Western North Carolinians can order free COVID-19 tests thanks to USPS pilot program

Press release from NC Department of Health and Human Services:

Several western North Carolina communities were selected for a United States Postal Service pilot program to increase access to COVID-19 tests. People living in zip codes that begin with 287, 288 and 289 can order free, self-swab PCR test kits by visiting ineedacovid19test.com between now and Jan. 15, 2023.

The pilot program is part of the CDC’s Increasing Community Access to Testing initiative. ICATT partners with states, communities and testing vendors to provide free COVID-19 testing for people without insurance and communities disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.

“Testing is a key piece of our ongoing response to COVID-19, and we continue to make free testing accessible to people across North Carolina,” said Elizabeth Cuervo Tilson, M.D., M.P.H., State Health Director and NCDHHS Chief Medical Officer. “As we approach the winter months, it’s important to remember to get tested if you feel sick, have symptoms of COVID-19 or have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19.”

Test kits are available at no cost, will arrive in one to two days via USPS and can be used in five easy steps:

1.Register at www.iNeedaCOVID19Test.com
2.Choose “Lab PCR Self Collection Kit (Home Delivery or On-Site Pickup)”
3.Activate your kit when ready to test
4.Return your packaged specimen through the mail at no cost to you
5.Access your results online in 48-72 hours

Order your test kits in advance so you are ready when you feel sick or need a COVID-19 test. There is a short window for treatment after testing.

Get tested for COVID-19 if you have symptoms or if you have come in close contact with someone with COVID-19, even if you are up to date on your vaccines. Get tested at least five days after you last had close contact. For more information and to find testing locations, visit covid19.ncdhhs.gov/FindTests (Spanish).

If you test positive, stay away from others and follow the CDC’s isolation guidelines. Seek medical care immediately if you have trouble breathing or experience other warning signs. COVID-19 treatments are available and can lower your risk of hospitalization or death. For more information, visit covid19.ncdhhs.gov/FindTreatment (Spanish).

Staying up to date on vaccination and boosters offers the best protection against COVID-19. Anyone 6 months of age and older can get vaccinated. Everyone 5 years and older can get the updated booster. Find a vaccine location near you at MySpot.nc.gov or by calling 888-675-4567.

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Mountain Xpress posts selected news and information of local interest as a public service for our readers. To submit press releases and other community material for possible publication, email news@mountainx.com.

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