‘It tells us that people are concerned’: COVID testing up in the Piedmont

Coronavirus

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (WGHP) — Cars were lined up at the former Sears Auto Center across the parking lot from Novant’s Mass Vaccination site at Hanes Mall on Monday.

People lined up to get tested for COVID for many different reasons.

“I’m going back to school, and I don’t want to be sick,” Tyshana Allsbrook said.

“I know that I’m needed. We’re short on staff as it is, so I wanted to get tested and get back to work,” Christine Rob said.

Novant began offering COVID-19 testing at the center in September but closed in April because the demand for tests dropped. Now in August, it’s a different story.

Marty Lambeth is the vice president of Novant Health Physician Network Services.

“We were seeing the demand for testing really rapidly increasing. Our emergency department was getting flooded with patients that wanted to get tested, which is not the appropriate venue for that,” she said.

Since July 1, Novant Health has seen a 69 percent increase in tests administered in Winston-Salem. Monday, on the first day they reopened, about 300 tests were given. That’s double the number of what health officials were anticipating.

“I anticipate we’ll see about 100, 150 people a day,” Lambeth said.

She says the long lines once again are a sign of the times.

“It tells us that people are concerned and that we need to be here for them and our community. They are looking for options for testing and vaccines,” she said. “I think the public is scared as the delta variant kind of ripped through our communities.”

Health officials say it’s important to know your COVID status regardless of whether you’re vaccinated or not.

Health officials at Novant are asking people to make appointments through their website before showing up to the site to make sure the line runs smoothly.

The site is opened from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Test results can be expected back in 24 to 48 hours.

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