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Harrisonburg offering free COVID-19 testing in 2 neighborhoods this weekend

Photo: CepheidNews / YouTube
Photo: CepheidNews / YouTube(WHSV)
Published: Apr. 28, 2020 at 8:56 PM EDT
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UPDATE (April 30):

The city of Harrisonburg will have mobile COVID-19 testing available in two neighborhoods this coming weekend – though not the same two neighborhoods as originally announced earlier this week.

On Tuesday, the city, in partnership with the Virginia Department of Health and Sentara RMH, announced that mobile testing for the coronavirus would be coming to the Mosby Court and Harris Gardens neighborhoods on Saturday, May 2.

Now, as of Thursday, they'll be performing tests in the Mosby Court and Northeast neighborhoods.

The city says the testing site was moved "due to logistical needs."

However, any members of the Harris Gardens community will not be turned away from testing if they travel to the Northeast neighborhood, Harrisonburg spokesperson Michael Parks told WHSV.

Up to 100 tests will take place between the two mobile testing sites.

According to the city, the effort is a part of the Virginia Department of Health's initiative, announced by Dr. Norm Oliver in a past statewide briefing, to focus testing in culturally diverse communities across Virginia to get a better grasp of how the virus has affected people across demographic backgrounds in the commonwealth.

It's also designed to help people who may not otherwise have easy access to testing.

“It is very important that residents in these communities take advantage of this free COVID-19 testing,” Harrisonburg Mayor Deanna Reed said. “There will be interpreters on hand to help you with your questions, so please do not hesitate to come out if you need more information. We will only get through this if we all work together. Taking part in this weekend’s effort is a key way of moving us in the right direction when it comes to testing and having a better understanding of what is happening in our community.”

Testing will be available on a first-come, first-served basis for residents of the Mosby Court, Northeast, and Harris Gardens neighborhoods.

To be eligible for the tests, people should not have been tested before and should be exhibiting potential symptoms of COVID-19.

Testing is not being offered for people without symptoms and only one member per household is allowed to be tested.

The city of Harrisonburg continues to urge all residents to follow VDH and

on preventing the virus, as well as to keep social distancing and follow Gov. Northam's executive orders on staying home except for essential reasons and limiting gatherings of more than 10.

As of April 30, the

, which is among the regions of Virginia with the highest ratio of positive cases compared to population.

The Central Shenandoah Health District has identified 11 outbreaks in our area, including six in congregate settings. "Congregate settings," according to the health department, can include apartment complexes, neighborhoods, workplaces, gyms, grocery stores, farms, or any setting in which people are often congregated.

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ORIGINAL STORY (April 28):

The city of Harrisonburg is partnering with the Virginia Department of Health and Sentara Healthcare to bring mobile COVID-19 testing to two neighborhoods as a way to focus on increasing the amount of testing available in diverse neighborhoods.

According to a press release, there will be up to 100 free tests taken for residents of the Mosby Court and Harris Gardens neighborhoods on Saturday, May 2.

The effort aims to bring the Virginia Department of Health a hyper-focused view on how different communities are being impacted by COVID-19.

"Taking part in this weekend's effort is a key way of moving us in the right direction when it comes to testing and having a better understanding of what is happening in our community," said Mayor Deanna Reed.

Reed said there will be interpreters available.

The testing will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis for the residents of the Mosby Court and Harris Gardens neighborhoods. According to the city, individuals should have not been tested before, and should be experiencing at least one of these COVID-19 symptoms: cough, shortness of breath, fever and diarrhea.

Only one person in each household will be allowed to be tested.

The city continues to urge all residents to follow VDH and

when it comes to responding to COVID-19.

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