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COVID-19 cases rise as local clinics close for inclement weather

FEMA COVID-19 vaccination clinic Harbor Park
Posted at 11:34 PM, Jan 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-03 23:49:51-05

NORFOLK, Va. - Health officials nationwide are seeing rising numbers of COVID-19 cases, and the same goes for the Commonwealth.

"We just don’t have that many tests out there right now," Dr. Ryan Light with Greenbrier Family Medicine said.

Dr. Light says he’s seeing higher positivity rates among patients in his office.

"I use to say I’d test 10 patients and find two that were positive. Now, I’m testing 10 patients and have two that are negative," Dr. Light said.

This influx of COVID cases comes as the omicron variant surges throughout the country.

Monday, the FDA approved the Pfizer’s booster shot for teen ages 12 to 15. The People’s Pharmacy in Norfolk is offering the booster shot.

“We do have the pediatric Pfizer vaccine available here at the pharmacy,” Dr. Anna Peoples, the owner of Peoples Pharmacy, said.

With the inclement weather in Hampton Roads, the Virginia Department of Health's Community Vaccination Centers will be closed Tuesday due to snow and expected freezing temperatures. Testing will still be available at Norfolk’s Military Circle Mall.

If you can’t make it to a department of health center to get a COVID test, healthcare workers are warning you shouldn’t overwhelm the emergency room to get one.

"If you have mild symptoms or are going to the emergency department because you can’t get one from your local pharmacy, that’s not the reason to go to the emergency department. The emergency department or hospitals is for true medical emergencies," Julian Walker with the Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association said.

The number of both probable and confirmed COVID-19 cases in the state of Virginia have gone up.

"We’re seeing more people being tested, but the positivity rates are much higher. It’s the highest it’s been since the pandemic has started," Dr. Light said.

To find a COVID testing site near you, click here.

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