Authorities reduce use of community centers for COVID vaccinations

With demand for COVID vaccines at least momentarily down in Arlington, local leaders have announced plans to reopen one community center for other uses and are working to open more spaces in another.

County Executive Mark Schwartz announced March 22 that beginning April 5, the Walter Reed Community Center will open for pickleball, volleyball, basketball and table games like bridge. and mah jongg.

“That’s great news,” Schwartz told county board members, adding that other programs at Walter Reed are expected to return later in April.

For more than a year, portions of the facility (located along South Walter Reed Drive near Green Valley) have largely been devoted to COVID testing and vaccinations.

The same goes for much of the community center at Arlington Mill, located at the western end of Columbia Pike, where the gymnasium has been closed to athletes and used instead for public health purposes.

In remarks to county council members, Schwartz said that by May, “we may be at the point where we can open the gymnasium for activities, but I’m not announcing that firmly.”

As for what the future holds for us? Our ultimate goal is to integrate [the COVID-vaccine effort] in what we’re doing in Sequoia,” Schwartz said, using government shorthand for the county government public health facility near Washington Boulevard in the Penrose neighborhood.

But it all depends on the whims of a virus that has proven to confuse experts for the past two years.

“The pandemic is not over; we continue to see cases,” Schwartz said.
By early March — two years into the pandemic — 40,400 COVID cases were reported among Arlington residents and 321 deaths in which the victim had COVID, but not necessarily died of COVID.

Whatever happens, “our public health clinics will be ready,” Schwartz said.

Comments are closed.