Beginning Thursday, March 17, Wake County Public Health will reduce the number of daily appointments for COVID-19 testing and vaccination. The decision comes as Wake County has seen a steady decline in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations since mid-January.
By balancing capacity with demand, the County can better utilize its resources while still meeting the current needs of residents and providing same-day appointments that the community has come to trust.
Wake County Public Health Department currently offers 8,000 testing appointments per day and an average of 1,100 tests per day at its five drive-thru testing sites. Vaccine clinics offer more than 2,000 appointments and average 60 doses administered per day. The new program will offer 1,900 testing appointments and 1,015 immunization appointments per day at all sites. Both free services are available 6 days a week with evening hours. Those days, times and locations will remain the same for the time being.
“This is a great sign of the progress we are making in reducing the number of cases and the spread of the virus in the community,” said Chairman Sig Hutchinson of the Wake County Board of Commissioners. “With more doctors’ offices and pharmacies offering these services, new post-infection treatments, and the greater availability of free home test kits, the community now has more options than ever to protect itself. themselves and their families”.
As of March 15, 81% of Wake County residents age five and older have received at least one dose of the vaccine, one of the highest county percentages in North Carolina.
“COVID-19 is not going away, but it is trending down due to vaccines and boosters that protect against serious infection and access to testing with fast turnaround times,” said Dr. Nicole Mushonga, Director Associate Physician and Director of the Wake County Epidemiology Program. “We will continue to monitor transmission and community metrics for COVID as our team continues to finalize next steps related to de-escalation efforts.” Additional reduction efforts, including reducing hours or days, will consider the appropriate timing and potential impact on the community. ”
Wake County will continue to focus on health equity and reaching out to the most disadvantaged communities, which have been hardest hit by the virus. Pop-up vaccination clinics are currently offered at multiple locations throughout the week at convenient locations such as grocery stores, churches, and community centers.
This change will not affect anyone who has already made an appointment for tests or vaccinations. Appointments for tests and vaccinations will still be required and can be made on the same day at wakegov.com/covid .
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