Demand for COVID-19 testing surges as cases rise

With cases on the rise, federal and state officials are urging people to get vaccinated and get tested, especially with the spread of the omicron variant.
With cases on the rise, federal and state officials are urging people to get vaccinated and get tested, especially with the spread of the omicron variant.
Published: Dec. 21, 2021 at 6:03 AM EST
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Cases of COVID-19 are surging once again in the Carolinas, but the region is still in better shape now than one year ago.

On Monday, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control reported nearly 1,100 new cases, with a percent positivity of 6.6%.

That number was a lot higher a year ago.

Health officials reported more than 3,744 cases in S.C. on Monday, Dec. 21, 2020.

As for North Carolina, the state’s Department of Health and Human Services reported more than 2,800 new cases Monday.

On Friday, that number was 3,980. A year ago, on Monday, Dec. 21, 2020, the daily case count was more than 4,400.

A look at a graph from the NCDHHS shows the state has seen cases spike three times this year, and it could happen again.

With cases on the rise, federal and state officials are urging people to get vaccinated and get tested, especially with the rampant spread of the highly contagious omicron variant, combined with people traveling for the holidays.

On Monday, N.C. Gov. Roy Cooper and DHHS Director Dr. Mandy Cohen urged people to get vaccinated and make sure they get booster shots.

Related: ‘We are expecting record numbers of cases’; N.C. leaders urge COVID-19 vaccinations, boosters ahead of the holidays

According to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, among the unvaccinated, there are about 450 cases per 100,000 people.

That number drops dramatically among those who’ve had the first two shots, falling to 134 per 100,000 people.

Looking at the number of cases among those who then got the booster, it was just 48 cases per 100,000 people, according to the CDC.

When it comes to getting tested, long lines at testing sites are being seen again. However, people can now get COVID tests to take at home.

The state has a program where residents can log on and order a free test that will be sent to their home via FedEx Overnight Shipping.

The directions are easy and there’s a prepaid envelope to ship it back. Results are available in one to two days after the sample arrives back at the lab.

People can also visit a Mecklenburg County Library, where free at-home tests are available.

The county tweeted that it is experiencing high demand for these kits, so people will want to call ahead to make sure they’re available.

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