NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — We've heard your feedback about how stressful it is to get a COVID-19 test, and city leaders in Newport News say they're listening.
Mayor McKinley Price said, "We want to make sure that our population has availabilty of these tests as well as the vaccine."
Families continue to seek high and low for COVID-19 tests, but they can now use a new testing site that opened Monday.
"At the Sherwood Shopping Center, we have the convenience for both testing and vaccination. We just want to make sure that people are aware of it," said Price.
This comes along with expanding testing capabilities at three Newport News libraries - the Pearl Bailey, Main Street and Grissom Libraries - starting Tuesday to increase access to testing in underserved communities.
"Hampton University has a mobile bus. We've contacted them to go into neighborhoods that are underserved. Hopefully as more tests are available, we're going to do the same thing where you can have a testing site mobile," said Price.
Mayor Price's push to get the community tested and vaccinated continues as the Virginia Department of Health releases the latest numbers of COVID-19 cases. Monday, they reported more than 2,000 cases in Newport News and more than 300 deaths.
"Those who are being affected the most are those who are not vaccinated. Those are the people who are being admitted to the hospitals, and those are the people who are at higher risk of dying," said Price.
In an effort to encourage families to protect themselves from the virus, Mayor Price said he's putting his medical background to good use.
"I've even volunteered to give vaccinations myself, which we've done three or four times on weekends just to show people how important it is to get vaccinated," said Price.
Mayor Price is partnering with Hampton Mayor Donnie Tuck to come up with creative events to attract more people to come out and get tested along with receiving a vaccine or booster shot.