Howard U Offers Ward 7 COVID Testing

No Prescription or Doctor Referral Required

Howard University President and Surgeon Dr. Wayne Frederick speaks at a District press conference, April 30. Screenshot: DC Granicus

Howard University announced they will offer Coronavirus testing at their Benning Road Clinic (4414 Benning Road NE) starting Tuesday, May 5. Testing will be given to both symptomatic and asymptomatic patients and does not require a doctor’s note or prescription.

Howard University Vice President of Clinical Affairs Dr. Hugh E. Mighty said that the goal is to remove obstacles so that more people in the hardest-hit communities can be tested.

“Many of our patients travel great distances to come to Howard University Hospital, which makes it challenging to seek medical attention at the first sign of illness,” Mighty said. “Our goal is to meet the community where they live so their access to care greatly improves and hopefully, we can reduce the spread of the coronavirus significantly.”

Beginning on Tuesday, May 5, Howard University Faculty Practice Plan will host testing at the new Benning Road Center Free testing will be available from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursday until August.

Residents can sign up for an appointment by calling 202-865-2119, option 3. The team will see patients who are showing symptoms or who believe they are asymptomatic. Patients will not need a prescription or a doctor’s referral.

The expansion of testing was made possible by a $1 million grant to the Howard University Faculty Practice Plan (HUFPP).

The District has also moved to expand access to testing. On April 28, essential workers with known exposure to COVID-19, including government employees and grocery store workers, were added to the list of those who can be tested. Asymptomatic health care workers, first responders and at-risk individuals with a history of exposure had been included a week prior, and those experiencing symptoms already qualified.

Residents can call the DC Testing Triage Call Center (855-363-0333) to schedule an appointment, which is required. The Ward 8 testing site is located at Unity Medical Center (1310 Southern Ave. SE). Testing is available open Monday, Wednesday and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Despite outlining some testing supply issues, both Bowser and Nesbitt said that the public sites had the capacity to test 300 people daily. That capacity has yet to be fully utilized.

“It’s critically important that if you want to be tested, that you know that we have the capacity to test you,” Nesbitt said.

Learn more about the Howard University COVID-19 testing by visiting District COVID-19 testing criteria and locations by visiting