The next COVID-19 testing event will take place Thursday, July 9 starting at 10:00 a.m. at Fessenden Center located at 46830 NC-12, Buxton, NC 27920. Individuals can register for an appointment for the diagnostic test, the antibody test, or both. An appointment is required. This event is open to permanent residents of Dare County, ages 10 and older. To schedule an appointment, please call 252.475.5008. The call center is open Monday - Friday from 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Participants are required to send a photocopy of their government-issued identification card and insurance card prior to the event.
FAQs: Dare County Testing Event
Anyone who is concerned they may have come in contact with COVID-19 is encouraged to call 252.475.5008 for a testing appointment.
Any Dare County permanent resident age 10 or older is eligible for the drive-thru testing with an appointment.
No. If you show up at the testing site, without an appointment, you will not be able to be tested.
Currently, this service is only being provided to permanent residents of Dare County, ages 10 and older.
Individuals can register for an appointment for the diagnostic test, the antibody test, or both. The diagnostic test determines if an individual currently has a COVID-19 infection. The antibody test is used to determine if an individual has had a COVID-19 infection in the past.
Individuals only receiving the diagnostic test will be able to stay in their car and get the test via a drive-thru service. Individuals who wish to have the antibody test will be required to come into the building as the test requires a blood sample be drawn.
This is not a free event, however, individuals with insurance will not incur any out of pocket cost as the COVID-19 test is completely covered, no deductible and no co-pays. All insurances cover the COVID-19 diagnostic test, including Medicaid and Medicare. Mako Medical Laboratories will utilize the COVID-19 Relief Fund to cover costs of diagnostic testing for individuals who are uninsured. Mako Medical Laboratories will work with individuals without insurance who are seeking antibody testing. More information will be provided when those individuals call to register for an appointment.
Results are expected to be returned within 72 hours.
You will receive a phone call from the Dare County Department of Health & Human Services with your results. If you have not received a call by the Friday following your appointment at 12 noon, please call 252.475.5008.
If you have other individuals in your car at the time of your appointment, they will be able to sit in the car with you, however, they must have already scheduled an appointment if they wish to be tested.
Individuals who participate need to understand they are coming to a community-based testing site located in a public location and therefore patient privacy cannot be assured. All results will, however, be confidential.
If you have symptoms of COVID-19, please call your healthcare provider’s office. Do not wait for this drive-thru testing opportunity to get tested. For more information on testing locations in Dare County please see the FAQ below.
FAQs: Antibody Testing
COVID-19 antibody testing determines if someone has had the virus. In general, a positive antibody test is presumed to mean a person has been infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, at some point in the past.
Anyone who suspects they have had COVID-19 in the past may consider getting the test. Antibodies start developing within 1 to 3 weeks after infection.
There is no cost to individuals that are insured. Uninsured individuals can call 252.475.5008 to learn about options for uninsured participants.
Insurance covers the costs of COVID-19 antibody testing.
A positive antibody test is presumed to mean a person has been infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, at some point in the past. It does not mean they are currently infected. A positive test result does not mean not mean that an individual has immunity from getting infected again.
A staff member of Mako Laboratories will draw your blood which will be sent to their laboratory for testing.
The only risks associated with the test would be the same as any other test that requires a blood draw. The main risks of blood tests are discomfort and bruising at the site where the needle goes in. These complications usually are minor and go away shortly after the tests are done.
The antibody testing being offered at the community testing event is only for asymptomatic individuals. Staff will check individuals’ temperature before entering the facility for an appointment.
The antibody test determines if an individual had a previous COVID-19 infection. The diagnostic test determines if an individual has a current COVID-19 infection.
FAQs: Testing in Dare County
Yes. Clinicians can consider testing for any patient in whom COVID-19 is suspected. Symptoms of COVID-19 include:
Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
Repeated shaking with chills
New loss of taste or smell
There is not a limit on the amount of tests available today. Medical providers in Dare County have access to the materials they would need to collect a sample for testing. There have been no reports of shortages in specimen collection supplies.
