Submit Content

Eight Months Ago: ARLnow’s First Reference to Coronavirus

Eight months ago — on Jan. 29, 2020 — the employees of ARLnow and our sister sites all gathered to celebrate ARLnow’s 10th anniversary.

Together with friends, family and readers, we all packed into Bronson Bierhall in Ballston to drink, eat and chat. There were no masks to be seen. Social distancing was not yet a thing that was being practiced.

It would prove to be one of the last times those in attendance were able to enjoy such an evening.

Two days before the event, ARLnow published its first reference to the novel coronavirus. Just six days before that, the first coronavirus case in the U.S. was announced.

The following is a timeline of those fateful few weeks between our first mention of the virus and the first confirmed case in Arlington.

  • Jan. 27 — Health officials were investigating a possible coronavirus case in Northern Virginia.
  • Jan. 29 — Local pharmacies, including Preston’s on Lee Highway, report selling out of surgical masks.
  • Jan. 31 — “With the Virginia Health Department investigating a second possible case of coronavirus in Northern Virginia, Arlington County is preparing for the worst-case scenario: a local outbreak.”
  • Feb. 4 — Tests on both possible coronavirus cases in Northern Virginia came back negative. There are still no local cases.
  • Feb. 13 — “Arlington Public Schools is barring recent visitors to China from schools.”
  • Feb. 27 — Another Northern Virginia resident was being tested after contracting coronavirus-like symptoms.
  • Feb. 28 — “As the global coronavirus outbreak spreads and the stock market sinks, both Arlington County and Arlington Public Schools are ramping up their public outreach on the disease.”
  • March 5 — During an online Q&A, Arlington’s health director urges residents to wash their hands frequently and thoroughly.
  • March 5 — Most local stores have been picked clean of face masks, hand sanitizer and rubbing alcohol.
  • March 6 — Arlington Public Schools says it is “preparing for the possibility of school closures in the future, if necessary.”
  • March 9 — “Arlington County and the Virginia Department of Health have announced the county’s first ‘presumptive’ case of coronavirus.”

That first local case was followed two days later by the suspension of the NBA season, widely seen as a turning point in the country’s response to the pandemic, and four days later by the announced closure of Arlington Public Schools.

Recent Stories

Morning Notes

Arlington Housing Costs Still Rising — “The District of Columbia continued to lead the pack with an average per-square-foot sales price of $543, down from $555. Falls Church also reported…

A 5 BD/5.5 BA four level home with a two-car garage an finished basement is included in Just Listed.

The $38 million transformation of the Washington-Liberty annex is nearly complete. Over the last three years, the nearly six-decade-old Arlington Education Center has undergone a complete overhaul to turn it…

A driver was nearly carjacked in a parking garage about a block from the Crystal City Metro station. The incident happened around 10:20 p.m. last night (Wednesday) on the 200…

Do you struggle with anxiety, depression, stress, grief, trauma or anger? Are
you ready to make a change?

Lauren K. Nickum, LCSW, CSAC from Peaceful Mind Solutions is now taking new
clients for psychotherapy. Lauren has over 10 years of experience treating
mental health disorders and general life stress in adults and adolescents. For
more information visit

Submit your own Community Post here.

As the summer winds down, it’s a great time to look forward to a creative fall! Art House 7 has a terrific selection of classes, for preschoolers to adults. Our fall session, starting September 6, offers painting, drawing, sculpture, collage, ceramics (including the wheel) and sewing. We have specialty classes such as Suminagashi, the ancient art of Japanese water marbling.

If you’re looking for a shorter commitment, we also have a full schedule of workshops, Art Nights, and Morning Art Socials. If you haven’t discovered Art House 7, please check us out! We offer classes throughout the year, taught by a range of fantastic teachers. You can buy art supplies next door. We’re near the Lee Harrison shopping center, and free parking is outside our door.

Art House 7
5537 Langston Blvd.Arlington VA 22207

Submit your own Community Post here.

Rental Property Investing: Part One

Have you ever considered purchasing a rental property but weren’t sure where to start? This free webinar will go over the basics of how to invest in real estate, how to choose rental properties, and a market overview. Our Director

Standup Comedy Showcase Starring Todd Riley (Comedy Central)

A night of live standup comedy, with some of the best comedians from the DMV and beyond!

Todd Riley – Headliner

From the moment Todd Riley stepped onto that stage in 2008, he knew comedy is what he wanted to


Subscribe to our mailing list