Arlington’s Test Positivity Rate Reaches Double Digits, As APS Mulls Return to Classrooms

(Updated at 11:25 a.m.) Arlington County’s coronavirus test positivity rate has risen into the double digits.

Just before Christmas, the rate was as low as 6%. As of Wednesday morning it stands at 11.5%, amid a drop in testing, according to Virginia Dept. of Health data. That’s still below the statewide positivity rate of 16.7%, however.

The trailing weekly total of new COVID-19 cases has remained roughly between 500 and 700 since early December. It currently stands at 634, or an average of just over 90 cases per day.

Since last Wednesday, four new COVID-related deaths and 15 hospitalizations have been reported. The cumulative total of cases, hospitalizations and deaths is 9,420, 670 and 184, respectively.

VDH, meanwhile, has started reporting vaccination data.

As of this morning, 2,069 vaccinations had been performed in Arlington, according to the state health department. That’s just over 1% of the county’s adult population.

Another 151 vaccinations were reported overnight. At that daily rate, it would take 1,273 days — or about 3 years and 5 months — to vaccinate Arlington’s remaining adult population.

Amid fresh coronavirus records statewide and in the D.C. region, Arlington Public Schools is still mulling a broader return to classrooms, perhaps by late January or early February.

“Our planning for Levels 2 and 3 builds in time for teachers and staff to transition back to school buildings prior to students and considers the academic calendar as well,” Superintendent Francisco Durán wrote in an email to APS families last night. “With the second quarter concluding at the end of January and the start of the third quarter in February, our goal is to minimize learning disruptions and to maintain as much consistency as possible. The overall timeline will be shared this Thursday, and additional communication will be provided as plans are finalized.”

Parents who want to see a quicker return to classrooms are planning a rally this weekend at Quincy Park (1021 N. Quincy Street) in Arlington.

“Parents and students will rally on Saturday, January 9th to mark passing the 300th day at a public, outdoor, free-speech event, organized by Arlington Parents for Education (APE) which will highlight calls from parents, teachers, concerned community members and most importantly students, in support of a safe-reopening of APS schools,” organizers said. “To date, over 40 speakers are expected, including 10 APS Students.”

The rally is scheduled for 11 a.m. on Saturday.

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