Health officials to open appointment-based, drive-thru COVID-19 testing in Floyd County


Laurie Kuypers, a registered nurse, reaches into a car to take a nasopharyngeal swab from a patient at a drive-through COVID-19 coronavirus testing station for University of Washington Medicine patients Tuesday, March 17, 2020, in Seattle. The appointment-only drive-through clinic began a day earlier. Health authorities in Washington reported more COVID19 deaths in the state that has been hardest hit by the outbreak. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

FLOYD COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) — The New River Valley Regional Public Health Task Force plans to open a new COVID-19 drive-thru testing site in Floyd County next week.

The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) says the testing site will open on Wednesday, April 22 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Floyd County High School. However, according to health officials, the site will only be open to individuals with an appointment and a letter of authorization from the New River Health District for testing, assessment, and referral services.

“Testing is important epidemiologically and helps us determine the prevalence of disease in our community,” says Dr. Noelle Bissell, director of the New River Health District, “but because capacity is limited we screen for those at highest risk. As we continue to test, we expect to have more positive cases.”

If you have any questions or think you might need testing, call the New River Health District’s COVID-19 public health call center at (540) 267-8240. The call center is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday, and noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday, according to VDH. If you call after hours, you can leave a message.

“In the vast majority of cases, testing does not inform our recommendations for your medical care,” Dr. Bissell says. “The best protection for each of us comes from personal precautions, including hygiene and social distancing. That’s how YOU stay well, and how you protect those around you today, AND those you will be with tomorrow.”

Health officials say the New River Valley Regional public Health Task Force has identified numerous resources — including buildings, vehicles, equipment, and personnel — throughout the region ready for use in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The task force will continue to provide necessary instructions and information if any extra protective measures are recommended, VDH says.

For more information, visit the websites for the CDC, the VDH, or the New River Health District.

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