Virginia Hospital Center Now Using Rapid Result Abbott ID NOW COVID-19

For Immediate Release

Maryanne Boster
Director of Corporate Communications
Virginia Hospital Center
tel: 703.558.6581


Arlington, VA: April 10, 2020
 – Virginia Hospital Center (VHC), a community-based hospital providing medical services to the Washington, DC metropolitan area for 75 years, is among the first hospitals in the nation to receive the fastest available molecular point-of-care test for the detection of novel coronavirus (COVID-19), delivering positive results in as little as five minutes and negative results in 13 minutes.

“Access to testing remains a crucial step in controlling the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Jeffrey DiLisi, Chief Medical Officer of Virginia Hospital Center. “Our ability to use this rapid result test is a great step forward in protecting the safety of our patients, staff and community.”

The new Abbott ID NOW COVID-19 test runs on Abbott’s ID NOWTM platform—a lightweight box (6.6 pounds and the size of a small toaster) that can sit in a variety of locations. Because of its small size, it can be used in more non-traditional places where people can have their results in a matter of minutes, bringing an alternate testing technology to combat the novel coronavirus.

“Through the incredible work of teams across Abbott, we expect to deliver 50,000 COVID-19 tests per day to healthcare professionals on the front lines, where testing capabilities are needed most,” Chris Scoggins, Senior Vice President of Rapid Diagnostics at Abbott said in a statement. “Portable molecular testing expands the country’s capacity to get people answers faster.”

Virginia Hospital Center is now using the ID NOW COVID-19 test to confirm COVID-19 diagnoses for inpatients and VHC staff.

Virginia Hospital Center Joins National Trial to Test Potential COVID-19 Medication

For Immediate Release

Maryanne Boster
Director of Corporate Communications
Virginia Hospital Center
tel: 703.558.6581

Trial Will Evaluate Safety and Effectiveness of the Antiviral Drug Remdesivir

Arlington, VA: April 10, 2020 – Virginia Hospital Center (VHC), a community-based hospital providing medical services to the Washington, DC metropolitan area for 75 years, has joined a national clinical trial to test a potential medication for the treatment of COVID-19. Hospitalized adult patients with a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis and significant symptoms – including difficulty breathing, using supplemental oxygen or needing a ventilator – can now enroll in the trial through VHC.

The trial will evaluate the safety and effectiveness of remdesivir, an antiviral drug previously tested in humans for the treatment of Ebola. Remdesivir has shown promise in animal studies as a treatment for Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) which are both caused by different types of coronavirus.

“Investigating all potential treatments for this novel coronavirus is a top priority here at VHC as we work to provide our patients with the best possible care,” said Jeffrey DiLisi, M.D., Chief Medical Officer of Virginia Hospital Center. “We are optimistic that the data collected through this valuable study may help to positively shape the outcomes for all patients diagnosed with COVID-19 going forward.”

Participants in the trial will be randomly assigned to either receive remdesivir or a placebo intravenously for up to 10 days. Trial participants and their doctors will not know whether patients are receiving the medication or a placebo. Patients will otherwise receive the current standard of care for their symptoms. VHC physicians will assess trial participants each day for changes in their condition.

Trial data from all participating hospitals and an estimated 440 patient participants will be combined and analyzed about halfway through the trial’s enrollment period to determine whether any changes to the trial are needed. The trial could be stopped if participants are not benefiting from remdesivir, or the trial could be changed to add another medication or therapy that could improve participants’ response.

The study is funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, a division of the National Institutes of Health. Gilead Sciences Inc., which developed remdesivir, is supplying it for the study.

Virginia Hospital Center Joins Mayo Clinic Convalescent Plasma Expanded Access Program

For Immediate Release

Maryanne Boster
Director of Corporate Communications
Virginia Hospital Center
tel: 703.558.6581

Program Explores Potential Treatment for Patients with Severe or Life-Threatening COVID-19


Arlington, VA: April 10, 2020
 –Virginia Hospital Center (VHC), a community-based hospital providing medical services to the Washington, DC metropolitan area for 75 years, is proud to be an official partner site for the Mayo Clinic’s investigational convalescent plasma program. The program explores the use of convalescent plasma as a potential treatment for hospitalized patients with severe or life-threatening COVID-19, or those at high risk of progression to severe or life-threatening disease.

“Virginia Hospital Center is always at the forefront when it comes to innovative methods that protect the safety of our patients, staff and community,” said Jeffrey DiLisi, MD, Chief Medical Officer of Virginia Hospital Center. “Increasing our understanding of potential treatments for this novel coronavirus is a critical next step in controlling the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Convalescent plasma refers to blood plasma collected from individuals who have recovered from COVID-19. That plasma is then used to treat other hospitalized patients with advanced illness. The plasma donor must have recovered from, and then tested negative for, COVID-19 and be otherwise healthy. The patient is transfused with the donor’s plasma, which contains antibodies that can attack the virus and may help patients recover more rapidly.

The convalescent plasma program at Mayo Clinic, led by researcher Michael Joyner, MD, grew from a national initiative of physicians and investigators from 40 institutions who self-organized to investigate the use of convalescent plasma during the COVID-19 pandemic.

VHC began enrolling patients and interested, eligible donors into the program earlier this week.

COVID-19 Sample Collection Site Run by Virginia Hospital Center & Arlington County Has Helped More Than 1,000 Patients

For Immediate Release

Maryanne Boster
Director of Corporate Communications
Virginia Hospital Center
tel: 703.558.6581

Arlington, VA: April 10, 2020 – The drive-through COVID-19 Sample Collection Site opened by Virginia Hospital Center (VHC), a community-based hospital providing medical services to the Washington, DC metropolitan area for 75 years, in partnership with Arlington County has collected samples for COVID-19 testing from more than 1,000 patients since first opening on March 18.

