Get vaccinated and get your booster and encourage all employees to do the same is the #1 message coming from the Alexandria Health Department as COVID-19 cases rise to record highs in the community.

In a webinar for the local business community, Rachel Stradling, environmental health manager with the Alexandria Health Department; Karl Moritz, director of the Department of Planning and Zoning; Ann Horowitz, principal urban planner for the Department of Planning and Zoning; and Kendel Taylor, director of the Department of Finance, joined AEDP President and CEO Stephanie Landrum to review the public health situation, current employer requirements, and answer any questions.

While COVID is surging across the country, no shutdown or lockdown mandates are coming. President Joe Biden reiterated a commitment to keeping businesses and schools open this week, and Virginia is similarly leaving decisions up to individual jurisdictions.

Mandates Are Not Expected

At this time, the City is not imposing any capacity or operating restrictions or mask mandates. As Rachel Stradling of the Alexandria Health Department noted during the webinar, her department is looking at the best strategies for our community and will make recommendations and advice, especially on bigger events, as necessary.

In the meantime, current advice boils down to, in her words, “common-sense measures.”

General Recommendations

  • Do more activities outside.
  • If you are sick, stay home. Require your employees to do the same.

What Can Businesses Do?

Webinar panelists encouraged businesses to reinstate or emphasize some of the preventative measures they put in place early in the pandemic to help navigate this surge, especially since many customers are likely feeling nervous right now. Recommendations include:

  • Put additional distance between tables in restaurants
  • Encourage outdoor dining
  • Open windows when possible
  • Provide hand sanitizer for patrons
  • Encourage curbside pickup. Contact the Department of Planning and Zoning if you need new curbside pickup parking signs.
  • Encourage or require masks indoors
  • Recommit to or take the ALX Promise Gold pledge

The Health Department offers signage that businesses can download and post in their windows, and they also offer free bathroom signage and coasters that businesses can hang up and distribute to help educate their customers.

Additional Resources for Businesses