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A vacant, county-owned building in Glencarlyn could start coming down this fall, pending approval from the Arlington County Board this weekend.

This Saturday, the Board is slated to consider awarding a contract to tear down the old Virginia Hospital Center urgent care facility at 601 S. Carlin Springs Road.

“If approved, the contractor will begin mobilizing in the fall,” according to the project’s page on the county website. “Expected completion of the demolition is summer 2023.”

Arlington County acquired the old VHC Urgent Care in a land swap with the hospital. VHC received county-owned land at N. Edison Street for its expansion project, interior work on which is ongoing until this December.

While a private medical office building continues to operate next door at 611 S. Carlin Springs Road, the VHC building has sat vacant since the acquisition. Come winter, thrill-seekers take to the hill on the grounds for a sledding spot.

In order to use the land, the county needs to tear the VHC building down, as it “is not fit for further use due to mold and other issues,” according to a county presentation to neighbors of the building last September.

To do so, while continuing operations at the medical office building, the county had to separate the shared water, power and gas utility lines.

“This work began in February 2022 and is close to completion,” county spokeswoman Jessica Baxter told ARLnow in an email. “Throughout this project, we have been working closely with the adjacent medical office building to allow ample time for them to accommodate their patient/client schedules with the start of the demolition.”

Later this month, the county will install install solar-powered lights in the parking lot as “a temporary solution” once power to the site is disconnected in the fall, she said yesterday (Tuesday).

Boarded up windows and signs forbidding entry are visible from the perimeter of the site. These are in place and county staff check the perimeter of the site daily “to deter intruders,” according to the county’s 2021 project update to the neighborhood.

An aerial view of 601 and 611 S. Carlin Springs Road, with Long Branch Creek indicated in blue (via Arlington County)

Arlington experienced a few delays getting to this point. Besides having to accommodate the medical offices next door, Baxter previously told ARLnow the project had to repeat its solicitation of bids, after a first round did not net any interested contractors.

A complete demolition is still a ways off, as are plans for how the county will use the site.

“Future uses of the site will be determined at a later time,” Baxter said this week. “After demolition, grass will be planted and maintained.”

Many Glencarlyn residents hope to see an expanded nature area, says neighbor Julie Lee.

“The site borders Glencarlyn Park and the Long Branch Nature Center,” she tells ARLnow. “It would provide additional outdoor recreational opportunities, as well as additional outdoor learning space for Campbell Elementary School which has a nature focus.”

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Virginia Hospital Center entrance (file photo by Jay Westcott)

(Updated at 10:15 a.m.) A man who worked at a local hospital has been charged with sexual battery.

Hektor Alvarez, 21, is accused of fondling a male patient’s genitals on two separate occasions at Inova Fair Oaks Hospital. He was arrested last week “after a month long investigation,” according to Fairfax County police.

Alvarez, who was working as a caretaker for a healthcare contractor at the time of the alleged incidents, most recently worked in Arlington.

“Through the investigation, detectives learned Alvarez is currently employed as a medical technician at Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington County,” FCPD said in a press release last week. “At this time, no incidents have been reported at this location.”

Fairfax County authorities are asking anyone with additional information about Alvarez to contact them.

A PR rep for Virginia Hospital Center tells ARLnow that Alvarez “is not a current employee” of the hospital.

The full press release is below.

A 21-year-old man has been arrested and charged with aggravated sexual battery while working as a hospital caretaker. On July 7, the victim reported to a hospital technician that his previous caretaker had sexually assaulted him in April. His caretaker fondled the victim’s genitalia on two separate occasions. The victim, who requires 24/7 care due to his condition, was receiving long-term care at Inova Fair Oaks Hospital at 3600 Joseph Siewick Drive in Fairfax.

Detectives from our Major Crimes Bureau were notified on July 8 and responded to assume the investigation. Detectives identified the hospital caretaker as Hektor Fernando Alvarez of Falls Church. Alvarez was employed by Metropolitan Healthcare Services (MHS), a company contracted by Inova to provide sitter services for patients. He is no longer employed by MHS. After a month long investigation by detectives, Alvarez was arrested on August 9 for aggravated sexual battery with a victim through mental incapacity or helplessness. He was held on no bond but later released on a secured bond.

