WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) – As COVID-19 case numbers rise in North Carolina, so does the number of tests administered each day. According to the state health department, over 80,000 tests have been reported over the past two days, that’s the highest total over any two-day span in months.
Part of this increase comes from more people traveling out of the country, like WECT Digital Content Producer Carole Wirszyla.
“This is definitely the most complicated trip I’ve ever taken,” Wirszyla said.
Wirszyla is planning a trip to visit family in the United Kingdom, but she has to get tested for COVID-19 before her flight.
“You have a 72 hour window in which to get the test and I did a lot of research as to the places that were offering the test and I thought I was going to be okay just getting one at the pharmacy within the 72 hour window,” Wirszyla said.
The state says the average turnaround time for test results is around one-and-a-half days. After getting tested at two different pharmacies, however, Wirszyla was told she might have to wait longer than that.
With little time to spare, she went for a third test Friday at MEDAC Urgent Care, the only facility she could find offering a quick turnaround time for the type of test she needed to travel to the U.K. Since Wirszyla was not experiencing any symptoms, her test could be done in-house and did not have to be sent to a lab.
“We worry about false negatives,” said Brittany Wilson, a clinician at MEDAC Urgent Care, “Which is why if we have a negative in-house we will send it off to the lab for anybody who is having symptoms.”
Now, Wirszyla says she’s finally ready for her flight, and has all of the testing information she needs.
“Like a real time PCR is what they consider it,” said Wilson. “So when it prints out it will actually have everything on there for you.”
Wirszyla did test negative for COVID-19, but will still have to be tested once she arrives overseas, another time before she returns to the United States, and once more after she gets back home.
To find a COVID-19 testing site near you, visit the state health department’s website.
Copyright 2021 WECT. All rights reserved.