Greenville, N.C. (WNCT) – ECU Health has announced that it will be closing its COVID-19 testing sites at 13 locations starting July 29. As a result, 141 workers will no longer be employed.

In a press release from the organization, officials said the closing of 13 testing sites and medical group clinics was due to “a significant decrease in demand for COVID-19 testing, combined with the extensive availability of other convenient options such as at-home tests, community health departments and physician practices.” The

“This decision comes as North Carolina nears the end of the COVID-19 state of emergency, which will be lifted mid-August. From the onset of the pandemic, ECU Health has placed the health, well-being and safety of eastern North Carolina at the forefront of our COVID-19 response. Once COVID-19 testing capabilities were established, ECU Health heavily invested in building a robust, state-of-the-art testing program. Since launching the testing sites across the region, we have been able to monitor the spread of COVID-19 and its impact on our region as well as share this valuable data with community members.”

ECU Health officials say more than 800,000 total tests have been given during the period of time they were testing.

“Regrettably, closing the testing sites impacts the employment of 141 team members across the region who were specifically hired to support the health system’s COVID-19 response. ECU Health is providing human resources and talent acquisition support to all team members who are interested in applying for open positions for which they are qualified for within the health system. This includes those who are working in part-time, full-time and supplemental roles related to the system’s initial COVID-19 response efforts.

“ECU Health will continue to provide COVID-19 testing, if needed and by appointment, for patients during their scheduled visits at ECU Health primary care offices. Testing will also be available as needed in the inpatient setting.

“The community should continue to follow the usual protocols when sick, and seek appointments with their primary care providers. Those strictly seeking a COVID-19 test should not visit the Emergency Department and should instead contact their primary care office or seek alternative testing options.”

To find a COVID-19 testing location closest to you, please visit NCDHHS’ Community Access Points website at www.covid19.ncdhhs.gov/FindTests.