Finding a location to get tested for COVID-19 will be a little easier this week with the Wayne County Health Department offering rapid COVID-19 testing.

The tests will be available starting Tuesday, with testing being offered at no cost Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the former Cooper Bussman building, at 210 Dixie Trail, said Joel Gillie, Wayne County public affairs director.

Testing will be on a first-come, first-served basis and in a drive-thru setting, Gillie said.

Signs will be posted on the property directing drivers to the testing area. Results will be provided after the testing is performed.

The health department has provided rapid testing throughout the pandemic, as resources have allowed, Gillie said.

“Testing is something that the health department is committed to providing to the community,” Gillie said. “Our efforts shifted from testing to mass vaccinations when vaccines became available. Now that vaccination efforts are manageable, we are able to bring back more testing.”

The testing is viewed as timely and convenient, he said.

“These tests will be rapid tests, and results will be available in 15 minutes,” Gillie said. “Individuals will remain in their car, have a nasal swab taken, and receive documentation with results while they wait.”

Test kits are being provided by the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services and staff from the health department and Wayne County Emergency Services will be on site. Volunteers will also help with traffic and other needs.

“Testing remains important for anyone who has symptoms of COVID-19, has been in close contact with someone who has tested positive, or unvaccinated individuals who participate in high-risk activities,” Gillie said. “We see many employers now requiring negative tests to come to work and negative tests needed for travel. The health department is always looking to fill gaps in the community. Testing is one area where we can provide a service to our residents and help those that need it.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, COVID-19 testing is recommended for people who have symptoms of COVID-19 and people who have had close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. Close contact is being within 6 feet of someone with the virus for a total of 15 minutes or more during a 24-hour period.

Fully vaccinated people should be tested three to five days following a known exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 and wear a mask in public indoor settings for 14 days or until they receive a negative test result, Gillie said.

People who have tested positive for COVID-19 within the past three months and recovered do not need to get tested following an exposure as long as they do not develop new symptoms, he said.

In addition to testing at the health department, various drug stores, doctor’s offices and other health care facilities offer COVID-19 testing.

To find a COVID-19 testing site, visit the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services website at https://bit.ly/3izIh1E.