(RICHMOND, Va.) – In response to an increasing number of individuals seeking testing, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) is expanding testing events across the Commonwealth. The action comes as cases of COVID-19 are rising, due to the Delta variant, a more contagious variant than the others currently circulating throughout the state.
“While our local health departments, pharmacies and hospitals are working to keep up with the demand for testing, we are providing additional testing locations to accommodate our residents and to help reserve our hospital emergency rooms and rescue squads for medical emergencies,” said Dr. Laurie Forlano, DO, MPH, deputy director, Office of Epidemiology.
VDH has added more than 170 Community Testing Events (CTE) in September throughout the Commonwealth. Additional CTEs will be added based on community need and to reduce increasing stress on healthcare providers. For a list of all testing locations, visit the VDH website.
VDH recommends that the following people be tested for COVID-19·
- People with symptoms or signs of COVID-19 regardless of vaccination status.
- Most people who have had close contact with someone known or suspected to have COVID-19
o Fully vaccinated people should be tested 3-5 days following a known exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19, even if you don’t have symptoms.
o People who are not fully vaccinated should be tested immediately after an exposure and again at 5-7 days following exposure if the first test is negative
o People who tested positive for COVID-19 within the past 3 months and recovered, do not need to get tested after exposure as long as they do not have symptoms.
- People who participate in activities that are higher risk for COVID-19 exposure (e.g., travel, attending large events where social distancing is not possible, or being in crowded indoor settings)
- People who have been referred for COVID-19 testing by their healthcare provider or the state/local health department.
- People who plan to travel or who have recently returned from travel with some exceptions for fully vaccinated people
- People who are not fully vaccinated and who plan to visit people at high risk of developing severe COVID-19
While vaccination is the most effective strategy to protect individuals, their family and their community, testing remains an important tool to help identify individuals with illness and monitor trends in COVID-19 infection.
For more information about COVID-19 testing call (877) 829-4682, 8 a.m.-6 p.m., Monday-Saturday.