Health departments prepared for increase in demand for COVID tests after Thanksgiving


CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — With the Thanksgiving holiday weekend over, a local health department is preparing to see an increase in demand for COVID-19 tests.

Three days out of the week, the Chesapeake Health Department hosts a testing clinic.

Jerry Tucker, the public health emergency manager for the department, says Chesapeake has recently gone back into the high transmission rate for community spread of COVID-19.

“We are prepared for an influx post-holiday season,” he said. “We know a lot of people got together for Thanksgiving and Black Friday shopping. We expect to see some concern in the local population. So we want to be prepared for that.”

Tucker says many of those who had been coming in were getting required tests for their job or travel, but they’ve been seeing more people coming in to get tested because of COVID-19 symptoms.

With the emergence of the omicron variant, Tucker says it’s a concern and they were already expecting to see a surge at the end of the year.

“We want to make sure people are completely aware of the situation at hand. We are going to see an ebb and flow of cases as the pandemic progresses. People need to know what the safety precautions are and practice strict mitigation,” he said. “That’s face coverings, strict hand hygiene, strict physical distancing in an indoor environment. As always being vaccinated, at this point, is the best means for proper defense and testing yourself frequently. Doing serial testing throughout the process is helpful.”

Pharmacies and private practitioners are also seeing an increase in demand for tests.

The health department provides both rapid and PCR testing. You do not have to be a Chesapeake resident to get tested.

For their hours, click here.

Hours will also change in December because of the holidays.

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