ALEXANDRIA, VA—The Delta variant is upon us, as is the new school year and approaching fall weather. Here is what you need to know about the presence of the Delta variant in Alexandria and what steps you can take to stay healthy this fall.
The CDC has recently suggested that all individuals, regardless of vaccination status, must wear masks indoors. There is a universal indoor mask mandate for faculty, teachers, students, and all visitors to schools, and some areas, like D.C., have mandated masks for all indoor public spaces. While masks in Alexandria are not mandated, they do remain highly encouraged.
No shoes, No shirt, No mask, No service.
Individual Alexandria businesses do have the authority to require its employees and visitors to wear masks, and in some cases, businesses have every right to require its employees to be vaccinated, accommodating only very specific cases such as those with health-related exemptions.
“Private employers being able to require vaccinations and masks is based on the United States Department of Justice,” explains Lonnie Rich of the Family First Law Group.
While these new mandates and requirements might feel like regression, there is good news in Alexandria regarding the Delta Variant.
The discussion of a third does of vaccines is a top priority for the CDC. They are still in the meeting phase, but predict that a third dose for immunocompromised individuals will be recommended soon. They also anticipate that the vaccine will be fully approved for children under 12 years old and that those children will have access to the vaccine this coming fall.
As well, all COVID-19 vaccines available in the US are effective in protecting against the Delta Variant. In the last few weeks, only 0.01% of the deaths from COVID-19 were amongst fully vaccinated individuals.
However, in the U.S. there are currently more than 400 children in pediatric intensive care units, and as of August 5, 2021, the state of Virginia lost a 13 year old to the Delta variant.
“This is the reason all of us should do everything we can to stop the Delta variant,” urges Amanda Gamble with the Alexandria Health Department.
The Health Department will be at upcoming events throughout Alexandria to promote the vaccine, help residents make appointments, and provide information on COVID-19, its variants, and vaccinations.
As fall approaches, do your part and get informed on masking, vaccinating, and socializing safely. If you have any questions, please contact Amanda Gamble with the Alexandria Health Department at (703) 380-9428 or [email protected].