COVID-19 tests in high demand as Christmas draws near


NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Before gathering with family and friends this week, many are planning to get tested for the coronavirus. The trouble for some is finding a test.

A long line going into Military Circle mall Monday afternoon wasn’t for last-minute Christmas gifts — it was for the COVID-19 testing center.

“I’m just trying to make sure everyone is safe,” one man told WAVY.

Tests at the old Macy’s are walk-in only, but many are willing to wait because they can’t find appointments for pharmacy tests, and at-home tests are rapidly flying off drug store shelves.

In Poquoson, the library has curbside pick-up for COVID-19 tests, but the table sits empty.

“We are actually currently out of kits but we are expecting to get them today or tomorrow just because the demand has been so high,” said Library Director Jessica Hartley.

The library is a VDH distribution site. Hartley says staff fielded 50 calls over the weekend from people looking for kits. She predicts their next delivery won’t last long.

“We also don’t want people hanging on to the kits. They’re not to hang on to, they’re to take when you get them,” Hartley said.

Hartley hopes this will help meet the demand for travelers and those who just want reassurance before celebrating with family and friends, which is something the state health commissioner advised when WAVY spoke with him on Friday.

“That way, everyone who comes to the gathering can sort of do their own surveillance to make sure that no one is contracted the virus while enjoying the company of family and friends,” state health commissioner Dr. Norman Oliver said,

Oliver also advised testing a few days after holiday gatherings. So, this year’s hot gift just might be a COVID-19 test kit.

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