North Carolina expands no-cost COVID-19 testing locations

Published 4:30 pm Friday, November 20, 2020

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This weekend, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) is offering more than 120 no-cost COVID-19 community testing events, including new locations in partnership with retailers to help North Carolinians protect themselves, their loved ones, and their communities as they prepare for Thanksgiving.

For a full list of all testing event times and locations throughout the state, to include those in the Roanoke-Chowan area, visit the No-Cost Community Testing Events page on the NCDHHS website ( More locations are being added each day. Additional testing sites can be found at Find My Testing Place.

Anyone can get tested for COVID-19 at the events. People without insurance are eligible for testing and identification documents are not required. Children and adults may be tested, but a parent or legal guardian must be present with children and teens 17 or younger.

People who have symptoms of COVID-19 or who have been around a person with COVID-19 should not shop in person until their isolation or quarantine period has ended. This includes shopping at partner retailers during testing events.

North Carolina is experiencing record high numbers of COVID-19 cases. NCDHHS urges caution when traveling or gathering for Thanksgiving and other holiday celebrations, especially for gatherings that include people who are at a higher risk of developing complications from COVID-19, such as anyone over the age of 65.

People who choose to travel or gather for Thanksgiving should consider having a COVID-19 test three to four days ahead of time. A test can help someone know if they have COVID-19 even if they do not have symptoms yet; however, tests can miss some infections and are not a fail-safe measure. If your test is positive, you should stay home, not attend any gatherings, and self isolate or quarantine. If your test is negative, you still need to practice the 3Ws – wear a mask, stay 6 feet apart from people who do not live in your household, and wash your hands or use hand sanitizer frequently.

NCDHHS also recommends that everyone quarantine for 14 days before gathering with anyone outside their household to limit advance risk of being exposed to COVID-19. Quarantining is particularly important from the time you test until you travel or gather with people outside your household.

While gathering, shopping or traveling, follow the 3Ws. For a full list of guidance about traveling and gathering during the holidays, along with a chart outlining low, medium and high-risk activities, see the NCDHHS Interim Guidance for Thanksgiving Holiday.