Dare County begins drive-thru COVID-19 testing

Coronavirus

KILL DEVIL HILLS, N.C. (WAVY) — Traffic was brisk on the first day of a drive-thru testing clinic in Dare County. More than 130 people had gone through the process by midday Monday.

People want to know if they have COVID-19 with the disease spreading, and they are telling 10 On Your Side the drive-thru format is quick and convenient, especially for a segment of the community who might be at greatest risk.

“We just had exposure at work, so I needed to get it done,” said Scott Smith, who said he tested negative just a few days ago but he’s showing symptoms so he needs to know for sure.

Lori Clark got the test and says the convenience of being able to stay in your vehicle is especially important for those who are at the greatest risk of getting COVID-19.

“I think it’s important for a lot of the people here, especially our elderly. It’s a little hard for them to get out with the weather as chilly as it is today,” Clark said.

Jason Fulcher lives on the mainland, but got frustrated with lines for testing at pharmacies.

“If you go to CVS, it can take a while and it kind of seems unorganized. But this is very organized,” Fulcher said.

Cars were lined up when the clinic opened this morning at eight at the Family Recreation Park near Colington Road.

“They’ll do a quick nasal swab. It’s an interior swab, it’s not real invasive. It doesn’t go all the way in to tickle your brain. It’s a pretty easy process,” said Michael Watkins of testing company Mako Medical.

The company is working in partnership with the county health department and Outer Banks Hospital and Medical Group for the testing clinic, which is scheduled to run from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at least through Friday, Jan. 14.

Pre-registration is encouraged but not required. Mako says its goal is to have results back to patients within 48 hours.

North Carolinians who have not been fully vaccinated or are eligible for booster doses, can visit covid19.ncdhhs.gov/vaccines or call the NC COVID-19 Vaccine Help Center at 888-675-4567 to find nearby vaccination clinics.

Those seeking to find or schedule a testing appointment can visit covid19.ncdhhs.gov/about-covid-19/testing/.

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