COVID-19 test shortage continues in Central Virginia as daily case numbers climb

Posted at 12:20 PM, Dec 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-27 12:20:02-05

RICHMOND, Va. — As Christmas weekend wraps up, a surge in coronavirus cases is continuing nationwide. In Central Virginia, COVID-19 tests are in high demand and hard to come by.'s location in Midlothian Center is offering 800 tests a day, and appointments are filling up days in advance.

At 10 a.m. Monday morning, manager Jessica Bond said her team had already administered around 120 tests, with 23 coming back positive. She expects the number of positive tests to grow in the coming days.

"About half of the patients coming in are symptomatic, and about half are not," Bond explained. "There doesn’t seem to be any difference between vaccinated or unvaccinated. This is an extremely rampant version of COVID, so we expect to see much more increasing positives."

With this surge in demand and positive cases, has increased its staffing.

"These people working in COVID right now are absolute warriors," said Bond.

If you think you might need to get tested, Bond encourages you to try to schedule a test as soon as possible, as at-home COVID tests are becoming more difficult to find.

"We understand the fear right now as people battle another variant and another unknown," noted Bond.

Health officials encourage anyone with COVID symptoms to get tested, as they said the Omicron variant is mimicking cold symptoms for many vaccinated Virginians.

"Even if you are boosted, you can definitely still test positive," said Bond. "While your symptoms may not be as severe as someone who is unvaccinated, Omicron, even for the unvaccinated, is mimicking a bad cold. You can still spread it, and there are a lot of vulnerable people out there who might have a much worse time than a normal, healthy person."

Despite the struggle to find a COVID-19 test, there are opportunities to get tested in the Richmond area this week.

The Richmond Henrico Health District (RHHD) is partnering with Next Molecular Analystics to offer testing on a first come, first served basis, Tuesday from 9-11 a.m. at Second Baptist Church in Richmond and Wednesday from 9-11 a.m. at the Eastern Henrico Rec Center Ballroom.

RHHD also expects to receive hundreds of at-home rapid COVID-19 tests this week.

A spokesperson said she is not sure exactly what day those tests will arrive, but when they do, they will be distributed the same way others have been in the past and will be available on a first come, first served basis at the district's testing and vaccination hubs.