Through the investigation, detectives learned Alvarez is currently employed as a medical technician at Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington County. At this time, no incidents have been reported at this location. Detectives are asking anyone with information about this case or believe Hektor Fernando Alvarez had inappropriate contact to please call our Major Crimes Bureau at 703-246-7800, option 3. Tips can also be submitted anonymously through Crime Solvers by phone – 1-866-411-TIPS (866-411-8477), and by web – Click HERE. Download the ‘P3 Tips’ App and follow the steps to “Fairfax Co Crime Solvers”. Anonymous tipsters are eligible for cash rewards of $100 to $1,000 dollars. Please leave contact information if you wish for a detective to follow up with you.

Victim specialists from our Major Crimes Bureau’s Victim Services Division have been assigned to ensure that the victim is receiving appropriate resources and assistance.

Morning Notes

Ballston Quarter at twilight (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

Poll: D.C. Residents Prefer Alexandria — A poll on Twitter with more than 1,000 respondents shows D.C. residents saying they’re prefer to live in Alexandria over Arlington, if they had to choose, by a ratio of nearly 2:1. [Twitter]

ACPD Lays Wreaths at Memorial — “Following the Observance of Peace Officers Memorial Day, ACPD’s Honor Guard laid wreaths at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in recognition of Arlington’s seven heroic officers who have died in the line of duty. The memorial features the names of more than 22,000 federal, tribal, state and local law enforcement officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice for the safety and protection of our nation. We are committed to never forgetting their sacrifices in service to their communities.” [Facebook]

Roads in Rosslyn Closing for Police 5K — “The 2022 National Police Week 5k will take place on Saturday, May 14, 2022.  The Arlington County Police Department will conduct the following road closures to accommodate the event.” [ACPD]

Reminder: Expect Police Motorcades — “Police Week is scheduled from Wednesday, May 11 through Tuesday, May 17. Most of the scheduled activities will take place Thursday through Sunday, though the arrival of families of fallen officers on Wednesday and Thursday will prompt many of the motorcades and rolling road closures.” [ARLnow]

Dems Honor Longtime Volunteer — “The recipient of the Arlington County Democratic Committee’s highest accolade for longtime service says she is pleased that the party continues to expand in both size and scope. ‘With more people doing more things, our organization is more complex than ever,’ Inta Malis said during a May 10 online event sponsored by Arlington Senior Democrats.” [Sun Gazette]

TV Station Honors Arlington Nurses — “As 7News celebrates the third day of Nurses Week, we salute the men and women of VHC Health in Northern Virginia. The community hospital in Arlington is a member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network and is a designated Magnet hospital, one of the highest group honors for a hospital.” [WJLA]

Startup Founder Helping Refugees — “As the clock struck 11 p.m. on March 19, Yulia Yaani gathered a group of Ukrainian refugees at the Polish border. She stepped onto the bus that night, alongside roughly 50 women and children, and they traveled to Denmark for the next 17 hours — to escape the war with Russia… Yaani is co-founder and CEO of Arlington fintech [company] RealAtom, a 5-year-old startup.” [Washington Business Journal]

Kiwanis Donate to Ukraine Efforts — “The Kiwanis Club of Arlington has donated $5,000 to the World Central Kitchen (WCK) to assist with relief efforts in Ukraine. Proceeds from the club’s fund-raising activities, including its annual blueberry sale, are being used to support the WCK with their meals programs on the ground in Ukraine and in surrounding countries.” [Sun Gazette]

It’s Thursday — Mostly cloudy and cool throughout the day, with a slight chance of rain. High of 68 and low of 58. Sunrise at 6:00 am and sunset at 8:12 pm. [Weather.gov]

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Covid case rate in Arlington on 4/26/22 (via Virginia Dept. of Health)

Arlington saw a slight dip in Covid cases mid-month, during the Arlington Public Schools spring break, but cases are back on a relatively slow upward trajectory this week.

After the seven-day moving average broke the 100 daily case mark last week, that same figure stands at 110 cases per day today, according to Virginia Dept. of Health data.

Arlington Public Schools, meanwhile, has reported 195 student cases over the past week, including 23 at Jamestown Elementary alone. The North Arlington school has the highest seven-day case total of any Arlington public school, after Yorktown High School and its 14 reported cases.

Jamestown informed families about 17 new cases in an email yesterday.

Arlington County remains in the CDC’s “Medium” Covid level classification due to the volume of cases, but reported hospitalizations remain low.

In his weekly public Facebook post on Friday, Virginia Hospital Center ER chief Mike Silverman said the hospital is not seeing a notable increase in severe disease from Covid infections.

