Drive-thru coronavirus testing continues next week in Blacksburg, Pearisburg

The New River Valley Public Health Task Force will hold drive-thru COVID-19 testing on Tuesday, July 21, at Giles High School, 1825 Wenonah Ave. in Pearisburg, and on Thursday, July 23, at Blacksburg High School, 3401 Bruin Lane in Blacksburg.

Testing at both sites will be from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and will be by appointment only.

These are clinical sites, not open to the public. For questions about COVID-19 or to request an appointment for testing, call the New River Health District’s COVID-19 public health call center at 540-267-8240. Hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday, 8 a.m. to noon and Sunday, noon to 4 p.m. After hours, leave a message.

So far during the pandemic, the task force has administered more than 7,800 COVID-19 tests, according to Dr. Noelle Bissell, director of the New River Valley health district.

“Testing helps paint the picture of what COVID-19 looks like in our community,” Bissell said. “As we detect cases with testing, we can more quickly identify contacts and mitigate the spread of the disease through recommendations for isolation or quarantine and further testing.

Remember that the best protection for each of us comes from personal precautions, including hygiene and physical distancing,” Dr.  Bissell said. “That’s how you protect yourself and those around you.”

“The task force has created a mobile, flexible and scalable testing engine that is deployed across the New River Valley as needed,” said Blacksburg Police Chief Anthony Wilson. “We hold testing sites in all of our communities, typically on a rotating basis, but always responsive to the need as it evolves.”

As it has since the pandemic began, to lower the risk of spreading any respiratory infections, including COVID-19, the Virginia Department of Health encourages everyone to practice physical distancing by maintaining at least six feet of space between yourself and other individuals when out in public; staying home as much as possible, especially if you are at higher risk of serious illness; wearing a cloth face covering in public, especially in places where physical distancing (six feet or more) cannot be maintained; avoiding close contact with crowds of any size and avoiding any crowd of more than 250 people; staying home when you are sick; avoiding contact with sick people; covering your mouth and nose with a tissue, your elbow or your sleeve (not your hands), when coughing or sneezing; washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available; avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth; cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces; and calling your doctor if you are experiencing symptoms.

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