Media Notice: Community Testing Sites and Expanded Guidance

May 16, 2020

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.

Due to historic and present-day inequities, BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) communities are being disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 both locally and nationally. Buncombe County Emergency Operations Center’s Rapid Response & Recovery Equity Action Team is identifying the testing site locations based on an equity analysis reliant on relevant data and community input.

WNCCHS medical clinic staff will collect specimens from those who are tested, 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.

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.

Pisgah View Community:
1 Granada St. Asheville NC 28806
Tuesday, May 19, 2020
1 – 4pm
Sandy Mush Community Center
19 School Rd. Leicester, NC 28748
Wednesday, May 20, 2020
1 – 4pm
Deaverview Community
275 Deaverview Rd. Asheville, NC 28806
Thursday, May 21
1 – 4pm

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services issued updated guidance on who should be tested for COVID-19. The new guidance recommends that clinicians test any patient in whom COVID-19 is suspected.

The new guidance recommends that clinicians ensure the following populations have access to testing, regardless of symptoms:

  • Anyone with symptoms suggestive of COVID-19
  • Close contacts of known positive cases, regardless of symptoms
  • Persons who live in or have regular contact with high-risk settings (e.g., long-term care facility, homeless shelter, correctional facility, migrant farmworker camp)
  • Persons who are at high risk of severe illness (e.g., people over 65 years of age, people of any age with underlying health conditions)
  • Persons who come from historically marginalized populations
  • Health care workers or first responders (e.g. EMS, law enforcement, fire department, military)
  • Front-line and essential workers (grocery store clerks, gas station attendants, etc.) in settings where social distancing is difficult to maintain

What Are the Costs?

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. Language access services will be available at all sites during hours of operation.

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, Mission Virtual Clinic 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.

Language access services will be available at all sites during hours of operation.

To respect the privacy of individuals at the testing sites, there is a strict no media policy while the testing site is active. Plans are underway to provide media access and interviews regarding community testing. More information will be provided once details are finalized.