Governor, Richmond mayor tour COVID-19 free testing site

Governor, Richmond Mayor tour COVID-19 free testing site

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Virginia’s Governor and Richmond’s mayor are touting the importance of “testing for all.”

Both were at a coronavirus testing site for vulnerable communities. The Creighton Court location is just one of many on the horizon for public housing sites.

“Please show up. Please show up, we’re begging you to," said Mayor Levar Stoney, Richmond.

Stoney has a plea for those listening. The most vulnerable for COVID-19 need to get tested.

“This is an intentional attempt to ensure that every individual possible, particularly those who are under-resourced, particularly those who are uninsured have access to the same testing as anyone else," said Stoney.

Tuesday morning, Northam, Stoney and Richmond City Council’s president toured a COVID-19 testing site for people living in Creighton Court.

“In order for us to eventually start easing the restrictions, we’ve got to be able to test," said Northam.

The Richmond and Henrico Health Districts are holding free, walkup testing events at three public housing communities across Richmond this week in an effort to improve access to COVID-19 testing for uninsured and underinsured residents.

“In order to know where this virus is, where the hotspots are, we’ve got to continue to expand that and our goal in the next couple of weeks is to get up to be able to test over 10,000 per day,” said Northam.

Organizers tested about 100 people who are showing potential coronavirus symptoms.

“The good news is the strategy to do something about that, to begin to do testing, testing for all, certainty testing for communities that are at greatest risk,” said Cynthia Newbille, Richmond City Council President.

The tests will be sent to the state public health lab in Richmond for processing. The results should be back later Wednesday with patients getting calls on Thursday.

“Part of our hope is in bringing testing to different communities that it becomes less of an abstract threat and more of a being armed with knowledge about what is happening in your own community,” said Dr. Danny Avula, Richmond-Henrico Health Districts Director.

Another community testing is set for Richmond’s Gilpin Court later this week. The head of the local health districts says they are also scouting out two or three locations for testing next week.

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