Hundreds tested for COVID-19 at Chesapeake clinic; Major testing sites to close Sunday due to weather

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Posted at 12:52 PM, Jan 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-14 17:51:04-05

CHESAPEAKE, Va. – COVID-19 testing remains in high demand. On Friday, the Chesapeake Health Department worked with Mako Medical to provide PCR testing to residents.

The clinic was held from 9 a.m to 2 p.m. at the Dominion Commons Clinic, located at 648 Grassfield Parkway.

Mother Ashley Barbeau brought her whole family to be tested.

"This was the first thing I could find. Some other places had testing but not until next week," Barbeau said. "So we wanted to get it done as soon as possible."

Approximately 250 tests were administered, according to Jerry Tucker, the public health emergency manager for the Chesapeake Health Department. He said they had enough to do 500 tests.

Tucker explained that after that clinic, the Chesapeake Health Department would no longer be offering regular, three-days-a-week testing like it has been doing for months. He said the decision is due to a surge in cases and staffing shortages.

"Now, we’re going to have to shift to doing more as-needed testing," Tucker said. "With the omicron variant, it’s caused a lot of our testers to pop positive where they have to be out or they’re ill, so it’s really put a strain on our capabilities. But we are going to continue to strive to offer testing either in partnership with a state contract or ourselves."

Tucker added that he’s excited that the Virginia Department of Health has ramped up its testing at Military Circle Mall in Norfolk.

However, Friday afternoon, News 3 learned that VDH testing sites and vaccination clinics across the Commonwealth will be closed Sunday due to forecasted winter weather. Paul Brumund, Chief Operations Officer for the Norfolk & Virginia Beach Departments of Public Health, says it's not necessarily because the weather in Hampton Roads will be bad but the labs that process the tests are in other parts of the region which could get severe weather.

The testing centers are located in Richmond, Newport News, Norfolk and Prince William. Two additional centers in Fairfax and Charlottesville will open on Saturday, January 15, but will be closed for the weather event on Sunday.

COVID testing at Military Circle Mall is now open Saturday through Thursday by appointment only (every day except Fridays), from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., with the last appointments at 5:30 p.m.

VDH will decide Sunday afternoon whether to open the vaccination and testing centers on Monday.

Click here to make an appointment. For Military Circle Mall, be sure to put in zip code 23502.

Military Circle is still offering vaccinations, now Monday through Saturday 8 a.m. - 6 p.m.