Local News

More people who test positive for COVID-19 showing symptoms

Posted January 6, 2022 11:02 p.m. EST
Updated January 6, 2022 11:31 p.m. EST

More than 160-thousand COVID-19 tests have been performed in Wake County through the Christmas and New Year holidays.

Some people needed the tests to return to school or work after an exposure, many others just aren't feeling well.

Five testing sites run by Wake County have done 54% of the testing in the county over the holidays, and most of the people are getting tested because they have COVID-19 symptoms.

John Scarborough scheduled a test Thursday for his daughter.

"At 10:00 a.m. [Friday] we’re going to go to one of the Wake County testing sites and get her swabbed," said Scarborough.

He said she came in contact with a COVID-19 exposure during lunch at school.

So far, she's showing no symptoms.

"That’s the most important thing. Making sure she’s able to stay in school and that’s why we’re going to have her tested," said Scarborough.

Wake County's free public testing sites performed 102,700 COVID-19 tests in the last two weeks.

The most common reason people give for getting tested: symptoms.

Followed by close contact with an infected person. Some people give no reason.

Travel requirements finish out the top four reasons for getting tested.

Dr. Thomas Denny with Duke's Human Vaccine Institute said the US is lagging in testing capacity.

"One person can infect a room full of people if they are positive, so I think that’s one of the driving forces in people now wanting to get tested more," said Denny.

Expanding access in Durham County will bring people back to the shuttered Wheels Fun Park.

The county is planning to open a testing site in the parking lot there in the next few weeks.

"We’re probably at a point where we may have to pivot away from asymptomatic testing," said Denny.

Denny told WRAL News he's concerned the test and lab supply chain will struggle to keep up with this surge in demand.

The infectious omicron variant can also take down the workers needed to return results.

"It’s not going to stop at the door of the folks who are working in labs or in hospitals. They’re going to be at risk also," said Denny.

The county told WRAL News about 10% of people who schedule an appointment are no-shows.

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