NC Officials Say State Has Supplies To Test 250 People For Coronavirus

Mar 11, 2020

North Carolina officials said Wednesday the state’s lab currently has enough supplies to test 250 people for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. 

People can be tested if they have symptoms like a fever, cough or shortness of breath and contact with someone who has tested positive for the virus, state Health Director Elizabeth Cuervo Tilson said at a Charlotte news conference. Tilson said residents can also receive a test if they have symptoms like a fever, cough and shortness of breath but test negative for the flu.

Gov. Roy Cooper said the private company LabCorp, which is based in Burlington, has also begun testing North Carolina patients for the coronavirus, but said the state does not know how many people the lab has tested.

"LabCorp is only required to let us know when they have a positive (test)," Cooper said. "We're going to work it out where we can know from Lab Corp and others who are doing the tests what that number is."

LabCorp did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday. 

Cooper declared a state of emergency in North Carolina on Tuesday and said the state had supplies to test 300 people. As of midday Tuesday, the state lab had tested 44 people for COVID-19, according to health officials.

North Carolina had seven confirmed cases of coronavirus as of Wednesday evening. All of the cases are in the Triangle area.