Although COVID numbers are continuing to increase in the community, we have seen a leveling off of COVID in both the emergency department and the hospital. Although new diagnoses of cases has increased the last several weeks in the ER, it never reached a critically high level. This week, the numbers actually dropped a touch as did the percent positivity rate in the emergency department as well. The hospital just has a handful of patients who are COVID-positive. I think we are seeing the clear benefits of vaccinations and boosters.

However, we have seen an increase in the community rate in Arlington County and this rate is slightly above 10%. This represents a pretty high transmission level in the community. Fortunately, patients are not getting sick and requiring hospitalization but it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t continue to be cautious in our interactions. And while some people may expect that getting COVID is inevitable, I think we still have a lot to understand about the long-term consequences of COVID.

The wider Arlington community’s Covid test positivity rate, meanwhile, has started declining. It currently stands at 10.8%, down from a recent peak of 12.4% three days ago, according to VDH.

Covid test positivity rate in Arlington on 4/26/22 (via Virginia Dept. of Health)
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Morning Notes

Looking up at a skyscraper along N. Moore St. in Rosslyn (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

Va. Hospital Center Changing Name — “Arlington’s Virginia Hospital Center is charging forward with its regional expansion under new leadership — and a new moniker to match. The nearly 80-year-old independent hospital, which had the same CEO for nearly half of that time, is now going forward as VHC Health. The change aims to better reflect its role in the region, said Christopher Lane, the hospital’s new leader since March 28.” [Washington Business Journal]

Auditor Eyes Site Plans — “Auditor Chris Horton has proposed spending about 300 of his 2,000 work hours during fiscal 2023 evaluating past site plans to determine if the benefits that were promised to the public actually materialized. His work plan, which will have to be ratified by the County Board, won a receptive audience at the April 7 meeting of the government’s Audit Committee. ‘I really love this idea,’ said John Vihstadt, a former County Board member.” [Sun Gazette]

Holiday Weekend Changes — “Whether you celebrate the Christian holiday of Easter, the Jewish holiday of Passover, the two holidays will overlap during the weekend of April 16-17. As the Easter holiday falls on a Sunday, closures may be limited.
Arlington County government does not typically close for Good Friday before Easter. However, there are a few service changes for services that do operate on Sundays.” [Patch]

W-L Student Competing in History Bee — “Aaron Lopez, a ninth-grade student at Washington-Liberty High School, will compete in the History Bee national championships after scoring success at the state level.” [Sun Gazette]

Disobedient Dog Infuriates Pentagon City Resident — From Reddit, as highlighted by Monkeyrotica: “I hear you every damn day, twice a day from my apartment window. Your dog acts up around other dogs every [expletive] day. You keep shouting ‘ROBERT’ at your dog every time he acts up. Your dog keeps [expletive] misbehaving. See how your tactic just doesn’t work?” [Reddit]

Newspaper Opposes Ukraine Donation — “Everybody should feel bad for what the Ukrainian people are going through and appalled by the actions of the Russian government. And if people want to donate funds or humanitarian supplies, amen to that. But ballistic-vest donations? That may be a one step too far over the line.” [Sun Gazette]

Good Luck, Jo! — ARLnow’s Jo DeVoe is now on maternity leave. We expect her to return in the fall.

It’s Good Friday — Clear throughout the day. High of 68 and low of 49. Sunrise at 6:33 am and sunset at 7:46 pm. [Weather.gov]

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Morning Notes

Amazon HQ2 under construction in Pentagon City, with the Pentagon in the foreground (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

Construction Milestone for HQ2 — “Metropolitan Park, the first phase of our second headquarters’ development in Arlington, Virginia, is taking shape as we celebrate an important milestone: the ‘topping out,’ or completion of the highest floor of the building. So much has changed since we began construction more than two years ago in National Landing, and we can’t wait to welcome Amazon employees and the Arlington community to Metropolitan Park in 2023.” [Amazon, Twitter]

Covid Rate Low in the ER — From Virginia Hospital Center emergency department chief Dr. Mike Silverman: “This past week was the best COVID week we’ve had in a long time in the ER. We actually didn’t have any positive cases among our ‘symptomatic’ patients and just a handful or so among all comers to the ER. Our percent positivity rate was <2%. Hospitalizations remains low and we are returning to normal with in-person meetings and some options about mask wearing in non-clinical areas.” [Facebook]

