Free COVID-19 testing in Hoke County starts Friday through Harris Teeter partnership

By Catharin Shepard • Staff writer • Hoke County was up to 127 total known cases of COVID-19 Tuesday, with free testing set to start this Friday thanks to a Harris Teeter partnership.

The drive-through testing will take place each Friday, Saturday and Monday through May 30 at Don Steed Elementary School. The testing runs from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and requires a scheduled appointment.

Harris Teeter is partnering with Kroger Health and The Little Clinic to offer the COVID-19 testing, according to a press release. The partnership also plans to offer testing in Guilford County and in Charleston, South Carolina.

Hoke residents don’t have to meet any qualifications for the free testing, according to an email from Harris Teeter Communications Manager Danna Robinson. The Department of Health and Human Services selected Hoke County as one of the testing sites.

Testing will be available Friday, May 15; Saturday, May 16; Monday, May 18; Friday, May 22; Saturday, May 23; Friday, May 29; and Saturday, May 30. Testing won’t take place on Memorial Day.

Set up an appointment

The Harris Teeter partnership asked people to go to to schedule an appointment. The site was working as of Wednesday morning.

Don Steed Elementary School is located at 800 Philippi Church Road in Hoke County.

The FDA-approved test collects a sample by self-administered nasal swab. Test results come back within 72 hours, Robinson said in an email.

eTrueNorth, a contractor for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is providing on-site laboratory services.

“Kroger Health is proud to partner with Harris Teeter in this important effort to combat the COVID-19 pandemic,” Kroger Health President Colleen Lindholz said in a statement. “This aligns perfectly with our vision, which is to help people live healthier lives.”

More on recent local cases

Many of the most recent coronavirus cases in Hoke County involve employees who work at Smithfield Foods or Mountaire Farms. Their spouses and children also account for a number of the recent positive cases, according to the Hoke County Health Department.

So far, there haven’t been any deaths in Hoke County due to COVID-19. Seven Hoke residents were hospitalized with the virus.

More than 550 people in all of North Carolina have died of COVID-19 related causes, according to the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services.

The 127 known cases in Hoke include both active cases and people who have recovered. Many of the people in Hoke County who tested positive for coronavirus through mid April have since recovered, health officials said. Health Department staff members are checking with patients weekly through follow-up phone calls.

More than 9,100 people in North Carolina who tested positive for COVID-19 have already recovered, NCDHHS said this week.

The Health Department tracks the numbers based on patients’ permanent home addresses.

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