Test before turkey: People in Charlotte flocking to COVID-19 testing sites ahead of Thanksgiving

Meck. Co. advises against Thanksgiving travel and gatherings

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - It’s the weekend before Thanksgiving and some families are spending it differently than in years past.

Mecklenburg County added more options to get a test to keep up with the demand. They are also extending hours at several locations.

Testing has also expanded across the state of North Carolina.

On Friday afternoon, Chase O’Dell pulled up at the StarMed testing site in the parking lot of Target in University City.

He does not have any symptoms, but is playing it safe.

“It’s important to get tested even if you think you probably don’t have it,” O’Dell told WBTV. “With it being around everywhere, I think you should get tested just to see.”

He’s one of many people seeking a test before joining family for Thanksgiving turkey.

“People are dying and it’s serious now,” Angelia Falls said. “People need to take this serious and wear their masks and be careful where you’re going and where you’re seeing.”

County leaders suggest you limit who you gather around the table with.

“Please do so only with your household members,” Mecklenburg County Deputy Health Director Dr. Raynard Washington said. “Keep the groups very small, no more than 10 individuals. If you can eat outside that’s the best case scenario.”

The county is working with local urgent cares to provide more options for free testing to keep up with the demand.

According to Dr. Washington, the county is testing more than 3,500 people daily. A total of 400 people were tested at the StarMed site on Tuckaseegee Road on Thursday alone.

“Results are still stable,” Dr. Washington said. “Mostly coming back within 72 hours.”

It is giving people peace of mind before dinner time.

“Hoping it’s quick, hoping it doesn’t hurt my nose too bad, and of course hoping that it’s negative,” O’Dell said.

The county will be monitoring the test results to ensure the demand does not cause a delay.

Unless you have symptoms, health experts do not suggest you get a rapid test because it won’t be as accurate.

Copyright 2020 WBTV. All rights reserved.