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StarMed COVID-19 testing sites at CMS schools closed Monday

The Tuckaseegee Road location had a line spilling into the street before they even started.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — StarMed Healthcare announced Monday that its locations at Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools will be closed all day due to inclement weather that moved through the region Monday morning. 

Those locations include Barnette Elementary School, Garinger High School, James Martin Middle School, Rocky River High School and Waddell Virtual Academy. The Matthews Theatre location will also be closed for the remainder of Monday.

“If they’re not back up by tomorrow, we’ll definitely have them back up by Wednesday," StarMed CEO Michael Estramonte said.

Several other StarMed locations were also closed or opened later than usual. The Tuckaseegee Road location had a line spilling into the street before they even started.

The CMS sites also double as vaccination clinics. Doctors are urging parents to consider getting their kids the shots, as most prepare to go back to the classroom following the winter break.

"You have a lot more infection control with vaccination. Also, we are protecting our teachers, some of them are high-risk patient populations so even for them, vaccinating our kids is very important. So it's good for everybody," Dr. Vrushali Patwardhan, a pediatrician with Novant Health said.

The state revised its safe schools' toolkit, getting in line with the CDC's latest isolation guidance. Any student who tests positive but doesn't have any symptoms can return to class after five days, with five more days of strict masking.

"Masks are not going anywhere," Vrushali said

RELATED: New COVID-19 treatment offered by StarMed promises to reduce chance of infection by 83%

The FDA also approved Pfizer’s booster shot for kids ages 12 to 15 and shortened the time period between the second and booster dose to 5 months. The booster shot continues to show a greatly improved antibody response to the omicron variant.

“It’s ramping up your immunity to another level,” Estramonte said.

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Getting a COVID-19 test in the Charlotte area will continue to be a waiting game as omicron spreads like wildfire.

"Right now all the sites are busy. I don’t know when this wave is going to start to slow down but our positivity rate is well over 20%, at this site I think it's 25% and it’s just a sign of the times," Estramonte said.

On Jan. 1, the percent positivity rate in Mecklenburg County was nearly 26%.

RELATED: NC sets new COVID-19 case record over the holiday weekend

The unprececented demand met with fewer locations operating on Monday. Plus, staffing shortages are hitting the clinics too, many of the workers out with COVID-19.

"We're being creative, we’re figuring out how to move the chess pieces around the table to make sure that we can stay operational and get there for the community," Estramonte said.

They're allowing people who are comfortable to swab themselves to cut down the wait times.

RELATED: Over 20 StarMed staff members test positive for COVID-19

STARMED TESTING CENTERS

StarMed – Freemore
4001 Tuckaseegee Rd, Charlotte
*Holidays may affect hours
Mon. - Thurs.: 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Fri.: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Sat. & Sun.: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

StarMed – Eastland
5344-B Central Ave, Charlotte
(Testing located across the street, in the parking lot of the old Eastland Mall)
*Holidays may affect hours
Mon. - Thurs.: 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Fri.: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Sat. & Sun.: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Mecklenburg County Public Health – Northwest
2845 Beatties Ford Rd, Charlotte
*Holidays may affect hours
Mon. - Fri.: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Compare Foods
201 W Arrowood Rd, Charlotte
*Holidays may affect hours
Mon.: 3 p.m. - 7 p.m.
Sat.: 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Cinemark 10
9508 Northeast Ct, Matthews
*Holidays may affect hours
Mon. - Fri.: 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. 

Auto Selection of Charlotte
6859 South Blvd, Charlotte
*Holidays may affect hours
Mon. - Sat.: 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. 

Garinger High School
1100 Eastway Dr, Charlotte
*Closed until Jan 3
Mon. - Fri.: 8 a.m. - 2 p.m. 

Waddell Virtual Academy
8300 Nations Ford Rd, Charlotte
*Closed until Jan 3
Mon. - Fri.: 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. 

James Martin Middle School
7800 IBM Dr, Charlotte
*Closed until Jan 3
Mon. - Fri.: 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. 

Rocky River High School
10505 Clear Creek Commerce Dr, Mint Hill
*Closed until Jan 3
Mon. - Fri.: 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. 

Barnette Elementary School
13659 Beatties Ford Rd, Huntersville
*Closed until Jan 3
Mon. - Fri.: 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. 

WCNC Charlotte is part of seven major media companies and other local institutions reporting on and engaging the community around the problems and solutions as they relate to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is a project of the Charlotte Journalism Collaborative, which is supported by the Local Media Project, an initiative launched by the Solutions Journalism Network with support from the Knight Foundation to strengthen and reinvigorate local media ecosystems. See all of our reporting at charlottejournalism.org.

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