More than 1,000 people have been tested for coronavirus at the joint Arlington County/Virginia Hospital Center drive-through site near Washington-Liberty High School.
The county said the site, which opened on March 18, is now testing up to 100 people per day. Its hours were recently expanded and the testing opened up to those who don’t live in Arlington or work for the county. Test results, meanwhile, are now available earlier, according to an Arlington County press release.
“Testing for COVID-19 is an important tool to slow the spread of the virus in our community, in our region, and our nation,” Dr. Reuben Varghese, Health Director and Public Health Division Chief for Arlington County, said in the press release. “The sample collection effort that Virginia Hospital Center has stood up with Arlington is helping our community add a critical tool to slowing the spread of virus here.”
In addition to the drive-through site, other, private testing sites are open in parts of Arlington.
On Twitter, the county also noted that Virginia Hospital Center is exploring the use of convalescent plasma as a possible treatment for severe COVID-19 cases, and has joined a clinical trial for the antiviral medication remdesivir.
One more thing: @VHC_Hospital has joined a national clinical trial to test a potential medication (remdesivir) for the treatment of COVID-19. https://t.co/VNjzPbCpbl
— arlingtonva (@ArlingtonVA) April 10, 2020
As of today more than 300 cases of COVID-19 were reported in Arlington by the Virginia Dept. of Health.
More on the testing site milestone, from the county press release:
The drive-through COVID-19 Sample Collection Site opened by Virginia Hospital Center (VHC), a community-based hospital providing medical services to the Washington, DC metropolitan area for 75 years, in partnership with Arlington County has collected samples for COVID-19 testing from more than 1,000 patients since first opening on March 18.
“Every person who comes through our site is now one step closer to having much-needed answers,” said James Meenan, Director of the Outpatient Lab at Virginia Hospital Center. “Our team continues to become more and more efficient as we provide this service to members of our community.”
“Testing for COVID-19 is an important tool to slow the spread of the virus in our community, in our region, and our nation. The sample collection effort that Virginia Hospital Center has stood up with Arlington is helping our community add a critical tool to slowing the spread of virus here,” said Dr. Reuben Varghese, Health Director and Public Health Division Chief for Arlington County. “This tool along with physical distancing of 6 feet or greater when you have to go outside as permitted under the stay at home orders in the Commonwealth, and frequently washing your hands with soap and water are a package of tools in our control to slow COVID-19 and flatten the curve.”
As the team onsite has worked to streamline its processes, the Hospital has been able to expand available appointments and the COVID Scheduling Line hours.
- The site now collects samples from up to 100 adults each day, nearly doubling its capacity.
- The COVID Scheduling Line is now open from 8:30 am to 4:00 pm Monday through Friday and appointment openings are available on most days.
- Individuals still need to receive a physician’s order to make an appointment, but they no longer need to be an Arlington resident or employee.
- 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 a patient has received a physician’s order, they should call the VHC COVID-19 Scheduling Line at 703-558-5766 between 8:30 am and 4:00 pm. Patients must schedule an appointment before visiting the collection site.
- Individuals arriving at the drive-through site must be in a vehicle and should remain in their cars.
VHC has added additional partner labs to process the samples for testing to facilitate faster turnaround times for results. Individuals waiting for results should follow the instructions of their health care provider and self-quarantine.
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