Coronavirus Testing Clinic To Open In Smithfield

SMITHFIELD – Johnston UNC Health has announced they will open a testing site for citizens who have coronavirus symptoms on Friday, March 13th. Officials are working out details on the specific location, which is expected to be near the Smithfield hospital.  Additional details will be announced before the clinic opens on Friday.

“The goal is to have a separate, temporary clinic where we can do our own coronavirus testing rather than going through the state health department,” according to Suzette Rodriguez, Public Relations Specialist at Johnston Health.

The clinic will help keep individuals who may have coronavirus from having close contact with patients in the hospital emergency room and area doctors offices.  The days and hours of operation have not yet be announced.

The most important thing to know: People will not be able to show up unannounced and get a test. They must first call the COVID-19 Helpline at 1-888-850-2684 to be screened for symptoms, travel and exposure.

That means if you have flu-like symptoms including fever, cough or shortness of breath AND have traveled to a country listed as a Level 2 or 3 Travel Health Notice by the CDC within the last 14 days, OR if you have had direct contact with a person diagnosed with COVID-19 within the last 14 days.

Also, people will need to call the helpline before heading out to an urgent care or hospital emergency department.

The helpline will give info and guidance on whether the test is needed, and if so, where they can go to get it.

The Helpline is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Coronavirus is primarily a respiratory disease, with symptoms similar to seasonal flu. According to the CDC, symptoms of coronavirus include fever, cough, and shortness of breath.

People with questions or concerns about COVID-19 can call the state’s phone line at 866-462-3821.

What are coronaviruses? 
Coronaviruses are a large group of viruses that can cause illness in animals and humans. Some coronaviruses commonly circulate in the United States and usually cause upper respiratory symptoms such as cough or runny nose, although some can cause more serious illness. The 2019 novel (new) coronavirus causes the illness coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

What is COVID-19?
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a disease that was identified in Wuhan, China, and is now being spread throughout the world. People are encouraged to take common-sense precautions to prevent the spread of all infectious diseases, including COVID-19.

1. Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds at a time.
2. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
3. Avoid close contact with people who are ill.
4. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
5. Do not reuse tissue after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose.
6. Clean and disinfect surfaces that are frequently touched.

How does COVID-19 spread?
Coronaviruses like COVID-19 are most often spread through the air by coughing or sneezing, through close personal contact (including touching and shaking hands) or through touching your nose, mouth or eyes before washing your hands.

Exposure and symptoms:
Symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, cough, and shortness of breath.  Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure.

If you think you may have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop symptoms, you may need to seek medical attention. Call your local health department for further guidance.

Before going to a health care provider, clinic, hospital or emergency room, call ahead to describe your symptoms and how you may have been exposed to the virus. In the event of an emergency call 9-1-1.