THIS WEEK’S COVID-19 TESTING OPPORTUNITIES

Jan 20, 2022– Richmond and Henrico Health Districts (RHHD) are continuing to expand COVID-19 PCR testing opportunities with appointment and walk-in options.

Starting this week, the Richmond Raceway community testing center (CTC) will add one day to its ongoing schedule; it will now run weekly from Saturday through Wednesday. Formerly, the Richmond Raceway CTC ran from Saturday through Tuesday. This change increases capacity by about 500 additional tests per week.

Additionally, RHHD will offer two community based testing clinics by appointment: today at Neighborhood Resource Center in Fulton (which is already filled to capacity) and Southwood Apartments on Friday.

The Richmond Raceway CTC, Neighborhood Resource Center, and Southwood Apartments clinics are operated by appointment only; members of our community can find an appointment by visiting the VASE+ testing appointment scheduling system which can be found at www.rchd.com or by calling 804-205-3501 during business hours.

In addition to the clinics offered by appointment only, RHHD is hosting two walk-in clinics this week. These two clinics are first come, first served while supplies last. Dates, times, and locations for the two walk-in clinics are listed below:

  • Wednesday, January 19, 2022 – Eastern Henrico Recreation Center (1440 N Laburnum Ave) from 9:00am-1:00pm

  • Thursday, January 20, 2022- Southside Plaza (509 East Southside Plaza) from 2:00pm-6:00pm

Because of the continued short supply of at-home COVID-19 tests, RHHD will not offer at-home tests for pick up at any of the testing or vaccination events this week.

Pharmacies, urgent care facilities, and private providers may also have COVID-19 tests available to the public. For more information on COVID-19 testing and vaccination opportunities in the Richmond and Henrico communities, visit www.rchd.com or call 804-205-3501.

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RICHMOND RACEWAY TO OPEN AS COMMUNITY TESTING CENTER

Jan 7, 2022- Following Governor Northam’s announcement yesterday that the state is allocating $5 million to establish new community testing centers (CTC) across Virginia, the Richmond Raceway is set to offer thousands of COVID-19 tests to Henrico County, Richmond City, and its surrounding communities. 

The Richmond Raceway was formerly a COVID-19 vaccination site and had administered over 160,000 doses. Many community members are familiar with Richmond Raceway as a convenient hub for COVID-19 resources. 

The CTC is made possible through a partnership between Henrico County, Virginia Department of Health (VDH), and Richmond and Henrico Health Districts (RHHD). The operations of the clinic are handled by AshBritt/IEM, the same contractor operating the CVC at Arthur Ashe Junior Athletic Center.  

“Henrico County is excited for the launch of the Community Testing Center and is eager to see more of these critical testing resources become available for the area,” says Rob Rowley, Henrico Chief of Emergency Management and Workplace Safety. “The county is proud of its partnership with the Richmond and Henrico Health Districts and the Virginia Department of Health as we continue to work together to serve our residents.”

“We know that COVID-19 testing has been a challenge for many of our community members and testing providers over the past couple of weeks,” explains Dr. Melissa Viray, Deputy Director of RHHD. “We’re hopeful this site will make it much easier to find an appointment in our communities, while also alleviating some of the burden of our pharmacies and urgent care providers who’ve been working really hard to make testing possible.” 

“AshBritt is honored to be a part of the COVID-19 response and work alongside our partners at Henrico County, VDH, and RHHD,”  says Jason Fawcett, Vice President of AshBritt/IEM. “We have a dedicated and capable team who is ready to serve in this new way.” 

The CTC will operate at Gate 7, 4690 Carolina Ave. Doors will be opened tomorrow, January 8, 2022, at 9:00am. The clinic will run everyday between January 8, 2022 to January 13, 2022 from 9:00am-6:00pm. After that, the clinic will run weekly Saturdays-Tuesdays from 9:00am-6:00pm. 

Appointments are required for COVID-19 testing at the CTC. Individuals can schedule an appointment up to three days in advance by visiting the VASE+ testing appointment scheduling system which can be found at www.rchd.com or by calling 804-205-3501 during business hours. All appointments available at the CTC are PCR; there will not be rapid antigen tests available at the site. Individuals can select a text or email option to receive their results, which typically arrive three days after testing. 

For more information on COVID-19 testing and vaccination opportunities in the Richmond and Henrico communities, visit www.rchd.com or call 804-205-3501. 

