Greensville County Emergency Services Program Coordinator Reggie Owens, left, and Greensville County Sheriff Tim Jarratt prepare for a COVID-19 testing event at Washington Park.

The most recent COVID-19 testing event at the Golden Leaf Commons was a step in the right direction, according to Greensville County Program Coordinator Reggie Owens.

Owens said 41 individuals pre-registered for testing. This was a “big improvement” after Owens and other officials were forced to cancel the previous testing event on Nov. 5 due to lack of interest. The mobile COVID-testing team from the Virginia Department of Health also had extra tests on-site for individuals who showed up to be tested without pre-registering.

Mike Rae, emergency services coordinator for the City of Emporia, was also pleased with the increased turnout for the testing event. Rae stressed how beneficial testing is for keeping the spread of COVID-19 under control, while also cautioning individuals who are gathering for the upcoming holidays.

“Just because someone tests negative today,” Rae said, “doesn’t mean it’s safe to be around your family next Thursday.”

The Emporia-Greensville community has 27 positive reported cases of COVID-19 since Nov. 1. Greensville and Emporia hold the first and second highest rate of infection per 100,000 in the state, respectively.

Rae and Owens both said more testing is coming to the area in the next few weeks. With the virus surging in communities across the country, Rae said nothing is more helpful to keeping everyone safe.

“It’s beneficial to the community when everyone can get tested,” Rae said. “If it benefits the community, we’re all for it.”