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UNC Health is following guidance which the NC Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) provided this week.

Chapel Hill, NC (January 15, 2022) — Effective immediately, UNC Health hospitals will no longer administer COVID tests to the general public who are not experiencing symptoms in their emergency departments (EDs). With the impact of the Omicron variant, emergency departments at hospitals across the nation have been overwhelmed with patients, and UNC Health is no exception to the current surge of COVID cases.

“To ensure that our EDs have the time and tools to properly care for all patients seeking emergent care in our hospitals across North Carolina, we are pausing COVID testing for patients without symptoms,” explained UNC Health Chief Clinical Officer Dr. Matt Ewend.  “Our EDs will only test patients for COVID-19 if they have symptoms or require admission to the hospital for other reasons.”

UNC Health is following guidance which the NC Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) provided this week. This policy applies to the following UNC Health entities and serves as guidance for other UNC Health entities:

  • UNC Medical Center
    (Chapel Hill & Hillsborough)
  • UNC Rex Healthcare
    (Raleigh & Holly Springs)
  • Caldwell UNC Health Care (Lenoir)
  • Chatham Health Care (Siler City)
  • UNC Rockingham Health Care (Eden)
  • Johnston UNC Health Care
    (Smithfield & Clayton)

Approaching winter weather makes it even more important that we use our ED resources to care for true emergencies. If you have symptoms of COVID-19 and are in need of testing, we recommend these COVID-19 testing options:

  • Schedule your test using MY UNC Chart and selecting “Schedule an Appointment.”
  • Visit the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) website to find a free testing site near you.
  • Request a free at-home test kit from LabCorp.

As always, if you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 911 or visit your nearest Emergency Department.

You also can check the UNC Health COVID resource page here regularly for updates.


About UNC Health
UNC Health is an integrated health care system owned by the state of North Carolina and based in Chapel Hill. It exists to further the teaching mission of the University of North Carolina and to provide state-of-the-art patient care.

UNC Health is comprised of UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill, ranked consistently among the best medical centers in the country; the UNC School of Medicine, a nationally eminent research institution; Pardee UNC Health Care in Hendersonville; Chatham Hospital in Siler City; Johnston Health in Clayton and Smithfield; UNC Lenoir Health Care in Kinston; Wayne UNC Health Care in Goldsboro; Caldwell UNC Health Care in Lenoir; Nash UNC Health Care in Rocky Mount; UNC Rockingham Health Care in Eden, Onslow Memorial Hospital in Jacksonville, UNC Health Southeastern in Lumberton, UNC Health Blue Ridge in Morganton, CarolinaEast in New Bern, UNC REX Healthcare and its provider network in Wake County; and the UNC Physicians Network.

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