The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services will be offering more than 300 no-cost, walk-up or drive through COVID-19 testing events over the next two weeks.
State officials said this is to help North Carolinians protect themselves and their loved ones during the holidays.
In addition to existing testing events throughout North Carolina, retailers in Buncombe, Durham, Harnett, Iredell, Lee, Mecklenburg and Wake counties are offering testing Dec. 18-20 and Dec. 26-27 in the parking lots of select Agri Supply, Carlie C’s IGA, Home Depot, Piggly Wiggly and Wegman’s stores.
“We want North Carolinians to do everything possible to protect their loved ones and keep themselves and our community safe,” said Mack McLamb, President of Carlie C’s. “We’re committed to working with NCDHHS to ensure that anyone who needs a COVID test can get one. Our goal is to love the communities we are in, and wellness of our customers is part of that goal.”
Anyone can get tested for COVID-19 at these events. People without insurance are eligible for testing, and identification documents are not required. Children and adults may be tested, but a parent or legal guardian must be present with children and teens 17 or younger, state officials said.
People who have symptoms of COVID-19 or who have been around a person with COVID-19 should not shop in person until their isolation or quarantine period has ended. This includes shopping at partner retailers during testing events.
With nearly half the state experiencing critical community spread of COVID-19, NCDHHS and the CDC strongly urge caution when traveling or gathering for holiday celebrations. Per North Carolina’s modified Stay at Home order, indoor gatherings are limited to 10 people or fewer.
NCDHHS recommends you avoid traveling and gathering this holiday season. If you must, consider taking a test three to four days before traveling or gathering with people who live outside your home. A test can help you know if you have COVID-19 even if you do not have symptoms. If your test is positive, stay home and self-isolate or quarantine.
However, tests can miss some infections.
NCDHHS also recommends you quarantine for 14 days before gathering with anyone outside your household, especially from the time you test until you travel or gather.