Wake County sees demand rise for testing as Thanksgiving approaches


RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — As cases of COVID-19 continue to rise, so does the demand for testing.

Wake County officials said they are seeing an increase.

“At our Sunnybrook location, we usually average about 350 people a day. That is the last few days has been averaging at right about 500. At our Radeas location which would usually do 500-600 tests a day. Yesterday [Thursday] it did over 2,000,” explained Eugene Chalwe, Wake County COVID-19 Operations Manager.

Chalwe said right now, the county has two testing sites. One is located at the Sunnybrook parking deck in Raleigh and another one is in Wake Forest at the Radeas Lab.

“To be honest with you we don’t see the surge going down any time soon. I think it’s going to go through December,” he mentioned.

In order to keep up with demand, the county is working with different partners to do more testing and is planning to bring testing to specific communities.

“We are using GIS mapping to identify those locations,” said Chalwe.

Chalwe said there is no real evidence to suggest that more people are wanting to get tested because they are planning to travel or spend time with extended family.

“The kids have been in school and we just felt like going into the holidays, it would give us a little comfort knowing that we were a little safer,” said Parker Wright.

Wright and her family spent Friday evening getting tested at the Radeas Lab.

“If we see family it’ll probably be outside and at a distance but we felt like this would give us a little more peace of mind seeing them even outside,” she explained.

LabCorp also said they are seeing a rise in demand nationwide. They told CBS 17 that they are doing about 250,000 tests daily.

That’s up about 40,000 tests compared to the early days of the pandemic, according to LabCorp.

Chalwe said Wake County also has plans to open another testing site on December 1st on Departure Drive.

“The strongest recommendation we are giving from a public health perspective is to stay home,” he said.

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