COVID-19 Sample Collection Site Run by Virginia Hospital Center and A

Published on April 10, 2020

The drive-through COVID-19 Sample Collection Site opened by Virginia Hospital Center (VHC), a community-based hospital providing medical services to the Washington, DC metropolitan area for 75 years, in partnership with Arlington County has collected samples for COVID-19 testing from more than 1,000 patients since first opening on March 18.

"Every person who comes through our site is now one step closer to having much-needed answers," said James Meenan, Director of the Outpatient Lab at Virginia Hospital Center. "Our team continues to become more and more efficient as we provide this service to members of our community."

"Testing for COVID-19 is an important tool to slow the spread of the virus in our community, in our region, and our nation. The sample collection effort that Virginia Hospital Center has stood up with Arlington is helping our community add a critical tool to slowing the spread of virus here," said Dr. Reuben Varghese, Health Director and Public Health Division Chief for Arlington County.  "This tool along with physical distancing of 6 feet or greater when you have to go outside as permitted under the stay at home orders in the Commonwealth, and frequently washing your hands with soap and water are a package of tools in our control to slow COVID-19 and flatten the curve."

As the team onsite has worked to streamline its processes, the Hospital has been able to expand available appointments and the COVID Scheduling Line hours.

  • The site now collects samples from up to 100 adults each day, nearly doubling its capacity.

  • The COVID Scheduling Line is now open from 8:30 am to 4:00 pm Monday through Friday and appointment openings are available on most days.

  • Individuals still need to receive a physician's order to make an appointment, but they no longer need to be an Arlington resident or employee.

  • Physicians with symptomatic patients can send orders to the Virginia Hospital Center outpatient lab electronically in EPIC or via fax to 703-558-2448.

  • Once a patient has received a physician's order, they should call the VHC COVID-19 Scheduling Line at 703-558-5766 between 8:30 am and 4:00 pm. Patients must schedule an appointment before visiting the collection site.

  • Individuals arriving at the drive-through site must be in a vehicle and should remain in their cars.


VHC has added additional partner labs to process the samples for testing to facilitate faster turnaround times for results. Individuals waiting for results should follow the instructions of their health care provider and self-quarantine.

To protect patient privacy, media access to the site remains restricted. B-roll footage for use by media outlets is available online.

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About Virginia Hospital Center

Virginia Hospital Center has provided exceptional medical services to the Washington, DC metropolitan area for 75 years and was once again named a Leapfrog Top Hospital in 2019, and previously named one of America's 100 Top Hospitals® and 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals® by Truven Health Analytics. The hospital is a proud member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network — a national network of independent healthcare organizations. Virginia Hospital Center is a 394-bed not-for-profit, teaching facility, and it is designated as a Magnet® hospital by the American Nurses Credentialing Center.

About Arlington County

Arlington Va. is a world-class residential, business and tourist location that was originally part of the "10 mile square" parcel of land surveyed in 1791 to be the Nation's Capital. Slightly smaller than 26 square miles, it is the geographically smallest self-governing county in the United States, and one of only a handful with the prized Aaa/AAA/AAA bond rating. Arlington maintains a rich variety of stable neighborhoods and quality schools, and has received numerous awards for Smart Growth and transit-oriented development. Home to some of the most influential organizations in the world — including the Pentagon — Arlington stands out as one of America's preeminent places to live, visit and do business.