Vidant closes down testing site, intermittently opens back up Monday due to high demand


GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — As COVID-19 cases and positivity rates rise across the country, Vidant Medical Center has seen long lines at its testing sites.

“What we’re seeing here in Eastern North Carolina is much like everybody else in the country right now,” said Dr. Dave Harlow, vice president of Allied Health for Vidant Health System.

Long lines, increased wait times, and high positivity rates are all things we’re seeing across the country and now, here in Eastern North Carolina.

COVID-19 in NC: Positivity rate jumps to another record-high of 27.4%

“Our turnaround times now are about 48 hours because number one, the volumes have gone up and we also have illness in our own staff,” said Harlow. “I don’t see this stopping in the near future. We’re working on multiple plans to help mitigate that here and around the system.”

Vidant’s latest numbers show a 37% positivity rate.

“That’s the highest that we have seen since the pandemic started,” said. Harlow.

Vidant had to close its testing site off Stantonsburg Road Monday morning. Dr. Harlow said the parking lot was full by 10 a.m.

“We’ve decompressed it some,” he said. “We are intermittently opening it as we have more capacity.”

Harlow is expecting these trends to continue in the coming weeks.

“That is a function of what folks have done during the holidays and that’s just something that we’re all going to have to live with,” he said.

Harlow said it’s time to get back to the COVID-19 basics.

“COVID is not gone,” he said. “Social distancing still works. Masking still works. That is the one thing that can certainly be of help. And vaccinations as well.”

Vidant has 12 other testing sites scattered across Eastern North Carolina. There are also several pharmacies and health departments offering tests. Click here to find out how and where you can get a test.

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