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ALL OF THE COVID-19 TESTING OPPORTUNITIES AVAILABLE IN THE RICHMOND AREA THIS WEEKEND AND NEXT WEEK

Jan 7, 2022- To meet the increased demand for COVID-19 testing in our community, the Richmond and Henrico Health Districts (RHHD) are offering COVID-19 PCR testing opportunities with appointment and walk-in options. 

The Richmond Raceway community testing center (CTC) will open its doors tomorrow at 9:00am and will have appointments available everyday through January 13, 2022. Additionally, RHHD will offer two community-based testing clinics: one on January 10, 2022 at Deep Run Recreation Center and one on January 14, 2022 at Southwood Apartments. All of these clinics are operated by appointment only; members of our community can find an appointment by visiting the VASE+ testing appointment scheduling system which can be found at www.rchd.com or by calling 804-205-3501 during business hours. 

In addition to the clinics offered by appointment only, RHHD is hosting two walk-in clinics next week. These two clinics are first come, first served while supplies last. Dates, times, and locations for the two walk-in clinics are listed below:

  • Wednesday, January 12, 2022 – Eastern Henrico Recreation Center (1440 N Laburnum Ave) from 9:00am-1:00pm
  • Thursday, January 13, 2022- Southside Plaza (509 East Southside Plaza) from 2:00pm-6:00pm

“We have learned from the vaccination effort that a mixture of appointments and walk-up opportunities is a good thing,” explains Jessica Coughlin, Emergency Manager for RHHD. “The appointments allow folks to have short wait times and know that there is a spot guaranteed for them; meanwhile, walk-up opportunities can reduce barriers to accessing an appointment, particularly for our communities with limited internet access.”

RHHD will monitor demand and clinic capacity and may add on additional events. Also, RHHD will notify the public when and where it plans to distribute at-home COVID-19 tests once the next shipment is received, which is expected towards the end of next week. 

Pharmacies, urgent care facilities, and private providers may also have COVID-19 tests available to the public this weekend and next week. 

For more information on COVID-19 testing and vaccination opportunities in the Richmond and Henrico communities, visit www.rchd.com or call 804-205-3501. 

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RHHD TO DISTRIBUTE MORE AT HOME COVID-19 TESTS NEXT WEEK

December 30, 2021- Yesterday, Richmond and Henrico Health Districts (RHHD) announced the districts are going to hold three testing events next week, following a statewide and national shortage of COVID-19 testing opportunities. The availability of COVID-19 tests in the community will also be supplemented by RHHD’s recently acquired shipment of 3,600 at-home rapid antigen COVID-19 tests.

The tests will be made available to Richmond and Henrico communities utilizing three strategies.

First, the tests will be available for pick up at some testing and vaccination events starting next week. The locations, dates, and times for those events are listed below. Tests for pick up are available while supplies last.

  • 1/4/21 (Tu), Second Baptist Church (3300 Broad Rock Blvd), 9:00am-11:00am (test event) and 3:00pm-6:00pm (vaccination event)

  • 1/5/21 (W), RHHD Henrico West Clinic (8600 Dixon Powers Dr), 9:00 am-10:45 am (vaccination event)

  • 1/5/21 (W), Eastern Henrico Recreation Center (1440 Laburnum Ave), 1:00pm-4:00pm (vaccination event)

  • 1/5/22 (W), Highland Springs Community Center (16 S Ivy Ave), 3:00 pm-6:00 pm (test event)

  • 1/6/21 (Th), RHHD Downtown Clinic (400 E Cary St), 1:00pm-3:00pm (vaccination event)

  • 1/7/22 (Fr), Diversity Thrift (1407 Sherwood Ave), 1:00pm-3:00pm (test event)

Secondly, RHHD’s outreach staff will distribute the tests during their outreach efforts. Proactively distributing tests within communities more impacted by COVID-19 helps reduce barriers to accessing testing such as lack of transportation, time, or access to information on where to get a test.

Finally, RHHD will distribute tests to community organizations that have previously expressed interest in serving as a distribution site for the community members they serve. These community organizations can expect to hear from RHHD within three business days.

For more information on COVID-19 testing and vaccination opportunities in the Richmond and Henrico communities, visit www.rchd.com or call 804-205-3501.

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RHHD TO LAUNCH ADDITIONAL COVID-19 TESTING SITES NEXT WEEK

December 29, 2021- Following a statewide and national shortage of COVID-19 testing opportunities, Richmond and Henrico Health Districts (RHHD) will hold additional walk-up COVID-19 testing events next week. The clinics are made possible through a combination of staff from RHHD and NextMolecular, MRC volunteers, and community partners hosting the events.

