The Wilson Blvd CVS with a large blank, brick wall facing the street is set to open next month.
A new CVS, on the former site of the Highlander Motor Inn at 3336 Wilson Blvd near Virginia Square and Clarendon (and next to Mario’s Pizza), is aiming to open in a few weeks, we’re told.
“Barring any unexpected delays, we plan open in mid- to late-February,” a company spokesperson told ARLnow.
What makes this CVS notable to many passersby is the nearly 20-foot-tall windowless, brick rear wall of the building facing Wilson Blvd, one of Arlington’s main commercial corridors.
When it first went up in August, ARLnow received emails from locals calling the wall an “eyesore, “unfit for the area,” and “The Great Wall of Clarendon.”
This was just the latest dust up about this particular site.
In 2016, the county sued long-time property owner and local businessman Billy Bayne about what exactly could be built on the site after he signed a lease with CVS.
That was the beginning of a multi-year legal battle that eventually led to the Virginia Supreme Court declining to consider an appeal from the county, effectively allowing Bayne to move forward with his plans to bring a CVS to the site and handcuffing the county in terms of regulation.
The court fight didn’t sit well with Bayne, who said he lost nearly $2 million while the project stalled.
“It’s not okay to do this to somebody,” Bayne told ARLnow in 2018. “There will be ramifications for this.”
(When Bayne’s Highlander Motor Inn became a Covid quarantine location in 2020, however, there appeared to be a warning of relations. County officials praised Bayne for “stepping up” in a time of need while Bayne said the deal helped him pay bills with the county being “very good” to him.)
The motel finally closed in early 2021 and was demolished later that year, but not before one final party. Then, the CVS began to be built and neighbors saw a huge wall go up. The store also has a sizable surface parking lot between the building and Wilson Blvd.
CVS spokesperson told ARLnow at the time that the wall was “included in the overall construction and design plan approved by Arlington development officials.”
But that didn’t soothe some unhappy locals or put to bed the unsubstantiated rumors that this was the long-awaited revenge against the county.
“After the long court battle with the owner of the Highlander, CVS is throwing its ‘f you very much’ by placing a blank wall along Wilson Boulevard,” one resident told ARLnow back in August. “Can’t wait for the future graffiti — I mean, community arts project!”
Billy Bayne told ARLnow that he had no say in the construction project or the wall, but he also had a few other things to say about upset neighbors, the county, and other matters.
“CVS can do whatever they want. This is not the People’s Republic of China. Who do [locals] think they are telling local businesses what to build?” he said. “If people think they can tell CVS what to do, I must be missing something. Does CVS tell them what they can put on their front lawns?”
He continued, blasting the county for not being “business-friendly” and reiterated that he still felt personally attacked by the county for its multi-year legal fight with him.
“This isn’t revenge, but I do think what [the county did to me] was personal,” he said. “I blame [the wall] on Arlington not working with CVS. I call them the ‘socialist government of Arlington.’ And CVS is just trying to do good for the neighborhood.”
Driving west on Wilson Blvd from Clarendon, there’s a new addition to the landscape near Mario’s Pizza: a large cement block wall.
The wall is the rear of a new CVS going up along the 3330 block of Wilson Blvd, the former site of the Highlander Motor Inn. The nearly 20-foot-tall, windowless monolith is oriented so that it faces the street. The entrance to the new CVS is set for N. Kenmore Street.
The large blank wall has already attracted the ire of some residents. ARLnow recently received emails from several locals calling the structure an “eyesore,” a “failure,” and “The Great Wall of Clarendon.”
This all comes after a multi-year legal battle that included an unsuccessful appeal by Arlington County to the Virginia Supreme Court. It ended with the county being handcuffed in terms of regulating what’s built at the site.
“The design for this project shows a solid wall fronting on Wilson Blvd. The store frontage will be on N. Kenmore St,” a Department of Community, Planning and Housing Development spokesperson told ARLnow. “This project is occurring through by-right development; therefore there are no Zoning requirements for the orientation of buildings or structures. In addition, the County is limited in its overall regulation of by-right development projects.”
