Pitt County nears finish line of at-home COVID-19 testing challenge thank to remarkable community participation

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As free test kit distribution comes to a close, Say Yes! COVID Test urges Pitt County residents to keep testing three times a week to decrease COVID-19 spread

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(Pitt County, NC) — The Pitt County Health Department’s Say Yes! COVID Test At-Home Testing Challenge is nearing the home stretch with more than 25,000 free test kits in the hands of community members. Local and national leaders are sending messages of thanks and encouragement to keep testing for a strong close out of the effort.

“I want to thank residents across Pitt County who have done a phenomenal job supporting and participating in Say Yes! COVID Test,” said Dr. John Silvernail, director of the Pitt County Health Department. “I’ve watched with gratitude as this community has stepped up time and again to do whatever it takes to make this program a success—from delivering test kits to answering questions and urging neighbors to test. Now, let’s get to the finish line and keep testing three times a week until all tests are used to keep our community healthy!”

Similar recognition has come in from leaders across the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), community partners, and researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Duke University, who are all part of the cooperative Say Yes! COVID Test effort to determine if testing will slow the spread of COVID-19.

Through April and May, Say Yes! COVID Test has provided households within Greenville and the larger Pitt County access to free, rapid COVID-19 test kits that residents can self-administer three times a week to identify the infection early and reduce community spread. A limited number of test kits are still available for pick-up from the Pitt County Health Department, between 9:00 am – 4:00 pm, Monday-Friday, excluding holidays, while supplies last. Pitt County residents, who already have their test kits, are invited to join an optional research study to complete surveys and earn up to $50 in gift cards. The optional research study aims to understand if the Say Yes! COVID Test Challenge fostered behavior to prevent the spread of COVID-19, increased knowledge about COVID-19, or affected decisions about COVID-19 vaccination.

Once test kit distribution concludes, Say Yes! COVID Test will compare publicly available data in Pitt County with data from other communities of similar size that have not received widespread self-administered tests to determine if mass at-home testing successfully decreased COVID-19 spread. Results are expected in the fall of 2021. For more information on the optional study, or to view study results this fall, click here.

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