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Novant Health brings back COVID-19 testing at east Charlotte vaccine site to help meet demand

More than 100 people, a mix of people with appointments and walk-ins, turned out for a test.
Published: Aug. 30, 2021 at 6:38 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 30, 2021 at 7:37 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - The demand for COVID-19 testing is reaching the levels we saw around the winter holidays, which is leading to long lines at testing sites.

On Monday, Novant Health reopened testing at its vaccine site on East Independence Blvd.

More than 100 people, a mix of people with appointments and walk-ins, turned out for a test.

Last week people had to wait in lines for up to three hours at StarMed locations across Charlotte.

“We’ve had to double up on our preparation to get back to where we were months and months and months ago,” StarMed CEO Mike Estramonte said. “Probably in the last week we’ve hired an additional 100 people to maintain the testing demand.”

The line for a test at Winthrop University in Rock Hill also stretched for several blocks.

High demand for testing led Novant Health to add testing to its vaccination site in east Charlotte.

DR. NIKKI NISSEN- VP of Clinical Operations and Chief Nursing Officer- Novant Health:

“Lots of appointments made, walk-ins, families coming together, lots of variation there,” Dr. Nikki Nissen, VP of Clinical Operations for Novant Health, said. “We had a whole football team with some symptomatic, some positives, and the rest just exposures.”

Dr. Nissen said most people coming in for a test are unvaccinated, including Christina Rodriguez and her 6-month-old son.

“I started feeling sick and thought maybe I was getting the flu, but then his father got sick and he started getting a fever and we were all just like just in case let’s see what’s going on,” Rodriguez said.

She says now she’s regretting that she did not prioritize getting the vaccine.

“Unfortunately we were waiting for the right time and unfortunately there’s never a right time,” she said.

She says she will get the shot as soon as she can.

“There’s a lot of things on the internet where people are back and forth about it, but worst case is I don’t get as sick and people don’t get as sick, so I don’t think it’s that bad,” she said.

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