RICHMOND, Va. -- Private companies have joined local and state governments amid a shortage of COVID-19 tests and appointments across Central Virginia.
Abe Farley leads TestHere’s newest testing clinic that opened Monday at the Bon Secours Training Center on Leigh Street.
“Right now, we are just trying to help the community and get everyone out there tested and safe,” Farley said.
Testing also is available at the company’s Chesterfield County site on Wadsworth Drive, off Midlothian Turnpike near the Powhite Parkway interchange and at a satellite office on Route 29 in Charlottesville. An additional location is being sought in Henrico County.
“At this time, with omicron surging and the upswing in COVID cases, we saw the need to offer more testing. With our main location in Chesterfield County, we wanted to have a footprint in the city,” said Tunstall Willis, director of community relations for TestHere.com and Clinical Research partners of Richmond. “For this new site, we have worked very closely with the Virginia Department of Health and with SMG Richmond, which runs the training camp, to make our testing services accessible to all."
People who live in Richmond and Henrico can now sign up to get a free COVID-19 PCR test at the Richmond Raceway.
The community testing center (CTC), which is the state's first of nine mass testing sites, opened Saturday at 9 a.m. and has appointments daily through Thursday, Jan. 13, according to officials with the Richmond and Henrico Health Districts. [Click here to make an appointment.]
Gov. Ralph Northam said on Monday that PCR tests are not in short supply, but demand is high. Supplies of rapid at-home tests remain limited and federal programs are working to expand availability, he explained at a press conference.
Steve Pierson shifted much of his Ashland business, Secure Testing Services, LLC, to COVID-19 testing following a trip around the world.
“We began to do COVID testing for the PGA tour in early 2020 so we would travel around with the tour and set up their bubbles in support of their return to play protocol,” said Pierson, the company’s CEO.
His legacy business is conducting and providing drug and alcohol testing for private businesses and government entities.
After testing shortages and a lack of appointments back at home, Pierson made the decision to open its doors at 11075 Air Park Road to the community a few weeks ago.
“Right before Christmas, I would get contacted by so many people say we are a bind, we are supposed to travel, we have folks in town and either they have ordered a test somewhere and it hasn’t arrived, or they have a test and haven’t gotten results,” Pierson recalled.
Each of the clinics requires an appointment. TestHere.com is offering same-day, next-day, rapid and antibody testing while Secure Testing Services offer rapid antigen and molecular PCR testing. TestHere accepts insurance and Secure Testing Services requires payment.
The Richmond and Henrico Health Districts are also offering community-based testing clinics by appointment. [Click here for info or call 804-205-3501 during business hours.]
In addition to the appointment-only clinics, RHHD is hosting two walk-in clinics, which are first-come, first-served while supplies last.
- Wednesday, Jan. 12 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Eastern Henrico Recreation Center (1440 N Laburnum Avenue)
- Thursday, Jan. 13 from 2 to 6 p.m. at Southside Plaza (509 East Southside Plaza)