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Richmond COVID testing event cut off after one hour

COVID testing line eastern henrico .jpg
Posted at 10:33 AM, Dec 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-29 12:30:49-05

RICHMOND, Va. — With a line wrapped around the building, the Richmond and Henrico Health District (RHHD) had to shut down their COVID testing event on Wednesday at the Eastern Henrico Recreation Center after running out of tests in just one hour.

The district posted to their Twitter at 10 a.m. that they had already seen 300 people and had to cut off the line. They had approximately 500 tests available.

“Unfortunately, the supply that's available through pharmacies, your health departments, and through doctor's offices and urgent care facilities are not quite meeting the demand that exists in our community right now," explained RHHD spokeswoman Cat Long.

Police at the event had to stop cars from entering the parking lot of the center because it was too full.

Carol Arrington-Sims and her husband Stephen Sims arrived at the Rec Center at 8:15 a.m. — almost an hour before the testing event was scheduled to start.

"When we got there, we were in line by the Y," said Arrington-Sims. "They didn’t have enough tests for everybody."

The couple was lucky enough to get a test before the line was cut off, but they said if it weren't for this opportunity, the next available test they could find was Jan. 4.

“Please do what you are supposed to do," said Sims. "They brought the quarantine down to five days. You can stay in the house for five days, and be safe and protect other people."

The health district said there will be more COVID testing opportunities coming soon. They expect a shipment of hundreds of at-home tests later this week.

"If you have reason to believe that you have COVID-19, either you have symptoms or you are exposed to a known positive case, you might choose to lay low for a couple of days until you can find a COVID-19 testing opportunity," Long explained.

CBS 6 also checked in with Chesterfield County, as they received hundreds of at-home COVID tests Monday and distributed them to area libraries.

However, those are all now gone. Officials said they do expect to receive more sometime next week.