High Testing Demand as Arlington Sees Spike in COVID-19 Cases

covid-19 response

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DEC. 28, 2021

High Testing Demand as Arlington Sees Spike in COVID-19 Cases

Arlington County is seeing a significant surge in COVID-19 cases, with 687 new cases reported on December 25.


As the transmission increases, the demand for testing has as well. Walk-in COVID-19 tests at County Curative kiosks may not be available due to holiday volumes and weather-related shipping delays. Appointments are strongly encouraged and longer wait times should be expected.


Virginia Department of Health (VDH) Reviewing New CDC Recommendations 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has updated its guidance to reflect shortened isolation and quarantine periods for the general population. VDH is reviewing the changes and will make updates after thoroughly considering the implications on our existing guidance and on the Commonwealth. More information is forthcoming. 


How to Slow the Spread During this Winter Surge

Public Health leaders in Northern Virginia are encouraging residents to maintain their vigilance in curbing the spread of COVID-19 to minimize hospitalizations and deaths during this winter surge.


Public Health is strongly encouraging everyone help slow the spread: 

  1. If You Think You’re Sick, Act Like It: If you think you may be sick with COVID-19 (or the flu, or any other illness – they all strain our already strained health care system!), assume that you are. Don’t wait for a test result or a call from contact tracers: take immediate steps to protect others, including teleworking if you can and limiting trips outside your home. As COVID-19 cases continue to rise, Arlington Public Health is shifting its contact tracing to maximize resources and focus on higher-risk populations, including people who live and work in congregate settings such as long-term care facilities or group homes; children who are in school or other childcare settings; and people who are infected as part of an outbreak.
  2. Use More Than One Prevention Method. We ask everyone to use multiple, overlapping strategies to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Some key strategies:
    1. Vaccination: Vaccination is the single best way to lower the risk for hospitalization and death from severe COVID-19 illness. Everyone 5 years and older is eligible for the free COVID-19 vaccine. Find a location at vaccines.gov.
    2. Get Boosted: Everyone 16 years and older should get a booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to strengthen protection against Omicron and other variants. While 85% of adults in Arlington have received at least one dose, only 30% have their booster dose -- the CDC now recommends that everyone ages 16 and older receive a COVID-19 booster shot.
    3. Mask Indoors: Masking is the best way to reduce spreading germs when around others outside your home. Everyone 2 years and older should wear a mask when indoors, regardless of vaccination status. 
    4. Test After COVID Exposure or When You have Symptoms: Testing helps detect infection earlier and slow the spread of the virus. Learn when you should get tested if you have close contact with someone who is sick. And find testing options near you using VDH's COVID-19 Testing Sites map


As always, please seek the advice of your healthcare provider if you have questions about your health situation. You may qualify for treatments authorized by the FDA for emergency use that can reduce your risk of hospitalization or death following close contact to or illness with COVID-19. Please visit our website for updated information.


Thank you for all you are doing to keep our community safe from the spread of COVID-19.

Questions about COVID-19? Call the County's public information line at

703-228-7999, Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m.-5 p.m.