Arlington, VA

The rate of new COVID-19 infections in Arlington continues to drop.

Seventeen new cases have been reported since Friday, bringing the trailing seven-day infection total to 42 — an average of six per day. One new hospitalization has been reported since Friday and no new deaths have been reported, according to Virginia Dept. of Health data.

Arlington’s test positivity rate, meanwhile, now stands at just 2.5%.

“It appears that wearing masks, social distancing, and being outside have had a very positive impact on the area,” Virginia Hospital Center ER chief Dr. Mike Silverman wrote Friday in a public social media post. “We’re still seeing patients that require COVID evaluations at a similar rate to the last couple of weeks but this remains well below the peak volumes we saw in April and we did not appear to see a bump in cases as a result of the protests.”

“COVID is not gone though I know some people think it is. It does appear to be less prevalent,” he added. “We’ve even seen a drop in the rate of our asymptomatic screening patients which gives me a sense for the prevalence in the general area.”

One area of concern is what might happen as Virginia enters Phase 3 of the reopening on Wednesday, allowing more people to gather indoors at restaurants and other businesses, albeit with masks required.

A surge in new coronavirus cases prompted Texas and Florida to close bars last week. A few hours from Arlington, bars have been temporarily closing on the Delaware shore as employees get sick, and Pittsburgh is banning alcohol consumption at bars starting Tuesday amid a spike in new cases.

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