Arlington County has established a new hotline to answer questions from the public about the coronavirus outbreak: 703-228-7999.
Officials announced the new hotline last night, on the same day that Virginia Hospital Center and the county opened its new drive-through testing site.
From a press release:
Arlington County is expanding its ability to respond to inquiries and questions from the public by establishing a new call center. This additional call center will free up resources to help the County effectively minimize the public health risk posed by the coronavirus (COVID-19).
Community members who cannot find the information they need on the County’s website or through other resources, should call 703-228-7999 for assistance. The call center will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Local first responders have been urging residents to avoid calling 911 for coronavirus inquiries, except in the event of a life-threatening emergency.
#Alert: With the opening of a @VHC_Hospital drive up sampling site, @ArlingtonVA residents are reminded that they should not use 911 services (ambulances) to receive sampling. 911 services are only for life threatening emergency transport to a hospital. #MaketheRightCall pic.twitter.com/C2pT46XBXY
— Arlington Fire (@ArlingtonVaFD) March 18, 2020
Arlington County provided the following advice for those who are experiencing symptoms that might be consistent with COVID-19, including avoiding the emergency room if you only have mild symptoms:
What to Do If You Feel Sick
- If you feel sick with fever, develop a cough, or have shortness of breath contact your health care provider to evaluate your symptoms. Call your provider before seeking care and tell them about your travel and your symptoms.
- If you are experiencing life-threatening symptoms or are having an emergency, call 911 and tell them about your symptoms and travel history. DO NOT call 911 and/or go to the emergency room for mild symptoms that are manageable at home.