A new COVID-19 testing site is coming to Fairfax County, potentially easing up the current scramble for tests amid a surge in cases locally and statewide.

The Virginia Department of Health will open a community testing center tomorrow (Saturday) at the Fairfax County Government Center. The site will be set up in large tent in parking lot B, which is in the southwest corner of the complex.

With the capacity to administer 500 tests a day, the site will operate Saturdays through Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. by appointment only. Appointments will become available online one day before testing officially begins.

Here’s more from the county on how appointments will be administered:

Anyone who makes an appointment but cannot keep it or finds testing elsewhere is asked to cancel their CTC appointment so that the slot will be free for someone else.

CTC test results will be automatically sent via text or email message to individuals being tested, based on the information provided in the appointment system. PCR test results are usually available within a few days and are very effective in detecting an active COVID-19 infection, even if a person is asymptomatic (not showing signs of illness).

Testing is recommended for individuals who have COVID-19 symptoms or have been instructed to test following a COVID-19 exposure. A PCR test should not be done by those seeking to return to work or school after completing isolation for a COVID-19 infection as PCR tests may remain positive even after an individual is no longer infectious.

While appointments are required, all visitors are asked to be patient as there might be wait times. Please dress warmly as part of the line may extend outside. This is not a drive-in event so attendees will need to park and enter the tent.

The county continues to set daily records for new cases. Residents report that testing remains elusive throughout the county.

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Fairfax County Public Library has received a new shipment of rapid COVID-19 testing kits, but supplies are extremely limited, even compared to previous rounds of distribution.

Exactly 300 kits each will be available tomorrow (Wednesday) at the county’s Reston, George Mason, Chantilly, and Sherwood regional branches, FCPL announced this morning (Tuesday).

Because of the limited availability, each household will only be allowed to take up to four kits.

This is the first testing kit shipment of the year for Fairfax County as part of the Virginia Department of Health’s ongoing Supporting Testing Access through Community Collaboration pilot program.

FCPL has now gotten 35,862 kits since it joined the program on Dec. 1.

Shipments had stalled over the winter holidays due to government closures and supply-chain issues that have made rapid tests hard to obtain nationwide.

FCPL doesn’t have a timeline right now for its next shipment, advising community members to check its website and call their local branch for up-to-date information on testing availability.

“All we can do is make requests, and VDH fulfills them as they are able,” spokesperson Erin Julius said. “At this time we don’t know when the next will arrive or how many test kits it will contain.”

Demand for Covid testing remains high in Fairfax County, which is currently averaging 2,275 new cases a day. Details about a state-run community testing center coming to the county are expected to be announced this week.

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