No need to fear COVID test

Published 7:31 pm Monday, November 2, 2020

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By Rick Francis

Hello Friends,

On Sept. 30, I learned that a buddy who I invited over for dinner on 9/21, had tested positive and since I work in the Courthouse (and I have research scientists as in-laws), it was determined that I needed to be tested. Ugggh! So, these are the steps associated with my testing which I share so that you might know what to expect.

So, you want to get a ‘rapid’ COVID test:

American Family Care

1013 University Blvd.

Suffolk, VA 23435

757-903-0738 (phone call is worthless – 4 minutes of message just to get another phone number, where they tell you to register on-line.)

Go online to:

Click on “Save Your Spot.” On the “Please type in a reason… ” line, state you desire a “rapid test.” Enter a time and click on “Confirm Me.” At 3:15 p.m., I reserved a 6 p.m. same-day reservation and received a confirmation.

The office is in FAR North Suffolk is sort of a ‘strip mall’. I got there 30 minutes early and called the number at the end of the 4-minute (endless) message. And staff said, “come on in.” Thinking that a COVID testing location would be full of COVID germs, I wore two face masks and a tilt-down plastic shield and walked into an empty waiting room. Apparently, they do not allow “walk-ins” after noon, staff told me it was packed until then. It was a very clean facility. I was the only one in the lobby and only saw two others enter/leave during my 10 minutes of completing registration and waiting to be seen. Registration paperwork was two sheets (the least invasive I have ever experienced) and the co-pay with county insurance was $25.

I was escorted back to a small examining room. Took out a Q-Tip and the nurse ran it in circular motions just inside my nostrils. The nurse did not go deep, only TICKLED A LOT. They then took me to a waiting room and after 25 minutes of listening to Nickelodeon, they came with the results. I was out of the office within 45 minutes of my arrival.

Best part of all, was that, to my surprise, the doctor was a Southampton County neighbor.

I hope this removes some of the apprehension of being tested. You are welcome to share my experience to any that you think are scared of being tested.

Stay healthy.


RICHARD FRANCIS is Clerk of Southampton Circuit Court. Contact him at 757-653-2200.