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N.C. secures thousands of additional COVID-19 tests

The priority is to schools, health departments, long-term care centers and free clinics.
Published: Jan. 12, 2022 at 8:15 AM EST
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - With the huge surge of the Omicron variant comes an unprecedented demand for COVID-19 testing, leading to long lines at testing sites and a shortage of at-home tests.

To help, North Carolina has contracted with two more testing vendors in the hope of leading to easier access to testing.

StarMed’s main testing location on Tuckaseegee Road is one of the busiest spots in the Charlotte area. However, with more sites and tests coming soon, state health leaders hope to ease the burden.

The state will now have 12 vendors to cover hundreds of testing sites across the state. Officials with the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services announced Tuesday they’ve started shipping hundreds of thousands of tests and more are on the way.

With the surge, the NCDHHS has ordered an additional 700,000 professional and at-home rapid test kits, bringing the total on their way to the state to more than 1 million, health officials said.

The priority is to schools, health departments, long-term care centers and free clinics.

They’ve also delivered more than 250,000 swabs to these sites. State health leaders are encouraging sites like these to implement self-swabbing when possible.

This comes as staffing at testing sites has really suffered as workers are exposed to COVID-19 throughout the day. StarMed had to shut down its mobile unit in uptown Charlotte Tuesday because they didn’t have enough workers to keep it open.

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