The Virginia Department of Health is encouraging residents in vulnerable communities to take a free coronavirus test by offering gift cards as an incentive.

The pilot program, launched in partnership with Health and Human Services, runs through June 23, Norfolk’s ABC News affiliate reported.

Certain Dollar General stores in Williamsburg and Norfolk will serve as pop-up sites for the free testing with the support of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Those who take the Rapid antigen test could get a $10 Visa gift card or a pair of cloth face masks.

Dr. Parham Jaberi, acting health director for Norfolk and Virginia Beach and the health department’s chief deputy commissioner of public health and preparedness, said such testing is key in identifying asymptomatic carriers.

“If we identify individuals soon because of these tests, we potentially protect the health of their community and their loved ones as well,” Jaberi said, the ABC affiliate reported.

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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