PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — As coronavirus cases continue to rise, there’s worry that the numbers will only get worse following holiday gatherings.
That’s why many local and state groups are running testing and vaccination clinics, ensuring the community is as healthy and as safe as possible as the holidays continue and the new year approaches.
As the week between Christmas and New Year’s begins, so do the lines at COVID-19 testing sites.
“I had a couple friends test positive over the holidays and I just want to make sure I’m safe before I go back to work,” said Portsmouth resident Edward Chartier. “If you’re feeling any type of way, or if you’re around some family members that are feeling any type of way, definitely go get checked out because it seems to be moving pretty quick.”
He’s not the only one who is concerned, especially with the new variant.
“Everyone has been around their families, friends, parties, and this omicron virus has spread so fast throughout our community that we have to have as many testing, vaccine clinics, you know, as possible,” said Gaylene Kanoyton, Celebrate Healthcare president. “We want everyone to be vaccinated, boosted, tested on New Year’s Eve, before we go into the new year.”
Celebrate Healthcare is hosting two clinics this week with COVID-19 vaccines, boosters, testing and more.
“This is not only about you. This is about your community. This is a community public health crisis and we are still in it,” said Kanoyton. “We still need to wear our mask, we still need to get our vaccinations, we still need to get boosted, we need our flu shots and we need health insurance.”
It’s a message other residents echo as they wait for their tests and hope for the pandemic to end.
“It’s imperative,” said Portsmouth resident Linda Torres. “If everybody would get vaccinated, everybody fully vaccinated, and also take precautions if you are feeling sick, I think we could be over this or at least on the downside.”
Celebrate Healthcare is hosting a vaccine clinic on Tuesday, December 28 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Nauticus in Norfolk, located at 1 Waterside Drive, Norfolk Virginia. Guests can get vaccines, boosters, flu shots and health insurance help. There will not be any COVID-19 testing. People who get vaccinated can tour the museum for free.
On Friday, Celebrate Healthcare will be at the Boo Williams Sportsplex in Hampton at 5 Armistead Pointe from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. They will be offering COVID-19 vaccines, boosters, testing, flu shots, and health insurance.