HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — A pop-up testing site was set up Wednesday at Dorey Park in Henrico County in order to test people who have mild symptoms of the novel coronavirus but don’t meet the requirements to be tested through the state lab.
The facility, organized by the Virginia Department of Health and Central Incident Management Team, is meant for people who have already been in contact with the health department, not the general public. The incident management team includes Richmond, Henrico, Chesterfield, Hanover, Goochland, Powhatan, Colonial Heights, New Kent and Charles City.
Dr. Danny Avula, the director of the Henrico and Richmond health departments, spoke with 8News about the pop-up community testing facility.
“It’s the first time we are doing something like this,” Dr. Avula said Wednesday. “Our hope is that we can work out the kinks and start to replicate this around the region because clearly there is a need for more and more testing at the community level.”
People who went to the testing location — which opened at noon and closes at 4 p.m. — called the health department’s call center (804-205-3501) to describe their symptoms or potential exposure. If the person meets the screening criteria, an appointment is made and they are given a registration.
Those with registrations are sent to the testing site, where authorities wait to verify the registration and the person can get the drive-through testing.
The testing facility is made up of four large tents with about 20 or 30 staff members. The staff includes volunteers, retired doctors, pharmacists and nurses, who all must wear protective gear and be properly trained to help with testing.
Those administering the tests — either an oral or nasal test — will do so from outside the person’s car. Wednesday’s tests were only oral swabs, Avula said.
Dr. Avula told 8News that they had over 130 appointments on Wednesday for the “test-run” and that health officials want to do similar pop-up testing sites across the region. The effort depends on whether test kits are made available.
Results from the Lab-Corp tests are expected to come back in four days.
Here are some tips from VDH on how to prevent the spread of COVID-19:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer only if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Avoid contact with sick people.
- Avoid non-essential travel.