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Cape Fear Valley closes testing site due to supply issues

Officials will decide if the COVID-19 testing site at Health Pavilion North can reopen next week.


Cape Fear Valley Health announced earlier this week that it has closed its drive-through COVID-19 testing site for the week at Cape Fear Valley Health Pavilion North in Fayetteville.

Testing supply issues were cited as the cause.

“We didn’t reopen this week,” a hospital spokeswoman said.

PCR testing has been available at Health Pavilion North, at 6387 Ramsey St., Tuesdays through Fridays since Oct. 21. The vaccination clinic at the same location remains open.

"That is still up in the air," the spokeswoman said when asked if the test site will reopen Tuesday. 

Christopher Tart, the system’s vice president of Pharmacy and Cancer Centers, said in a news release that 200 to 300 patients a day have used the testing site.

“We are experiencing a lack of supply availability,” Tart said in the release. “We will reevaluate at the end of this week to determine if we can open up the testing site next week.”

Tart could not be reached for additional comment.

The site uses three different tests with different machines running those tests, the spokeswoman said. But the companies that manufacture these COVID-19 tests are having coronavirus issues and are not producing as many supplies.

Meanwhile, the county has not closed its testing site at the Public Health Department.

Testing is available in the Health Department parking lot at 1235 Ramsey St. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Currently, that site offers PCR testing only. Earlier, rapid response tests were available, but the Health Department ran out of those tests and has not been able to restock.

Dr. Jennifer Green, director of the Cumberland County Department of Public Health, said they are having issues with at-home testing kits.

“After the holidays,” she said, “we ran out of our supply of at-home test kits. And the PCR tests, the send-off tests, we ran out of those as well as our rapid at-home test kits. We did receive a very limited supply of our PCR test kits, and we’re distributing those to community partners that are most vulnerable.

Green said the department has not had supply chain issues with its testing sites. 

“We’ve been able to keep those up and operational without any challenges,’’ she said. “And I think that’s because they’re working on this end with an approved state Health Department vendor for those. Just like the rest of the country, we’ve had staffing challenges that we've worked through with our vendor.”

The Health Department had approximately 10,000 N95 masks that it received from the Norh Carolina Department of Health and Human Services to distribute to the public on Wednesday and ran out of them in less than 24 hours on Thursday morning, Green said.

“We provided several thousand to the library and then we have several thousand here at the Health Department. And we are out of both of those supplies.”

The Fayetteville-Cumberland Parks & Recreation Department has some masks it will distribute starting Friday. 

People are able to get four free at-home COVID-19 tests for their homes through the federal government. Orders usually ship in 7 to 12 days. People can place an order at covidtests.gov.

Michael Futch covers Fayetteville and education for CityView TODAY. He can be reached at mfutch@cityviewnc.com. Have a news tip? Email news@CityViewTODAY.com.

COVID-19, testing sites, supply shortage, Cape Fear Valley Health, Health Pavilion North