The line to get free tests for the virus that causes COVID-19 at Philip A. Bolen Memorial Park near Leesburg, originally scheduled to last until 6 p.m., was cut off today at 2:30 p.m.
People eager to get tested packed into the park, waiting in long lines of cars.
Gov. Ralph Northam announced Monday there would be 1,000 tests available at Bolen Park today, but according to a county press release, by the time testing finishes up, more than 1,700 people will have been tested.
By 1:16 p.m., according to organizers, 853 tests had already been administered. Loudoun Health Department Director Dr. David Goodfriend said the park has been packed all day, with cars lining up hours in advance.
Results are expected back by the weekend; local health department staff will be working over the holiday weekend to get those results out to people. People who test negative for the virus will get a notification from Loudoun; people who test positive result will be contacted by their local health department, which will begin a contact tracing investigation.
The testing event will also serve as a testbed for future mass testing events, although none are currently scheduled. Goodfriend said while his department had only two days to set up this event, the experience will inform future events.
“This is our first time testing our testing site plan, so there’s a lot we’re going to learn,” Goodfriend said. “And also, our hope is to be able to do this again, because it’s just a great opportunity to get folks tested who otherwise wouldn’t get access to testing.”