COVID-19 Testing in New Hanover County

Screening & Testing

COVID-19 testing is available throughout New Hanover County through local healthcare providers, pharmacies, and other organizations.

Fully vaccinated individuals should get tested if they are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19.

Unvaccinated individuals should get tested if they:

  • Are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. Individuals who are experiencing symptoms should get tested immediately.
  • Have come in contact with someone who has COVID-19, even if they are not experiencing symptoms.
  • If they do not have symptoms, they should wait at least six days after their last known exposure to COVID-19 before they get tested.

If you need a COVID-19 test, you can find testing resources by:

  • Calling the New Hanover County Coronavirus Call Center at 910-798-6800
  • Visiting COVID.NCDHHS.gov to enter your address and find the closest testing site near you

Fully vaccinated individuals should get tested if they are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19.

Unvaccinated individuals should get tested if they:

  • Are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. Individuals who are experiencing symptoms should get tested immediately.
  • Have come in contact with someone who has COVID-19, even if they are not experiencing symptoms.
  • If they do not have symptoms, they should wait at least six days after their last known exposure to COVID-19 before they get tested.

COVID-19 symptoms may include:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell

COVID-19 testing is available throughout New Hanover County through local healthcare providers, pharmacies, and other organizations. Call the New Hanover County Coronavirus Call Center at 910-798-6800, or visit covid.NCDHHS.gov to enter your address and find the closest testing site near you.

Steps to take immediately after your COVID-19 test

If you have any COVID-19 symptoms, were tested because you were exposed to someone with COVID-19, or you suspect you may have been exposed to COVID-19, you should stay home and, as much as possible, avoid others in your household. In addition, if you were tested because you have COVID-19 symptoms, everyone in your household should stay at home as much as possible until your results are known.

If you were tested for COVID-19 but have no symptoms and no known or suspected exposure to someone with COVID19 (for example, as part of a workplace screening program), you do not need to stay home while waiting for your results unless you are told to do so by your employer or by a public health official.

Make a list. Think of people you’ve spent time with over the past two weeks or so and make a list. In case you test positive, you will already be prepared to take the first, most urgent step: sharing this list with your local health department’s team to help alert others who might be at risk.

Stay home. If you can, be in a room by yourself with the door closed and use your own bathroom. Do your best to stay away from other people until you get your test result, and to always wear a mask if you are near people.

 

If you test positive for COVID-19

When Public Health calls with your results, they will also make sure you have the resources and support needed while staying at home. Staying at home and avoiding contact with other members of the household can help minimize the risk of spreading COVID-19 and protect your loved ones and neighbors.

Following CDC guidelines, if your test comes back positive and you had symptoms, you should stay home and, as much as possible, avoid others in your household until you can say yes to ALL three of the following questions:

  • Has it been at least 10 days since you first had symptoms?
  • Has it been at least 24 hours (1 day) since you have had a fever without using fever-reducing medicine?
  • Have your other symptoms improved (such as coughing and shortness of breath)?

Following CDC guidelines, if your test comes back positive and you did not have symptoms, you should stay home and isolate (avoid anyone in your household) until 10 days have passed since the date of your first positive COVID-19 diagnostic test, assuming you did not develop symptoms since your positive test.

The Public Health team will also perform contact tracing. Contact tracing is a way to reach out to people who have been near someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. They will ask you about anyone else you have recently been near or in close contact with. This will allow Public Health to reach people who may have been exposed to COVID-19 and share any information and support they may need to stay at home until the risk of giving the virus to others has passed.

The team will not share anyone’s name or personal information. This information is confidential and will remain private. Each of these steps slows the spread of COVID-19.

 

If your COVID-19 test is negative

If you were tested because you have symptoms, you should stay home until you have no fever without the use of fever-reducing medicines, and you have felt well for at least 24 hours.

If you were tested because you have symptoms and a healthcare provider still thinks you have COVID-19, even with a negative test, you should stay home and, as much as possible, avoid others in your household until you can say yes to ALL three of the following questions:

  • Has it been at least 10 days since you first had symptoms?
  • Has it been at least 24 hours (1 day) since you have had a fever without using fever-reducing medicine?
  • Have your other symptoms improved (such as coughing and shortness of breath)?

A test-based strategy is no longer recommended to discontinue isolation or precautions and employers should not require documentation of a negative test before allowing a worker to return.

If you were tested because of a known contact to someone with COVID-19, you should stay home and quarantine (avoid anyone in your household) until 14 days after the last time you were in contact with the person who tested positive. Having a negative test during that period is a good thing, but there is still a chance that it may take up to 14 days after exposure to COVID-19 for the virus to present itself and infect someone. That’s why it is important that you monitor your symptoms closely. If you develop any symptoms, then you may have COVID-19. Check with your medical provider, the COVID-19 Community Team, or get tested again.

If you were tested for another reason that is not because of a known or suspected contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19 and have no symptoms, then you can resume your regular activities.

If you need a COVID-19 test, but do not have transportation to a testing location, Public Health will try and work with you to secure a COVID-19 test either through a provider or through Public Health. Call the call center for assistance: 910-798-6800.

Health: 1650 Greenfield Street • Wilmington, NC 28401 • Phone 910-798-3500 • Fax 910-798-7834 • Human Services Fax 910-798-7824
Environmental Health: 230 Government Center Drive, Suite 140 • Wilmington, NC 28403 • Phone 910-798-6667 • Fax 910-798-7815
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