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101 take drive-thru COVID-19 test

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With health conditions that place Cynthia Lucas at high risk for COVID-19, the Wilson woman jumped at the chance to get tested Saturday at her church.

“I think it is awesome because they say you can be a carrier without having the symptoms, so I wanted to make sure I don’t have it,” Lucas said. “I’m glad they are making it available for the community, especially with us having a rise in cases lately.”

Lucas already worked from home before the pandemic, but she’s been steadfast about wearing a mask and washing her hands when venturing out to buy groceries. She and 100 others participated in the drive-thru testing Saturday through Goshen Medical Center at St. Paul Church of Christ.

“I’m glad they are doing it because a lot of people want to know, but if you wait until you start having symptoms, it could be too late,” she said.

Office trainer Carrie Lane said employees are taking vital signs and treating patients through car windows at Goshen’s 34 locations across southeastern North Carolina, so the drive-thru testing just made sense.

“We did one of these events last weekend at my farm for our H-2A workers,” Lane said. “We did 36 tests out there, and I think this is going to be the new thing, for at least a little while.”

The event was promoted through various platforms.

“We had about 45 or 50 registered when The Wilson Times story was posted, and within 35 or 40 minutes, we ran over our capacity,” said the church bishop, Chester Aycock.

Initially, the church planned to take registrations over the phone, but the popularity quickly had organizers change tack and switch to email. By the time the registration period closed, 157 people had signed up to take the test. Aycock said only 101 people showed up, but all got tested despite staff having to get more tests shortly into the morning.

Mary Hinton said her nose easily bleeds, so she was glad the test was an oral swab instead of a nasal one.

“I thought about it and prayed about it,” she said. “I was a little nervous, but I was ready this morning.”

Hinton said she’s been staying at home and hasn’t felt sick, but the test offered peace of mind.

Cheryl Pike echoed that sentiment, noting she worries about being exposed while getting groceries and exposing her disabled son to the virus.

“I tried to get my son to come, but he wouldn’t,” she said. “He said, ‘If I have it, I have it,’ but I think it will be nice to know.”

Officials said participants will receive the results Tuesday or Wednesday.

“I think this is a real good thing,” Pike said. “Everybody is in the same boat, and if I have it, at least I will know and I’ll stay home so I don’t spread it.”

Lane said volunteers from the church helped ensure the testing went smoothly.

“We serve people. That is our job, not just to have the church and services on Sunday,” Aycock said. “We want to serve the community, and we want to serve mankind. Whatever it takes to make it better for the whole man — body, soul and spirit — is what we’ll do.”

Wilson COVID-19 Cases

Wilson County reported six new COVID-19 cases on Monday, one of which involves a Longleaf Neuro-Medical Treatment Center resident, according to county health officials.

Of the 183 total positive cases in Wilson County, 107 people have recovered. County officials said 61 people are isolated at home and eight are hospitalized.