Loudoun County officials turn away cars at free COVID-19 testing site

The cars began lining up outside a Leesburg park well before the opening time of 10 a.m., and by 2:15 p.m., the sheriff's office began telling people the testing site was at capacity.

By 4:15 p.m., the last car was slowly inching its way toward the tents set up to administer nasal swabs and a coronavirus test for anyone who wanted one.

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Dr. David Goodfriend, the Loudoun County Health Director said he was expecting a positive test rate of 10 to 15 percent, and the 1,700 people who showed up and were tested Wednesday afternoon would have the results by the weekend.

"We know though there are many folks who do not fit into a high-risk group who have to go out for work or other reasons so potentially could be exposed and may never have symptoms," said Dr. Goodfriend. "What these types of events are terrific for are one, to identify those individuals because then they can change their behavior if they know they are infected and decrease risks for others but also for those individuals who cannot get in to see a doctor, they don't have insurance they don't have extra money to spend."

The Virginia Health Department picked up the tab for the testing and at this time, there are no further dates scheduled.

All the people who showed up for the test and waited in long lines had only been told about the plan two days before.

By just after 1 p.m., 863 tests had been administered.

People who test positive will be notified by phone and the Health Department will begin an investigation with contact tracing.

So far, the county has had 1,500 positive tests since the crisis began and 48 deaths.