Arlington, VA

(Updated at 12:50 p.m.) The county and the Commonwealth are holding a second mass testing event today, as Arlington’s coronavirus data continues to point in a positive direction.

The free testing event, open to anyone regardless of whether they have symptoms or a doctor’s note, is being held from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Barcroft sports complex (4200 S. Four Mile Run Drive). Large crowds, including those in cars and on foot, were lined up in advance of the start of testing this morning.

As of 9 a.m., at least half of the available tests had already been given, with about 500 remaining. As of 12:45 p.m., all of the remaining tests had been administered.

Overnight an additional 14 coronavirus cases were reported in Arlington, bringing the county’s cumulative total to 2,396. No new deaths nor hospitalizations were reported. As of Thursday, the trailing total of new weekly cases was 83, the lowest since April 4.

Testing, meanwhile, has seen a slight uptick recently, with the seven-day moving average now standing at about 242 tests per day in the county. The average test positivity rate has continued to trend down and now stands at 5.7%, according to Virginia Dept. of Health data.

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The Barcroft sports complex in Arlington will again host a free coronavirus testing event this week.

More than 1,100 people were tested at the last mass testing event there, on May 26. Testing ended early after the event, which is sponsored by the state, ran out of tests.

The facility at 4200 S. Four Mile Drive will be again hosting a testing event open to anyone, with or without COVID-19 symptoms, this Friday from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. — or until tests run out. Both in-car and walk-up testing will be offered. There is no charge and no need for a doctor’s note or identification.

Drivers should expect traffic congestion in the area.

Another 17 confirmed coronavirus cases and two hospitalizations were reported in Arlington overnight, for a cumulative total of 2,363 cases, 407 hospitalizations and 125 deaths.

More on the testing event from a county press release:

To continue testing opportunities and limit community spread in areas disproportionately affected by COVID-19, Arlington County will host another one-day free COVID-19 testing event sponsored by the Commonwealth of Virginia. The event will take place Friday, June 19 and will again be held at Barcroft Sport and Fitness Center (4200 S. Four Mile Run Dr.). Tests will be conducted on both a drive-through and walk-up basis beginning at 8:00 a.m. and continuing until 4:00 p.m. or until tests run out.

“Our first large-scale testing event at Barcroft was very successful in providing access to those residents who may not otherwise be able to obtain testing and information,” said Dr. Reuben Varghese, Arlington Public Health Director. “These are residents who may be at higher risk of exposure, and so we wanted to offer another opportunity to reach as many of these residents as we can through this effort.”

This testing event is free of charge and does not require individuals to be symptomatic or have a previous appointment or doctor’s note. No identification is required. On-site translation will be available. Following the event, all attendees will be notified by phone with results as they become available.

Everyone visiting the testing site should wear a face covering. Attendees, especially those who walk to the testing site, should prepare for warmer weather and potentially long wait times by bringing water to stay hydrated and wearing sunscreen and light-colored clothing. The event will be held rain or shine; in case of dangerous inclement weather, officials may need to end testing early for safety.

This site is for COVID-19 viral testing only; antibody tests will not be available at this location. The Barcroft Sports & Fitness Center and surrounding parks property will be closed to all recreational activities, and there will be no public access outside those receiving testing.

Arlington County’s first large-scale testing site on this location occurred in May, during which nearly 1,200 individuals were tested. Additionally, the County’s walk-up COVID-19 sample collection site at the Arlington Mill Community Center in partnership with Arlington Free Clinic as well as the drive-through sample collection site in partnership with Virginia Hospital Center are both ongoing and accepting appointments.

Residents can learn more about COVID-19, including where to access testing, tips to keep themselves and their loved ones safe, how to pursue financial assistance, and more by visiting arlingtonva.us/covid-19 or calling 703-228-7999.

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(Updated at 1:40 p.m.) Arlington and other Northern Virginia localities say they’re ready to reopen by the end of the week.

That’s according to a letter signed by Arlington County Board Chair Libby Garvey and other elected officials, sent to Gov. Ralph Northam and posted by Alexandria Mayor Justin Wilson on Monday evening.

“We have enclosed the updated May 24th assessment by the five [Northern Virginia] public health directors,” the letter says. “They have noted the regional attainment of four of the critical metrics and assessed the need for continued focus on expanding our contact tracing capability and developing sustainable supplies of PPE.”

The letter says the region is prepared for a Phase 1 reopening on Friday.

“Each of our jurisdictions have been making preparations to support a transition into Phase 1 at midnight on May 28,” the letter says, adding that “we would like the Northern Virginia region to move to Phase 2 in concert with the rest of the Commonwealth when that date is established.”

Hospitalizations and positive coronavirus tests have been trending down over the past two weeks, the letter says, while testing is increasing and hospitals have sufficient spare capacity.

The backdrop of the letter, in Arlington, is a surge in testing that has pushed the average tests per day over the past 7 days to over 200, as well as a hospitalization rate — 36 hospitalizations over the past week — that is well below the peak of 92. The test positivity rate, meanwhile, has fallen below 20%.

The increase in testing is due for another bump, thanks to a free COVID-19 testing event at the Barcroft Fitness and Recreation Center on S. Four Mile Run Drive today.

As of 9:45 a.m., testing had started early and was slated to run through 6 p.m. Police are assisting with traffic control, with cars lining up for blocks around the facility. The testing does not require a doctor’s order or an appointment.

“This is a state-sponsored event and is similar to other large-scale testing events in Northern Virginia,” Dr. Reuben Varghese, Arlington Public Health Director, told ARLnow over the weekend. “This site will be a one-day event with drive-through and walkup testing. We expect to test 1,000 people.”

As of 1:35 p.m., the site had reached capacity and was no longer accepting new patients.

Increasing testing is a priority after several weeks of the testing rate seeming to have plateaued in Arlington.

“As private health care providers ramp up to offer testing, the state is also making opportunities available to ensure testing is offered for those who seek it,” Varghese said, also noting that the county’s drive-through and walk-up testing sites remain open.

With the increased testing and decreased hospitalizations locally comes optimism today on the medical front. The stock market is up Tuesday morning thanks to word from several pharmaceutical companies that their coronavirus vaccine development is advancing, with positive early data.

On the less optimistic side, cases in Arlington County continue to increase. While the rate of increase is below the peak of three weeks ago, there are still around 300 new cases reported every seven days.

And a grim milestone was reached over the Memorial Day weekend: the number of COVID-related deaths in the county has passed 100. As of Tuesday morning, the latest data from the Virginia Dept. of Health shows 1,935 cases, 367 cumulative hospitalizations and 104 deaths in Arlington.

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