Vidant Health: COVID-19 testing not slowing down

Vidant Health tested more than 1,000 people at one site the day after Labor Day.
Published: Sep. 9, 2021 at 7:03 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - As rain came down on Thursday, that didn’t stop Vidant Health employees from administering COVID-19 tests at the drive-thru site in Greenville, where cars are often seen filling the whole site.

More than 1,000 people waited at one site alone after Labor Day; a sight that caught the attention of Greenville Mayor P.J. Connelly.

“That’s a tremendous amount of tests that are taking place right now,” Connelly said. “Based off of some of the preliminary data that we’re seeing as far as positivity rates, of those thousand tests, you’re looking at between about 15%, 16% of those are traditionally coming back as positive, so that’s another 150 to 160 cases in our community.”

Since the beginning of September, Vidant Health administered just over 26,000 COVID tests at the drive-thru site, according to Allied Health Vice President Dave Harlow.

Harlow added they’re also seeing more younger people; more than 7,000 individuals 17 and younger got tested and about 10% came back positive.

With a big college game day coming up in Greenville with at least 40,000 people expected to attend, Harlow said the pandemic isn’t over.

“We are far from being out of this,” Harlow said. “And so the same protections that afforded us to get over the hump of, when we thought the worst of the worst of COVID was going on, still apply today and they particularly apply as it relates to the COVID variant which is more contagious, obviously.”

Connelly said they’re continuing to recommend people follow CDC guidelines with no plans to make anything mandatory in the city, hoping people will continue to listen and stay safe.

“I do feel hopeful the citizens of Greenville and Eastern North Carolina will get through this,” Connelly said. “I know it’s a tough time for us, but understanding how important it is to be able to take those precautions I think will help us get through that.”

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