Arlington, VA

There may be initial talks about planning for a limited reopening of the regional economy, but coronavirus cases are still rising in Arlington at a steady clip.

According to the latest Virginia Dept. of Health data, there are now 722 known cases of COVID-19 in Arlington, 120 hospitalizations, 24 deaths and 2,784 test results received. That’s up from 686 cases yesterday (Thursday) and 485 cases a week ago.

Statewide, the Commonwealth has 11,594 reported cases, 1,837 hospitalizations, 410 deaths and 69,015 people tested.

The number of reported outbreaks in Arlington has remained steady at 10, with half of those at long-term care facilities. Nursing homes, retirement communities and similar settings have been a major source of infections and fatalities nationwide, though states and localities have been reluctant to reveal which facilities have outbreaks.

ARLnow previously reported cases in at least 2-3 local assisted living facilities and has continued to receive tips about outbreaks, but has not been able to receive confirmation from local authorities.

An Arlington Dept. of Human Services declined another request rom ARLnow this week for more granular data, but did provide some additional information about the county health department’s response.

“A core team of Aging and Disability Services and Public Health administrative and clinical staff work collaboratively to provide routine COVID outreach to each of the Arlington long term care communities,” said DHS spokesman Kurt Larrick. “These communities include 4 nursing homes and 6 Assisted Living and 5 Independent Living Senior Residences.”

“A Public Health Nurse checks in each day (or more as needed) with the high risk COVID communities to provide guidance, education, and resource linkages,” Larrick continued. “We have developed electronic tools to closely track, monitor symptoms, and follow up accordingly across all the communities. The two DHS divisions work closely together to push out vital COVID information and resources weekly. There is also a daily PPE tracking tool to monitor the PPE needs across the communities. We have been successful in proactively supporting each community through this collaborative effort.”

Among the local assisted living facilities with confirmed outbreaks is Brookdale Arlington, in the Virginia Square neighborhood. A tipster described to ARLnow a significant outbreak in the high-rise facility that has resulted in multiple deaths.

A spokeswoman for the publicly-traded company previously confirmed multiple COVID-19 cases in the facility, but did not provide confirmation of the latest figures as of publication time.

“Brookdale’s top priority is the health and safety of our residents and associates,” the spokeswoman said previously. “We are diligently monitoring our residents and associates for signs and symptoms, and we continue to work directly with local health officials to help ensure our residents and associates have the appropriate and necessary medical support. We will continue to follow the guidance of the Arlington County Public Health Division throughout this situation.”

On Thursday, signs posted on the front door of the facility said no visitors were allowed, people in the lobby could be seen wearing personal protective equipment, and note from family members to a resident was taped to a window.

Jay Westcott contributed to this report

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