Early registration required ahead of drive thru COVID-19 testing in Duplin County

Published: May. 20, 2020 at 10:10 PM EDT
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Drive-thru coronavirus testing will once again be offered in Duplin County.

It is happening at the Duplin County Events Center in Kenansville from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

If you are a Duplin County resident and interested in learning more or to schedule an appointment, call 910-267-2044.

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It was also offered last week. There have been two confirmed coronavirus outbreaks in the county, one at the Butterball plant and the other at the Villari Foods plant. These numbers continue to contribute to the 470 confirmed cases, but Duplin County health officials attribute the county’s cases to community spread, and now also add increased testing as the reason.

“It’s not two or three incidents or outbreaks that are causing the numbers,” said Tracey Simmons-Kornegay, the Health Director for Duplin County.

The county health department and Goshen Medical Center held drive-thru testing for COVID-19. The health leaders had 300 tests and encouraged the general public, regardless of vulnerability to the virus, to get tested.

“Now we are opening it up,” said Simmons-Kornegay. “We’ve had an increase in folks who want to be tested, so we wanted to allow them to be.”

Although the testing site is meant for Duplin County residents, according to Simmons-Kornegay, they weren’t turning anyone away.

“There’s just been a lot of cases in the area lately,” said Regina Boney, who got tested for coronavirus. “We just wanted to come and try to stay on the safe side,” she said.

Organizers said while the main goal was to get more accurate numbers to report, they also said testing drive-thru sites help decrease the need for additional Personal Protective Equipment, or P.P.E., for healthcare workers.

“Some of the P.P.E. we’ve had shortages of, especially gowns,” she said. “So, that’s another reason for holding these county-wide drive-thrus, so we help decrease the amount of P.P.E. that we need.”

The health department will hold another drive-thru testing next Wednesday at the Duplin County Events Center.