Information for Members

Frequently Asked Questions About Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Updated: March 25, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. EST

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.

What is the best resource for information about COVID-19, including how it is spread and how it can be prevented?

Please visit the CDC’s COVID-19 website.

What has Visit Alexandria and the City taken to prepare for this pandemic?

Visit Alexandria has been working closely with the City of Alexandria and the Alexandria Health Department, regional tourism partners and national travel associations to ensure that we are taking precautions to mitigate the spread of coronavirus to our city. The safety of residents and visitors is our top priority. To learn more about what the city is doing, visit the City of Alexandria’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) website and register with enews.alexandriava.gov to receive email updates from the city.

How is Visit Alexandria communicating updates with visitors?

Visit Alexandria is maintaining a travel information web page for visitors. Closures of major attractions are listed on this page. As this is a constantly evolving situation, updates are made regularly to this page. While the Alexandria Visitor Center will be closed to walk-in traffic until at least April 1, we will continue to answer visitors’ questions via voicemail and email.

How can residents and nearby visitors continue to support Alexandria’s local businesses during this difficult time?

Alexandria has the largest collection of independent restaurants and shops in the D.C. region. In order to share the creative ways local businesses are bringing their products to people’s homes, Visit Alexandria has launched a new web hub, ALX at Home. From curbside pickup from restaurants to virtual shopping, learn more here. If you have an offering you would like considered for this page, please email Trisha Meisner at tmeisner@visitalexva.com.

As a business owner, what can I do to slow the spread of coronavirus?

Businesses should follow guidance from the CDC, Governor Northam and the Alexandria Health Department. The Alexandria Health Department shared the following tips during our March 10, 2020, webinar to help protect yourself, employees, clients, customers and vendors. At this juncture:

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and warm water for 20 seconds and remind employees to do the same.

  • Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.

  • Stay home when you’re sick and have employees do the same.

  • Clean and disinfect commonly touched surfaces every 2 hours. Visit AlexandriaVA.gov/coronavirus for a link to FDA-approved cleaning supplies. NOTE: If a visibly sick person has been in contact, then the business owner should follow the CDC’s cleaning and disinfection recommendations for rooms or areas visited by those with suspected or confirmed COVID-19.

  • Make a Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP Plan).

View the full recorded webinar (password: visitalx)
View a PDF of Dr. Haering’s presentation
 

Additionally, following new federal guidelines and an announcement from Governor Northam, Virginians are prohibited from gathering in groups of more than 10 people. Businesses should visit the Governor’s website to learn the latest about the state’s measures to protect Virginians from the spread of coronavirus and how that is impacting businesses. To learn more about the City of Alexandria’s precautions and updates, click here.

How will I know if I need to adjust my hours or close my business for a time because of coronavirus?

The latest information and measures the Commonwealth of Virginia is taking to slow the spread of coronavirus, including business closures, can be found on the Governor’s website or by tuning into his daily press briefings at 2 p.m. To learn more, read these FAQs from the state. The City of Alexandria will alert you when changes to business operations are needed. Sign up to receive the latest City updates in this evolving situation at enews.alexandriava.gov.

How can I learn about emergency resources for myself or employees in need?

This is a very difficult time for the hospitality industry. To learn about food assistance programs, emergency financial assistance and more, click here.

If I do have to close my business for a period of time, how should I communicate that to Visit Alexandria so Visitor Center staff and others know?

Visit Alexandria will keep its travel information web page for visitors up to date with major attraction closings. Please email your updates to Visit Alexandria’s Director of Member & Visitor Services,  Melanie Fallon, at mfallon@visitalexva.com.

How is Visit Alexandria tracking the impact of coronavirus on the local tourism industry?

Visit Alexandria has released a survey to members to track impact on the local tourism economy and will continue to seek member input every two weeks.

What are the best resources for businesses?
What should I do if I someone at my business is sick and believes they are infected with coronavirus?

A customer who lives in the local area should go home and call their local healthcare provider. It is important to call ahead to minimize the spread of illness.

Visitors who think they might be sick with COVID-19 and need medical attention should call ahead before seeking care at one of Alexandria's urgent care centers or, if it is an emergency, call ahead before going to Inova Alexandria Hospital. 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.

After the sick person has left your business, follow the CDC’s cleaning and disinfection recommendations for rooms or areas visited by those with suspected or confirmed COVID-19.