Governor allocates $5 Million for new community testing centers across Virginia

Governor Northam announced on January 6 that the Virginia Department of Health will open nine new Community Testing Centers (CTCs) to increase testing availability across the Commonwealth. Centers will be funded with an initial $5 million from the Virginia Department of Health, which is seeking FEMA funding to reimburse expenses and continue testing deployment. New testing centers will offer Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests—the most reliable form of testing for COVID-19—and will supplement numerous locally-coordinated Community Testing Events.

“Testing is a critical tool in our fight against COVID-19, and we must continue to everything we can do increase access,” said Governor Northam. “As Virginians continue to grapple with a national shortage of rapid tests, expanding our PCR capabilities will ensure more Virginians have access to free, reliable testing and can better protect themselves and their families.”

The testing locations will be near or on the same property as existing VDH Community Vaccination Centers (CVCs) in Charlottesville, Chesterfield, Fairfax, Fredericksburg, Newport News, Norfolk, Prince William, Richmond and Roanoke that have been operating since October.  

“Testing helps us identify individuals who are ill with the disease so the appropriate medical and public health actions can be taken and can help reduce the spread of COVID-19,” said Dr. Oliver. “We understand that there is a lot of demand for testing, and this expanded capacity through the CTCs will help address some of these critical needs across the Commonwealth.” 

These new testing centers are expected to administer more than 50,000 tests in the month of January. Each of the nine sites will operate between 4-6 days per week and will be open from 9 a.m. and 6 p.m., depending on the location. The first CTC will open on Saturday, January 8, 2022, at the Richmond International Raceway (Gate 7, 4690 Caroline Ave.) with eight additional sites opening in the coming weeks.  

CTC test results will be automatically sent via text or email message to individuals being tested, based on the information provided in the appointment system. 

VDH urges people to get tested if they have symptoms, or if they have come into close contact with someone with COVID-19, regardless of vaccination status. VDH recommends testing on day 5 after exposure, although testing on days 3-5 is also acceptable. As this is a time of high demand on testing and on the health system, if you do not have symptoms or a known exposure, VDH encourages people to postpone any non-essential travel or events that would prompt them to test beforehand.

To learn more about COVID-19 testing, visit the VDH COVID-19 Testing webpage at