COVID Percent Positivity Rate Slowly Decreasing In Mecklenburg County

CHARLOTTE, NC. — Quick and easy. That’s how Sandra Grier describes getting a COVID test at this StarMed healthcare site on South Boulevard. Her son has COVID, and she wanted to get tested before going back to work Thursday.

“I hadn’t been here about 20 minutes, and I’m just waiting on the results for the rapid,” Grier says.

These short wait times are a stark contrast to what we saw in early January. With lines wrapping around parking lots and wait times as long as four hours. In the last 48 hours, county officials there’s been a significant drop in testing demand.

“The positivity rate has gone down, which is driving less tests. But I think people have gotten COVID fatigue. Some people that are symptomatic are like, you know I’m just going to quarantine myself and not even bother with a test,” says StarMed Health CEO Mike Estramonte.

The latest data shows the percent positivity rate in Mecklenburg County is 32.4%. It has slightly decreased every day since January 19. Novant officials say they’re seeing encouraging signs that the omicron variant may have peaked and are starting to plateau.

“Our hospitalizations, we think, peaked about 10 days or 12 days ago. So we’ve seen a very sort of slow drop over that period of time, ” adds Dr. Sid Fletcher with Novant Health.

Meantime, Atrium Health is running above 95% capacity at its hospitals and has asked FEMA for help covering staffing shortages.

“We rescheduled some non-time urgent operation and procedures,” says Dr. James Hunter.