Tests, not shots, in high demand at Military Circle as COVID-19 cases continue to surge


NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — On a day dedicated to vaccinations, the main thing people asked for was a test at the Military Circle vaccine clinic. 

This comes days after lines wrapped around the building Monday for tests as snow, rain and cold temperatures swept through the area.

Donna Sharpe came back from visiting family in New York and was looking for a test, just to be safe. She says she’s frustrated with the minimal options available for a test.

“With the holidays, people are coming from all over the place getting together with family and you want to be safe,” she said. “We need adequate testing sites, and not just on one day a week. We need it Monday through Saturday, to tell you the truth.”

Julie Jordan says she recently got over COVID-19 and is just looking for a test so she can go back to work. After finding out there are no tests being given Friday, she’s stressed trying to figure out where to go.

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“I tried to go on the Department of Health website and went through all those contacts,” she said. “Most of them say you have to go online to find a test and they’re booked way out or there’s none available at all.”

Many others came looking for a test as well.

Kimberly Sherlaw from the Norfolk SPCA, however, did come to the clinic to get her booster.

She says she always planned to get one since she works around people all the time, but feels especially unsettled seeing cases continue to climb.

“It’s disruptive, but in a way that you’re not sure sometimes what to do. And I think people are concerned about each other and their families and, you know, whether they should get together or things that you should do, things that you should not do,” she said.

As for Sharpe, she’s optimistic and hopeful she can get her hands on one.

“I’m not going to get overwhelmed, I’ll just look and if there’s nothing today, prayerfully I’ll find something tomorrow,” said Sharpe.

The state 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.

There’s no set date yet as to when those new clinics will open in Hampton Roads.

BELOW: Long lines for COVID-19 tests at Military Circle clinic on Jan. 10, 2022.

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