“Unfortunately, we’ve had to turn away some folks seeking testing this week… demand for tests outweighing opportunities is something we’re seeing across the state and country,” explains Dr. Danny Avula, Director of Richmond and Henrico Health Districts. “I’m proud of our team who has worked quickly to accommodate the demand by standing up more clinics. We expect the situation to improve as a result of these added clinics.”

This week, RHHD tested 842 individuals.

RHHD will hold clinics during the following dates and times next week. The clinics are walk-up and are first-come, first-served until supplies last.

  • 1/4/22 (Tu), Second Baptist Church, 9:00am-11:00am
  • 1/5/22 (W), Highland Springs Community Center, 3:00pm-6:00pm
  • 1/7/22 (Fr), Diversity Thrift, 1:00pm-3:00pm

RHHD will continue to stand up more COVID-19 testing events in the coming weeks. For more information on COVID-19 testing and vaccination opportunities in the Richmond and Henrico communities, visit www.rchd.com or call 804-205-3501.

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RHHD EXPANDS ACCESS TO COVID-19 TESTING OPTIONS

December 17. 2021- Richmond and Henrico Health Districts are expanding access to at-home COVID-19 tests. Additionally, the districts are improving the turnaround time for receiving results from testing events through the use of a text messaging-based result notification system.

RHHD is distributing at-home COVID-19 tests at the four COVID-19 vaccination hubs and in Resource Center satellite clinics located in public housing lower-income communities. This program supplements the at-home COVID-19 tests distributed by Richmond Public Libraries. For a full list of locations and hours where you can pick up a free at-home COVID-19 vaccine test, visit our website or call 804-205-3501.

In addition to the aforementioned pick-up sites, RHHD will offer at-home COVID-19 tests to community members while conducting ongoing outreach. RHHD is also reaching out to community-based organizations to offer them a supply of at-home COVID-19 tests to distribute to community members they serve.

Separately from the at-home tests, RHHD is now offering results from its testing events via text message. Individuals who get tested at RHHD events will be asked if they would like to receive their results through a link texted to them or through the more traditional phone call. The inclusion of the text-based results allows RHHD to notify individuals of their test results more rapidly. “We hope that the increased availability of at-home tests and quicker turnaround of testing results make testing more accessible,” explains Jessica Coughlin, Emergency Manager for RHHD. “Alongside vaccination, testing remains one of the critical tools at preventing the spread of COVID-19.”

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Booster opportunities for Richmond + Henrico 16+17 year olds

December 10, 2021- Following FDA and CDC approval for 16-17 year olds to receive COVID-19 booster shots starting six months after their second dose, newly eligible Richmond and Henrico teens can find booster appointments nearby.

The Arthur Ashe CVC, which operates Monday-Saturday from 10:00am-7:30pm,  is offering boosters to 16-17 year olds starting today. RHHD COVID-19 community vaccination hubs will begin offering boosters to 16-17 year olds on Tuesday, December 14th.

In addition to the CVC and hubs, there are a few COVID-19 vaccination clinics happening tomorrow (Saturday, December 11) where 16-17 year olds can get boosted:

  • George Wythe High School from 10:00am-3:00pm
  • Elko Middle School from 10:00am-3:00pm
  • Bon Secours Training Center from 10:00am-2:00pm

“We are excited about the news that 16-17 year olds are eligible because it ensures they have the best protection against COVID-19 possible,” says Joanna Cirillo, Nurse Supervisor for Richmond and Henrico Health Districts. “Given high transmission of COVID-19 during winter months and the finding of Omicron variant in our state, we strongly encourage everyone ages 5 and older to get vaccinated and everyone 16 and older to get a booster.”

To see a full list of offerings for COVID-19 vaccination opportunities, visit vax.rchd.com or call 804-205-3501.

About Richmond and Henrico Health Districts: RHHD are sister public health agencies serving Richmond’s and Henrico’s communities. Our mission is to expose and address the root causes of health disparities, protect health by preventing the spread of disease, and build health equity by partnering with communities and working collaboratively across sectors. 

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COVID-19 BOOSTER APPOINTMENTS AND WALK-INS AVAILABLE IN RICHMOND AND HENRICO

November 22, 2021- There are currently many COVID-19 booster vaccination appointments and walk-in opportunities in the Richmond and Henrico area following Friday’s CDC and FDA announcement of updated guidelines.

