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Urgent care facilities seeing high demand for COVID-19 testing

Leaders at Velocity Urgent Care say they are trying to see as many patients as possible.

CHESAPEAKE, Va. — Urgent Cares across Hampton Roads are slammed.

“Wait times are longer. We do try to accommodate as many patients as we can,” explained Velocity Urgent Care CEO Barbara Smith.

Velocity leaders said about 50% of the people walking in need a COVID-19 test.

Health leaders said they're working hard to keep up with the demand. They are asking for people’s patience as they try to see as many patients as possible.

“There are a lot of people that are coming in need to have the testing because their child has been exposed to COVID in schools, and the school nurse needs a test for them to return, as well as people who want to travel,” explained Velocity's Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Tim Hutchison.

Health Department leaders across Hampton Roads said they're seeing that increased need at almost every urgent care facility.

“They are overwhelmed for testing because people want to know -- when they are exposed -- if they are positive,” explained Lisa Engle.

Engle, an Epidemiologist with the Chesapeake Health Department, said leaders there are trying to take the burden off urgent care facilities. They're holding standalone COVID-19 clinics for people who need a test.

“We are doing rapid testing, which is the antigen and you find out right away, then we are also doing PCR,” Engle explained.

She hoped the extra resource helps urgent care facilities. Leaders at Velocity Urgent Care said busy or not, their mission is to take care of the community.

“We can always accommodate one more patient," Hutchinson said. "That's the attitude we are trying to have.”

Here are some upcoming Chesapeake Health Department testing clinics:

  • Mondays | Military Circle Mall  in Norfolk: 2-6 p.m. (PCR only)
  • Tuesdays | Chesapeake Health Department: 10 a.m. to noon
  • Tuesday | Dominion Commons Center at 648 Grassfield Pkwy: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Thursday | Chesapeake Health Department: 10 a.m. to noon