COVID-19 update for March 26: 10, 850 cases, 127 deaths in Alexandria

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COVID-19 update for March 26: 10, 850 cases, 127 deaths in Alexandria
(Graphic/Lyvi Sieg)
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By Staff

As of March 26, there have been 10,850 positive cases of COVID-19 in the City of Alexandria, resulting in 127 fatalities, according to the Virginia Department of Health. In addition, 528 Alexandria residents have been hospitalized because of COVID-19.

The Alexandria fatalities include 61 women and 67 men. The race and ethnicity breakdown includes 62 white people, 38 Black people, 19 Latinos, five Asian or Pacific Islanders, two of another race, one of two or more races and one not reported. Of the 127 fatalities reported on March 26, 86 – or about 67% – have been residents age 70 and older. Demographic data is not reported for all cases.

Virginia has reported 612,062 cases, including 10,154 deaths and 26,144 hospitalizations as of March 26, according to the VDH. As of March 26, there are 1,061,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Virginia, Maryland and D.C., according to the Washington Post.

Gov. Ralph Northam enacted new restrictions related to COVID-19 effective March 1 in response to a statewide increase in cases. Under the new guidelines, gatherings of up to 25 people are permitted outdoors, gatherings of up to 10 people are permitted indoors, with the exception of religious services; everyone 5 and older is required to wear a mask in indoor public places and when outdoors within six feet of another person; violation of safety protocols by essential businesses is enforceable as a class one misdemeanor; teleworking is encouraged; and alcohol sales at restaurants, breweries and other dining establishments are prohibited after 12 p.m.

Alexandria cases

AHD reported the first case of coronavirus in Alexandria on March 11, 2020. Below is a list of reported cases in Alexandria by month. The number listed is the total cumulative case count in the city since March 11, 2020  as reported at the end of each month.

  • March: 44
  • April: 754
  • May: 1,974
  • June: 2,325
  • July: 2,798
  • August: 3,378
  • September: 3,852
  • October: 4,337
  • November: 5,366
  • December: 7,298
  • January: 9,435
  • February: 10,285
  • March: 10,850

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.

Vaccine

Gov. Ralph Northam (D-VA) announced on Jan. 6 new steps to accelerate Virginia’s COVID-19 efforts. These steps include expanded priority groups and having the National Guard help health departments administer vaccines. The vaccine is administered in two doses, three to four weeks apart, and is currently being prioritized to Groups 1A and 1B or frontline essential workers in specific industries, adults aged 65 or older and those with underlying medical conditions that increase risk of illness from COVID-19. Read more here.

On Feb. 17, Gov. Northam unveiled a statewide COVID-19 pre-registration system that allows residents of Virginia or people who work in the state to preregister for vaccine updates at vaccinate.virginia.gov or call 877-VAX-IN-VA.

As of March 26, 51,020 doses of the vaccine had been administered in Alexandria which is currently in phase 1B of vaccinations, according to VDH. Statewide, 3,357,008 total doses had been administered as of Mar. 26, according to VDH.

State orders

There have been several statewide orders related to COVID-19 in the Commonwealth of Virginia since the pandemic struck in March.

Currently, Virginians must abide by the following restrictions:

  • Gatherings of up to 25 people are permitted outdoors, gatherings of up to 10 people are permitted indoors.
  • Everyone 5 and older is required to wear a mask in indoor public places and when outdoors within six feet of another person.
  • All essential retail businesses, including grocery stores and pharmacies, must adhere to state guidelines for physical distancing, requiring face masks and enhanced sanitization.
  • Onsite alcohol sales, consumption and possession after 12 p.m. in any restaurant, dining establishment, food court, brewery, microbrewery, distillery, winery, or tasting room will be prohibited, and all such establishments must close by midnight. Bar areas of restaurants remain closed.

After months of operating under a stay-at-home order in the spring, Virginia began reopening in May.

The majority of Virginia entered phase one of reopening on May 15 and phase two on June 5. Northern Virginia entered phase one on May 29 and phase two on June 12. The state entered phase three on July 1, with additional restrictions put back in place on Nov. 16 in response to a surge in cases.

Under phase one, previously declared “non-essential” businesses, such as personal and pet grooming salons, were allowed to reopen, provided the establishments adhere to strict sanitation and physical distancing protocols. Restaurants were allowed to offer outdoor seating, and religious facilities were allowed to offer in-person services.

Under phase two, restaurants could offer indoor seating at 50 percent capacity, fitness centers could open at 30 percent capacity and people could gather in groups of up to 50 people.

Under phase three, people were allowed to gather in groups of up to 250 people. Restaurants were allowed to open fully, but were required to maintain six feet of distance between tables.

City response

City council declared a local state of emergency at its public hearing on March 14, 2020. On March 22, 2020 most City of Alexandria facilities were either closed to the public or open by appointment, according to a news release. Since then, many facilities have reopened.

As of Oct. 1, 2021 face coverings are required indoor and outdoor public places in Alexandria to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Contact tracing and positive case investigations are being conducted by the Alexandria Health Department, if an Alexandria resident receives a positive COVID-19 test result, the city asks people answer AHD calls and return voicemails.

The City of Alexandria official COVID-19 page can be found here.

ACT for Alexandria and the City of Alexandria have partnered to reinstate the ACT Now Fund during the COVID-19 outbreak. 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 March 26, the fund had raised $1,024,682. Donate at www.givegab.com/campaigns/actnowcovid19fund.

Schools

Due to coronavirus, Alexandria City Public Schools closed all schools on March 16, 2020. ACPS began phased reopening on March 2, 2021 and hybrid learning became available to all students on March 16, 2021. Gov. Northam announced on Feb. 5 that schools must offer in-person learning by March 15, 2021. 

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.

ACPS provides updates about its reopening and hybrid learning, here.

The virus

Common symptoms of coronavirus 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.

Getting the COVID-19 vaccine helps protect against getting the virus, according to the CDC. The CDC is also recommending that people wear a mask, socially distance, frequently wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer containing at least 60 percent alcohol, clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, monitor daily health, and get a flu shot.

On March 9, 2021 CDC released specific guidelines for fully vaccinated adults. Once fully vaccinated people can gather indoors with other fully vaccinated people without wearing a mask, gather indoors with unvaccinated people from one other household without masks unless one of them may be at risk for severe illness from COVID-19 and only get tested for COVID-19 if experiencing symptoms. Fully vaccinated people still need to follow COVID-19 guidelines in public, wear a mask and practice socially distancing. More can be read here.

Read current CDC guidelines here.

Testing

Inova COVID-19 and Flu Testing is available at the Victoria Center parking lot for drive through testing seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. by appointment only. Make an appointment here.

The City of Alexandria and the Alexandria Health Department are offering free testing kiosks in partnership with Curative. Make an appointment here.

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

(Read more: COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations decline; Vaccine demand outpaces supply)

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