For more than five decades, the 3330 block of Wilson Blvd was the home of the Highlander motel, owned by the family of local businessman Billy Bayne.
In 2015, Bayne made the decision to lease the land to CVS, which planned to build a new store and pharmacy. However, there were complications to the deal, with the county balking at allowing the existing parking lot on N. Kenmore Street to be used again for parking.
Decisions were appealed several times before a circuit judge ruled that Bayne, as owner, was allowed to do what he wished with the property. The case was denied consideration by the state’s top court after a series of appeals.
Bayne, who also owns the Crystal City Gentlemen’s Club and Restaurant, claimed he lost nearly $2 million while the project stalled.
“It’s not okay to do this to somebody,” Bayne said in 2018. “There will be ramifications for this.”
He ended up suing the county for civil rights violations in 2019, but the suit was ultimately dismissed.
The project moved forward, with the motel closing early last year before being torn down. Before it shuttered, though, Arlington’s Dept. of Human Services rented out the hotel as a Covid quarantine location. While it probably didn’t resolve all animosity, the county thanked Bayne as someone who “really stepped up and helped” during a time of crisis.
But now it is neighbors in the Ashton Heights and Virginia Square area who are upset with what’s being done to the property.
“After the long court battle with the owner of the Highlander, CVS is throwing its ‘f you very much’ by placing a blank wall along Wilson Boulevard,” one resident told ARLnow. “Can’t wait for the future graffiti — I mean, community arts project!”
“There is no other commercial enterprise on Wilson Blvd in the area that presents so brazenly (or more likely thoughtlessly) a facade that is so grossly inconsistent with the urban ‘smart growth’ model,” another resident wrote, calling it “unfit… for this area.”
ARLnow reached out to CVS about the wall and received the following response.
“A new CVS Pharmacy store is currently under construction on Wilson Boulevard in Arlington and is expected to be completed by the end of 2022. The wall that is currently facing Wilson Boulevard will be part of the permanent structure and is included in the overall construction and design plan approved by Arlington development officials,” a CVS spokesperson said.
So, the “Great Wall of Clarendon” is apparently here to stay and there isn’t much the county or residents can do at this point.
“It could be a major eyesore on the street for the next 30 to 40 years,” said a local resident.
The CVS inside of 1100 Wilson Blvd in Rosslyn is closing next month after more than twenty years in that location, the company confirms.
The store is located in the lobby of the same building as local TV station WJLA (ABC 7), near the busy intersection with N. Lynn Street. It has been there since December 1999, according to the company.
This is just sad! It was such a convenience to have right here in our building.
— Brian van de Graaff (@Brian7NewsDC) March 15, 2022
“We’ve made the difficult decision to close our pharmacy at 1100 Wilson Blvd. in Rosslyn, VA on April 15,” a CVS spokesperson said in a statement to ARLnow. “All prescriptions will be transferred to the nearby CVS Pharmacy at 1788 N. Pierce St. in Arlington, which is just three blocks away, to ensure that patients continue to have uninterrupted access to service. All employees are being offered comparable roles at other CVS locations nearby.”
The exact reason for this particular closure wasn’t directly addressed in the statement, with the spokesperson noting that “maintaining access to pharmacy services in underserved communities is an important factor we consider when making store closure decisions.”
The company also cited population shifts, a store’s density, local market dynamics, and the proximity of other CVS stores as reasons.
The remaining CVS in Rosslyn on Pierce Street is relatively new, having opened in the last few years. While just a few blocks away from the closing store, it’s something of a journey, given the steep hill one has to walk up from N. Lynn Street.
All told, there are 15 other Arlington CVS locations.
Sitting at 31 stories, 1100 Wilson Blvd is one half of a pair of twin towers and a well-known Rosslyn skyline landmark. Besides being the long-time home of WJLA, it’s also home to cybersecurity company Shift5, pasta house Sfoglina, a satellite location for the University of Virginia’s business school, and Raytheon.
