Hundreds lined up to be tested for the coronavirus.
Residents on Tuesday flooded a testing site located on the grounds of Stonewall Jackson High School outside Manassas. It reached capacity at 11 a.m., just an hour after the site opened.
It was the same story the day before at the Hylton Memorial Chapel in Dale City. That testing site reached capacity by 2:20 p.m. Officials had originally planned to close it by at 6 o’clock that evening.
The county government organized the events to provide free testing to anyone in the community who wanted one. Normally, patients must have an appointment and show symptoms of the coronavirus before they can be tested for the disease.
As the testing sites filled up with people, many vented on social media.
“Turned away from Hylton yesterday. Midday. In line today at Stonewall well before 10am opening. Waited only to get a sticker to come back at 2pm (forced to exit by PWC Police) but no info on a special line for appointment stickers. Will we get tested?” read a tweet directed at the Prince William County Government and commented under one of their posts.
County officials helped to explain the situation.
“They are not out of tests. They are at capacity in terms of people and timing,” said Sherrie Johnson, the Director of Communications for the Prince William County Government, in reference to the testing at the Hylton Memorial Chapel.
Each site was equipped with 1,500 tests from the Virginia Department of Health and 150 people were being tested an hour, according to Johnson. The number of tests made available pales in comparison to the U.S. Census-estimated population of Prince William County: 470,355 residents.
More testing events have been planned by the county to accommodate those who were unable to get tested. There will be free tests offered May 20 through 22 at GMU Map Clinic, at 99 Tremont St, Manassas Park, at the Manassas City Public Safety Location, at 9600 Block Grant Avenue in Manassas, and Kilby Elementary School, at 1800 Horner Road in Woodbridge.
Both drive-through and walk-up testing will be conducted from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and is reserved for the first 75 individuals per location. No appointments will be needed to receive a test.
Unlike the previous free testing event, these events are reserved for those who are under-insured/uninsured and symptomatic, according to the Prince William Health District.
“We recognize and understand that there is a lot of frustration and confusion regarding COVID-19 testing. Unfortunately, there is a limited supply of testing supplies available throughout the region and the country,” reads a statement on the Prince William County Government website.
For questions regarding testing, call the Prince William Health District Call Center at (703) 872-7759.
Additional free testing is being offered for those with symptoms by the City of Manassas and the Virginia Department of Health from May 20-22. The testing is being conducted at 9608 Grant Ave, drive-thru or walk-up, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The tests will be conducted rain or shine.