A Drive-up Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) testing site will open at the Craven County Health Department beginning Friday, March 20, 2020. This site will be open Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9 a.m. to noon and is located at 2818 Neuse Blvd., in New Bern, until further notice.
In order to be tested all individuals must first contact their primary care provider and then, if deemed necessary, a referral to the testing site will be made by the primary care provider. Individuals seeking testing should not contact the Health Department directly unless they are the individual’s primary care provider or do not have a primary care provider. No one should report to the testing site without a referral.
Testing will be done by appointment only. All patients must show photo identification at their testing appointment. To limit possible exposure, anyone that is coming for testing is discouraged from having healthy individuals in the car with them.
The Craven County Health Department is following the latest testing guidance from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. In order to be eligible for COVID-19 testing the following criteria must be met.
1. Have fever or lower respiratory symptoms (cough, shortness of breath) AND close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case within the past 14 days; OR
2. Have fever AND lower respiratory symptoms (cough, shortness of breath) AND a negative rapid flu test.
Residents who have questions about testing should contact their primary care provider and not the Craven County Health Department directly. The drive-up testing is a collaborative effort between the Craven County Health Department, CarolinaEastMedical Center and Coastal Carolina Health Care.
Once a patient arrives for testing, they will first be given a rapid flu test to rule out the seasonal flu. If that rapid test is negative for seasonal flu, the provider will administer a COVID-19 test. If a flu test was already administered at their primary care provider’s office, it will not be repeated at the drive-up testing site.
Once an individual is tested for COVID-19, they will be asked to go into isolation at home until test results are returned.
Isolation means an individual is symptomatic and they will restrict themselves to one room and one bathroom of their home while avoiding all contact with others in their home. All close contacts of the individual, those who have been within six feet of the individual for 10 or more minutes will be placed into quarantine at home until the test results of the symptomatic person come back.
Quarantine is when individuals who are not symptomatic are asked to remain at home and not have contact with others but they are not restricted to one room of their home.
Individuals can practice everyday prevention measures like frequent hand washing, staying home when sick, and covering coughs and sneezes. Community-based interventions can also help slow the spread of COVID-19. This includes measures collectively known as “social distancing.” Social distancing measures aim to reduce the frequency of contact and increase physical distance between persons, thereby reducing the risks of person-to-person transmission.
Coronaviruses like COVID-19 are most often spread from person to person through the air by coughing or sneezing, through close personal contact (including touching or shaking hands), or through touching your nose, mouth, or eyes before washing your hands. The best way to reduce your risk of becoming infected with a respiratory virus, such as COVID-19, is to practice good hygiene:
• Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
• Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer when soap and water is not available.
• People who are sick should always cover their coughs and sneezes using a tissue or the crook of their elbow; wash your hands after using a tissue to wipe your nose or mouth.
• People who are sick should stay home from work or school until they are well.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with your unwashed hands.
Craven County citizens are encouraged to use reputable sources of information to learn more about coronavirus. Reputable sources of information include the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and NC Division of Public Health websites and the NC Division of Public Health’s Coronavirus call line 866-462-3821.
Craven County Government COVID-19 updates will appear on the Craven County website at www.cravencountync.gov, on the Craven County Facebook page @cravencounty and the Craven County Twitter account @cravencountync. Residents are also encouraged to register to receive notifications via the Craven County website and to register to receive emergency notifications via text, email and phone calls through the CodeRed Emergency Notification System.