CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The winter weather expected in the Charlotte area is creating some challenges for COVID-19 testing sites.
Doctors say most people should just isolate at home since going outside won’t be the safest option. Originally, StarMed planned to keep at least its Tuckaseegee Road location in Charlotte open, but on Saturday announced all locations except for Onslow County would be shut down.
StarMed said the call center and labs will still stay open to process results, but no COVID-19 testing or vaccination sites will be open for Sunday.
Atrium Health officials say they will have urgent care locations open on Sunday, and pushed more testing appointments to Saturday before the storm.
StarMed will put their staff in hotels to ensure they can get to the one open location on Sunday safely.
“It’s not easy because it’s hard to find staff who are willing to work that day, we won’t have the National Guard because it’s the weekend, so it’s really just because I don’t know who else would do it if we didn’t,” Estramonte said.
They’ll also have their lab and call center workers in hotels this weekend, so they can continue to work and prevent any further delay in test results.
StarMed is still playing Monday by ear, the facilities teams prepping each location the best they can.
“They have all the materials to be able to put the salt down and everything but if we just can’t get to every site, yes we may have to have some sites closed on Monday as well if not enough of it melts,” Estramonte said. He encourages people to check social media before heading to a testing site this weekend or early next week to make sure it is open.
StarMed is helping to open a new testing site in Concord on Monday too.
Atrium Health Closings
Walk-in testing and COVID-19 vaccination clinics will be closed at the following locations:
- 4222 Beam Road, Charlotte, NC 28217
- First Baptist Church - West, 1801 Oaklawn Ave., Charlotte, NC 28216
Novant Health Closings
Novant Health announced it will close its Baldwin COVID-19 testing site and Huntersville COVID-19 vaccination clinic on Monday, Jan. 17. Those clinics will operate with limited hours on the following days:
- Baldwin - 125 Baldwin Ave, Charlotte NC, 28204
Testing: Tuesday - Friday: 7 a.m. until 3 p.m.
Vaccination: Tuesday, 7 a.m. until 3 p.m. and Thursday, 10 a.m. until 6 p.m.
- Huntersville (vaccines only) - 17220 Northcross Drive Suite 110, Huntersville, NC 28078
Wednesday, 7 a.m. until 3 p.m.
StarMed Healthcare said it plans to close all of its outdoor COVID-19 testing facilities except the following two locations:
- 4001 Tuckaseegee Road: Will operate from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m., dependent upon weather conditions
- 4355 Gum Branch Road in Jacksonville, North Carolina.
StarMed said Friday that it will determine whether to close the indoor testing site based on road conditions early Sunday morning. The latest updates will be posted on StarMed's Twitter page.
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.