GREENSBORO, N.C. — COVID-19 numbers continue to increase statewide, with far more cases and hospitalizations than just one month ago. Health experts also say they're seeing a rise in the number of people seeking out testing - looking to find out if they have the virus.
"Our cases have gone up drastically," said Forsyth County Public Health Director Joshua Swift. "The first week of July, we were averaging six to eight cases per day. Now, we had 74 cases [Monday], and our average over the past seven days has been 78. The numbers are going up. More people are concerned and they should be, about the Delta variant. So, as we’ve said always, we encourage people to get tested."
Over in Guilford County, David Thompson, Assistant Director for Cone Health, said they're seeing similar trends in testing and cases at the Green Valley campus.
"At the height of everything, we were seeing like 1,000 people a day at Green Valley for testing. Of course, it dropped off dramatically when we started vaccines, but now, we are starting to see the vaccine kind of plateau, and the Delta variant is taking effect," he said. "A few weeks ago, we were testing like 30 people a day at Green Valley, and it was only open two days a week...We kind of started seeing, one to two weeks after the Fourth of July, it's sort of creeping back up and now we’re at 200 tests a day last week."
Both experts say this wave, and the Delta variant, is most concerning for unvaccinated people - and that breakthrough cases remain relatively rare. But, even if you are vaccinated - there are a few steps you should take if you are exposed.
"If you have any symptoms of COVID-19, whether you've been vaccinated or not, you should get tested. If you're fully vaccinated, you should be tested three to five days following a known exposure," Swift said.
"If I could recommend somebody, it's to go where you can get a test the quickest in that three to five-day window," said Thompson.
While both experts say the PCR or viral COVID-19 test is considered the gold standard in terms of accuracy, rapid tests are also effective. Between taking the test and getting your results, make sure to self-isolate.
Tests are widely available through various providers - click here to find out where to find testing in your community.