GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - With a new plan rolling out from the federal government, free COVID-19 tests can soon be delivered to people’s doors.
The news comes as some Pitt County residents waited in lines for 10 hours at Vidant’s drive-up testing site in Greenville.
“I think I felt more sorry for all the cars with kids,” Sharon Kott said.
“There were so many people there and nobody was leaving.”
Sharon Kott, waited for 10 hours to test at Vidant.
Vidant sees around 700 patients a day for COVID testing. Recently, about 50% of its tests have been coming back positive.
For the healthcare workers administering the tests, the incoming weather system is adding to their stress.
“They are exposed to COVID every day,” Dr. Dave Harlow, Vidant Allied Health vice president said.
“Even if it’s a pretty day and it’s 24 degrees at 7 in the morning, that’s just not normal for most healthcare workers to work in those conditions," said Dr. Dave Harlow, Vidant Allied Health vice president.
Noticing the strain that the omicron variant has put on hospitals across the country, the Biden administration is rolling out four free at-home testing kits for each household.
The tests are rapid antigen tests meant to be taken three to five days from exposure.
Infectious disease expert Dr. Paul Cooks said, “They’re pretty good. They’re not great so if you get a positive, you’ve got an answer. If you get a negative, then you might have to say, ‘Well if I’m having symptoms, maybe I need to get another test.’”
If you have to go to Vidant or another medical provider for a PCR test, “be patient,” advises Harlow.
“We do split the line into four different pieces once you get in there. There are four different lanes that go through there, but even at that, it’s going to take time," said Harlow.
Vidant recently released that it will be closing the gates of its drive-up testing site on Friday, Jan. 21st due to the incoming weather system. Vidant is always closed on Saturdays.
Weather permitting, the site will reopen Sunday morning for more testing.
Anyone who would like to claim their household’s free, at-home testing kits should go here and enter their name and shipping information.
Tests are expected to ship out within 7 to 12 days of ordering.