Demand for COVID-19 testing grows in Southwest Virginia ahead of Thanksgiving

Local lab reports increase in positive samples over the last week

ROANOKE, Va. – Preparing for Thanksgiving this year, for many, included planning a complete meal and a COVID-19 test. Local testing facilities report a significant increase in demand leading up to the holiday.

“During the past week we did have several drive-thru testing events pre-Thanksgiving, and over 300 people took advantage of that,” said Dr. Noelle Bissell with the New River Health District.

“We’ve seen a spike in demand that’s probably five times our normal testing volume,” admitted Jeff Howard with ARCPoint Labs in Salem. “It’s really started on Monday of this week.”

Howard says they have seen an increase in positive samples over the last week.

Federal and state health officials alike have repeatedly encouraged families to avoid gathering as daily cases soar to levels not seen since the initial outbreak.

“I’m not an infectious disease expert, but my intuition tells me that with the number of family gatherings during the holidays, we will see a spike in the infection rates, unfortunately,” said Howard.

Dr. Bissell says there are several post-Thanksgiving testing events scheduled:

  • December 3 at the New River Valley Mall from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • December 4 at the Montgomery County Health Department from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

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