Arlington hospital opens drive-thru coronavirus sample collection site

Arlington County and the Virginia Hospital Center are partnering to open a drive-thru coronavirus sample collection site.

The sample collection center at 1429 N. Quincy St. will open Wednesday at 9 a.m. and will remain open on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The center will collect samples from Arlington residents, county government and public school employees and patients of VHC Medical Staff.

Samples will be collected from patients exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 — fever, chills, cough or shortness of breath — and have received a written order for COVID-19 testing from their health care provider.

Patients with a written order can call the VHC COVID-19 scheduling line at 703-558-5766 to schedule an appointment before going to the collection site.

At the drive-thru, patients will be asked to remain in their cars. Test results will be available to the patient within five to seven business days.

While waiting for their tests, patients should follow their doctor’s instructions for self-quarantine.

The collection center is not meant for patients who are not exhibiting symptoms, even if they have had close contact with a person who tested positive.


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Doctors can send their orders to Virginia Hospital Center’s outpatient lab electronically or by fax at 703-558-2448.

“The opening of this temporary facility allows us to meet the urgent needs of our community while our Emergency Department continues to serve those who require immediate medical attention,” James B. Cole, president and CEO of Virginia Hospital Center, said in a statement.

The partnership is between the hospital and Arlington County’s health department, police and fire departments, the sheriff’s office, and the department of environmental services.

“This is an important collaborative effort at a critical time,” Libby Garvey, Arlington County Board Chair, said in a statement.

Below is the location of the collection center.

Johns Hopkins is working to set up testing locations at several different locations, including Suburban Hospital.

“Johns Hopkins Medicine has set up a drive-by site in Suburban, because in Montgomery County (and) in Prince George’s County, we see a much larger conversion rate right now — and so we felt it was important. Today though at that site, we’re only able to test people who have been referred to that site because of the limitation and in testing capabilities,” Kevin Sowers, president of the Johns Hopkins Health System told Maryland senators.

Testing is not open to the public. Orders for COVID-19 tests from doctors must go through the Johns Hopkins electronic medical records site.

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