CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. — The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) reminds everyone that many locations are available throughout the region and across the Commonwealth for individuals seeking COVID-19 testing. Testing demand has recently increased across the western region as cases of COVID-19 are rising due to the more contagious Delta variant.
While vaccination is the most effective strategy to protect individuals, families and communities, testing remains an important tool to help identify individuals with illness, protect those around them, and monitor trends in COVID-19 infections.
“It’s critical that we reserve our hospital emergency rooms and rescue squads for medical emergencies, so if you’re seeking a COVID test and it is not an emergency, please utilize other testing locations,” said Laurie Forlano, deputy director of the VDH Office of Epidemiology.
VDH recommends that the following people be tested for COVID-19: those with symptoms or signs of COVID-19, regardless of vaccination status, those who have had close contact with someone known or suspected to have COVID-19, those who participate in activities that are higher risk for COVID-19 exposure (e.g. travel, attending large events where social distancing is not possible, or being in crowded indoor settings), those who have been referred for COVID-19 testing by their healthcare provider or the health department, those who plan to travel or who have recently returned from travel with some exceptions for fully vaccinated people, and those who are not fully vaccinated and who plan to visit people at high risk of developing severe COVID-19.
Fully vaccinated people should be tested three to five days following a known exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19.
People who are not fully vaccinated should be tested immediately after an exposure and again five to seven days following exposure if the first test is negative.
Those who tested positive for COVID-19 within the past three months and recovered do not need to get tested after exposure as long as they do not have symptoms.
VDH has partnered with Walgreens to provide Abbott BinaxNow Rapid antigen testing at no cost at selected locations. Walgreens pharmacy team members will help individuals self-administer their COVID-19 test. Test results will be processed at the pharmacy and provided to patients within 24 hours.
COVID-19 testing is available by appointment to adults and children ages 2 and older who meet screening criteria for testing. An appointment can be made at Walgreens.com/COVID19Testing.
Due to the current surge in COVID-19 cases, some testing locations may prioritize tests for symptomatic persons or persons with known close contact to a person with COVID-19.
For questions about COVID-19 testing or a list of testing locations, visit the VDH website or call 877-VAX-IN-VA (877-829-4682), Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
To schedule a vaccination, request a vaccination record, or for more information on COVID-19 vaccines, visit www.vaccinate.virginia.gov.
In the New River Health District, visit www.nrvroadtowellness.com/when-how-to-get-tested for additional testing locations.