Best ways, places to find COVID tests amid shortage
Published 12:01 pm Wednesday, January 12, 2022
There is a shortage of available COVID-19 tests in the area and across Virginia, Western Tidewater Health District Epidemiologist Amal Patel confirmed, but he also provided information on some of the best ways and places to find testing sites and events.
“Yes, there is a shortage of available antigen and PCR tests locally, regionally and statewide,” Patel said Monday afternoon, Jan. 10.
He noted that according to data on Western Tidewater from the Virginia Department of Health, testing demand has increased since Thanksgiving and has surpassed the average daily number of tests from the previous surge in August through October 2021.
“This surge in testing has created a testing shortage as testing capacity is being exceeded by demand,” he said.
However, for those searching for testing sites and events, Patel said the first place to go to is www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus/protect-yourself/ and then on the left-hand side of the webpage, click on “COVID-19 Testing,” and on the left-hand side of the next webpage click on “COVID-19 Testing Sites.” The full, direct web address is www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus/protect-yourself/covid-19-testing/covid-19-testing-sites/.
“As testing demand has increased, the Western Tidewater Health District has scheduled and is working to schedule more testing events in the district in the near future,” he said. “These testing events will be advertised at the testing search (address) above and through locality social media channels.”
There are free weekly PCR testing events being held in Franklin from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. every Wednesday through the end of February at the Southampton Memorial Hospital – Satellite Lab, which is located at 102 Fairview Drive. For inquiries on these events, call 757-514-4766.
“Also, there will be testing events held by the health department in (Suffolk and) Isle of Wight County,” Patel said, right before listing them:
- On Friday, Jan. 14, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., free PCR testing will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis at East Suffolk Recreation Center, which is located at 138 S. 6th St. in Suffolk.
- On Friday, Jan. 21, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., free PCR testing will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis at Main Street Baptist Church, which is located at 517 Main St. in Smithfield.
- On Friday, Feb. 4, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., free PCR testing will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis at Windsor Town Center, which is located at 23361 Courthouse Highway in Windsor.
- On Friday, Feb. 18, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., free PCR testing will be offered again on a first-come, first-served basis at Main Street Baptist Church in Smithfield.