The Arlington Planning Commission gave a proposed Columbia Pike residential redevelopment the thumbs-up.
Now, plans to replace an aging, one-story retail strip in the 2600 block of Columbia Pike will head to the County Board for approval during its recessed meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 17.
Arlington-based Insight Property Group proposes to tear down the Fillmore Gardens Shopping Center at the corner of Columbia Pike and S. Walter Reed Drive and build a multifamily building with ground floor retail. The six-story building, dubbed “The Elliott,” will situate 247 market-rate apartments above a grocery store (rumored to be an Amazon Fresh), a renovated CVS pharmacy and three levels of below-grade parking.
“This project has been a work in progress for several years now,” said Tad Lunger, the land use attorney representing the project. “As you know, it is a very prominent site in a town center on Columbia Pike, which was envisioned to accomplish a number of planning and community goals. The culmination of these goals has informed every aspect of this proposal.”
The developer will contribute land on the eastern edge of the site to the second phase of Penrose Square Park. This will nearly double the park’s size, and allow the two sculptures that comprise the public art installation “Echo” to be farther apart, as originally envisioned by its artist.
It will also build a new S. Cleveland Street, which separates the park and the site, a pedestrian passageway along the western edge of the site and an alley to the north.
Residents will have access to four amenity spaces: two internal courtyards, a pool courtyard overlooking the pedestrian passageway and a rooftop space. Insight Property Group is aiming for LEED Silver certification of the building.
Once engineering, building and landscape plans are finalized, demolition could begin in early fall, Erika Moore, a spokeswoman with the Department of Community, Planning, Housing and Development, previously told ARLnow. If that starts on time, construction would likely conclude by early 2025.
Members of the Planning Commission praised the project and had few questions.
“I’m excited by the presentation, and I’m excited to see this move forward,” said Daniel Weir, speaking not as the Planning Commission Chair but as a member. “I’m very happy as well with what we’ve been presented with.”
That there were no public speakers and few questions demonstrates how the Columbia Pike Form Based Code — which guides development on the Pike and favors mid-rise apartments with ground-floor retail — helped realize an “amazing building,” Commissioner Stephen Hughes said.
“Our long list of public speakers and fellow commissioners who have poignant things to add is a big old goose egg,” he said. “We stand on the shoulders of giants who helped build the original plan and worked to ensure the balancing act of many different areas were heard, communicated and then held to.”
The alley prompted one question from Commissioner Tenley Peterson, who referenced two car accidents involving alleys in November — one involving a toddler in Westover and the other an adult on a motorcycle who died of his injuries — that prompted a county task force to study alley safety.
The Highlander Motel is finally coming down, with a CVS set to go up in its place.
Demolition has begun on the nearly six-decade-old, two-story motel on Wilson Blvd after it closed a year ago. The tear down is expected to be completed within the next several days, according to former owner Billy Bayne.
Video taken by a local filmmaker, below, shows a large excavator eating through the brick, siding, and metal of the old building.
Despite the motel turning into rubble, construction on the new CVS won’t actually start for a “few months” due to it being winter, a construction manager tells ARLnow. A tentative time frame for the building to be completed is mid-to-late August, but that deadline is weather-dependent.
The Atlanta-based Project Builders Inc. is the general contractor, as county permits show.
After the project is turned over to CVS, it likely will take at least a month for the store to open, notes the construction manager, putting an estimated opening date around late September.
There are currently at least three other CVS stores within about a mile of where the new one will be constructed, including locations in Clarendon and Ballston.
The plan to demolish Highlander Motel and replace it with a CVS has been in place since at least 2016, with permit applications being filed two years ago. Bayne still owns the land at 3336 Wilson Blvd and is leasing it to CVS.
As for the Highlander, Bayne admits watching it be demolished does conjure up emotions.
“I grew up running around there,” Bayne says. “Eating [Mario’s] pizza with Lefty and Joe, my father playing cards, the [Boozefighters’] big party every year. Lots of good memories there.”
But it’s time for it to go, Bayne says. The motel was struggling to stay afloat and had overstayed its usefulness, he says.
