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ArlingtonNewsArlington to scrap most COVID-testing kiosks

Arlington to scrap most COVID-testing kiosks

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Citing a lack of demand and plentiful alternatives, the Arlington County government plans to shutter all but one of its COVID testing kiosks on Nov. 30.

The lone remaining kiosk, at Arlington Mill Community Center, will remain open but only through the end of the year, County Manager Mark Schwartz said on Nov. 15.

Schwartz said there has been an 80-percent decline in the demand for testing over the past year, and that those seeking it have a myriad of other options.

He pointed to the testing kiosk outside the county government’s headquarters at Courthouse Plaza. “It has been a ghost town, literally no one in line, for many weeks,” Schwartz said.

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The county government has distributed thousands of testing kits to social-safety-net agencies and will make them available to those who don’t have insurance that will pay for them.

“Nobody should feel there’s a barrier,” the county manager said.

The Nov. 15 announcement came not long after county officials said they would shutter the COVID-vaccination site at Arlington Mill Community Center on Dec. 17. A similar facility at Walter Reed Community Center already has been closed, with the space turned back to the Department of Parks and Recreation.

Schwartz said COVID cases have continued to decline across the local area over the past three months. “We’ve learned to cope, we have a lot of tools, we’re able to handle it,” he said, while encouraging residents to stay up to date on vaccines and booster shots.

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