. The city will not enforce delivery regulations, hours-of-operation restrictions, sidewalks or parking lot vending restrictions or local restrictions on alcohol sales, including off-premises alcohol sales and delivery, according to a news release.

On April 6, the city sent out a news release asking residents to reduce the waste they discard in order to help protect collection crews. An increase in residential waste since mid-March has been straining regional waste management systems, according to the release.

Therefore, the city requests that residents dispose of used wipes, tissues and paper towels in trash bags that are tied shut, refrain from generating large amounts of waste and flatten cardboard boxes. For residents with city-issued trash bins, anything placed outside the bins will not be collected starting April 13. Yard waste pickup in Alexandria remains suspended until further notice.

Schools

Due to coronavirus, Alexandria City Public Schools closed all schools on March 16. While the division had planned to reopen on April 13, Gov. Northam announced on March 23 that all K-12 schools in Virginia will need to close until the end of the school year.

During closures, ACPS has promised to continue providing meals for children in need, and as well as any families who request it. ACPS will be providing breakfast and lunch meals for any ACPS student on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays between 9 a.m. and 12 p.m. at four locations across the city: Cora Kelly School, Francis C. Hammond Middle School, Jefferson Houston School, T.C. Williams High School and William Ramsay Elementary School, according to a news release.

The virus

Common symptoms of coronavirus to appear two to 14 days after exposure include coughing, fever over 100.4 degrees and shortness of breath. The CDC recommends that anyone who suspects they have symptoms of COVID-19 call their healthcare provider for medical advice. 

There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19, so the best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to the virus, according to the CDC. The CDC is recommending that people frequently wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer containing at least 60 percent alcohol.

The Alexandria Health Department recommends that all community members change their daily behavior and follow the governor’s stay at home order to reduce risk from COVID-19. 

Testing

Testing in Alexandria is limited to patients with symptoms of COVID-19 and a doctor’s order, city spokesman Craig Fifer said. The list of potential COVID-19 symptoms has widened, leading to wider testing as more test kits have become available.

Tests are processed by private providers, not the city. Therefore, patients with symptoms should contact their doctors for more information about testing.

Inova, with support from the city, is using its Old Town primary care clinic as a respiratory illness clinic for testing. The clinic is open Monday through Friday from 1 to 4:30 p.m by appointment only. From 2 to 4 p.m., the clinic will also have drive through testing capabilities for those who have been referred by their private care clinician.

Due to the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on the Arlandria community, Neighborhood Health set up its first asymptomatic testing site at Casa Chirilagua’s site on Mount Vernon Avenue on May 16. Testing was by appointment only for residents of the neighborhood, regardless of whether they had symptoms or not.

On Memorial Day, May 25, the city and AHD supported free community testing efforts at two sites, Landmark Mall and Cora Kelly School for Math, Science and Technology.

This page will continue to be updated with new developments pertaining to coronavirus in Alexandria.

(Read more: Local businesses feel the impact of coronavirus)

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1 COMMENT

  1. Horrible news, and they get worse every day. Unfortunately, COVID cannot be treated as a usual flu or even a pneumonia. Maybe people should consider sanitizing their property against the COVID-19? Maybe that should help? I mean, there are companies who provide COVID sanitizing and disinfection services in Alexandria, like Flood Damage Pro or Servpro – both of them are providing.