“My father would be happy since [leasing the property] is going to help out his children and grandchildren,” Bayne says, “Plus, having a CVS there is good for the neighborhood.”
(Updated 10:35 a.m.) Tacombi, a New York City-based taqueria chain, is expected to open in Crystal City in a couple of months.
The new spot will be located in the revamped Central District Retail shopping plaza, also known as “Crystal Square.” This recently redone property at 1550 Crystal Drive, owned by JBG Smith, has attracted a number of other retail options that have opened already or are set to open over the course of the year.
A CVS opened in February and hit NYC bakery Mah-Ze-Dahr opened in mid-June. Another location of the boutique gym, Solidcore, is set to open in August, according to a spokeswoman.
A spokesperson for Tacombi said Thursday that it expects to open its 3,000 square-foot space in Crystal City in September.
“All of our taquerias are bright, open and airy spaces where guests can enjoy warm hospitality and a menu with selections from different regions throughout Mexico,” she said. “We look forward to bringing a little piece of this incredible country to our new friends in Arlington, and to swinging open our taqueria doors this fall.”
Tacombi got its start on the beaches of Yucatan, Mexico. The owner sold tacos from a Volkswagen Bus and eventually opened his first taqueria in the mid-2000s in New York City. Nine other locations have since opened in NYC.
These openings are happening amid a handful of other openings in Miami and Queens, the spokeswoman said. The taqueria will cement its presence in the D.C. area with a Bethesda location also set to open in September.
“We were drawn to Crystal City’s evolving identity and to its own journey from a largely-industrial zone in the sixties to today’s quickly developing community,” she said. “And while National Landing is part of a cosmopolitan world capital, it also maintains the neighborhood quality that best allows us to share authentic Mexican culture.”
The taqueria made headlines this year for its work during the pandemic feeding thousands of food-insecure New Yorkers.
Also coming to Central District Retail will be a thus-far unnamed grocery store, rumored to be a possible Amazon Fresh location. The store will be built in the existing office building at 1550 Crystal Drive, according to Arlington County.
“JBG SMITH declines to comment,” a spokesperson for the property owner said when asked about it yesterday.
With the Highlander Motor Inn in its final days, the 57-year-old motel was paid one last visit over the weekend by long-time fans.
About 100 members of the motorcycle club Boozefighters rolled up on Saturday afternoon to pay their respects to the place they’ve stayed and partied at every Memorial Day weekend since 1992 while participating in Rolling Thunder.
The Boozefighters were first founded in 1946 by World War II veterans.
“[The Highlander] let us get away with stuff that other hotels wouldn’t have,” says Jeff Thompson, president of the Falls Church chapter of the Boozefighters. “Wonderful memories. It was important for us to say goodbye.”
In honor of the Boozefighters’ long-time patronage of the Arlington motel, they will be getting the iconic neon sign that has welcomed passersby on Wilson Blvd. The sign will come down next week, owner Billy Bayne confirms, at which point the club will take it to their museum in Fort Worth, Texas.
For decades over Memorial Day weekend, Highlander Motor Inn was the site of hundreds of motorcycles and veterans from around the country, barbequing and reminiscing in the parking lot.
Bayne — who also owns the Crystal City Restaurant gentlemen’s club — says the group rented the motel every year and it was a “big party,” which the hotel was happy to host.
Rolling Thunder ended its annual D.C. rally in 2019, and this year is set to meet at a New Jersey 4-H fairground.
CVS was expected to take possession of the Highlander and begin demolition this month, but that has been delayed. According to Bayne, April 13 is now the new target date for this to happen.
Bayne’s family operated the motel since the early 1960s, before shuttering it earlier this year. Bayne still owns the land the motel sits on.
One of the Highlander’s last acts was as temporary COVID-related housing. In April 2020, Arlington’s Dept. of Human Services rented out the entire motel to provide quarantine and isolation space for low-income individuals living in overcrowded or congregate settings.
