'It's a blessing for our community': New COVID-19 testing site now open in Newport News

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Posted at 10:17 AM, Jan 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-10 19:11:15-05

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — Finding COVID-19 tests have been a struggle for many, and the demand for testing continues to rise. However, many families can soon see relief.

A new COVID-19 testing site is now open at the Sherwood Shopping Center in Newport News, located at 13875 Warwick Boulevard. VDH leaders tell News 3 the testing site is adjacent to where families can get the vaccine. Testing will be available by appointment only, and free PCR testing will be offered.

The site will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday until Thursday, closed Friday and open again from Saturday to Monday.

This site comes after Gov. Ralph Northam allocated $5 million for new testing centers across Virginia.

"Testing is a critical tool in our fight against COVID-19, and we must continue to do everything we can to increase access" said Gov. Northam.

Families who have made an appointment tell News 3, "It was so simple. I was in and out in five minutes."

Leaders at the site said it's beneficial that it's appointment-only because there hasn't been any lines forming.

"This is a blessing for our community, for sure. With how crazy it's been to even find a place to get tested - and not only that... with an appointment just to do it online - it's quick and easy. I think it's going to be really helpful keeping everything under control," said Marisol Cruz, who came out to the site Monday.

Families told us they think this site will be really helpful to keep everything under control in our community.

Rochelle Belton-Moore is excited about new testing site. She said, "I called on Friday, got an appointment on Monday and walked right in - did what I had to do and [I was] out."

But it always hasn't been this easy. Some families told us they've had to travel quite a distance to find a test.

Jewel Johnson said, "Right now, you're just driving around everywhere to see if you can get tested. There's no at-home test in any pharmacy, in any Walmart. You can't pick up an at home test, and my job doesn't offer it anymore."

VDH leaders said they're expecting to have enough tests on hand so families won't have to worry about being turned away, but Johnson said she had some concerns.

"I've seen three people get turned away because they don't have appointments, so it's like, what can we do to make an appointment? We get ready and there's no QR code here, so how do we make those appointments?"

Johnson said she did not make her appointment in advance, but other people that did say it wasn't a hassle.

"I just looked online where testing appointments are being offered; the Virginia Department of Health website came up. It was pretty easy to just search my ZIP code. I just searched the days I was looking for an appointment for and the area."

Those seeking to find or schedule a testing appointment can click here.

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