Current guidelines state adults ages 18 years or older qualify for a COVID-19 booster shot to help maintain high levels of immunity. Individuals who received Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines qualify beginning six months after their second dose and individuals who received a Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine qualify two months after their first dose.

“The new guidance not only qualifies more people to receive the vaccine, but also makes it easier to understand whether or not you qualify,” explains Dr. Melissa Viray, Deputy Director for Richmond and Henrico Health Districts. “There are many places that offer vaccines for 5-11 year olds and adults in the same place… you can get the whole family vaccinated at the same time!”

Booster opportunities are available through the Arthur Ashe CVC, local health district events, pharmacies, and private providers. Many of these opportunities can be found at vax.rchd.com or by calling 804-205-3501.

Most clinics have all types of COVID-19 vaccines available, but individuals should look for a clinic that offers the type of vaccine they are seeking.

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RHHD COVID-19 VACCINE CLINICS NOW OFFER 5-11-YEAR-OLD AND BOOSTER WALK-UPS WITHOUT AN APPOINTMENT

November 16, 2021– Two weeks into the COVID-19 vaccination effort of 5-11-year-olds, Richmond and Henrico Health Districts (RHHD) are now offering walk-up without an appointment to 5-11-year-olds seeking their primary series, as well as to eligible adults seeking booster shots.

Starting November 16th, any eligible person of any age who is seeking their first series or booster dose can walk in to RHHD clinics. This includes the Arthur Ashe CVC, which is operated by VDH contractor AshBritt. Appointments can still be made at vax.rchd.com or by calling 804-205-3501, but they will no longer be required.

When boosters and 5-11-year-old shots became available, RHHD requested individuals in either group make an appointment. Requesting booster appointments allowed RHHD to ensure access for walk-ins seeking their initials series. Once 5-11-year-olds became eligible for Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines, RHHD requested parents make an appointment for their child to ensure an easy and convenient experience for families.

The former appointment policy was flexible and allowed those who walked in seeking boosters or a 5-11-year-old vaccine to be accommodated if there was clinical capacity; otherwise, they would be scheduled onsite for an appointment occurring on another day.

“After a couple of weeks of offering pediatric COVID-19 vaccines, our teams have more experience running pediatric clinics and we have a better sense of demand and clinic flow,” explains Joanna Cirillo, Public Health Nurse. “We are now confidently able to offer all of our appointments to walk-ups… we hope this makes the process even easier and more accessible.”

Individuals interested in walking up or scheduling an appointment can find many options listed at vax.rchd.com or by calling 804-205-3501. Most clinics have all types of COVID-19 vaccines available, but individuals should look for a clinic that offers the type of vaccine they are seeking.

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PFAS INFORMATION FOR HENRICO COUNTY AREA RESIDENTS

November 15. 2021Richmond and Henrico Health Districts encourage local residents who live near Richmond International Airport or White Oak Swamp and use well water to attend the informational PFAS webinar Tuesday, November 16 from 7 – 8 p.m. 

PFAS are widely used, long-lasting chemicals with components that do not break down naturally over time. PFAS are used in the manufacturing of a number of consumer products including non-stick cookware, carpets and fabric, paper and cardboard packaging. Studies have examined a possible relationship between long-term PFAS exposure and various health risks, including increased cholesterol, decreased vaccine response in children, changes in liver enzymes, increased risk of high blood pressure or pre-eclampsia in pregnant women, small decreases in birth weight, and increased risk of kidney and testicular cancer. 

In recent weeks, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) and the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) received reports from Newport News Waterworks (NNWW) that PFAS was found at high levels in the Chickahominy River watershed. This area includes parts of eastern Henrico County near the Richmond International Airport. 

Since receiving this information, Henrico County has begun sampling of surface water in the White Oak Swamp to validate and verify the results of the testing conducted by NNWW. VDH and DEQ are developing sampling plans, in concert with Henrico County, to learn of potential human and environmental impacts and to inform mitigation strategies related to public health. The November 16 webinar will inform residents of the plan, its progress thus far, and general information about PFAS. Results of the testing and investigation may not yet be available at the time of the webinar, but the involved agencies will continue to keep residents informed as more information becomes available. 

At this time, Henrico residents on well water can continue normal use of their water. However, they are encouraged to stay tuned for any action items that may arise following testing and investigation.

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