Beyond keeping the sign, members of the Boozefighters were allowed to spray paint and ride their bikes inside of the motel, as well as take a few other mementos.
“Only because it’s being torn down,” Jackie Bayne, Billy Bayne’s sister, told ARLnow. She dubbed the raucous sendoff “The Highlander Swan Song.”
Thompson says said he kept a room key, a key chain, and the number off of the door of the room he’s stayed in for the last 20 years.
“I’m very sad to see it go,” he said. “Billy and Jackie were such gracious hosts. “We wouldn’t have been able to do this at any other hotel.”
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Photos courtesy of Boozefighters Falls Church chapter/Simon Vansteyn
(Updated at 9:35 p.m.) A new CVS Pharmacy is open at the revamped Central District Retail shopping plaza, also known as “Crystal Square,” in Crystal City.
The store opened on Sunday, Feb. 28, a JBG Smith spokesperson confirmed. It is part of a major redevelopment that the property owner has planned for a block of Crystal Drive between 15th and 18th streets.
In 2018, the County Board approved the project, which JBG says will blend retail, public spaces and transit services.
Signage appears to now be up for two more occupants: Mah-Ze-Dahr, a bakery said to have some of New York City’s best doughnuts, as well as a yet-unnamed specialty grocery store. The first D.C. outpost of the NYC bakery opened in Navy Yard in the fall.
JBG once more declined to comment on which grocer will be filling the space. Permits indicate that the store will offer prepared foods like packaged salads, sandwiches, entrees and soups, as well as various beverages. The permits further specify that the store will have “self app check-out.”
A spokesperson previously confirmed that the specialty grocer will sell produce, meats and poultry, frozen foods and baked goods. Taken as a whole, the concept sounds similar to that of Amazon Fresh stores, a new bricks-and-mortar retail offering of the tech giant, which is currently constructing its HQ2 up the street.
The store will be built in the existing office building at 1550 Crystal Drive, according to the county. The new one-story retail area will replace a 1990s-era strip and will link the grocery store to a planned Alamo Drafthouse movie theater at 1750 Crystal Drive.
The theater chain recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, but a company spokesman tells ARLnow the planned Crystal City location is owned by a franchisee “which has not filed for bankruptcy.”
“There are no changes to its development plans at 1750 Crystal Drive,” the spokesman said.
Meanwhile, outposts of New York City taco chain Tacombi and the boutique fitness gym Solidcore — which has existing locations in Courthouse and Ballston — are still on track to open in the area.
A spokeswoman for Solidcore confirmed that the gym is slated to open this summer.
“Central District Retail will enhance the street-level experience with new dining, shopping and entertainment options on Crystal Drive,” Amy Rice, senior vice president of Retail Leasing at JBG Smith, previously told ARLnow in a statement. “It will serve as the retail heart of National Landing and a vibrant destination for people throughout the region.”
Photo (2) courtesy Car-Free#HQ2/Twitter
For those Arlingtonians still waiting to get their vaccination, the list of options for getting it is growing.
While getting vaccinated through the county remains an option for all currently eligible groups, residents 65 and older have a lengthening list of stores at which they can receive the vaccine.
Thanks to federal partnerships, some local locations of Giant, CVS, Walgreens, Safeway and Harris Teeter are now offering no-cost vaccine appointments separate from Arlington County’s health department.
At this time, exact locations are only known for Giant and Safeway.
- 2501 9th Road S. at Penrose Square
- 2901 S. Glebe Road in Arlington Ridge
- 5101 Wilson Blvd in Bluemont
- 3713 Lee Highway in Cherrydale
- 2500 N. Harrison Street in Yorktown
Appointments remain hard to come by, however, even as the one-dose Johnson & Johnson begins to roll out. Vaccine supply in the state remains limited, though it’s increasing.
The Virginia Department of Health tells ARLnow that more than 80,000 doses are being given to retail pharmacies statewide — an increase from last month.
The 69,000 J&J vaccine doses announced last week started coming in yesterday, VDH confirms, and clinics across the state are expecting to start using it today (Friday). Arlington is planning to vaccinate 1,500 people at a mass vaccination clinic at the Lubber Run Community Center tomorrow.
