The Virginia Department of Health’s Pittsylvania-Danville Health District will offer free COVID-19 testing on Tuesday, January 18, from 3 to 5 p.m. inside the Danville Farmers’ Market at 629 Craghead St. Appointments are not necessary; the first 100 individuals will be eligible to be tested at no cost.
The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test is a proven test for detecting active infection. PCR may also reveal fragments even after the virus appears to be gone. The test is performed by using a swab to collect a respiratory specimen with results expected to be available one to three days following the test.
“Testing is another significant tool we are deploying to identify COVID-19 among those who may be displaying symptoms. The goal is to prevent further spread of the virus and to help keep our healthcare systems from being overwhelmed,” said Director of Pittsylvania-Danville and Southside Health Districts Scott J. Spillmann, MD, MPH. “Omicron is proving to be very transmissible. Early studies show the variant is about 2.5-times more contagious and it can replicate at a rate 70 times more quickly than Delta. It is an accelerated new phase of the disease, which makes testing even more important.”
Testing is available to all ages. However, a parent or guardian must accompany anyone under 18 years old.
To protect yourself and healthcare workers, wear a cloth face covering or mask. Keep at least six feet of distance between yourself and others at all times. Be sure to tell the testing providers if you have any symptoms of COVID-19, including fever, deep cough or shortness of breath, or believe that you may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19.
The VDH recommends that the following be tested for COVID-19:
- Those with symptoms or signs of COVID-19, regardless of vaccination status.
- Those who have had close contact with someone known or suspected to have COVID-19.
o Fully vaccinated people should be tested three to five days following a known exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19, even if you don’t have symptoms.
o People who are not fully vaccinated should be tested immediately after an exposure, and again five to seven days following exposure if the first test is negative.
- Those who participate in activities that are higher risk for COVID-19 exposure, for instance travel, attending large events where social distancing is not possible, or being in crowded indoor settings.
- Those who have been referred for COVID-19 testing by their healthcare provider or the health department.
- Those who plan to travelor who have recently returned from travel with some exceptions for fully vaccinated people.
- Those who are not fully vaccinated and who plan to visit people at high risk of developing severe COVID-19.
For more information about this event, call (434) 713-5199 or (434) 766-9800. For questions about COVID-19 testing or a list of testing locations, visit the VDH website or call 877-VAX-IN-VA (877-829-4682), Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
For those still needing a COVID-19 vaccine, visit or call 1-877-VAX-IN-VA (877-829-4682, TTY users call 7-1-1). English- and Spanish-speaking operators are available. Translation services also are available in more than 100 languages.
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