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More COVID tests are on the way, NC Health Department says

COVID-19 Rapid Test
COVID-19 Rapid Test(Louisiana Department of Health)
Published: Jan. 11, 2022 at 4:00 PM EST
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RALEIGH, N.C. (WECT) - The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) has secured more COVID-19 tests to support existing testing sites, has contracted with two more testing vendors to expand local testing options, and has ordered more at-home tests.

The NCDHHS has ordered an additional 700,000 test kits, bringing the total number of professional and at-home rapid test kits on the way to the state to more than one million. The NCDHHS says it is shipping the initial tests from the surge order on Tuesday.

“Before case numbers began breaking records, we already were working with our vendors to secure more testing kits and testing supplies,” said NCDHHS Secretary Kody H. Kinsley. “With part speed and part tenacity, we continue to work to stay two steps ahead of a constantly evolving virus and crisis situation, increasing access to testing.”

Test kits will be distributed according to priority. High priority groups include schools, health departments, long-term care facilities, health centers, farmworker camps, tribal health clinics, and free and charitable clinics.

Mass testing sites will also receive more tests and testing supplies. However, many test sites are being challenged by limited staff.

In 2021, NCDHHS partnered with Labcorp to provide home collection test kits for those experiencing barriers to getting tested for an active COVID-19 infection.

Currently, any resident 18 and older can request a test collection kit online here for themselves or for younger family members age 2-17.

According to the Labcorp website, you are eligible for $0 upfront cost if you meet one or more of the following clinical guidelines for COVID-19 testing:

  • You are experiencing mild symptoms
  • You have been exposed to someone with COVID-19
  • You live or work in a congregate setting
  • You have been asked to get tested by a healthcare professional, contact investigator, or public health department.

The test costs $119 if you do not meet clinical guidelines but would like to get tested for peace of mind, travel, screening for work or school, or other activities.

Once requested, the test kit is mailed directly to you via FedEx overnight shipping. You will need to register the kit and follow the instructions to complete the test before mailing the sample back to the lab in a prepaid shipping envelope. Test results can be checked through the registered account 1-2 days after the sample is received at the lab.

Click here to find community-based COVID-19 test events, test locations and home test kit options.

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