Virginia and Arlington County are both currently in Phase 1b, meaning those 65 or over and those with 16 to 64 with underlying medical conditions are eligible to receive the vaccine.
Statewide, it’s estimated that up to half of the population is currently eligible for the vaccine. Around 27,500 Arlingtonians have received at least one dose, per VDH data.
The challenges for retail pharmacies are the same as for localities: demand is still far outpacing supply.
Last month, CVS began offering vaccine appointments at its local stores for those 65 or over. Currently, 41 CVS pharmacies are offering the vaccine in Virginia with appointments booked through their website.
However, there’s only one location in Arlington (an exact address is not provided) and, at last check, appointments are “fully booked.”
CVS spokesperson Amy Thibault tells ARLnow that “roughly 41,580 appointments” per week available at the 41 locations statewide. Basic math says that’s about 1,000 appointments per store per week.
Most of them are using the Moderna vaccine.
“In most (if not all) states, the number of individuals who are eligible to receive the vaccine under the state’s rules far outnumber the state’s available doses,” Thibault said.
She also noted that CVS is receiving a “one-time allocation” of 212,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine this week which will be spread across their stores in 17 states.
Scheduling for that began Thursday on the CVS website and administering begins today.
The two Arlington Giant locations are also offering vaccines to those 65 or over, but no appointments are currently available either according to the grocery chain’s online scheduler.
Giant spokesperson Daniel Wolk tells ARLnow the number of appointments depends on the vaccine doses received and can fluctuate.
“The number is changing daily based on the total amount sent to us,” he writes. “We hope to increase the appointments as time goes by but it all depends on how much vaccine we receive.”
Another Snowstorm on the Way? — “Confidence is growing in a messy mix of wintry precipitation in the Washington region Thursday, the latest in a parade of wintry weather events since late January… Parts of the region could see significant amounts of snow and/or ice before a possible change to rain. The precipitation, which may be heavy at times, is likely to continue into Thursday night or very early Friday morning.” [Washington Post]
More Details on Pike CVS Development — “Last summer, the public caught wind of upcoming plans to redevelop the Fillmore Gardens Shopping Center on Columbia Pike in Arlington. Now… [a] rezoning application has been filed to apply Columbia Pike-specific zoning to the property at 2601 Columbia Pike (map) in order to deliver The Elliott, a six-story building with 248 apartments with a new CVS pharmacy and a grocery store on the ground floor.” [Urban Turf]
Equinox Isn’t Coming to Clarendon — “An affiliate of Regency Centers Corp. has sued an affiliate of upscale fitness chain Equinox for more than $20 million for allegedly pulling the plug on a planned location at the Market Common retail center… Clarendon Regency IV LLC sued Equinox Clarendon Inc. in U.S. District Court in Alexandria in mid-November for breaching the terms of its lease for space on the first and second floors of the nearly 68,500-square-foot building at 2801 Clarendon Blvd.” [Washington Business Journal]
Capitol Police Officer Died in Arlington — “Smith returned to the police clinic for a follow-up appointment Jan. 14 and was ordered back to work, a decision his wife now questions… Police found him in his cherished Ford Mustang, which had rolled over and down an embankment along the George Washington Memorial Parkway, near a scenic overlook on the Potomac River. He was the second police officer who had been at the riot to take his own life.” [Washington Post]
Reaction to Senate Trump Vote — Arlington’s Congressional delegation expressed disappointment with the acquittal of former President Trump in the Senate impeachment trial. Said Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.): “A bipartisan majority of Senators voted today to send a clear message to future presidents that conduct of this nature is impeachable, intolerable and disqualifying. When the history books on this moment are written, I believe that judgment will be clear.” [Blue Virginia]
Solving Arlington’s Hunger Problem — “The pandemic has made it harder for many Americans to feed their families. After the COVID-19 outbreak, Arlington’s Department of Human Services estimated nearly 16,000 residents needed food assistance. Now the Capital Area Food Bank estimates 26,000 are at risk of hunger in Arlington. County leaders have a plan to help.” [WJLA]
Southwest Air ‘Love’ Story at DCA — “And of course, there’s the inspiring story of Reecie and Imani. Reecie met Imani in 2018 after Imani requested that her plane return to the gate [at Reagan National Airport] before taking off. Imani was the maid of honor in her best friend’s wedding, but she was too nervous to fly.” [Twitter]
Jenna Bush’s Worst Date Happened in Arlington — “Hoda Kotb asked Jenna about her worst first date ever and boy, did the story deliver. ‘My worst first date involved the Secret Service, let’s just leave it at that,’ Jenna said, laughing…. She explained that they were in Arlington, Virginia, where her now-husband was living at the time. He had realized he was running out of fuel, so he tried to get to a corner gas station that was up a slight hill. ‘He started to go up the hill and then booooop, crash.'” [Today Show]
Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf
(Updated at 10:50 a.m.) CVS locations in Virginia, including in Arlington, will start administering COVID-19 vaccines tomorrow (Friday).
