MARION, Va. (WJHL) – Mount Rogers Health District is offering drive-thru testing for COVID-19 in Galax and Washington County, but with strict limitations.
These sites are closed to the public, officials from the health district announced Saturday. Testing resources are limited, and only those who are pre-screened and approved for testing will be admitted, and only by appointment.
In order to be approved for testing, you must call in advance for a screening interview, a press release from the health district stated. Those that are approved for testing will receive an appointment time, a testing number and/or an emailed authorization letter.
If you do not have access to email, you must bring a valid I.D. to the testing site. To avoid lengthy wait times, please come to the site at your appointed time and bring your documentation with you, the release said.
The Washington County Health Department will hold a site at the health department office, 15068 Lee Highway, Bristol, on Wednesday, May 13 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. To be screened for testing at this site, call 276-676-5604.
According to the release, appointments will be available until all the slots are filled.
Previously announced testing will take place in Galax on Tuesday, May 12. Those who would like more information are asked to call 276-236-6127.
“Testing is important epidemiologically and helps us determine the prevalence of disease in our community,” said Karen Shelton, MD, director, Mount Rogers Health District, “but because capacity is limited we will screen for those at highest risk. As we continue to test, we expect to have more positive cases.”
Additional testing sites and dates are being planned and will be announced when scheduled, officials say.
“In the vast majority of cases, testing does not inform recommendations for your medical care,” Dr. Shelton continued. “The best protection for each of us comes from taking personal precautions, including staying at home, practicing good hygiene and social distancing. That’s how YOU stay well, and how you protect those around you today, your family and friends, and our communities.”
To lower the risk of spreading respiratory infections, including COVID-19, the Virginia Department of Health encourages everyone to:
· Stay home, except for essential travel;
· If you must go out in public, wear a cloth face covering;
· Stay home if you are sick;
· Avoid contact with sick people;
· Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing;
· Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available;
· Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth;
· Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces;
· If you are experiencing symptoms, call your doctor;
· Practice social distancing. Maintain at least six feet of space between yourself and other individuals when out in public; and
· Avoid close contact with crowds of any size, and avoid any crowd of more than 10 people.
Continuing coverage of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.