Free COVID-19 testing

4/8/2021, 6 p.m.
Free community testing for COVID-19 continues.

Free community testing for COVID-19 continues.

The Richmond and Henrico County health districts are offering testing at the following locations:

Thursday, April 8, 10 a.m. to noon, Regency Square rear parking deck, 1420 N. Parham Road, Western Henrico. Drive-thru testing.

Thursday, April 15, 1 to 3 p.m., Hotchkiss Field Community Center, 701 E. Brookland Park Blvd. in North Side.

Appointments are encouraged by calling the Richmond and Henrico COVID-19 Hotline at (804) 205-3501 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, or by registering online at https://bit.ly/RHHDCOVID.

Testing will be offered while test supplies last.

The Virginia Department of Health also has a list of COVID-19 testing locations around the state at www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus/covid-19-testing/covid-19-testing-sites/.

Want a COVID-19 vaccine?

Seniors ages 65 and older who live in Richmond or Henrico County can call the Richmond and Henrico Health Districts’ COVID-19 hotline — (804) 205-3501 — from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday to schedule a vaccine appointment.

Others who want a vaccine should contact the statewide COVID-19 Vaccination Pre-Registration System at vaccinate.virginia.gov or by calling 877-VAX-IN-VA, or (877) 829-4682.

The statewide call center is open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week to help people pre-register by phone or to answer questions about the vaccine. The call center has English- and Spanish-speaking agents and a call-back service to help people in more than 100 other languages.

Additionally, TTY service is available to help people who are deaf or hard of hearing.

The battle against COVID-19 has expanded greatly in Virginia and nationwide during the last week. On Tuesday, President Joe Biden announced that April 19 is the new, stepped up deadline for states to expand eligibility for vaccines to all adults.

Last week, however, Gov. Ralph S. Northam announced that vaccines would be available to all adults by April 18, a day earlier than the new national deadline. At the time, 21 of the state’s 35 local health districts had started vaccinating essential workers in Phase 1C.

Concerns over whether the state could manage such a quick expansion in vaccinating people seemingly were answered Tuesday when the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced an award of more than $77 million to Virginia to support local efforts to increase vaccinations. The money is to go toward expanding COVID-19 vaccine programs and ensuring greater equity and access for those disproportionately affected by the virus.

State officials also announced several new initiatives, including one to recruit individuals eligible to administer doses through the new Virginia Volunteer Vaccinator Registry. Others include a new pilot program by the Virginia Department of Health that would test

for COVID-19 at schools, and an expansion of Virginia State University’s vaccination efforts using mobile clinics for underserved communities, courtesy of its newly created VSU Public Health Institute.

State health officials reported Wednesday that more than 4.3 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine have been administered in the state, with 1.6 million people fully vaccinated, or 18.8 percent of the state’s residents. Roughly 33 percent of the population has received at least one dose.

State officials reported 629,155 cases of COVID-19 statewide on Wednesday, along with 26,911 hospitalizations and 10,415 deaths. Virginia’s seven-day positivity rate rose to 6.2 percent. Last week, it was 5.8 percent.

According to state data, African-Americans comprised 22 percent of cases statewide and 24.7 percent of deaths for which ethnic and racial data is available, while Latinos made up 16.5 percent of cases and 6.5 percent of deaths.

As of Wednesday, Richmond reported a total of 16,026 positive cases, 751 hospitalizations and 253 deaths; Henrico County, 23,649 cases, 987 hospitalizations and 582 deaths; Chesterfield County, 25,849 cases, 879 hospitalizations and 404 deaths; and Hanover County, 7,511 cases, 265 hospitalizations and 149 deaths.