RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCT) The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services today announced its selection of an additional vendor — StarMed Urgent and Family Care, P.A. — based in North Carolina, to continue surging COVID-19 testing capacity in the state.
These new community testing sites build on North Carolina’s ongoing work to increase access to testing and slow viral spread.
“Cost and access should not be barriers to testing for any North Carolinian. We will continue to expand our vendor partnerships so that people who need it can get free testing, stay informed about their health and help slow the spread of COVID-19,” said NCDHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen, M.D.
The selected vendor will provide turnkey testing sites — including clinical and administrative staff, tents, marketing materials, specimen collection supplies, registration and interpreter or translation services — and will leverage in-house laboratory capacity to provide timely testing results.
As with all NCDHHS-supported testing sites, there will be no co-pays or cost-sharing for anyone seeking testing, including North Carolinians who are uninsured.
NCDHHS selected locations for the additional testing sites based on epidemiological trends and reports from local health departments.
Key considerations included the acceleration and overall rate of case growth, the share of new cases among historically marginalized populations, and current levels of testing access.
The new sites will be located in seven counties: Forsyth, Guilford, Iredell, Mecklenburg, Onslow, Orange, and Randolph counties.
The sites will provide additional capacity to bolster North Carolina’s broader COVID-19 testing strategy, which prioritizes bringing urgently-needed testing resources to higher-risk settings and historically underserved communities.
As of Monday, NCDHHS had supported more than 11,000 tests performed at over 250 community testing events, many located in historically marginalized communities across the state.
In addition, NCDHHS recently completed initial testing of all residents and staff of the state’s more than 400 nursing homes and is currently supporting ongoing biweekly testing for all staff.
StarMed Urgent and Family Care, P.A. will coordinate the new testing sites with local health departments, prioritize a community testing approach by connecting individuals with medical homes, provide services with culturally and linguistically appropriate standards and work within existing trusted community partnerships.