Providers in Dare County are following the testing guidelines released by NC DHHS.
Yes, we will report all positive cases–even those who do not have a Dare County permanent address. We have been doing that since the beginning which is why our current case count may differ from NCDHHS’s case count for Dare County.
Positive test results are posted to the dashboard located on the main darenc.com/covid19 page.
Please call your healthcare provider's office prior to going to see a healthcare provider to discuss your symptoms. They will be able to triage you over the phone.
Dare County Healthcare providers continue to test individuals who they believe are in need of COVID-19 testing and meet the NCDHHS guidelines for testing which include fever of 100.4 or greater, cough, chills, shaking with chills, headache, sore throat, and new loss/alteration of taste or smell. Healthcare providers are testing everyday in Dare County.
Public health guidance recommends that Individuals who are experiencing mild to moderate symptoms related to COVID-19 stay at home are use over the counter products to manage symptoms until it has been 7 days since the first symptoms appeared, the individual is fever-free for 72 hours without the use of medication, and other symptoms have improved.
Testing in Dare County is currently only available for symptomatic patients based on a healthcare provider’s assessment.
If you are experiencing COVID-19 related symptoms, please call your healthcare provider or urgent care center. This allows the healthcare provider to triage you over the phone and properly prepare for your arrival.
Outer Banks Urgent Care
Outer Banks Urgent Care Center & Family Medicine
Surf Pediatrics & Medicine (testing for established patients only)
Kill Devil Hills
Once an individual is tested for COVID-19 the individual is considered a Person Under Investigation (PUI). PUIs are required to immediately isolate at home and remain in isolation until the test results is returned as negative or if there is a positive test result the individual is required to isolate until:
You have had no fever for at least 72 hours (that is three full days of no fever without the use medicine that reduces fevers)
other symptoms have improved (for example, when your cough or shortness of breath have improved)
at least 7 days have passed since your symptoms first appeared
If a PUI under home isolation begins to experience more severe symptoms the PUI should contact their healthcare provider or call 911.
The local health department conducts contact tracing for all PUIs. We ask the individual about any places they have been, and we ask them to list people who may have had close contact with them. The CDC considers a close contact someone who was within about six feet of someone with COVID-19 for 10 minutes or greater or had direct contact with infectious secretions of a person with COVID-19—like they were coughed on.
Once we have this information we gather contact information for all the people who may have had close contact with the PUI. Once we connect with these contacts, we let them know they may have been exposed to COVID-19 and ask them to self monitor for symptoms and to contact us immediately if they begin to experience symptoms.
In addition to contacting direct contacts, we also follow-up with PUIs daily to assess any needs and ensure the individual is complying with the required isolation.
Mass testing for the general public is not being recommended at this time in North Carolina due to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) shortages and the risk of exposing others unnecessarily.
Public health leaders recognize the importance of being able to offer more widespread testing. The state has created a NCDHHS Testing Surge Workgroup. The Testing Surge Workgroup is charged with developing a plan to increase testing, expand testing sites and options, and address testing supply challenges, including the availability of personal protective equipment. The workgroup is composed of internal NCDHHS staff and leaders from the public and private sectors.
The Dare County Department of Health & Human Services is constantly in contact with local medical providers. In addition, we have a weekly conference call that is held and daily speak with leadership from the Outer Banks Hospital. If we experience a surge in the need for testing, we will be able to mobilize and address those needs on a case by case basis.
Diagnostic testing for COVID-19 is used to determine if an individual has the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Antibody testing, or serology testing, for SARS-CoV-2, can be used to determine if an individual has been exposed to a particular pathogen.
There are several different strains or types of coronoviruses. Currently antibody testing will identify if an individual has been exposed to a coronovirus but not specifically to COVID-19. The antibody test will determine immunity to coronovirus but there is no correlation at this time to determine the level of immunity for individuals specific to COVID-19.