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Health district offering COVID-19 testing, flu shots

The Western Tidewater Health District will continue to hold COVID-19 testing events in October, but the number of them have decreased.

In Suffolk, there will be two testing events, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 8 at Sentara Obici Hospital, and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 22 at Sentara BelleHarbour in North Suffolk.

In Franklin, the health district is partnering with Southampton Memorial Hospital to offer COVID-19 testing at the hospital’s satellite lab, by appointment only, every Monday and Friday except for holidays. Those wanting to get tested at the satellite lab should call 757-562-4111 to make an appointment.

The health district, by comparison, held seven testing events in September across its service area of Suffolk, Franklin, Isle of Wight County and Southampton County. It held nine testing events in August.

The 7-day positivity rate in the region is 6.9% as of Sept. 28, according to the Virginia Department of Health. That’s down from 13.7% on Sept. 20. The 7-day positivity rate statewide is 4.5% statewide.

Locally, the percentage of positive COVID-19 tests over the past 14 days is 5.3% in Suffolk, 7.6% in Franklin, 5.3% in Isle of Wight and 28.1% in Southampton as of Oct. 2.

There have been 18 outbreaks in the district, but none in childcare, college/university or K-12 school settings.

With the onset of flu season, the health district is also offering flu shots at its Franklin and Isle of Wight clinics on an appointment-only basis. Those wanting a flu shot in Franklin should call 757-562-6109, and in Isle of Wight County, people should call 757-357-4177 for an appointment.

From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 17, the health district will offer free flu shots by drive-through at Paul D. Camp Community College in Franklin, and at the Isle of Wight Courthouse Complex in Isle of Wight.