Put in your final requests for free at-home COVID-19 tests now, because once Labor Day weekend arrives, that will no longer be an option.
The federal government’s offer of free, at-home test kits to all households will be put on hold Friday (Sept. 2) after Congress failed to renew funding for the program, which launched in January during the pandemic’s biggest surge so far.
According to CNN, the government’s remaining stockpile will be reserved for distribution later this year, as cases typically climb as the weather cools, contributing to a severe shortage of testing supplies last winter.
The federal program has gone through three rounds so far, allowing up to 16 test kits per household. The Postal Service had distributed approximately 350 million kits to over 70 million households nationwide and overseas as of mid-May, the White House said at the time.
Since at-home tests aren’t reported, it’s unclear how much of an impact the program’s suspension will have in Fairfax County, but PCR tests have declined since late May. The Fairfax Health District, which includes the cities of Fairfax and Falls Church, is averaging 1,067 testing encounters per day compared to over 6,200 at the peak of demand on Jan. 12, according to Virginia Department of Health data.
As of last Thursday (Aug. 25), 18.3% of PCR tests have come back positive in the past week, down from 22.8% in early August.
The Fairfax County Health Department notes that there will still be options for obtaining both at-home and PCR tests. Private insurers are required to reimburse up to eight at-home tests bought from retail stores or online per month, though that won’t help those without health insurance.
FCHD also continues to provide PCR testing for people with symptoms or who have been exposed to COVID-19 at its clinics and through the Curative mobile labs that were introduced on July 5.
“Vaccination and testing — and staying home when ill — remain important strategies to keeping Fairfax County healthy and minimizing the spread of COVID-19,” the county health department said by email.
For now, COVID-19 cases continue to fall in the Fairfax Health District, which is averaging 223 new cases per day over the past seven days, per VDH data.
With a case rate of 143 per 100,000 residents, the county’s community level has been designated “low” for a second consecutive week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. An estimated 72 new patients were admitted to hospitals with Covid last week, a rate of 6.3 admissions per 100,000 residents — still above spring levels.
One week into the 2022-2023 school year, Fairfax County Public Schools has seen a jump in cases, with students, staff and visitors reporting 417 cases since classes began last Monday (Aug. 22). The school system’s dashboard shows just 145 cases in the rest of August.
There were five outbreaks — three or more linked cases — in school and childcare settings for the week of Aug. 19-25, according to FCHD.
In total, the Fairfax Health District has reported 235,544 COVID-19 cases, 4,888 hospitalizations and 1,604 deaths during the pandemic.
Approximately 2,000 residents have gotten their first COVID-19 vaccine shot within the past two weeks, bringing the total up to 1,009,657 people, or 85.3% of the population, including:
- 92.9% of people 18 and older
- 99.3% of 16-17 year olds
- 95.7% of 12-15 year olds
- 62.7% of 5-11 year olds
- 14.7% of those aged 4 months to 4 years old
The district has 917,598 fully vaccinated residents — 77.5% of the population, including 85.3% of adults.
Photo via Steve Nomax/Unsplash
Good Friday evening! Today we published 6 articles that were read a total of 6621 times on FFXnow alone, so far. 📈 Top stories The following are the most-read articles…
Lake Anne’s plaza will once again spring to life this summer with concerts. Lake Anne Live! — an event series that kicked off last year — brings Thursday evening concerts…
The proposed repurposing of Inova Health System’s former corporate headquarters in Merrifield as live/work and workforce housing units got a hearty recommendation from the Fairfax County Planning Commission earlier this…
Are you ready for summer? Live Fairfax has a bucket list of indoor activities, outdoor escapades and trips to explore this summer.
Camps are just the beginning of what’s in store at Art House 7 this summer. We’re thrilled to offer an array of exciting classes for both kids and adults!Rediscover your creativity with some of our AH7 favorites, such as drawing, hand-sewing, modern embroidery, and our popular 3-week Jump into Crochet classes. But that’s not all! We’ve added some fresh and exciting options to our summer class selection, guaranteed to spark your imagination.
To enhance your artistic journey, we have intensified some of our Ceramics: The Wheel classes to a full 3-hour duration. This extended time allows for more creativity and skill development in each class session. If you’re eager for a captivating twist, give Contemporary Still-Life Drawing & Painting a go. Or why not try an immersive outdoor painting adventure? We have a unique opportunity for you to bring your painting skills to life while learning and creating in the great outdoors with our Landscape Painting: Studio and Plein Air class!
We invite you to visit our website and explore our full Summer Session schedule, brimming with a diverse range of classes and camps. Classes and camps begin June 20th. Unleash your inner artist, broaden your horizons, and embark on a summer adventure like no other. Let’s make this a summer to remember at Art House 7!
Potomac Harmony Chorus has a new director! We’re ready
to kick off the season with new music, a new approach, and YOU!
Potomac Harmony is one of 500 choruses in Sweet
Adelines International. We’re a vibrant,
contemporary, inclusive, welcoming, and open community of women singers who
perform four-part harmony, barbershop style, committed to a high level of
achievement through teaching, mentoring, personal growth, and performance. Our vision is to entertain, educate, and
enrich lives through musical expression while promoting the barbershop art
Potomac Harmony recently had our first performance
with our new director, receiving rave reviews! We invite you to stop by any Wednesday
evening and be part of the fun and harmony!
Army Birthday Festival – Free and Fun
Make Saturday, June 10, 2023 a great day!
Come celebrate the Army Birthday Festival at the National Museum of the U.S. Army from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Rain or Shine!
• Experience outdoor and indoor fun activities, for all
Unveiling of West Ford historical highway marker
Gum Springs will be celebrating 190 years of its founding by freedman West Ford on Saturday, June 17, 2023. To kick-off the celebration, there will be an unveiling of a Virginia historical highway marker for West Ford on Fordson Road