NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — As the demand for COVID-19 tests skyrockets, the Commonwealth is opening nine new community COVID-19 testing centers with an initial $5 million from the Virginia Department of Health.
New testing centers will be located near or on the same property as existing VDH Community Vaccination Centers (CVCs) in Charlottesville, Chesterfield, Fairfax, Fredericksburg, Newport News, Norfolk, Prince William, Richmond and Roanoke.
Each site will offer Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests and will supplement numerous locally-coordinated Community Testing Events.
“Testing is a critical tool in our fight against COVID-19, and we must continue to everything we can do increase access,” said Governor Northam. “As Virginians continue to grapple with a national shortage of rapid tests, expanding our PCR capabilities will ensure more Virginians have access to free, reliable testing and can better protect themselves and their families.”
The testing sites are expected to administer more than 50,000 tests in the month of January.
“We realize the demand is there,” Norfolk’s Acting Health Director, Dr. Parham Jaberi, told WAVY News Anchor Stephanie Hudson.”This new partnership to expand testing across the commonwealth is intended to meet the growing needs of our residents who are having trouble finding SARS-CoV-2 testing.”
Each of the nine sites will operate between 4-6 days per week and will be open from 9 a.m. and 6 p.m., depending on the location.
Health officials say the first site will open at the Richmond International Raceway open on Saturday, January 8, 2022. The other eight sites, including those in Hampton Roads, are expected to open in the following weeks.
The tests will be PCR tests, so the results will take a few days and will be automatically sent via text or email message to individuals being tested, based on the information provided in the appointment system.
“Testing helps us identify individuals who are ill with the disease so the appropriate medical and public health actions can be taken and can help reduce the spread of COVID-19,” said Dr. Oliver, State Health Commissioner. “We understand that there is a lot of demand for testing, and this expanded capacity through the CTCs will help address some of these critical needs across the Commonwealth.”
Meanwhile, you can search for available COVID-19 testing locations in Virginia, at this link.
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.