Girl Found, Parents Eventually Located — “The parents of the little girl who was found unattended on the Martha Custis Trail in Arlington, Virginia, have been found on Saturday night. The girl was found behind a Giant grocery store on Langston Boulevard-U.S. 29 and Spout Run Parkway just before midnight Saturday.” [WTOP]

Arlington Gets HUD Grant — “The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has awarded more than $2.8 million in FY 2021 Continuum of Care (CoC) Competition Awards to Arlington. The awards will provide funding to help individuals and families experiencing homelessness move into permanent housing with access to supportive services, with the overarching goal of long-term stability.” [Arlington County]

Aircraft Company Opens Local Office — “California-based Stratolaunch, which is testing the largest aircraft ever built, has established a permanent D.C.-area office. It’s in National Landing, the Crystal City area of Arlington County, Virginia. Stratolaunch was founded in 2011 by the late Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft.” [WTOP]

APS Students Serve as Pages in Richmond — “Two students at Swanson Middle School recently finished an 11-week program as pages with the Virginia House of Delegates. This selective program welcomes eighth and ninth-grade students to Richmond from across the commonwealth to learn about the legislative process and assist the House of Delegates. Chandani Rathod and Jacqueline Ake were the only two students chosen from Arlington County.” [Arlington Public Schools, Twitter]

Yes, Traffic is Getting Worse — “With more people returning to work, the D.C. region has seen an increase in drivers and that number could continue to shoot up. ‘It has been a steady climb,’ said Mary DePompa, WTOP Traffic anchor. Despite the rise in gas prices, the boom in the number of drivers appears to be a recent trend.” [WTOP]

It’s Monday — Clear throughout the day. High of 67 and low of 41. Sunrise at 7:11 am and sunset at 7:22 pm. [Weather.gov]

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A long row of Capital Bikeshare bicycles in Rosslyn (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

A new bike share station is potentially coming to Virginia Hospital Center, perhaps as soon as this summer.

At the County Board meeting on Saturday, members will vote on an agreement to install a Capital Bikeshare station at 1800 N. Edison Street in the Halls Hill neighborhood, where construction is currently ongoing to expand Virginia Hospital Center.

The agreement between the county and the hospital will grant permission to Arlington to install, operate, and maintain the station for at least a decade. It also asks VHC to pay $35,000 for the station’s installation and $17,300 annually for operational and maintenance costs.

The station could be installed by this summer if the agreement passes, a county spokesperson tells ARLnow. Since it’s listed as a consent item on Saturday’s agenda, it can be reasonably assumed the agreement will be approved.

The idea for a Bikeshare station at that location was first proposed to the neighborhood civic association way back in 2016, according to the Board report. At the time, the association’s members had no issue with the proposal.

Capital Bikeshare stations are owned by D.C. area localities and operated in partnership with the CaBi program, which is now a part of Lyft.

“Capital Bikeshare is a popular bike-sharing system in the Metropolitan D.C. Region,” reads the Board report. “Recognizing this trend, Arlington County Commuter Services has partnered with MetroBike in the continued development of a network of strategically-placed bike-sharing stations in various locations around the county. This bike-sharing partnership promotes the ideals of ‘car-free’ transportation, a healthy lifestyle and environmental stewardship.”

In recent years, more and more bike share stations have popped up around Arlington. There are now currently 104 Capital Bikeshare stations in operation in the county, a spokesperson says.

Construction is coming along on the 245,000 square-foot outpatient facility and parking garage adjacent to Virginia Hospital Center’s existing campus. It is expected to be completed in late 2023.

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Morning Notes

New Deputy County Attorney Named — “Mr. Ryan Samuel, who joined the County Attorney’s Office (CAO) in 2018, serves as a board member for the Local Government Attorneys of Virginia and is a member of the Virginia Workers’ Compensation American Inn of Court.” [Arlington Government]

APS Launches Test to Stay — The Virginia Department of Health has authorized Arlington Public Schools to implement its “test to stay” pilot program, which consists of contact tracing and serial COVID-19 testing so students can continue attending school during after being a close contact to someone who tested positive. [APS]

Still Not Getting Mail? — From Rep. Don Beyer: “We’re working with USPS leadership to resolve mail delivery problems arising from winter weather and omicron-driven staffing shortages. I’m told some USPS units are working with just 1/3 of normal staff. Keep alerting my District Office to your issues, we’ll do our best to help.” [Twitter]

DES Seeks Input on Eads Street — From DES: “It’s a concept. It’s a design. It’s a concept design for upgrading S Eads Street between 12th and 15th Streets S. And you can chime in.” [Twitter, SurveyMonkey]

