LOUDOUN COUNTY, Va. — Loudoun County is dealing with a surge of COVID-19 cases and a high demand of people trying to get tested.
The county's free PCR testing event at Philip Bolen Memorial Park had to close 15 minutes after it was set to open Tuesday morning due to testing limitations, according to Loudoun County Health Director Dr. David Goodfriend.
Goodfriend said the site was forced to open more than an hour early to stop the traffic that was building on the road as people waited in line.
Goodfriend said a total of 2,064 people were tested Tuesday, compared to 1,124 people tested last Tuesday and 270 the Tuesday before.
According to Virginia Department of Health data, Loudoun County reported its highest daily case count of the entire pandemic last Friday with 605 cases, and on Wednesday of last week its highest number of PCR tests.
“The omicron variant has come on so quickly and it’s been so infectious that what we are experiencing in the county is what we’re experiencing in the Commonwealth and throughout the nation, which is we don’t have enough tests. And we’re trying to get more tests in all the time. It’s never good for testing to be out," Loudoun County Board of Supervisors Chair Phyllis Randall said.
Randall said the county is talking to VDH and state government in an effort to get more tests.
On Tuesday people waited more than three hours to get tested at the county's free site.
"We’ve had a lot of positivity in Loudoun County in the past week," Randall said. "In just one week we have increased our positivity rates by 3,035 people in one week and today alone the positivity rate increased by 515 people and so I think part of it is not so much we’re running out, we’re giving a lot of tests and doing a lot of tests because we see a high level of positivity in the county.”
For some waiting in line Tuesday, they said waiting for hours was the only option they could find to get tested.
"Everything is sold out at all the pharmacies, I looked online to make appointments and there were no appointments for a while," Becca Goodhart said. "This seemed like the best option we had and once we got in here we had no idea how long the line was going to be. We've been waiting about three hours."
Randall said while rising cases in Loudoun County are concerning there is encouraging news, that hospitalization levels are flat. However, she said hospitals are requesting people without symptoms stop going to the hospital to get tested.
"People are going to the hospitals who are not symptomatic who are asymptomatic to get tested and the hospitals are getting overrun because of that. And so they’re asking if you’re not symptomatic please don’t go to the hospital to get a test, and many are doing that because they want to go out for New Years, they want to see family," Randall said.
The county is having another free PCR site Thursday at Philip Bolen Memorial Park in Leesburg. It opens at 10 a.m., however, staff encourages people to get there early.