No more just showing up: Wake County COVID-19 drive-thru testing sites to require appointments

Wake County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — The convenience of being able to just show up at a Wake County drive-thru COVID-19 testing site and get tested will be coming to an end in December, according to a release from Wake County.

Beginning on Dec. 1, Wake County Public Health will require appointments at all COVID-19 drive-thru testing locations.

The Wake County news release said the reason for the change is because the “new process will allow the county to prioritize residents who are symptomatic, have been exposed to COVID-19, or are at higher risk.”

The county said testing will remain free.

In order to make an appointment, residents will have to fill out an online form or call 1-888-675-4567. The online scheduler will go live on Nov. 29 and residents needing a test will be able to schedule one for Dec. 1 and later.

The county said that moving to an appointment-only system will allow them to reserve times for people who are testing because they:

  • Currently have symptoms;
  • Have been exposed to someone with COVID-19;
  • Are at a high risk of developing severe COVID-19 symptoms if infected;
  • Or are required to for employment or to attend a concert or other event.

Wake County Public Health said it will still offer thousands of appointments per day across county locations and no ID or insurance is required.

“Wake County wants to ensure that those who may have had an exposure or are at risk of the virus have a way to get tested quickly and efficiently,” Wake County Chief Medical Officer Dr. José Cabañas said. “This new system will allow them to select a time convenient for them and get in and out without waiting in long lines.”

He added that trends with the virus helped the county health department make the decision.

“If we continue on this downward trend where the need for that level of access for testing is not there anymore, then of course the right thing to do will be to continue to scale down,” Cabanas said.

Testing appointments will be available in 15-minute intervals from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Those who want a test will need to follow a two-step process to claim their spot:

All five sites will still use self-administered PCR tests. Results are usually returned in 12-24 hours or less.

The testing locations across Wake County are located at:

  • 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

For those who would like to get tested somewhere else, you can click here to find another testing location near you.

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