VDH funds $5 million for new COVID-19 testing centers
50k tests expected this month
As COVID infection rates reach record numbers from the omicron variant, the Virginia Department of Health will open nine new COVID-19 community testing centers across the state to increase testing availability, Gov. Ralph Northam’s office announced Thursday.
The centers will offer polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests, considered the most reliable type of COVID-19 test. The initial $5 million in funding will come from VDH, which is seeking FEMA funding to reimburse the expenses and continue testing.
The testing locations will be near or on the same property as existing VDH community vaccination centers in Charlottesville, Chesterfield County, Fairfax County, Fredericksburg, Newport News, Norfolk, Prince William County, Richmond and Roanoke that have been operating since October.
The new centers will administer more than 50,000 tests in January and operate four to six days per week, open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., depending on the location. The first one will open Saturday at the Richmond International Raceway (Gate 7, on Carolina Avenue) with eight additional sites open in the coming weeks.
Results will be sent via text or email.
VDH urges anyone with symptoms or who has been in contact with someone with COVID-19 to be tested.
As of Thursday, 1.2 million cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Virginia, with more than 15,000 new cases reported in the past 24 hours, according to VDH. More than 11.3 million Virginians have been tested via PCR tests and the current 7-day positivity rate is 33.6%.