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At-home COVID-19 test kits to ease long testing lines

With a new plan rolling out from the federal government, free COVID-19 tests can soon be delivered to people’s doors.
Published: Jan. 19, 2022 at 5:54 PM EST
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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.

Vidant sees around 700 patients a day for COVID testing. Recently, about 50% of its tests have been coming back positive.

For the health care 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.

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.

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.

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