SUFFOLK, Va. - As positive cases of COVID-19 continue to increase in Virginia and North Carolina, more people are asking how they can help.
Latrice Basden-Clarke and her husband Dr. Clarence Clarke are two of the many people pushing for change.
"We live here, we are your neighbors, our children go to school with your children. When you cry, we cry. When you laugh, we laugh. We’re here for you," Latrice says.
The couple opened AFC Urgent Care in Suffolk about a year ago knowing they wanted to make a difference. While they have already done that in many patients' lives, they knew they would also be able to have an impact during the coronavirus pandemic.
"That is our goal - to really, kind of, help the City of Suffolk really kind of track and trace this disease and then see how we can get to a point where we really do flatten this curve," says Clarence Clarke, medical director and co-owner of AFC Urgent Care.
This weekend, the Clarkes opened their COVID-19 drive-thru testing site. They say it's a commitment to the community that no one will be turned away.
"If they have health care coverage this is basically going to be covered by their health insurance and there’s no co-pay. So those who want to do drive-thru testing and do not have health coverage, there is a program through Medicare and Medicaid that will cover testing as well. So we’re trying to really just offer this out to everyone," Clarence says.
Right now testing is only open on Saturdays and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. or until testing supplies run out.
Clarence says the process takes less than 15 minutes and a patient will have the results back between three and four days.
As an emergency room doctor himself, Clarke says he has seen the healthcare system evolve over the past few weeks "[in terms of] the procedures and policies and just contacting patients in the Emergency Room. [We've also seen a shift in] who was able to get tested [and] who meets criteria for testing has changed dramatically over the last eight weeks."
The drive-thru testing isn't the only service that’s being offered at the location on 1013 University Blvd. If you need any other type of medical attention, you can head inside and staff will be able to assist you.
"We see [patients] from pediatrics on up. We also treat your common cough, cold, allergies this time of year, sprains, lacerations - just minor things that come through," says center administrator Farrah Greene.
If you're unable to make it to the physical location or are worried about your family's well-being, the facility also offers telehealth services.
The Clarkes say they have built their business on trust and community, so whatever service you need, they will do their best to help.