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JUST IN: Arlington Opening Drive-Through Coronavirus Testing Site

Arlington County and Virginia Hospital Center are partnering to set up a drive-through coronavirus testing site.

The temporary site is set to open Wednesday at a county-owned property across from Washington-Liberty High School. The county says to expect additional traffic on N. Quincy Street north of Washington Blvd as a result.

Arlington residents, county and school system employees and Virginia Hospital Center patients, who are experiencing symptoms consistent with coronavirus and have a written order from a healthcare provider, will be eligible for testing. Samples collected will then be sent to a lab; it should take 5-7 days for test results to be available.

Jurisdictions and healthcare providers across the U.S. are rushing to open drive-through testing sites, to cut down on coronavirus exposures at hospitals and doctor’s offices.

As of Tuesday afternoon, Arlington County had 13 reported coronavirus cases, the highest count of any individual locality in Virginia.

More from an Arlington County press release:

Virginia Hospital Center (VHC), a community-based hospital providing medical services to the Washington, DC metropolitan area for 75 years, has partnered with the Arlington County Public Health Department, the Arlington County Police Department, the Arlington County Fire Department, the Arlington County Sheriff’s Office and Department of Environmental Services to open a temporary drive-through COVID-19 sample collection site at 1429 N. Quincy Street.

“Arlington County is appreciative of our partnership with Virginia Hospital Center to facilitate sample collection for our community at this drive-through center,” Arlington County Board Chair Libby Garvey said. “This is an important collaborative effort at a critical time.”

  • Samples will be collected from Arlington residents, Arlington County Government employees and Arlington Public Schools employees, and patients of VHC Medical Staff.
  • This site is for sample collection from symptomatic patients (fevers, chills, cough, or shortness of breath) who have received a written order for COVID-19 testing from a licensed healthcare provider. This is not meant for asymptomatic patients, even those who have had a close contact with a known COVID patient.
  • Physicians with symptomatic patients can send orders to the Virginia Hospital Center outpatient lab electronically in EPIC or via fax to 703.558.2448.
  • Once they have received a physician’s order, patients should call the VHC COVID-19 Scheduling Line at 703.558.5766 between the hours of 8:30 am and 3:00 pm. Patients must schedule an appointment before visiting the collection site.
  • Individuals arriving at the drive-through site will be asked to remain in their cars.
  • The sample collection center will officially open Wednesday, March 18 at 9:00 am and will remain open on weekdays from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm.
  • Individuals who visit the collection site are encouraged to follow the instructions of their health care provider and self-quarantine while they await their results. Test results will be available to the patient within five to seven business days.

“The opening of this temporary facility allows us to meet the urgent needs of our community while our Emergency Department continues to serve those who require immediate medical attention,” said James B. Cole, President & CEO of Virginia Hospital Center. “We are grateful to our staff as well as our colleagues at public health, police and fire for their exhaustive efforts to make this sample collection site possible.”

To protect patient privacy, media access to the site will be restricted. Photos for use by media outlets are available here and media will be updated regularly as new information becomes available. Information about scheduled media briefings and a media staging area will be provided in a second advisory.

Traffic Advisory

  • Expect additional traffic on N. Quincy between Washington Boulevard and N. 15th Street
  • Expect delays if traveling in the area and/or seek alternate routes if not visiting the collection site
  • Posted signboards in the area will direct those driving to the collection site

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