NORFOLK, Va. - Wednesday, more than 3,400 new COVID-19 cases were reported across the Commonwealth. As cases rise, so does demand for COVID-19 testing.
Virginia Beach resident Tom Marsden is no stranger to COVID-19 testing.
“It’s better to check to make sure you’re not continuing the spread and maybe impacting someone that you might not realize you’re impacting,” Marsden said.
Wednesday, he and his family got tested at a mass testing site at Military Circle Mall in Norfolk.
“We have some upcoming travel planned, and we just want to make sure everybody’s good before we take any surprises home to family,” he said. “Here, you didn’t necessarily have to pre-plan. It worked great for us.”
Local health officials opened their doors Wednesday for PCR and rapid testing to gauge interest in local testing, with COVID-19 cases rising in Hampton Roads and beyond.
“As the cases went down this spring, the demand for testing went down. As the cases have been coming up through the summer, the demand for testing has been going up,” Bob Engle, emergency coordinator with the Virginia Beach Dept. of Public Health said. “We’re starting to see it come up even more now.”
Around 4 p.m. Wednesday, the site administered roughly 100 tests. Sixty-five of them were within the first hour of the site being open, exceeding expectations.
“It makes us feel like that what we’re doing is worthwhile; that there is a demand for this; that people are looking to get tested,” Engle said. “We know there’s testing available out in the community, but we know that’s being stretched right now. It’s limited, and it’s hard to access because of the demand.”
As for Marsden and others, they hope folks take up the opportunity to get tested.
“People that are asymptomatic really don’t know it, and unless you come in to be tested, you really won’t know what your status is,” Engle said.
Engle told News 3 the Military Circle Mall COVID-19 testing site will be open again next Wednesday, September 1, from 1-5 p.m.