By Anna Phillips | June 18, 2020 at 6:37 PM EDT – Updated June 18 at 7:21 PM
DUPLIN COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) – Duplin County has the second highest number of COVID-19 cases east of Raleigh, second only to Wayne County which has had roughly 1,500 positive test results.
Health Director Tracey Simmons-Kornegay says they’re working to bring the tests to the people with small testing sites set-up in small towns across the county.
“Duplin County is a large geographical county, and one of our barriers is transportation and so that’s why we’re trying to come more to the community to try to be able to test anybody and everybody,” she said. “It doesn’t matter if you’re symptomatic or asymptomatic, we’re still going to test you.”
At First Missionary Baptist Church Thursday, Johnnie Durham was pleasantly surprised by the experience.
“It was easier than I thought it would be. It was very mild,” Durham said. “Some people have it and don’t know they have it. I don’t know. I don’t feel that I have it… but they keep saying that, that some have no feeling or symptoms, so I said I wanted to be checked.”
Its a simple drive-thru with one stop for registration and paperwork, and a second stop where staff wearing full PPE perform a nose swab in both nostrils with what looks very similar to a standard q-tip.
”It goes around three or four times, pull it out, go up the other nostril three or four times and then it is stuck in this little kit and sent to the lab,” said Simmons-Kornegay.
She says there are no hot spots or outbreak centers in Duplin County.
It’s everywhere—and that’s why they hope everyone will get tested.
“It is more or less community spread, so if you look at our zip codes we are seeing it throughout the whole county,” she said.
With numbers growing, the health department is looking forward and what else can be done beyond testing.
They’re planning a blood donation and plasma event, in the hopes that some of those who have recovered from coronavirus will give back.
The plasma of those recovered will be sent to hospitals across the southeast to help those who are sickest.
While the health department is focusing on planning small, concentrated testing sites at community centers like churches, large agricultural sites, etc., they continue to perform one or two weekly mass testing events at the event center in Kenansville. The next one is Monday from 2 p.m. – 6 p.m.
The blood and plasma drive will be held June 25.
You can find the latest information from Duplin County including testing and donation information here.
Copyright 2020 WECT. All rights reserved.