WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — North Carolina health leaders addressed testing accessibility and affordability in the state’s marginalized communities Thursday afternoon.
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services reported an overall total of 93,426 cases of coronavirus as of Thursday morning.
Health leaders also gave an update on the state month-long initiative to sponsor cost-free community testing events, specifically in areas that don’t have access to testing.
The testing events target areas in the state with high Latinx, Hispanic and African American populations, as well as other groups which are under-served in the community.
Department of Public Health Senior Deputy Director Dr. Cardra Burns says these events have proven successful so far.
Burns says they’ve held 60 testing events and completed 2,000 tests, and they hope to double that in the next two weeks.
“The community response to these testing events have been overwhelming,”Burns said. “Both in terms of the number of people coming to these sites to get tested, and the support we’re hearing from the community. That early feedback tells us the need for this initiative is very much there.”
Burns also announced there’s a new feature on Find My Testing Place digital resource. She says you can now enter a zip code to find the testing site closest to you.
“Now, you can enter a zip code to get information about testing sites in your area,” she said. “That information will include whether or not there is a cost for testing at that location. As I mentioned, all of our state initiative testing sites are free of charge, but we know there are other sites, and costs can vary.”
In addition to that new feature, Burns says you can also now us the Check My Symptoms feature in English or Spanish to figure out if a test is recommended.