“Every person who comes through our site is now one step closer to having much-needed answers,” said James Meenan, Director of the Outpatient Lab at Virginia Hospital Center. “Our team continues to become more and more efficient as we provide this service to members of our community.”

“Testing for COVID-19 is an important tool to slow the spread of the virus in our community, in our region, and our nation. The sample collection effort that Virginia Hospital Center has stood up with Arlington is helping our community add a critical tool to slowing the spread of virus here,” said Dr. Reuben Varghese, Health Director and Public Health Division Chief for Arlington County.  “This tool along with physical distancing of 6 feet or greater when you have to go outside as permitted under the stay at home orders in the Commonwealth, and frequently washing your hands with soap and water are a package of tools in our control to slow COVID-19 and flatten the curve.”

As the team onsite has worked to streamline its processes, the Hospital has been able to expand available appointments and the COVID Scheduling Line hours.

  • The site now collects samples from up to 100 adults each day, nearly doubling its capacity.
  • The COVID Scheduling Line is now open from 8:30 am to 3:00 pm Monday through Friday and appointment openings are available on most days.
  • Individuals still need to receive a physician’s order to make an appointment, but they no longer need to be an Arlington resident or employee.
  • Physicians with symptomatic patients can send orders to the Virginia Hospital Center outpatient lab electronically in EPIC or via fax to 703-558-2448.
  • Once a patient has received a physician’s order, they should call the VHC COVID-19 Scheduling Line at 703-558-5766 between 8:30 am and 3:30 pm. Patients must schedule an appointment before visiting the collection site.
  • Individuals arriving at the drive-through site must be in a vehicle and should remain in their cars.

VHC has added additional partner labs to process the samples for testing to facilitate faster turnaround times for results. Individuals waiting for results should follow the instructions of their health care provider and self-quarantine.

To protect patient privacy, media access to the site remains restricted. B-roll footage for use by media outlets is available online.

Virginia Hospital Center Partners with Arlington County to Open COVID-19 Sample Collection Site

For Immediate Release

Maryanne Boster
Director of Corporate Communications
Virginia Hospital Center
tel: 703.558.6581

Arlington, VA: March 17, 2020 –  Virginia Hospital Center (VHC), a community-based hospital providing medical services to the Washington, DC metropolitan area for 75 years, has partnered with the Arlington County Public Health Department, the Arlington County Police Department, the Arlington County Fire Department, the Arlington County Sheriff’s Office and the Department of Environmental Services to open a temporary drive-through COVID-19 sample collection site at 1429 N. Quincy Street.

“Arlington County is appreciative of our partnership with Virginia Hospital Center to facilitate sample collection for our community at this drive-through center,” said Arlington County Board Chair Libby Garvey. “This is an important collaborative effort at a critical time.”

  • Samples will be collected from Arlington residents, Arlington County Government employees and Arlington Public Schools employees, and patients of VHC Medical Staff.
  • This site is for sample collection from symptomatic patients (fevers, chills, cough, or shortness of breath) who have received a written order for COVID-19 testing from a licensed healthcare provider. This is not meant for asymptomatic patients, even those who have had a close contact with a known COVID patient.
  • Physicians with symptomatic patients can send orders to the Virginia Hospital Center outpatient lab electronically in EPIC or via fax to 703-558-2448.
  • Once they have received a physician’s order, patients should call the VHC COVID-19 Scheduling Line at 703-558-5766 between the hours of 8:30 am and 3:30 pm. Patients must schedule an appointment before visiting the collection site.
  • Individuals arriving at the drive-through site will be asked to remain in their cars.
  • The sample collection center will officially open Wednesday, March 18 at 9:00 am and will remain open on weekdays from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm.
  • Individuals who visit the collection site are encouraged to follow the instructions of their health care provider and self-quarantine while they await their results. Test results will be available to the patient within five to seven business days.

“The opening of this temporary facility allows us to meet the urgent needs of our community while our Emergency Department continues to serve those who require immediate medical attention,” said James B. Cole, President & CEO of Virginia Hospital Center. “We are grateful to our staff as well as our colleagues at public health, police and fire for their exhaustive efforts to make this sample collection site possible.”

To protect patient privacy, media access to the site will be restricted. Photos for use by media outlets are available here and media will be updated regularly as new information becomes available. Information about scheduled media briefings and a media staging area will be provided in a second advisory.

Traffic Advisory

  • Expect additional traffic on N. Quincy between Washington Boulevard and N. 15th Street
  • Expect delays if traveling in the area and/or seek alternate routes if not visiting the collection site
  • Posted signboards in the area will direct those driving to the collection site
About Virginia Hospital Center:
Virginia Hospital Center has provided exceptional medical services to the Washington, DC metropolitan area for 75 years and was once again named a Leapfrog Top Hospital in 2019, and previously named one of America’s 100 Top Hospitals® and 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals® by Truven Health Analytics. The hospital is a proud member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network – a national network of independent healthcare organizations. Virginia Hospital Center is a 394-bed not-for-profit, teaching facility, and it is designated as a Magnet® hospital by the American Nurses Credentialing Center.
 
About Arlington County:
Arlington Va., is a world-class residential, business and tourist location that was originally part of the “10 mile square” parcel of land surveyed in 1791 to be the Nation’s Capital. Slightly smaller than 26 square miles, it is the geographically smallest self-governing county in the United States, and one of only a handful with the prized Aaa/AAA/AAA bond rating. Arlington maintains a rich variety of stable neighborhoods and quality schools, and has received numerous awards for Smart Growth and transit-oriented development. Home to some of the most influential organizations in the world — including the Pentagon — Arlington stands out as one of America’s preeminent places to live, visit and do business.