Demand for COVID testing grows

A look at the lines to get a test at RCAHD's free testing event held on December 28th.
A look at the lines to get a test at RCAHD's free testing event held on December 28th.(WDBJ)
Published: Dec. 28, 2021 at 7:29 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

UPDATE: There will not be a COVID testing event Thursday, January 30 as the lab will be closed Friday for the holiday weekend.

EARLIER STORY: SALEM, Va. (WDBJ) - Hundreds pulled into the Salem Civic Center Tuesday afternoon to be tested for COVID-19.

This comes after a shortage of tests last week left many without their COVID-status before the holidays.

In response, the Roanoke City Alleghany Health District is trying to make more testing opportunities available, offering drive-thru COVID-19 testing at the Salem Civic Center every Tuesday through January 25 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. No appointments are needed.

After running out of tests this week, the health department is adding another testing event at the Civic Center this Thursday, December 30, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“We were expecting pharmacies would be able to handle most of the testing and so we’re scaling back up to offering testing events but this level of demand caught the whole country off guard,” says Christie Wills, a spokesperson with the RCAHD.

Wills says 207 people were tested, with more than 75 turned away after they ran out, many after waiting in line over an hour.

Multiple attendees told WDBJ7 they’re required to test negative for COVID before returning to the workplace next week. Colleges like Virginia Tech are also releasing new COVID guidelines heading into the Spring semester, requiring a negative test before residential students can move back into the dorms on campus.

For more information on testing events, or where to get a free take-home test, click here.

Copyright 2021 WDBJ. All rights reserved.