RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — As of July 29, Wake County’s federally funded drive-thru COVID-19 testing sites are closed.
The federal funding for the sites ended at the end of June, and since then the sites have been supported by tax dollars. Now with them closing, health officials say they’re focusing on another model of testing.
The tools have changed, but COVID-19 is still here, we just are learning to manage it much better.”Rebecca Kaufman, Preventative Health Director for Wake County
Now, there’s a focus on at-home testing.
“It’s just time we take a new direction and go really toward the at-home model,” Kaufman said.
At-home tests can be found at the health department, at a number of local pharmacies, and you can even find them without leaving your own home.
“You can also order from the state and federal government, right now you can have them delivered to your house through the United States Postal Service,” Kaufman said.
The county’s drive-thru sites opened during the height of the pandemic in June of 2020, and since then, 1.6 million people in Wake County have been tested right from their own cars. With the focus now shifting, health officials say it doesn’t mean the pandemic is over.
“COVID-19 is definitely here and in our communities,” Kaufman said. “But we have much better tools than we had two-and-a-half years ago, the number one tool being the vaccine, of course.”
Health officials emphasize that options still exist for county residents to monitor their own health when it comes to COVID-19.
“Testing is not going away, we’re just changing how we’re doing testing in Wake County,” Kaufman said.
There will still be some drive-thru spots in Wake County, but after July 29, they’ll be run by the state rather than Wake County.