NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — The rise in COVID-19 cases is creating a rise in demand for testing.
Patient First is seeing such high demand in all nine of its Hampton Roads locations, they are turning people away.
A spokesperson told 10 On Your Side the increase is causing Patient First to only test those who are having symptoms.
“Patient First is seeing a significant increase in the number of patients at all nine of our Hampton Roads area medical centers. Due to these extremely high patient volumes, Patient First is only performing COVID-19 testing for patients who have COVID-19 symptoms. If you do not have COVID-19 symptoms, please contact your local pharmacy to schedule a COVID-19 test. “
It would appear, however, that pharmacies can’t handle the volume either.
WAVY has paperwork from one of our colleagues who got a test at a Norfolk Rite Aid one week ago and is still waiting on results.
A Rite Aid spokesperson responded to 10 On Your Side’s request for additional information on testing delays.
“Due to an increase in testing from increased demand, as well as weather impacts on testing samples being delivered to our laboratory partners, we experienced increases in testing times. Rite Aid and our partners are now back to normal testing result timeframes – customers will receive their results of the free COVID-19 test via email within two to five days. We apologize for any inconveniences.”
So where else can you go to get a test and timely results?
The health department is now offering PCR testing one day a week at the Military Circle Mall location, where they have been offering vaccinations for months.
“We’re calling this our ‘community testing location.’ It’s for people that have symptoms and are not sure whether they have COVID or not, or they may have been exposed to somebody that has tested positive for COVID,” Virginia Beach Health Department Emergency Coordinator Bob Engle told WAVY.
Testing will be offered Wednesday, Sept. 1 and next Wednesday, Sept. 8, from 1-5 p.m.
“We’re sending the tests up to our state lab and they can turn them around pretty quick — usually within 48 hours,” Engle said.
Starting Sept. 13, a private company will take over testing at the Military Circle site on Mondays through October.
They will have 250 tests there tomorrow and you can just walk right in with no appointment.
Officials hope this will help ease the demand on pharmacies where they are sending those seeking tests for travel, entertainment venues, school or work.