Virginia Hospital Center Names CEO — “The Arlington hospital said Wednesday that New York health care executive Christopher Lane will succeed Jim Cole, who’s retiring after nearly 37 years as its president and CEO.” [Washington Business Journal]

Speed Cameras Could be Coming — “Coming soon to a thoroughfare near you – Arlington aims to install speed-monitoring cameras that will spit out $50 citations to offenders.” [Sun Gazette]

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Morning Notes

Snow being plowed (Flickr pool photo by Wolfkann)

Weekend Snowfall Total — From the Capital Weather Gang: “Observer at Reagan National Airport reports 2.6 inches, pushing Jan. total to 12.2″ – most since 2016 and more than double the norm. Most of the immediate area saw 1.5 to 3 inches.” [Twitter]

Long-time Hospital CEO Retiring — “Virginia Hospital Center ‘was quite a different place’ when Jim Cole arrived in 1985, he recalls… Now 37 years later, Cole is getting ready to retire from one of the area’s only independently owned hospitals — for real, this time after delaying his planned departure in 2020 to remain at the helm through the Covid-19 pandemic.” [Washington Business Journal]

‘Smart Restart APS’ Donates Masks — “Over the winter break, a bunch of other Arlington parents joined Headrick’s effort. They collected money and drove to Home Depots and hardware stores in three states to buy all the available masks they could.
This week, the group donated about 6,000 masks to APS. They will be distributed to all full-time and part-time school employees.” [Patch]

Fire Dept. Recruits Graduate — “After 30 weeks of hard work, ACFD Recruit Class 80 graduates today with 25 new Probationary FF/EMT’s.” [Twitter]

New Va. Gov. Inaugurated — “Virginia began a new chapter Saturday with the inauguration of Glenn Youngkin, the first Republican governor to take the oath of office in 12 years. In his inauguration speech, Youngkin promised a change in direction in the state, with shifts on COVID-19 policies, education, criminal justice and taxes. Youngkin was sworn in as the commonwealth’s 74th governor on the steps of the Virginia State Capitol in Richmond.” [NBC 4]

Fmr. Gov. Says Farewell — From Ralph and Pam Northam: “It has been the honor of our lifetimes to serve as your 73rd Governor and First Lady. From the bottom of our hearts–thank you, Virginia.” [Twitter]

Another Storm Possible This Week — “The European modeling system Monday morning showed a number of projections that would offer some snow but also had some that showed dry weather. On Sunday, one of the model runs from the American modeling system showed a snowstorm, then the next took it away. Monday morning’s run of the model has the storm just missing us to the southeast, but it’s close.” [Capital Weather Gang]

It’s Tuesday — A couple of brisk days are on tap. Today will be sunny, with a high near 39. West wind 10 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 29 mph. Sunrise at 7:23 a.m. and sunset at 5:14 p.m. Tomorrow will be partly sunny, with a high near 48. Southwest wind 13 to 16 mph, with gusts as high as 31 mph. [Weather.gov]

Photo courtesy Wolfkann/Flickr

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Covid cases in Arlington as of Jan. 10, 2022 (via Virginia Dept. of Health)

(Updated at 1:25 p.m.) There’s some hope that the current Omicron wave of Covid cases in the D.C. area may be near a peak, but new data in Arlington is a mixed bag in terms of whether that’s actually the case.

The county’s seven-day moving average of new cases hit a fresh high today, with 548 new cases being reported each day, on average. Saturday also reached a new single-day case record, with 867 new cases.

After weeks of staying low, Covid hospitalizations have also taken an upturn amid the surge of new cases. Five new hospitalizations were reported today in Arlington, bringing the seven-day moving average to just below three hospitalizations per day.

Covid hospitalizations in Arlington as of Jan. 10, 2022 (via Virginia Dept. of Health)

No new deaths have been reported in Arlington so far in 2022, but according to the Virginia Dept. of Health that may be delays in implementing a new way of classifying Covid fatalities.

Regardless, the county’s high vaccination rate likely has contributed to the relative lack of serious illness and death. As of today, 94.6% of the adult population in Arlington has been vaccinated.

Former FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said on CBS’s Face the Nation this weekend that he believes the Omicron wave is peaking in Mid-Atlantic cities, including in the D.C. area.

While the case data is still pointing upward, the test positivity rate in Arlington has taken a downturn, perhaps supporting the idea that a peak is near.

