With the holiday season in full swing and COVID-19 cases on the rise, Wake County predicts the demand for testing will grow over the next few weeks. To meet the community’s needs, the county has proactively increased testing appointments by more than 50%.
By adding nearly 1,900 new slots per day, six days a week, to the testing calendar, the county can more easily prioritize symptomatic residents and people who’ve been exposed to a positive case, while still accommodating those who want to make sure they’re virus-free before attending holiday gatherings with family and friends.
“Since we started offering free COVID-19 testing in 2020, Wake County has diligently monitored the data and changed its testing structure and capacity based on need,” said Chief Medical Officer Dr. José Cabañas. “This is no different. We see increased demand on the horizon, and we’re taking the necessary steps to accommodate it.”
The newly added appointments are now available via the county’s COVID-19 website. They bring the total number of slots offered per day to nearly 4,900. The county’s testing sites are open Monday-Saturday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., with customers typically receiving their results in 12-24 hours or less.
The county expects interest in COVID-19 testing will be higher through early January 2022. It cost roughly $1.7 million a week from August to October to provide this service for free to the community. The funding for testing comes from the federal government’s American Rescue Plan Act.
Currently, Wake County provides 50% of the COVID-19 tests given in the community. The remaining 50% comes from other sources:
- Many local pharmacies, doctors’ offices and health clinics offer testing for the virus. You can use this testing locator to find the options nearest you.
- The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services is also sponsoring daily no-cost community testing events. Eight are scheduled for today throughout Wake County. NCDHHS offers Sunday options, as well. Participants must register online.
- You can also request a free at-home testing kit. It will be shipped to you overnight via FedEx. Follow the instructions and mail your sample back to the lab, using the prepaid shipping envelope included in your kit. Your results will be available online usually within 1–2 days after your sample arrives at the lab.