Va., Maryland and D.C. request federal funding for COVID-19 test sites
There are now 51 confirmed cases in the commonwealth.
As coronavirus cases in Virginia continue to rise, Gov. Ralph Northam, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser sent a letter to President Donald Trump Sunday requesting that the National Capital Region — which includes Northern Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C. — be added as a priority location for federal funding to support drive-through testing sites for COVID-19.
As of noon on Monday, the Virginia Department of Health has confirmed 51 COVID-19 cases in the commonwealth, up from 30 cases on Friday. Maryland has 37 confirmed cases and Washington D.C. has 17 confirmed cases. Northern Virginia localities including Arlington, Fairfax and Loudoun counties have a total of 24 cases.
The National Capital Region is home to more than 6 million residents, including hundreds of thousands of federal employees — such as the Department of Defense and other “mission essential” agencies, according to the letter. Other cities such as Boston, New York City, Atlanta, Chicago, New Orleans, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Santa Clara and Seattle have received federal funding to support COVID-19 testing sites.
Drive-through testing is one of the ways the federal government is seeking to have people avoid going to emergency rooms or doctors’ offices to be tested.
“Our state health departments and state emergency management agencies continue to work together across borders to identify proposed drive-through testing sites that we would stand up with federal support,” the letter reads. “The health of the National Capital Region is top priority for the continuity of our democratic government and critical to continuing federal government functions.”
As of Monday, VDH is no longer reporting the pending number of coronavirus tests in the commonwealth because testing capacity has expanded to include commercial laboratories, according to its website. Any commercial laboratories that conduct tests will report all results to VDH.