Guilford County Interim Health Director Dr. Iulia Vann announced on Monday, May 4 that the county is undertaking a new “prioritized COVID-19 community testing campaign” for those at the highest risk from the disease.

Vann, who has been adamant about the need for more testing each time she’s spoken to the Guilford County Board of Commissioners in the last two months, stated on Monday that this will be an important step in addressing the threat of the virus.

“We are grateful to have the opportunity to offer community testing in Guilford County thanks to increased testing capacity that has become available from Guilford County Public Health, NCDHHS [North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services] and commercial laboratories,” Vann stated in a May 4 press release announcing the testing initiative.

She said increased testing, and the knowledge that comes from it, will “build our response capacity to the virus.”

Only people who fall into “high-risk” categories will be tested, but those are quite broad. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has prioritized those at high-risk for severe illness from COVID-19. A person only needs to meet one of the criteria to qualify for testing:

  • Those symptomatic with one of the following: cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell
  • Those 65 years and older
  • People of all ages with underlying medical conditions, particularly if not well controlled, including lung disease, diabetes, asthma, heart conditions, severe obesity – that is, a body mass index of 40 or higher. (There are other conditions that will qualify you to get tested as well.)

Testing will be done only by appointment and results are expected to be available after about three days.

Those seeking a test should call 336-641-7527. Confidential pre-screening will take place on the call in order to confirm that the caller is a good candidate for testing.

Testing is available regardless of a person’s insurance status. If the person being tested has private insurance, Medicaid or Medicare, he or she will be asked to bring their insurance card. If uninsured, the test will still be given.

Testing will begin on Tuesday, May 5 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and take place from Monday through Friday after that. The tests will be conducted on the UNC-Greensboro campus. More information will be given once an appointment is made.