CHESAPEAKE, Va. – Local clinics are offering increased COVID-19 testing availability as hospitals in the region report a rise in patients with the virus.
The Chesapeake Health Department held a COVID-19 testing clinic on Monday, December 20 from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Chesapeake Health Department, located at 748 N. Battlefield Boulevard. This is one of six clinics held at that location this month.
It offered rapid and PCR testing. It was free and open to the public. No appointment was necessary.
COVID-19 testing was also available Monday, December 20 from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Military Circle Mall, 880 N. Military Highway in Norfolk.
The Chesapeake Health Department is also holding a testing and vaccination clinic on Tuesday, December 28 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. It will be held at the Dominion Commons Shopping Center in the Grassfield area. For more information, click here. Appointments can also be made at the Chesapeake Health Department.
Jerry Tucker, the public health emergency manager for the Chesapeake Health Department, says they're seeing more people come in for testing and also more flu cases.
"Lately, we’ve seen the numbers exponentially increase. We kind of expected this largely due to the holiday season; people are traveling more. So, there’s certainly an awareness of the virus and how transmissible it is especially due to the travel and increased congregation indoors."
Sentara hospitals are starting to see a rise in COVID-19 patients, according to Kelly Kennedy, the corporate communications and public relations advisor for Sentara Healthcare.
Kennedy wrote in a statement, “Sentara hospitals continue to care for all patients. Like many hospitals across the nation, we are once again starting to see a rise in the number of COVID-19 patients in our care. This information is publicly available on the Sentara COVID-19 Hospitalized Patient Dashboard.
"We strongly encourage all community members who are eligible and able to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and to get a booster shot. COVID-19 vaccines have proven to be effective in preventing the spread of COVID-19 and severe illness, hospitalization, and death due to the virus. Vaccination offers strong protection against COVID-19 variants.”
Pam Blais is CEO of Care 4 Frontline (formerly Pantry BOX Project) a non-profit organization that brings food and care to healthcare workers. She told News 3, "We actually just started making major deliveries again, because what we were hearing from our front lines, specifically the emergency departments and intensive care units is that they are just overwhelmed. A nurse last week, when we made a delivery to a local hospital said that it's just 'living hell.' They‘re understaffed," stated Blais, who added they're always looking for volunteers and donations.
According to the VDH website, there are now 1,023,698 total cases. There are 15,136 total COVID-19 related deaths. The case numbers are up by 10,308, and deaths are up by 53 since Friday as the VDH does not release updated data over the weekend.
Here's the breakdown of COVID-19 case and vaccine information for local areas (Note: You can also view the table above this story to zoom in):