CHARLOTTE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — The holidays are here with plenty of cheer, but sadly COVID is still near, so you hop on your computer and head to COVID.gov to order more tests. 

Then you see this:

The program was suspended due to a lack of funding from Congress. That leads us to this week’s Queen City Question: “I can’t get free at-home tests from the federal government, so does that mean I have to pay?”

Nope. Not at all. Especially if you live in Mecklenburg County because the county health department has you covered.

“Come to us. We have them for free. We have ample supply,” said Michael Eby, Senior Health Manager with Mecklenberg County. “The state health department has been doing a wonderful job with helping ensure that local health departments have access to free tests to give and they actually have this program called community access points. These are locations around the state that you can go and you can get up to 10 free (rapid tests).”


COVID-19 Resources

Here’s how to get a COVID-19 vaccine in North and South Carolina

Need a COVID test? Here’s some ways you can get one in the Charlotte area


To find those access points, you can head to mecknc.gov/covid19, click on testing, then scroll down to the map.

The state will also send you tests for free.

Just head to https://covid19.ncdhhs.gov/home-covid-19-tests and click on get home tests mailed to me.

But say none of those options work for you, you can also use your insurance at most pharmacies.

“So, you’ll go in and go up to the counter with your covid test and you give them your insurance card and they’ll say, hey, don’t worry nothing out of pocket today. Take them home with you. We’ll take care of the rest. And so, there’s a lot of pharmacies that have really tried hard to make it very easy for people to get access to these tests and not pay anything out of pocket,” Eby said.

As far as when to test? Health officials still recommend doing so before big gatherings, if you’re experiencing symptoms and if you’ve been exposed to someone with Covid.

If you have a Queen City Question you’d like answered, you can email qcquestion@qcnews.com and we’ll get to it as soon as possible.