Local News

Grant providing free COVID-19 tests in Fayetteville

A $1 million grant given to Fayetteville State University is providing free COVID-19 tests for people in Cumberland County.

Posted Updated

Gilbert Baez
, WRAL reporter
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. — All Cumberland County residents needed Wednesday for a free COVID-19 test was a picture ID.

The scattered showers didn't stop Cindy McDougald from getting tested.

"It's important to me because, well, my grandson, he was running a fever, and they say when you have a fever, then you need to have it checked out," explained McDougald.

People stood in line and inside of cars to get the free test.

Those tests were part of a $1 million grant awarded to Fayetteville State University.

"We are supposed to spend some of that money on tests. We're supposed to use some of that money for research," said Dr. Afua Arhin, the dean of health science and technology at FSU.

Technicians spent Wednesday afternoon filling out paperwork and performing the nose-swab testing.

FSU is working with the Cumberland County Health Department to make sure those who test positive are notified so they can be treated and contact tracing can begin.

"We can implement contact tracing once we know where the virus is. And then, hopefully, we can be able to slow the spread, so testing is a part of the critical strategy of slowing down the spread of the virus," explained Cumberland County health director Jennifer Green.

Experts agreed an increase in testing was good. The downside though, is that it's taking longer for residents to get results.

"That testing reagent that we use to process the test is in short supply now, so what people are probably going to see is that it takes longer to get their test results back," explained Green.

Green said it used to take 24 to 72 hours to get test results back. Now in some cases it's taking about a week.

Green encouraged those who think they need a COVID-19 test to get it done sooner rather than later.


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