CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - More than 3,000 people in the area have been tested at free COVID-19 clinics through the Thomas Jefferson Health District (TJHD). Now, officials are hoping to expand testing right before Thanksgiving.
“We are one of the only place in our district that will test pretty much anyone who wants to be tested,” TJHD Emergency Coordinator Jessica Coughlin said. “We really want to test those who are experiencing symptoms, those in vulnerable populations that are living in congregate settings, those that don' t have access to healthcare, and those that have been exposed.”
Coughlin recommends making an appointment a few days before getting the test through their hotline 434-972-6261.
“We offer 50 walk-in slots, or 50 appointment slots. Folks really appreciate the appointment slots, but they also really like the walk-in slots as well,” Coughlin said.
Testing for the virus is crucial right now, especially before the holidays.
“Moving to November, we will be doing three to four test sites a week, including testing in every single locality the week before Thanksgiving to give everyone a chance to take proper precautions before they travel and interact with family,” Coughlin said.
Getting a COVID-19 test is important, but Coughlin says timing is everything.
“We like to remind folks that after a potential exposure, you need to wait five to seven days to be tested or the test is incredibly unreliable,” Coughlin said.
Everyone who gets tested will receive a phone call three to four days later with their results.
“We recommend if you’re getting tested that you quarantine at home. There’s a reason you’re getting that test and that’s because you had an exposure or because you have symptoms. Even if you’re just curious, you need to quarantine at home,” Coughlin said.
If you plan on getting tested at a Thomas Jefferson Health District site, Coughlin says all you need to bring with you is a written document that spells out your full name.