COVID-19 testing sites in the Triangle seeing rapid usage, long wait times as omicron spreads

Wake County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Regardless of the strain making people test positive for COVID-19 in the Triangle, one thing remains constant for all strains: they’re causing long lines at testing facilities despite more opening up.

CBS 17 was live at noon Thursday and saw lines wrapping around the bends of the testing facility off of Kidd Road in Raleigh.

This site is similar to sites in Fuquay-Varina, Wake Forest, Zebulon and off of Departure Drive that is also in Raleigh. Wake County is now offering approximately 13,000 testing slots between the five drive-thru sites. The uptick began Thursday.

  • Wake County Southern Regional Center, 130 N. Judd Parkway NE, Fuquay-Varina
  • Wake County Northern Regional Center, 350 E. Holding Ave., Wake Forest
  • Wake County Eastern Regional Center, 1002 Dogwood Drive, Zebulon
  • Vision Church RDU Parking Lot, 5808 Departure Drive, Raleigh
  • Wake County Health & Human Services Center Parking Lot, 2845 Kidd Road, Raleigh

Wake County is hoping the tests come back within 12 hours.

Researchers are also proving that omicron spreads faster than delta and the original strand of COVID-19 that began the pandemic in March 2020.

The incubation period, the time between infection and becoming symptomatic, is much shorter than the five to seven days we’re used to seeing.

“With the omicron variant it appears to be about three days with fairly tight intervals meaning everyone who becomes symptomatic would become symptomatic within four days,” Dr. David Weber with UNC Health said.

A COVID-19 testing site of Rock Quarry Road on Christmas Eve (Hayley Fixler).

While one may know sooner if he or she has been infected, it also means they are contagious within a day or two after infection.

However, researchers are not exactly clear as to why the incubation period is shorter with the new omicron variant, Weber said.

“Which may account for the fact that one of the good news about omicron it seems to be less likely than the delta variant to cause severe disease,” Weber said.

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