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Are Protesters Eligible For COVID Tests? Depends Where You Go

(Photo: Crixell Matthews, VPM News)
(Photo: Crixell Matthews, VPM News)

There’s a free COVID testing event Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Bermuda Medical Center in North Chesterfield County. 

Shaun Dallas Dance, chief of staff and operations for Capital Area Health Network, says the event is open to everyone including people who may not have symptoms. 

“We are encouraging people who have been protesting, and who may have been exposed or been at risk to come out tomorrow or next Saturday to get tested, so that we can make sure that they stay safe or at least know whether they’ve been exposed,” Dance said. 

He added the network requires pre-registration so staff can plan based on how many people show up. He said they expect to test at least 250. “We want to make sure that we have enough,” Dance said. “The worst-case scenario, obviously, is to get people out there and we don't have the number of tests that we need.”

For those who can’t make it this Saturday, there will be another testing event in Richmond next Saturday at the Greater Fulton Medical Center. Dance said antibody testing is also available during the week through the Capital Area Health Network. 

The Richmond and Henrico Health District is also holding three free testing events next week. A representative said these events are primarily for uninsured and underinsured people. The agency encourages people with insurance to look into testing options with the Capital Area Health Network, CVS, or Patient First. 

Danny Avula, director of the Richmond and Henrico Health District, said during a press conference Friday that "it doesn't necessarily make sense to get tested the next day or the day after [protesting], because remember, the disease needs some time to incubate. So what we're recommending is that five to seven days after your last exposure, that you pursue testing at that point."

Wherever you plan to get tested, it’s a good idea to register first with the Richmond and Henrico COVID-19 Hotline at 804-205-3501, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday – Friday.

The agency will accept walk-ins while test supplies last. Test results are available in 3-5 business days.

Testing will be available from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the following locations:

Tuesday, June 9th - Second Baptist Church, 3300 Broad Rock Blvd. (rain or shine)

Thursday, June 11th - Community Supermarket, 1915 Mechanicsville Turnpike (rain out location - the Gill Center, 2508 Phaup Street)

Friday, June 12th - Hotchkiss Field Community Center, 701 E. Brookland Park Blvd. (rain or shine)

 

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Megan Pauly reports on early childhood and higher education news in Virginia
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