Cumberland County officials urge non-vaccinated people to continue getting tested for COVID-19

On a busy stretch of Ramsey Street in Fayetteville, Ameritech Diagnostics Laboratory, PLLC, has a drive-thru testing site that hasn't seen the traffic it used to.

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Reneshia Smith, a laboratory manager for Ameritech, said they see around 20 to 30 people during their Monday through Friday openings.

"I would like to see a lot more. Probably close to in the hundreds, again," she said.

Ameritech Labs has been providing PCR and rapid testing to people with insurance or through the CARES Act, even offering concierge to those constantly on the move.

Smith attributes this drop in COVID-19 testing rates to the steadily dropping case numbers and rising vaccination rates.

However, the latest numbers from NCDHHS show only about 23 percent of the Cumberland County population is fully vaccinated, not including the unknown rate on Fort Bragg. It's a percentage that's still leaving a large portion of the county potentially vulnerable to the virus.

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Dr. Lori Haigler is the Medical Director at the Cumberland County Department of Public Health. She says groups like Ameritech Lab are supporting the testing and contact tracing efforts, allowing county health officials to direct much of their efforts towards vaccination rates.

"We're not seeing more and more of the younger people, since Pfizer was approved for 12 and up," Haigler said.

Health officials say continued testing from those who choose to remain unvaccinated or are waiting much longer is key to keeping the virus under control.

"Just to make sure that everyone is not spreading the virus, and we're actually, truly stopping the spread," Smith said.

The Cumberland County health department is still offering testing sites that you can find on the NCDHHS' website.

Meanwhile, you can also schedule an appointment with Ameritech Labs by calling 910-631-8198. Smith says you can receive test results as quickly as 24 hours. The testing location is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 726 Ramsey Street.
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