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Over 20 StarMed staff members test positive for COVID-19

StarMed announced over 20 staff members were pulled from the front lines after testing positive for COVID-19.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — StarMed Healthcare, one of the largest COVID-19 test and vaccine providers in the Charlotte area, says the recent surge in new cases is hitting its staff. 

StarMed announced Wednesday that more than 20 staff members tested positive for the virus. Those employees were pulled from the front lines and StarMed said in a tweet it plans to reload for more testing Thursday. 

"We will reload and serve the community tomorrow to the very best of our ability," StarMed's tweet said. "Thank you for your continued patience and understanding of the situation we've all found ourselves in together."

Test sites across the Charlotte area have been overwhelmed since the Christmas holiday, with people waiting in line for hours to get tested. StarMed recently opened a new location on South Boulevard to help increase access to testing and vaccinations in Charlotte. 

The expansion in vaccination and testing services at the new location comes as more people seek out tests for holiday visits. StarMed's main clinic saw a 21% positivity rate for all COVID-19 tests on Dec. 27. 

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Courtney Cortes, the director of nursing for emergency services at Novant Health Presbyterian, said the emergency department is the busiest it’s been in the last two years.

Cortes said some patients have had to wait hours for testing in the ER due to the uptick in COVID-19 admissions. People looking for tests in the emergency department puts even more of a strain on resources, impacting the timeliness of care for those who need it most.

“Truthfully, going to an outpatient setting, you’re going to have a much shorter wait time you can set an appointment,” she said.

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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