Information for Meeting Planners

Frequently Asked Questions About Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Updated: March 24, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. EST

The health and safety of Alexandria’s employees, clients, members and guests are of utmost importance to Visit Alexandria. Visit Alexandria’s Destination Sales Team is closely monitoring the coronavirus situation. Here are some FAQs and resources for your planning purposes.

What is the latest on how COVID-19 is impacting Alexandria?

The coronavirus is impacting countries across the world and every state in America. The City of Alexandria is following the state’s direction and measures to combat the spread of the virus, including social distancing, no group gatherings of more than 10 people, limiting discretionary travel and self-quarantining for those with chronic health conditions or aged 65 or older. Recreational facilities such as bowling alleys and movie theaters are closed. Restaurants are open for carry out or curbside pick-up, but dining is not allowed inside. Non-essential retail, which includes many of Alexandria’s independent boutiques, can remain open, but social distancing in the stores is required and occupancy is limited to 10 people inside at a time. To learn more about the state’s guidance, click here or view the state’s FAQs. To learn more about the City of Alexandria’s precautions and updates, click here.

I HAVE A MEETING PLANNED IN ALEXANDRIA. SHOULD IT GO ON?

On March 16, 2020, the President released new federal guidelines urging Americans to avoid non-essential gatherings of more than 10 people and other measures for the next 15 days to slow the spread of the virus. Governor Northam also announced new measures on March 17, 2020 to combat COVID-19 at the state level. Read more here. The CDC currently recommends no gatherings of 50 people or more through May. Learn more here. We encourage all meeting planners to closely monitor recommendations as they make their decisions.

HOW CAN MEETINGS AND GROUPS COMING TO ALEXANDRIA IN THE FUTURE ENSURE THE SAFETY OF MEETING ATTENDEES?

We encourage all visitors to review the CDC’s information about COVID-19  to ensure that proper safety precautions are being followed. Visitors and residents are encouraged to continue to observe public health recommendations, including washing your hands, refraining from touching your face, staying home if you’re sick and practicing social distancing by maintaining six feet of personal space whenever possible. For more prevention tips, please visit the CDC’s website.

The CDC also recently issued guidance to be careful with meetings and travel. Recommendations include using videoconferencing for meetings when possible and consider postponing large meetings or gathers. Read more here.

The City of Alexandria and Visit Alexandria have encouraged hotels, attractions, meeting venues, restaurants and shops to take extra precautionary steps to maintain and monitor building cleanliness and the wellness of employees and visitors. Contact your meeting venue or hotel for their specific plans and policies. Meeting planners can implement best practices such as creating handshake-free meetings and increasing cleaning protocol. Helpful information for meeting planners can be found on the PCMA and MPI websites.

WHAT MEASURES ARE THE HOTEL INDUSTRY TAKING IN THIS SITUATION?

The hotel industry is closely following CDC guidance, as well as adhering to corporate/management guidelines. The CDC recommends hygiene training, including hand washing and prevention of cross contamination when removing personal protective equipment. Employees are reminded to avoid touching their eyes, nose, and mouth.

Hotels are also enforcing the proper procedures provided by Ecolab for cleaning guest rooms, including guest touch points and the use of approved Ecolab antibacterial cleaning products. They have increased the frequency in which their public area high touch points are cleaned with approved Ecolab antibacterial products.

WHAT ARE HOTELS DOING IN THE CASE OF A POSITIVE OR PRESUMPTIVE COVID-19 GUEST?

Hotels are complying with and working closely with the Alexandria Health Department. As with other communicable diseases, the Alexandria Health Department is responsible for notification and the monitoring of potentially exposed individuals. 

If there is a positive or high risk presumptive COVID-19 case at the hotel, they will follow CDC and the local health department guidance for cleaning rooms/public spaces, including the use of professional cleaning companies.

WHAT SHOULD ATTENDEES DO IF THEY SUSPECT THEY ARE INFECTED WITH COVID-19?

Attendees who think they might be sick with COVID-19, or any illness, and need medical attention, should seek care at one of Alexandria's urgent care centers or, if it is an emergency, at Inova Alexandria Hospital. If you think you may have COVID-19, please call ahead so the staff can best prepare for your visit.

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.

IF I CANCEL MY MEETING, WILL I GET REFUNDED FROM THE HOTEL AND/OR VENUE?

Please contact your meeting venue and/or hotel for their specific policies.

WHAT MEASURES ARE LOCAL TRANSPORATION ENTITIES TAKING?
ARE ATTRACTIONS IN ALEXANDRIA CLOSED?

Yes, many of Alexandria’s museums and attractions are currently closed. To learn more, please click here. For information about attraction closures and event cancelations in D.C., click here.