‘It’s better to be safe than sorry’: COVID tests are ramping up in the Piedmont

Coronavirus

GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — More than 250 people walked through the doors of the event center on the Campus of A&T University on Tuesday for COVID testing. Mollie Blafer was one of them.

“Just came to get tested and was able to get an appointment,” Blafer said.

Concerns about the delta Variant are what made Blafer go get tested for COVID-19. She also has plans to travel for the first time in more than a year.

“I’m fully vaccinated, but I know a lot of people aren’t. With the increase of the delta variant, I think
it’s better to be safe than sorry,” she said.

She’s not the only one who’s concerned.

“You can never be too safe about stuff like this, especially with everyone not wanting to wear masks and get vaccinated,” Lauren Chadwick said.

As North Carolina works to stop the spread of COVID-19, the state is seeing a renewed increase in COVID-19 testing. According to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, there is a dramatic increase in COVID tests from just one month ago.

“A few weeks after the 4th of July we just saw it spike. Not a gradual increase. It went from like 30 to like 200 a day.,” said David Thompson, Cone Health’s assistant director of infectious disease. “$100 gift cards for vaccine has really brought a lot of people out, and how contagious the delta variant is having concerned a lot of people. Put both of those together and we saw a lot of wait times yesterday,”

Thompson says because of those hours-long wait times, testing will be through appointment only.

“When we see this great dramatic increase, we went back to appointments to be respectful of people’s time. We have a set number of staff. We need to be able to staff the demand,” he said.

He says while it’s good people are concerned about their COVID-19 status, the best defense against the virus is getting vaccinated.

“No vaccine is 100 percent proof, but they are a few people who say ‘I’m vaccinated. I’m asymptomatic.’ Some people who are fully vaccinated will get COVID, but what we’re seeing is people who are fully vaccinated are not getting nearly as sick as people who are unvaccinated. I can’t stress enough please go get vaccinated,” he said.

Thompson says the goal this week is to establish more testing sites, so folks know when and where to get tested.

For more information about that, you can visit Cone Health’s website.

We also checked in with Novant Health and Wake Forest Baptist. While they didn’t have specific numbers, they say they have seen a dramatic increase in tests in both inpatient and outpatient services.

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