COVID-19 testing increasing across ENC as Delta variant surges

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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — Coronavirus testing efforts across Eastern North Carolina are continuing as the Delta variant begins to surge. Now, health officials want people to realize how important those tests really are.

When it comes to testing efforts, representatives from Vidant’s Allied Health Services Department say plan to continue the service for as long as it takes.

“It is the predominant variant in our market, we do know that,” said David Harlow, VP of Vidant’s Allied Health Services.

Vidant Health’s Allied Health Services’ Vice President David Harlow says positivity rates are increasing in the eastern part of the state.

“Since the advent of the Delta variant we have seen testing as a matter of fact here at our drive through center in the last two weeks and the positivity rates have gone up,” Said Harlow.

From the week of August 9-13 the general positivity rate for the state of North Carolina sits at around 14%. At Vidant’s drive through location near the hospital, rates as of the week are sitting at 19%. That same location was showing half that rate just a month ago. With rates rising rapidly, it’s put stress on staff members as well.

“This is grueling for the staff members that have been here. You can imagine this is rain, sleet, snow, sunshine, it doesn’t matter.”

Harlow also mentions testing doesn’t just happen at their sites. They are working closely with community health partners to get the job done.

“We are locked up with Dr. Silvernail and his group and there is a group with ECU and others. We collaborate all the time and this is a unified front when it comes to dealing with COVID.”

Overall noting that it comes down to vaccinations to help end the current surges and pandemic as a whole.

“The biggest thing the public can do is get vaccinated. It would help our staff members, the nursing staff members and nursing home staff members, just on and on and on,” said Harlow.

Harlow says with recent spikes in positive tests, they expect to see it continue to get worse over the next couple of weeks as surges like this usually work in waves.

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