COvid testing richmond

A woman is tested for COVID-19 in a parking lot in Richmond where the health department set up a temporary walk-up testing center. 

Sentara Healthcare will provide limited free testing to eligible residents of Prince William County and the cities of Manassas and Manassas Park today in an effort to help contain the spread of COVID-19 in overlooked and undertested communities of color.  

Free testing will be conducted at the Dale City Recreation Center from 7:30 a.m. until 9:30 a.m. and at Todos Supermarket in Dumfries from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. this Saturday, May 16.

Testing is “completely free and confidential” for anyone experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, according to a Sentara Healthcare press release.  

Tents and tables will be setup, and adherence to social distancing will be followed at the testing sites, the press release said.  

Sentara Healthcare staff will perform all nasal swab testing, and will call all residents with their results, both negative and positive, the release said.

Staff may also work with the Prince William Health Department staff to contact patients without phones, the press release said.  

Symptoms or combinations of symptoms include:  

  • cough  
  • shortness of breath or difficulty breathing 
  • fever 
  • chills, shaking with chills 
  • muscle pain 
  • headache 
  • sore throat 
  • loss of taste or smell 
  • diarrhea 
  • In the elderly, there may also be a change in behavior and/or appetite. 

What to expect when being tested for COVID-19: 

  • the test is simple and quick  
  • a swab – like as a long Q-tip – is inserted through the nose  
  • swabbing takes about 10 seconds  
  • it is uncomfortable but not painful  
  • the sample is put into a sterile container and sent to a lab  
  • results are reported in three to four days 
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