Virginia Governor Ralph Northam issued an executive order March 23 that detailed guidelines for social distancing amid the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. Alexandria City Council held an emergency meeting the following day to enact emergency ordinances that includes an extension for tax filings for local businesses.
As of March 24, the Alexandria Health Department confirmed four additional cases of COVID-19, bringing the total to 13. AHD is contacting individuals who came in close contact with the confirmed cases and will test as needed. Alexandria Health Department continues to urge everyone to stay home except for essential trips such as food purchases and medical care.
Governor’s Order in Effect March 24
Northam’s executive order, which is in effect through April 23, bans all gatherings of more than 10 people, including for church services, and closes non-essential recreation and entertainment businesses; permits food service establishments to remain open only for takeout and delivery; permits essential retail businesses to remain open only with social distancing and enhanced sanitizing practices; limits non-essential retail businesses to no more than 10 patrons per establishment with social distancing and sanitizing; and requires non-essential professional businesses to use telework as much as possible.
City Council Adopts Emergency Ordinances
City Council unanimously adopted emergency ordinances and resolutions to implement procedures to ensure continuity of city government and modify public meeting procedures and other public practices; enacted a moratorium on penalties and interest and extended to June 30 the deadline for businesses to file hotel, short-term homesharing and restaurant meals taxes; and changed the filing schedule for quarterly business license taxes, business personal property taxes and elderly and disabled tax relief applications.
ALIVE! Saturday Food Distribution
On Saturday, March 28, ALIVE! will distribute free food for Alexandria residents in need from 8:30 a.m. to noon, or until supplies run out, in the parking lots of John Adams Elementary School (5651 Rayburn Ave.) and Cora Kelly Elementary School (3600 Commonwealth Ave.) Drive-through pickup is preferred. Each car will be eligible to receive one bag per family member; no more than four bags per vehicle.
AHDC Raises Funds to Avoid Home Loss
The Alexandria Housing Development Corporation (AHDC), which operates seven affordable housing developments, is accepting donations to help vulnerable residents avoid losing their homes. AHDC is also temporarily waiving late fees and evictions and helping residents make affordable payment plans. The organization’s goal is to raise $100,000 for the fund.
Metro Reduces Services; Closes Eisenhower Avenue and Van Dorn Street Stations
Effective March 26, Metro will close 17 of its 91 Metrorail stations, including Eisenhower Avenue and Van Dorn Street. The public is urged to only use Metro services if absolutely necessary.
If You Have Symptoms of COVID-19
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are coughing, fever of over 100.4 F, and shortness of breath. If you are concerned you may have COVID-19, call your primary care physician to ask whether you should come for an exam or test before visiting in person. Most people with COVID-19 recover on their own at home and do not need testing or treatment. Anyone with symptoms of respiratory illness should isolate themselves; avoid contact with other people; wash their hands frequently; and disinfect surfaces regularly.
Protect Yourself and Others, Especially Vulnerable Community Members
- Wash Your Hands. Rub hands together with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Use Hand Sanitizer. If you can’t wash your hands, use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol as you would wash your hands, rubbing them together for 20 seconds.
- Don’t Touch Your Face. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Stay Home. If you are feeling sick, stay home. If you are well, avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Use Your Elbow. Cough and sneeze into your elbow, not your hand. Alternatively, cough or sneeze into a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands.
- Disinfect Surfaces. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Manage Stress. The Center for Disease Control recommends taking breaks from exposure to the news; take deep breaths or meditate; try to eat healthy; get sleep or rest; make time to do activities you enjoy; and connect with others to share your feelings.
To receive text message alerts from the City related to COVID-19, text ALEXCOVID19 to 888777. For more information about the COVID-19 coronavirus, visit alexandriava.gov/Coronavirus. For questions about COVID-19, call the Alexandria COVID-19 Information Line at 703-746-4988, weekdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Virginia residents can also call the Virginia Department of Health public information line at 877-ASK-VDH3.