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Free COVID-19 testing offered beginning today

In an effort to help combat the spread of COVID-19, the Surry County Health and Nutrition Center and the North Carolina Health and Human Services department is working to expand no-cost testing for the virus.

“Testing is a core element of North Carolina’s response to this pandemic, and that means making sure cost and access challenges never act as a barrier to a needed test. As we continue expanding free community testing options, we’re helping North Carolinians to stay informed about their health and help slow the spread of COVID-19,” said Health Services Secretary Mandy Cohen, M.D.

Locally, the testing effort will take place at three different sites spread over 15 days.

The first is at the Dobson Farmer’s Market, at 903 East Atkins St. in Dobson. There, testing will be available today from 3 to 8 p.m., Nov. 6 from noon until 8 p.m., Nov. 7 from 7 a.m. until 2 p.m., Nov. 8 from noon until 8 p.m., then Nov. 9 from 7 a.m. until 2 p.m.

The testing will then move to the Elkin Farmer’s Market, at 101 East Markey St. in Elkin. There, testing will be available Nov. 12 from 2:30 to 8 p.m., then on Nov. 13, 14, and 15, from noon until 8 p.m. each day, and on Nov. 16 from 7 a.m. until 2 p.m.

Next, testing will be held at Four Way Volunteer Fire Department, at 116 McBride Road in Mount Airy. Testing there will be on Nov. 19 from 2:30 until 8 p.m., Nov. 20 from noon until 8 p.m.; Nov. 21 from 7 a.m. to 2 p .m., Nov. 22 from noon until 8 p.m. and on Nov. 23 from 7 a.m. until 2 p.m.

The additional testing comes as local cases have spiked, recently setting several daily highs for active cases among the county’s population. As of the latest update on Wednesday, Nov. 4, there were 269 active cases. Overall, the county has experienced 2,102 confirmed cases, with 39 deaths.

While walk-ups are accepted at the testing sites, local health officials encourage residents to register and schedule an appointment at Anyone who meets the virus testing criteria can be tested, including people who are underinsured, uninsured, undocumented or homeless. Symptoms of COVID-19 can be found at

The effort is being done in conjunction with OptumServe, which local and state health officials say has expertise in rapidly deploying and setting up health care services. Led by former Army Surgeon General and retired Lieutenant General Patty Horoho, RN, OptumServe has performed more than 1 million tests at community-based testing sites across the country.

For more information about the testing, about COVID-19, or about local case numbers, visit



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