Two Weeks Under the Belt—What Next?

As of March 30, Virginia has tested 13,401, and identified 1,250 coronavirus cases, with 165 hospitalized and 27 deaths. In Arlington, 104 cases have been reported. Arlington opens a drive-through coronavirus test sample site on Quincy Street by appointment only from 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

The statewide numbers indicate the largest percentage of 18.1 percent reported in the 50-59-year-old age group, with 16.5 percent reported in both the 40-49-year-old group and the 20-29-year-old age group.

Arlington County expands from two to five grab-and-go sites that provide free breakfasts and lunches during school closures. The meals are available at Barrett Elementary, Randolph Elementary, Kenmore Middle School, Campbell Elementary School, Dr. Charles L. Drew Elementary School from 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

A member of the Arlington County Fire Department tested positive for COVID-19 and is managing the illness at home and reportedly doing well. The Department indicates the Arlington County Public Health Department “has been involved with this case and has investigated any potential exposures to other people and patients who came in contact with the individual.” In addition, ACFD indicates they have changed their procedures to continue to provide high-quality medical care while limiting the number of Emergency Medical providers who make close contact with patients.

The Arlington County Solid Waste Bureau notifies customers they would suspend bulk curbside collection for residential customers until further notice, but would continue trash, recycling and yard waste curbside collection, as well as mulch pick-up and delivery. Household hazardous materials drop off on Tuesdays and Thursdays continues by appointment only.

Residential trash tonnage has increased over 30 percent in the last week, so residents are asked to flatten cardboard boxes, keep spring cleaning piles in the garage or basement for now and not put extra bags outside of the receptacles.

METRO CLOSED 17 stations on Thursday, March 26 to “conserve critical resources and protect health and safety of Metro employees and the public,” including Virginia Square which is within walking distance to an adjacent station and Clarendon and East Falls Church with low ridership. The Arlington Cemetery station was closed last week. The combined effect of the station closures reduces the number of entrances requiring cleaning and staffing by 25 percent from 118 to 88. In addition, on March 24, Metro implemented rear door boarding for buses to enhance the safety of the frontline workforce. Exceptions are made for anyone needing the ADA boarding ramp for people using wheelchairs.

Since parks and recreation centers are closed, Arlington Parks and Recreation sends out a newsletter with ideas for projects including making binoculars out of two toilet paper rolls taped together with holes punched for string, making a garden out of recyclable containers filled with dirt and planted with seeds, making a mood board out of images and shapes cut out of magazines or newspapers and taped to a large poster board.

Larry King reports the law firm where he works has had a great increase in people who have been calling checking on their wills. “Most of our clients are elderly or approaching that point in life. Their concerns got greater as they were closing up everything. Now they feel a greater sense of mortality.”

Arlington County Farmers Markets can reopen the weekend of March 28 under guidance issued by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services that require no display or on site shopping. Arlington has three winter markets to choose from, including Arlington Farmers Market, Pike Park Farmers Market and Westover Farmers Market. Check their websites for how to preorder.

For further up-to-date information, call the County’s hotline at 703-228-7999 Monday-Friday from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. or access the Virginia Public Health Center website.

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