Buncombe County -- Buncombe County Government Community News Jan 21, 2022 In response to high demand for testing
and a surge in COVID-19 cases, more testing opportunities are opening up in Buncombe County.
Update: As of Thursday afternoon, Jan. 20 -BCHHS is out of test kits and masks. Please scroll down for more testing options in Buncombe County.
Buncombe County Health and Human Services (BCHHS) Public Health has purchased a limited number of at-home rapid COVID-19 test kits to distribute throughout the community to bridge testing needs while testing demand remains high.
BCHHS is also providing face coverings for distribution along with the test kits. Vaccination, testing, staying home when you feel unwell, and correctly wearing a face covering can help in the battle against the very contagious Omicron variant.
The testing kits will be distributed in two ways to ensure equity and coverage throughout the county. First, Public Health has identified 22 equity-focused community organizations that work in one or more of the following domains: 1) Service to Historically Marginalized Populations, 2) Service in Low-Income Areas, and/or 3) Service in Rural Communities. These organizations will receive test kits and face coverings that they will provide to their service population and/or community events serving their populations.
Secondly, test kits and masks will be distributed to the general public at fixed sites geographically located throughout the county. Beginning Thursday, January 20, 2022 from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., 13 Fire Departments and BCHHS (40 Coxe Avenue, Downtown Asheville) will distribute test kits and masks. You can pick up a test kit at the following Buncombe County Fire Stations while supplies last. Community members may want to call ahead to locations to check if supply is still available.
Broad River Fire Department-Tests still available
Fairview Fire Department-No more tests
Swannanoa Fire Department-No more tests
West Buncombe Fire Department-No more tests
Riceville Fire Department-No more tests
Black Mountain Fire Department- No more tests
Garren Creek Volunteer Fire Department-Tests still available
Asheville Fire Department - Downtown & Hendersonville Rd (Shiloh)-No more tests
Jupiter Fire Department-No more tests
Reynolds Fire Department-No more tests
Enka-Candler Fire Department-Tests still available
HHS at 40 Coxe Ave.-No more tests
Upper Hominy still has tests
These locations will provide at least one (1) kit per adult but no more than two (2) kits per adult and at least one (1) bag of face coverings per individual. Each test kit box contains one (1) at-home test, instructions for use, and guidance for testing and isolation and each face covering bag contains ten (10) face coverings. The kits and face coverings are free, and no identification is needed to obtain these items. As a reminder: the hours that the kits will be provided are from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. and are available as long as supplies last. Calling ahead can ensure that you do not travel to these locations unnecessarily in the event that supplies run out. Please check weather-related closures for any site-specific closures that may occur due to inclement weather.
More Testing Options
The federal government has announced that every household in the country can order four (4) free at-home kits through the newly created covidtests.gov website. Once ordered, kits are expected to ship in 7-12 days. The process is very simple, quick, and free.
The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services also offers at-home PCR test kits through LabCorp, which are delivered at no cost via FedEx and returned to the lab for processing. Those kits can be accessed here: https://covid19.ncdhhs.gov/about-covid-19/testing/covid-19-test-home-collection-kit-program
Through an additional NC DHHS testing vendor, more in-person testing opportunities have opened to our community and will begin on the campus of UNC Asheville starting this Friday from 1 p.m.-8 p.m., as well as Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. at the Blue Ridge Room in the Highsmith Student Union, located at 2500 University Heights, Asheville NC 28804. This weekend testing will be available for the next six weeks.
More resources for testing are listed at ncdhhs.gov/GetTested, including the Harrah’s Cherokee Center, 87 Haywood St., Asheville, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Monday through Friday. If you know you need an appointment, confirm your testing opportunity by booking an appointment in advance. Please do not visit a hospital emergency department for a COVID-19 test. If you feel unwell, it is important to isolate until your symptoms improve. Please keep yourself and others as safe and healthy as possible by doing your part: mask up and boost your health by being up to date on your COVID-19 vaccines.