Health and Human Services offering free COVID testing on Dec. 30, encourages safe start to the New Year

Posted December 29, 2021 at 3:22 pm     Category: News Release

NEW HANOVER COUNTY – As COVID-19 related metrics in New Hanover County continue to rise, officials with the county’s Health and Human Services will offer free, drive-thru COVID-19 testing on Thursday, December 30 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Health and Human Services Annex at 1507 Greenfield Street. The focus of this event is to provide testing resources for individuals who are uninsured or underinsured, and to identify cases of COVID ahead of New Year’s gatherings to limit viral spread.

“Following conversations with area medical providers, it is clear that there is a need to have more community testing to understand and monitor the spread of COVID in New Hanover County,” said Health and Human Services Director Donna Fayko. “We were able to acquire additional testing supplies from the state that will allow us to offer expanded testing to the community. This drive-thru event will allow residents in need to get tested and know if they have COVID so they can make proper decisions about whether to isolate over the coming days.”

Individuals seeking testing at the drive-thru event on Thursday will proceed to the HHS Annex parking lot and be directed by staff for testing. Each person will be required to complete a form requesting their name, date of birth and phone number. No identification or insurance information will be needed. Consent forms must be signed by a parent or guardian for children to be tested. Results will be communicated following a 15-minute processing time. A total of 630 tests will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

In mid-November, New Hanover County’s percent positivity test rate had fallen to 2.7 percent and the average of new cases per day had dipped to 14.5 per day, based on a total of 203 cases in a 14-day window.

As of Wednesday, the percent positivity test rate has risen to 11.6 percent, while the average of new cases per day has jumped significantly to 75.2 per day based on 1,053 total cases in a 14-day window.

“We are currently seeing an increase in cases and positivity rates, and we aren’t even two weeks past Christmas – which is when we will likely see even more cases. Because of this, we are strongly recommending everyone, no matter your vaccination status, wear a mask when you are around people you do not live with, social distance when possible, wash hands frequently and get vaccinated or your booster dose as soon as possible,” Fayko said. “All of these things done together can help keep our COVID cases down, keep people out of the hospital and keep our community safe – but we all must take these steps together to accomplish that.”

As a reminder, the New Hanover County Health and Human Services Vaccination Clinics at 1650 Greenfield Street and Independence Mall will be closed on December 31 and reopen on January 3 for regular clinic hours. Appointments to receive a vaccine at the HHS clinics are highly recommended and can be made by visiting

For anyone who has been exposed to someone with COVID or is showing symptoms related to COVID, testing resources, including a list of testing sites, can be found at Additionally, information on self-testing can be found on the CDC’s website here.

CDC shortens quarantine period of asymptomatic individuals

On Monday, the CDC announced changes to quarantine and isolations guidelines for individuals who test positive for or were exposed to a confirmed case of COVID-19. The changes are as follows:

  • People who test positive for COVID-19 but do not exhibit symptoms should isolate for five days instead of 10. After five days, they can leave isolation but must continue to wear a mask for five additional days.
  • Unvaccinated individuals who are exposed to COVID-19 should quarantine for five days and then use masks in public for an additional five days.
  • Individuals vaccinated more than six months ago with Pfizer or Moderna or more than two months ago with Johnson & Johnson who are exposed to COVID-19 should quarantine for five days.
  • If an individual has received a booster shot, they do not need to quarantine if they are exposed to COVID-19, but should wear a mask for 10 days following exposure.

The latest information on COVID is always available by visiting New Hanover County’s COVID-19 page or by calling the COVID Call Center at 910-798-6800.

COVID-19 Community Data, as of December 29:

  • New Hanover County’s percent positivity rate is 11.6 percent (this represents positive COVID-19 tests as a percent of total tests performed countywide).
  • Over the past 14 days, 1,053 new cases of COVID-19 have been reported in the county which is an average of 75.2 cases per day.
  • Approximately 151,281 New Hanover County residents (about 65 percent) have received one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and approximately 143,025 residents (about 61 percent) are fully vaccinated and protected from COVID-19.

View additional COVID-19 information and data at


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Communications and Outreach: 230 Government Center Drive, Suite 195 • Wilmington, NC 28403 • Phone 910-798-7461 • Fax 910-798-7277
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