Kinston kiosk contains free COVID tests, fentanyl testing strips and Narcan spray

Kinston kiosk contains free COVID tests, fentanyl testing strips and Narcan spray
Published: Sep. 15, 2023 at 10:34 PM EDT
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KINSTON, N.C. (WITN) -The Lenoir County Health Department is taking a modern approach to proving services to the community with a new kiosk equipped with health care and potentially life-saving items.

A “Test and Go” vending machine is now available in front of the building equipped with free COVID tests, Narcan spray and fentanyl testing strips.

Officials say the move is to allow residents to have access to as many resources as possible for personal care and health-related emergencies.

Resident Frank Taylor, Jr. says now is the perfect time for the kiosks in the community.

“I think that’s a good thing because one with how bad COVID’s been getting lately with the new strains and stuff as long as we can as long as you don’t have to get close to somebody to get the test done without wearing a mask because I know a lot of people that don’t like wearing masks like definitely me” says Taylor, Jr.

Last week, there were nearly 600 patients hospitalized with COVID in North Carolina, with 11 percent of those requiring ICU level of care.

Lenoir County Health Department Director, Pam Brown, says there has been some controversy behind supplying Narcan spray and fentanyl testing strips to the public.

“We’re taking from a public health point of view, we want that person alive, so that if they choose to say you know, the drug use is not helping my life and I want to get some assistance, we want them to have that opportunity,” says Brown.

According to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, from 2000 through 2022, more than 36 thousand North Carolinians lost their lives to drug overdose.

“Fentanyl has devastated this county, this country, and pretty much the whole world with probably I don’t know with statistics but I bet you probably if I had to put some money on it I bet probably millions of people with die from fentanyl,” says Taylor, Jr.

Officials at the health department say they plan to have more kiosks installed around the city in the future.

The items are provided by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services and Federal COVID and communicable disease funding.