With COVID-19 testing in high demand, Virginia health leaders are working to curb the issue.
Gov. Ralph Northam announced Thursday that the Virginia Department of Health will open nine new community testing centers to increase testing availability in the state.
The new testing centers will offer Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests.
“Testing is a critical tool in our fight against COVID-19, and we must continue to everything we can do to increase access,” said Northam. “As Virginians continue to grapple with a national shortage of rapid tests, expanding our PCR capabilities will ensure more Virginians have access to free, reliable testing and can better protect themselves and their families.”
According to the agency, the testing locations will be near or on the same property as the current VDH Community Vaccination Centers.
Here are the areas VDH said they will expand testing:
- Newport News
- Prince William
Depending on the location, officials say the tests will operate between 4-6 days per week from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The first testing center will open on Saturday, Jan. 8 at the Richmond International Raceway with the other eight locations opening in the coming weeks. The exact dates for other locations are not clear at this time.
The new testing centers are expected to perform more than 50,000 tests in January.
The testing expansion will be funded using the initial $5 million from the VDH, but officials say they are seeking FEMA funding to reimburse expenses.
For more information about COVID-19 testing, you can learn more on VDH’s website here.