A new walk-up coronavirus testing site opened Tuesday along Columbia Pike.
The testing center is a partnership of Arlington County, Virginia Hospital Center and Arlington Free Clinic. At a media briefing yesterday, officials from all three spoke about the importance of the facility in the fight against the virus.
With the new testing site “we can get services to the more vulnerable and low income individuals,” who might not have access to a vehicle for drive-through testing sites or to health insurance to pay for testing, said Dr. Reuben Varghese, Arlington Public Health Director.
“They often have limited access to health care and because of their work, they don’t have the opportunity sometimes to stay home like a number of the people in our region,” Varghese said.
The new testing site is open from 1-5 p.m. weekdays, and available to anyone who makes an appointment by calling (703) 558-5766. Health insurance is not needed and those who require extra treatment after testing may be referred to the Arlington Free Clinic.
Arlington County has seen the highest proportion of COVID-19 cases in the 22204 zip code, along the Columbia Pike corridor, emphasizing the need for more testing in the area.
The latest countywide statistics from the Virginia Dept. of Health report 1,460 coronavirus cases, 300 hospitalizations and 69 deaths in Arlington. That’s an increase of 44 cases, 12 hospitalizations and 3 deaths overnight.
Statewide, VDH reports 26,746 cases, 3,520 hospitalizations, 927 deaths and just over 180,000 tests administered.
More on the walk-up testing center, via a county press release:
Arlington County, in partnership with Virginia Hospital Center and the Arlington Free Clinic, will open its first walk-up COVID-19 sample collection site at the Arlington Mill Community Center, 909 South Dinwiddie Street.
“Arlington is committed to assuring everyone in our community has access to the testing they need during this pandemic,” said Dr. Reuben Varghese, Arlington Public Health Director. “This is an important partnership that will help our more vulnerable or low-income groups who do not have access to cars to walk up and get tested.”
“This is an exciting effort to create a more equitable testing model for everyone who needs it,” said Nancy White, Executive Director, Arlington Free Clinic. “This model aligns with our mission to provide high-quality health care to low-income, uninsured Arlington residents through the generosity of donors and volunteers.”
“Virginia Hospital Center is happy to lend the expertise we have gathered from the North Quincy drive-through site to support the efforts at Arlington Mill,” said James Meenan, Director of the VHC Outpatient Lab. “Our primary focus is always the health and safety of our community and increasing access to testing is a critical step forward in combatting the COVID-19 pandemic.”
- The clinic opens Tuesday, May 12 and will operate weekdays between 1-5 p.m.
- To be tested, patients must obtain a clinician referral and then schedule an appointment by calling 703-558-5766. Patients must schedule an appointment before visiting the collection site.
- Residents without health insurance can still access testing through the walk-up collection site by calling the appointment number. A VHC clinician will screen for symptoms over the phone and provide a follow-up referral to the Arlington Free Clinic if needed.
- Individuals who visit the collection site should follow the instructions of their health care provider and self-isolate while they await their results.
- Patients with an appointment may access the clinic at Arlington Mill Community Center by entering through the outdoor plaza facing Columbia Pike.
- Individuals must bring proof of identity (U.S. government ID not required).
To protect patient privacy, media access to the site will be restricted.