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Gov. Northam calls for increase in COVID-19 testing at federal detention centers

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Posted at 5:00 PM, May 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-14 17:00:04-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- Gov. Northam is calling for an increase in COVID-19 screening and testing at two federally-run detention centers in Virginia.

Gov. Northam has asked the federal government to step up testing efforts at both the Farmville Detention Center and the Caroline County Detention Center, and offered state support to do so. Both detention centers are operated by the federal government, and the Commonwealth has limited authority to enter them.

In a letter to Virginia’s congressional delegation, Governor Northam wrote that testing everyone in the facilities, including detainees, staff, and contractors, will help protect the health of those living in the facilities, as well as the surrounding communities.

The Virginia Department of Health is supporting testing efforts in other "congregate places," like long-term care facilities and correctional facilities.

Increased testing in those settings helps mitigate the spread of the virus, both within the facility and in the communities in which the facilities are located. The full text of the Governor’s letter is available here [r20.rs6.net].