With the recent surge of the omicron variant, Orange County could face a shortage of COVID-19 tests.
Reported infections recently peaked nationwide at nearly 800,000 in a seven-day rolling average, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Most of the United States continues to see notable growth in cases.
The increase is primarily due to the spread of the omicron variant, which is more transmissible than the original strain of the virus, according to the World Health Organization.
Orange County has reported 2,627 cases over the past seven days, while North Carolina has reported 214,347. The state has the fourth-highest number of cases in the country.
Because North Carolina shows a seven-day positivity percentage of over 25 percent, there is little indication that infections have peaked.
In response to the growing number of cases, the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services issued a Jan. 11 press release describing its plans to support COVID-19 testing sites.
According to the press release, the NCDHHS has ordered an additional 700,000 tests with the intent to distribute them to schools, local health departments and other health centers.
"With part speed and part tenacity, we continue to work to stay two steps ahead of a constantly evolving virus and crisis situation, increasing access to testing," NCDHHS Secretary Kody H. Kinsley said in the release.
Unlike communities elsewhere in the state, Orange County has had few issues acquiring the resources necessary to conduct COVID-19 testing. Kristin Prelipp, communications manager for the Orange County Health Department, said the county’s testing sites have been generally well stocked in terms of test materials.