CVS pharmacies across the Commonwealth are fully booked with appointments, which are for now open to residents 65 and older.
More from a Virginia Dept. of Health press release (link added by ARLnow):
VDH worked closely with CVS over the last week to ensure that the CVS system follows Virginia’s priority guidelines and to provide an advance opportunity for eligible individuals already registered on VDH waiting lists. However, due to technological limitations with their national appointment system, CVS is unable to reserve appointments for pre-registered individuals. Virginia will continue to work towards a solution in partnership with other participating states and the federal government.
The federal program will supplement existing vaccination programs by providing 26,000 more vaccines to Virginians. CVS is the first of Virginia’s pharmacy partners in the federal pharmacy partnership to move forward with vaccinations. More pharmacies and more locations are expected to start vaccinating patients in the future.
The Federal Retail Pharmacy Program for COVID-19 Vaccination is a public-private partnership, between pharmacy companies and the federal government. Pharmacy companies receive vaccines directly from the federal government through the partnership program. Initially, the federal government asked states to limit distribution to one pharmacy chain partner. CVS Health is the initial pharmacy partner for the program in Virginia.
The appointment for the second vaccination will be made when the first vaccination appointment is scheduled. Those without online access can contact CVS Customer Service at (800) 746-7287. Walk-in vaccinations without an appointment will not be provided.
Those who were unable to book appointments, when CVS unexpectedly opened vaccine registration early, described the process as “really frustrating.”
With county-run vaccinations still constrained by limited supply from the state, the CVS vaccinations promise to provide a bit of a relief valve amid high demand in Arlington, which has the highest percentage of residents willing to be vaccinated in the country, at 92%.
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam and leaders in the District and Maryland, meanwhile, are pushing the federal government to vaccinate more D.C. area federal employees.
Today, @MayorBowser, @GovLarryHogan, and I asked federal leaders to directly supply and distribute #COVID19 vaccinations to essential federal employees and contractors.
Read our full letter: https://t.co/Mlk6uGARam pic.twitter.com/KG8Orphl2q
— Ralph Northam (@GovernorVA) February 10, 2021
Vaccinations in Arlington are continuing apace, with an additional 651 doses reported to have been administered, for a cumulative total of 12,440 doses, in the latest figures from the Virginia Dept. of Health. The seven-day moving average is 888 doses per day in the county.
The figures for second doses, a measure of completed vaccinations, have been rising. At the current rate of second administered doses, Arlington’s entire adult population would be fully vaccinated in 533 days, a number that has continued to fall over the past several weeks.
County officials say that, as of last week, Arlington’s health department has administered 10,184 first doses of 11,425 received, as well as 1,037 second doses of 3,300 received.
An Arlington Public Health spokeswoman emphasized that those with vaccination appointments should not show up early, to help prevent the kind of lines seen during vaccination events this past weekend.
“We have individuals arriving an hour or more ahead of their appointment times,” the spokeswoman said.