NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — People looking to get tested for COVID-19 say it’s hard to come by testing oppoutunities.
That’s why hundreds of people jumped on the last-minute opportunity to wait in line for hours on Friday to get theirs for free.
The COVID-19 testing clinic at Military Circle Mall was originally expected to be closed on New Year’s Eve, but instead it opened from 2-6 p.m.
“We knew that there was a lot of demand, that the localities that have home testing kits are pretty much depleted,” explained Paul Brumund with the Virginia Department of Health. “People were telling us that they can’t find them, they can’t get appointments with their providers. So this was a quick way to get a response.”
The testing clinic, at the former Macy’s department store location at Military Circle Mall at 880 N. Military Highway, was offered due to increasing COVID-19 cases in the region and hard-to-find testing.
“The calls from our healthcare providers and community residents have been heard. With testing supplies in the community depleted, we hope this event will assist residents in the area in need of urgent testing,” said Dr. Parham Jaberi, acting director for Norfolk Health Department and VDH chief deputy commissioner.
VDH says if there’s no need for you to get a test, try to let those with a need have access to those accessible tests.
“Really take an assessment of why you need a test. Are you concerned about your loved ones? Are you with immunocompromised people? Have you been exposed? Will you expose others? But just to know, to know? I don’t think you really need to get a test today,” said Suazanne Trotter with the VDH.
No vaccinations were available at the clinic which allowed for more contracted workers to focus on administering tests.
For more information on future clinics, stay with WAVY.com
There’s also a free testing event on Friday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Hampton at the Boo Williams Sportsplex. That site is also offering COVID and flu vaccines.
Virginians who have not been fully vaccinated, or are eligible for booster doses, can visit vaccinate.virginia.gov or call 1-877-VAX-IN-VA (877) 829-4682 to find nearby vaccination clinics.
Those seeking to find or schedule a testing appointment can visit vase.vdh.virginia.gov/testingappointment.