State officials urge expanded testing for COVID-19

North Carolina COVID stats ahead of possible shift to phase two

RALEIGH, N.C. (WECT) - State officials are expanding their guidance for who should be tested for COVID-19.

“We want to make sure everyone who needs a test gets a test,” NC Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen said. "The new guidance recommends clinicians test anyone they think could have COVIOD-19. This starts with people who have any symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 - fever, cough, changes in taste or smell.

“We also want to test anyone who may had close contact with some who was positive for COVID-19 regardless of whether or not they have symptoms.”

Cohen also said the guidance encourages testing for those who work in high-risk settings like long-term care facilities, homeless shelters, correctional facilities and migrant farm work camps.

Also among those in expanded testing guidance are:

  • people over 65
  • those with underlying health conditions
  • healthcare workers
  • first responders
  • front line workers like grocery store and gas station employees

Cohen also said increased testing in recommended for African Americans.

“Because of the disproportionate impact from COVID-19 that we’re seeing among communities of color, testing is also recommend for those who come from these historically marginalized populations,” Cohen said.

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