FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. — Counties across northern Virginia are seeing COVID-19 cases skyrocket. In Loudoun County, more than 1,200 new positive cases on Friday were recorded, according to the Virginia Department of Health. In Fairfax County, the number is more than 3,000.
The rising cases are a concern for school district leaders in Fairfax County, and the primary reason the school district will continue testing as many people as it can before class starts again on Monday.
At South County High School, hundreds of people experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or who had recent exposure to the coronavirus, waited for their turn to test and learn their status.
Dr. Nardos King, interim chief equity officer for the district, said the South County High testing site was at capacity early Saturday morning.
“There were cars here at 6:30 this morning, and we don’t think it’s necessary for everyone to come out that early, but if you need to get tested, and you expect to get tested, then I suggest you come earlier rather than later in the afternoon,” King said.
The district's testing site for Fairfax County Public School staff and students was at capacity by 10 a.m. On Sunday, it will reopen at 9 a.m.
Across the state of Virginia, cases have continued to rise as the holiday season comes to a close. According to the Virginia Department of Health COVID-19 dashboard, Fairfax County is averaging more than 1,600 cases a day. Arlington County is averaging 450, while Loudoun is averaging nearly 600 new cases per day.
A statement from the health department said that although testing lines are long, there is no shortage of PCR Tests; however, rapid tests, which the health department said is most popular, are harder to come by. Staffing issues are also playing a role in wait times.
As for Fairfax County Public Schools, officials said they will continue to maintain the testing sites they have around the county once classes start on Monday, but they need the public's help to stop the spread.
“If parents know that their kids are sick, or if our staff is sick, we want them to stay home and get tested before they return to school,” Dr. King added.