Tysons, VA

(Updated 4:55 p.m.) Drive-thru coronavirus testing sites are starting to pop up around the U.S. to screen patients for the virus.

Fairfax County doesn’t have any plans at the moment to open a drive-through testing site, Ali Althen, a spokesperson for Fairfax County, told Tysons Reporter yesterday.

“The decision to open sites would likely be made by the medical community and not the county government,” Althen said.

Earlier this week, Arlington County and Virginia Hospital teamed up for a drive-thru testing site to cut down on the number of people trying to get tested at hospitals and doctor’s offices.

“Arlington residents, county and school system employees and Virginia Hospital Center patients, who are experiencing symptoms consistent with coronavirus and have a written order from a healthcare provider, will be eligible for testing,” ARLnow reported.

While Fairfax County hasn’t teamed up with the hospital, there is a testing site atop the parking garage outside Kaiser Permanente’s facility in Tysons, WTOP reported.

“Kaiser has set up five different sites across the region for members with a doctor’s prescription for testing,” WTOP reported. “The health maintenance organization has testing sites in Baltimore, Largo, Gaithersburg, Tysons Corner and Woodbridge.”

As of Thursday morning, the Virginia Department of Health says there are 77 presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 in the commonwealth, with 14 in Fairfax County.

If the county does decide to open drive-thru sites, it would let people know “across our channels to help members of the public find and make use of those sites as necessary and appropriate,” Althen said.

On Thursday afternoon, Fairfax County released more information about testing sites:

Up until recently, COVID-19 testing was only available through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state laboratories, with local health departments like ours helping to coordinate and facilitate those tests based on very specific testing criteria. Now that we have commercial laboratories testing capability, physicians have wider latitude to order testing.

Still, several challenges have limited testing for Fairfax County residents:

  1. With shortages of personal protective equipment across the nation, health care providers who lack recommended protective equipment may not test because of the risk to their health and ability to continue providing care in the community.
  2. The materials needed for specimen collection before being sent to the lab are in limited supply nationwide.

The Health Department does not evaluate patients or collect specimens for commercial testing because these functions are best performed by primary care providers, urgent care centers or Emergency Departments where a complete medical evaluation, radiology, and other types of laboratory testing are available.

Let us know what you think of the coronavirus drive-thru sites in the poll below.

Photo via CDC/Unsplash

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Metro is currently seeking input on its proposed fiscal year 2021 budget, which includes changes impacting hours and fares.

The ideas include:

  • keeping Metrorail open until midnight Monday-Thursday and until 2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays
  • adding more weekend service on Metro bus routes
  • increasing Metrorail fares during peak periods
    increasing bus fares for people loading their SmarTrip card with cash
  • creating a flat fare for Metrorail
  • eliminating low-ridership bus routes
  • eliminating transfer fares between Metro trains and buses

“Today, riders pay for Bus and Rail trips separately and get a $0.50 discount when transferring,” according to Metro. “Under this proposal, transfers between Metrorail and regular Metrobus services would be free.”

Before Metro’s budget year begins before July 1, people can submit comments via an online survey and provide feedback through March 2. Metro also plans to have open houses in Arlington, D.C. and New Carrollton.

What do you think of Metro’s ideas?

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Valentine’s Day is tomorrow. Whether you’re single, in a relationship or something else, there are plenty of opportunities in the Tysons area.

Tysons Reporter recently rounded up a list of events this week that are Cupid-themed.

Forecasters predict that the weather will be sunny but cold. For people who want to bundle up for some free outdoor activities, the Wolftrap Stream Valley Park will be open until 8 p.m., while the Scott’s Run Nature Preserve will be open until 4:30 p.m.

Let Tysons Reporter know what your plans are for Valentine’s Day.

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The Super Bowl is this Sunday, meaning either the San Francisco 49ers or the Kansas City Chiefs will become the NFL’s latest champion.

This year’s Super Bowl, though, isn’t just about the game on Sunday.

Fox, the Super Bowl’s host, is running a campaign to extend Sunday festivities into “Super Monday” — an unofficial holiday giving football fans and Fox viewers a chance to win $10,000, Adweek reported.

“The network’s ‘Super Monday’ campaign, which kicked off during the final weekend of the NFL regular season on Dec. 29, features the ‘Mayor of Monday’ (played by Saturday Night Live alum Finesse Mitchell, who appears in Fox’s new sitcom, Outmatched) telling sluggish office workers that he has created a new holiday,” according to Adweek.

What are your plans? Will you be observing “Super Monday” or heading back into the office? Let us know in the poll below.

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(Updated at 12:50 p.m.) “How do you make a ‘sense of place’ in Tysons?” is a question developers, Visit Fairfax and locals are trying to answer. One proposal is to add a university.

Currently, Stratford University has a Falls Church location. Outside of the Tysons area, prospective students have options, like George Mason University.

During two panels at a Bisnow event on Jan. 16, Christopher Auth, the divisional vice president of PS Business Parks, said that he would like to see a university in Tysons — an idea that several other real estate professionals agreed with.

Public and private universities can add more jobs to offering opportunities for educational advancement for the local workforce.

Do you think Tysons could benefit from a university? Let us know below.

Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

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After Forbes listed Tysons Corner as an upcoming travel destination, Tysons Reporter decided to follow up to learn more about the area’s potential as a staycation retreat.

Tysons Reporter wants to know how you’d spend some extra money around the area. What are your priorities when it comes to a vacation or staycation?

Let us know and then comment your favorite places to eat, shop, stay and play below or on social media.

Photo via Ritz Carlton Tysons Corner

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Yesterday’s afternoon snow has left local roads icy today and no school for Fairfax County public school students.

The arrival of wintry weather in the D.C. area caused a stir on social media about whether or not locals panicked or appropriately prepared for the snow.

Now that the snow is over and we’re left with slushy streets, how did you react to the first flakes of the new year?

Photo courtesy Carmencita Lilangel Ovando

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Lord and Taylor is leaving Tysons Corner Center this month with a storewide sale.

Since the fall, everything in the store has been on sale with a 20-40% discount. Shoppers can clothing, shoes and accessories for men, women and kids.

The store is still open as of today (Jan. 6), and an employee said that the store plans to close sometime in mid-January.

Let Tysons Reporter know if you have shopped at — or plan to visit — the store before it closes.

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It’s now three days into 2020 — a.k.a. the new “Roaring 20s.”

Did you create new year’s resolutions earlier this week? If so, how are you doing?

Tysons Reporter has a few changes ready to roll out next week, including revamped Morning Notes that will now get posted on Tuesdays and Fridays.

Expect more newsroom pop-ups at local coffee shops in the spring and more opportunities for reader engagement.

Editor Catherine Douglas Moran’s resolution is to exercise three times a week. So far, she’s on track — and walking as much as possible for reporting in Tysons.

Reporter Ashley Hopko plans to read at least one new book each month “on a topic that I’m completely unfamiliar with.” Yesterday, she kicked off her resolution by picking up a copy of “A Short History of Nearly Everything” by Bill Bryson.

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2020 is almost here. If you’re planning on going out to celebrate New Year’s Eve, there are plenty of parties and events around the Tysons area.

Let Tysons Reporter know where you plan to be when the clock strike midnight on Dec. 31.

Photo by JESHOOTS.COM/Unsplash

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