The Richmond City Health Department on Thursday seemingly contradicted a claim made by Virginia Governor Ralph Northam that coronavirus tests are widely available throughout the state.

In a statement addressing the statewide rise in positive COVID-19 cases, Northam contended that individuals would be able to easily obtain a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test.

“If you believe you need a test, please know that PCR tests are widely available, and more rapid antigen test kits are becoming available every day,” Northam said.

However, the following day, the Richmond and Henrico Health Districts detailed a need to distribute more at-home testing options because of a statewide shortage in opportunities.

“Richmond and Henrico Health Districts (RHHD) announced the districts are going to hold three testing events next week, following a statewide and national shortage of COVID-19 testing opportunities. The availability of COVID-19 tests in the community will also be supplemented by RHHD’s recently acquired shipment of 3,600 at-home rapid antigen COVID-19 tests,” the organization said in a press release.

Nationwide, positive coronavirus cases have continued to increase. The federal government is working to purchase millions of at-home tests to assist in curbing the spread of the virus.

Citing the rise in cases, Northam also encouraged residents of the state to get vaccinated in order to protect against severe illness from the Omicron variant.

“Vaccinations are keeping people safe, even as the omicron variant spreads. Data from around the world show that if people have gotten vaccinated, and then get COVID, then symptoms are likely to be minor. That’s how the vaccines are designed to work, and it’s more good news,” Northam said.

“As the virus becomes endemic, it’s now time to study not only the number of cases, but also the severity of symptoms and the number of people going to the hospital.”

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Cooper Moran is a reporter for The Star News Network. Follow Cooper on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected]