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Port of Virginia prioritizing coronavirus-related cargo

The Norfolk port is processing shipments of COVID-19 test kits and protective gear for medical staff with special urgency.

NORFOLK, Va. — The Port of Virginia in Norfolk announced Wednesday it had established a new "critical cargo initiative" for coronavirus-related shipments.

This includes imports of COVID-19 test kits and protective gear for medical professionals who are facing shortages while fighting the virus.

A release from the port said coronavirus cargo would receive priority treatment and would be processed to leave the terminal as quickly as possible. Monday, it got a shipment of test kits on the road in less than two hours.

RELATED: Drop in cargo at Port of Virginia partly due to coronavirus

John Reinhart, CEO and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority, said they've already managed one delivery of test kits and are expecting three more containers this week.

"This cargo is vital and getting it to the people that need it the most as quickly and efficiently as possible is a priority for The Port of Virginia team," Reinhart said. "We want to help and we’ll continue to look for more ways to do so."

The port said personnel would be pre-positioning COVID-19 critical import containers for easier pick-up and would be working closely with motor carriers to confirm truck reservations to move those shipments.

“Everyone understands the importance of this cargo to those who really need it," Reinhart wrote.

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