Novant Health is experiencing more volume now than at any point during the pandemic. Many people are coming in for tests when there's no need, putting added strain on staff and resources.
Novant is asking that only symptomatic individuals or those recently exposed to COVID-19 be tested. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance indicates that testing should occur on the fifth day after exposure. But officials at Novant say many people are getting tested the very next day. Testing too soon often means false negatives.
Vice President of Physician Network Services Marty Lambeth says others also retest too soon — returning to Novant the day after getting a positive result with the hopes of receiving a negative.
"And it's just not necessary," says Lambeth. "It's honestly a waste of their time and it's a waste of resources. So, we'd just like to remind everybody in the community that they really need to understand guidance by the CDC before they come in to be tested or before they come in to be vaccinated."
Lambeth recommends checking online for hours of operation which have fluctuated due to inclement weather, making an appointment to be screened for testing, and following CDC guidelines for retesting.