Buncombe County Government and Western North Carolina Community Health Services (WNCCHS) will partner to offer community-based COVID-19 testing in the coming weeks for people who are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. This is an important and necessary step in understanding and addressing the spread of COVID-19 in Buncombe County.
Buncombe County Emergency Operations Center’s Rapid Response & Recovery Equity Action Team is identifying the testing site locations based on relevant data and community input. WNCCHS medical clinic staff will collect specimens from those with symptoms of COVID-19, send the specimens for testing through a commercial lab, and communicate with everyone tested when results return. Buncombe County Communicable Disease nurses will contact those individuals with lab-confirmed COVID-19 to provide guidance and perform contact tracing. The Buncombe County Emergency Operations Center has made arrangements for safe isolation and quarantine lodging for residents who may need additional resources to limit the spread of coronavirus to others in their household.
Who Should Get Tested and What are the Costs?
People who are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 should be tested for COVID-19.
COVID-19 symptoms may include:
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Sore throat
- Repeated shaking with chills
- Muscle pain
- New loss of taste or smell
Residents of Buncombe County are encouraged to use the COVID-19 Self-Checker to assess whether or not they should be tested for COVID-19.
Testing at these community-based testing sites is available to Buncombe County residents regardless of race, income, gender, ethnicity, immigration status, religion, or ability to pay. Testing is available to both the insured and uninsured, with no out of pocket cost. Those with health insurance should bring their insurance information with them to the testing site. WNCCHS and Buncombe County will not share an individual’s immigration status with other agencies and will not report if an individual is undocumented. Additionally, obtaining testing at the community-based testing sites will not affect an individual’s ability to receive future public assistance benefits. Language access services will be available at all sites during hours of operation.
Testing Sites, Dates, and Details:
The first phase of COVID-19 community-based testing will be held outdoors at the following locations on the dates listed:
|Hillcrest Community Center: 100 Atkinson St, Asheville, NC 28801||Tuesday, May 12, 2020
|Asheville Middle School: 211 South French Broad Ave, Asheville, NC 28801||Wednesday, May 13, 2020
|Emma Elementary School
37 Brickyard Road, Asheville, NC 28806
|Thursday, May 14, 2020
Kim Wagenaar, WNCCHS Chief Executive Officer, says, “People with limited access to a healthcare provider who is testing for COVID-19, financial barriers to obtaining a test, or those who have no direct healthcare access are encouraged to use the community testing sites. These sites are part of a continuation of our long collaboration with the County and we are pleased to offer these community-based testing opportunities.”
In addition to these community-based testing sites, for those who are unable to obtain COVID-19 testing through their primary care provider, MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore, Mercy Urgent Care, and Range Urgent Care have all expanded testing access. Please see a map here of COVID-19 testing locations and call before you arrive for testing.
If you have questions about COVID-19 testing in Buncombe County, please visit www.buncombeready.org or call the Ready Team at (828) 419-0095, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m. We stand ready to serve our community during the COVID-19 pandemic.
To respect the privacy of individuals at the testing sites, there is a strict no media policy while the testing site is active. Photos and video footage of the testing site will be made available to media via the buncombecounty.org website.