The Covid test positivity rate peaked at 29.3% on Jan. 2 in Arlington. It has come down since then and currently stands at 27.1%.

Covid positivity rate in Arlington as of Jan. 10, 2022 (via Virginia Dept. of Health)

Statewide, Virginia hospitals say they’ve surpassed the peak Covid hospitalization numbers of January 2021, straining the healthcare system.

On Monday afternoon, Gov. Ralph Northam announced that he was taking steps to temporarily increase hospital capacity in the Commonwealth.

A press release noted that “modeling… suggests the virus will peak in the next few weeks.”

Governor Northam today took steps to increase Virginia’s hospital capacity and support healthcare workers responding to COVID-19, after a record number of hospitalizations were posted on Friday of last week. He issued a limited 30-day order to expand the number of available hospital beds, increase staffing capacity at hospitals and nursing homes, and allow public health agencies greater flexibility in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. The limited duration is based on modeling that suggests the virus will peak in the next few weeks.

“Health care workers and hospitals are exhausted, and they are again facing increasing numbers of patients, affecting their ability to provide care,” Governor Northam said. “These steps will help ease the strain, giving medical professionals more flexibility to care for people. Ultimately, the best thing everyone can do for our hospitals and their staff is to get vaccinated.”

Here in Arlington, Virginia Hospital Center ER chief Mike Silverman wrote in his weekly Facebook update that “the number of new cases we’re diagnosing is on a whole different scale than previous surges.”

First off, we are diagnosing a lot of COVID in the emergency department. Patients classified as being symptomatic are testing at a 64% positivity rate. That is up from 59% last week. The good news is we had less symptomatic patients this week than during the holiday week and an overall decline of about 20% of new positive cases among this group of people. It is really crazy to look at the graph that I have kept throughout the pandemic because the number of new cases we’re diagnosing is on a whole different scale than previous surges. We’re seeing 5 times more positive cases among our symptomatic patients that in either of the previous surges. We’re also doing a considerable amount of testing on patients that are classified as asymptomatic. As a reminder, these are patients generally being admitted to the hospital for non-COVID related reasons or have symptoms that are not consistent with COVID. The positivity rate among these patients was less than 1% last week of November. This week, it was over 29%, up from 24% the week previous.

“The Coronavirus is not done with us yet,” Silverman’s post concluded.

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Virginia Hospital Center’s under-construction outpatient center has reached a new milestone.

After installing more than 2,000 steel beams, workers recently put in place the beam that tops the building’s highest point, project manager Skanska announced yesterday (Monday).

The installation “topped out” the 7-story facility adjacent to VHC’s campus at 1701 N. George Mason Drive. Representatives from Skanska, VHC and the construction company commemorated the milestone by signing this steel beam.

The hospital expects the outpatient pavilion to be complete in the fourth quarter of 2023, according to its project webpage.

“The topping-out milestone demonstrates the significant progress we have made on this important project with our final goal of providing a facility that will offer state-of-the-art care for patients in Northern Virginia,” said Dale Kopnitsky, general manager and executive vice president responsible for Skanska’s D.C. area building operations.

In mid- to late-January, Skanska expects to complete the structure of the facility, while the enclosure of the building has begun and will continue through the second quarter of 2022, a company representative said. Next month, work will begin on the interior and that will continue until December 2022.

The project, which includes a recently completed parking garage, was narrowly approved by the Arlington County Board in 2018 amid objections from some nearby residents. The 245,000-square-foot outpatient facility will feature physical and aquatic therapy rooms, an outpatient lab and pharmacy, surgery and endoscopy treatment rooms, and women’s imaging suites. After the move, the hospital will be able to add about 100 beds to its existing building.

The newly finished, 1,600-car parking garage includes three below-grade levels and six above-grade levels, as well as an indoor walkway connecting to the hospital.

A time-lapse video shows progress on the building through early summer.

Earlier this year a handful of families in the area told ARLnow they were dealing with discolored water, which they attributed to ongoing construction at VHC. Community leaders said at the time that the response to the “mini-Flint-like issue” — a reference to the Michigan city’s large-scale water crisis — had been frustratingly slow.

In response, Arlington County and VHC said they were working to resolve the discoloration, which they tied to the installation of a new water main.

Last month, Virginia Hospital Center purchased for $34.5 million a building at 1760 Old Meadow Road in McLean, where it will set up an orthopedic outpatient surgery center, Washington Business Journal reported.

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