NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — The area’s largest testing and vaccine clinic in the area has rearranged its schedule to meet the growing demands for both shots and tests.
This comes as Hampton Roads sees an increase in cases, according to Larry Hill, a spokesman with the Virginia Department of Health.
“Hampton Roads is following the same trends as everybody else across the state,” said Hill.
That trend is an increase in cases, resulting in an increased demand for testing, putting health departments in a tough spot.
“With this virus, there’s so many things that happen and that impact so many people in so many different ways,” he said. “And it’s also impacting health departments in the same way.”
To ease the load on local health departments, a private contractor will run weekly testing on Mondays at Military Circle from 2-6 p.m.
“Thing I need to emphasize about the testing is this is a central location to a lot of people,” he said. “So this is a good site to have the testing here. It’s free and we keep providing more resources in order to do that.”
The increase in cases isn’t the only thing driving the demand for testing.
“One is because the mandates are kind of pushing a lot of people to have to get tested. And the second reason is because the virus is still out there very prominently,” he said. “People need to be tested to make sure that they don’t have the virus.”
Testing events of previous weeks have shown an increased need for testing locally.
“This site for testing last week we almost had 200 people. Between a hundred and 200 people. And once again, people were here early so we had to open up the doors early,” he said.
Health officials want to remind the public the best way to beat this virus is through the same methods we’ve talked about since last year.
“Getting people vaccinated, people doing the masking, social distancing, washing your hands. Those are all important. We hear them over and over and over again but that’s what’s going to take in order to reduce this virus,” he said.
All testing and vaccines are free of charge at the Military Circle site.
Learn more about how to register for the vaccine and times for testing here.