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Health department maxes out on testing

Interest in COVID-19 testing appears to be surging along with the virus in Suffolk and in Western Tidewater as five city events in a three-day period reached capacity within about 30 minutes.

The Western Tidewater Health District of the Virginia Department of Health held testing events July 20-22 at the Whaleyville Recreation Center and Oakland Christian United Church of Christ, as well as at Suffolk Health Department, First Baptist Church Mahan Street and Balm Church in the downtown area of the city.

District director Dr. Todd Wagner said it tested nearly 500 people at the five sites – 95 at Whaleyville Recreation Center, 62 at Oakland Christian UCC, 209 at the downtown health department, 72 at First Baptist Church Mahan Street and 60 at Balm Church.

The health district expanded the number of tests it had planned to administer at the city’s health department, initially planning to administer 100.

“We asked for increased capacity because it was looking and sounding like, and surely enough, we got a lot more than we thought,” Wagner said. “The other events at the churches, they were all full houses. … It definitely exceeded our capacity, which was good. We had no capacity left over.”

The additional testing in the past week has coincided with an uptick in the seven-day positivity rate to 9.6 percent as of July 22 for the health district, which includes Suffolk, Franklin, Isle of Wight County and Southampton County.

“A lot of the numbers … that we’re looking at, there’s not one in itself that is concerning — it’s that whole picture and that whole group of data that’s concerning,” Wagner said.

Wagner, who spoke to the Isle of Wight School Board July 23, said more cases are coming from younger people in their 20s and 30s, but unlike in other areas to the east, the origins of the cases in Western Tidewater have been different.

“As a general rule, but not exclusively, the biggest thing is, a lot of backyard gatherings, a lot of friends and family gatherings,” Wagner said.

He attributes it in part to a sense of misguided comfort people may take in being around friends and family. He has also seen instances of people who have been to other areas such as the Outer Banks in North Carolina or the oceanfront in Virginia Beach.

There will be an additional testing event from 4 to 7 p.m. Aug. 5 at the Belleville Meadow Apartments in North Suffolk in partnership with Temple Beth El and Sentara Healthcare, targeting about 200 people for tests, Wagner said.

The district is also looking at two more testing dates in Franklin for Aug. 3 and 17, and is looking to “weave in” testing in other parts of the district.

“We have to be realistic about how much we can do and how much capacity we can get,” Wagner said. “But we’re also going to look for more testing for our other three areas — Suffolk, Isle of Wight and Southampton.”

The district is also looking to partner with Sentara Obici Hospital to provide additional testing.

“I think we know now that there definitely is a thirst out there for testing,” Wagner said, “and so we’re trying to meet that as much as we can.”

Testing next week in Isle of Wight County and Franklin is planned on the following schedule:

  • July 27 from 9 to 11 a.m. — Rushmere Volunteer Fire Department, 5354 Old Stage Highway, Smithfield
  • July 27 from 1 to 3 p.m. — Main Street Baptist Church, 517 Main St., Smithfield
  • July 28 from 9 to 11 a.m. — Windsor Town Center, 23361 Courthouse Highway, Windsor
  • July 29 from 9 to 11 a.m. — Carrsville Volunteer Fire Department, 6201 Carrsville Highway, Carrsville
  • July 29 from 1 to 3 p.m. — Otelia J. Rainey Center, 33475 Carver Road, Franklin

Testing is also available at the following locations in the Western Tidewater Health District:

Lakeview Medical Center

2000 Meade Pkwy., Suffolk VA 23435

Phone: 757-686-3508

Criteria for Testing: CDC

Notes: Will need an order or be evaluated by provider

Insurance Information: Accepts most major private insurances, Medicare, Medicaid, Tricare

Hours

Monday: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Tuesday: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Wednesday: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Thursday: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Friday: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Saturday: Closed

Sunday: Closed

 

Velocity Urgent Care-Centerbrooke

1001 Centerbrooke Lane, Suite 100, Suffolk VA 23434

Phone: 757-702-8105

Criteria For Testing: Following CDC Guidelines for Testing

Notes: No appointment required. Patients may walk-in or reserve a spot online if they choose to wait in their vehicles.

Insurance Information: Accepts most private insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, Tricare and VA Benefits.

Hours

Monday: 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Tuesday: 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Wednesday: 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Thursday: 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Friday: 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Saturday: Closed

Sunday: Closed

 

Nowcare Health

3060 Godwin Blvd., Suffolk VA 23435

Phone: 757-686-3508

Criteria for Testing: CDC

Notes: Urgent Care – Walk Ins Welcomed

Insurance Information: Accepts most major private insurances, Medicare, Tricare

Hours

Monday: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Tuesday: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Wednesday: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Thursday: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Friday: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Saturday: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Sunday: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

 

Velocity Urgent Care

7394 Harbour Towne Pkwy., Suite 5, Suffolk VA 23435

Phone: 757-702-8116

Criteria for Testing: Following CDC Criteria for Testing

Notes: No appointment required. Patients may walk-in or reserve a spot online if they choose to wait in their vehicles.

Insurance Information: Accepts most private insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, Tricare and VA Benefits.

Hours

Monday: 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Tuesday: 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Wednesday: 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Thursday: 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Friday: 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Saturday: Closed

Sunday: Closed

 

American Family Care Urgent Care – Suffolk

1013 University Blvd., Suite 270, Suffolk VA 23435

Phone: 757-335-4755

Criteria For Testing: Any one can be tested upon request. Testing is done through private urgent care and is not state sponsored.

Notes: Walk-in appointments available.

Insurance Information: Accepts most private insurance

Hours

Monday: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Tuesday: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Wednesday: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Thursday: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Friday: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Saturday: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Sunday: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

 

Total Family Care

1378 Armory Dr., Franklin VA 23851

Phone: 757-562-4111, Opt 1

Criteria for Testing: CDC

Notes: Call to make your appointment.

Insurance Information: Accepts Medicare, Medicaid. Self-pay is $125 up front, and can charge up to $250 for visit + lab bill.

Hours

Monday: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Tuesday: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Wednesday: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Thursday: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Friday: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Saturday: Closed

Sunday: Closed

 

Ivor Medical Center

Address: 8575 Ivor Road, Ivor VA 23866 (Southampton County)

Phone: 757-859-6161

Criteria for Testing: CDC testing criteria. For uninsured and underinsured. Accepting new patients.

Notes: By Appointment Only. Call for an appointment.

Insurance Information: Accepts most major private insurances, Medicare, Medicaid. Accepts uninsured.

Hours

Monday: Closed

Tuesday: 4 to 5 p.m.

Wednesday: Closed

Thursday: Closed

Friday: Closed

Saturday: Closed

Sunday: Closed