A pesky summer cold or breakthrough COVID-19? CN+R's Kim Hawks finds out.

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Earlier this week, I started feeling sluggish with cold-like symptoms. I brushed it off as a “summer cold.”

After all, I had my required two jabs of Moderna last March and April. Then it hit me — my symptoms sounded a little like breakthrough COVID-19.

As a photographer for the Chatham News + Record, I’m out and about the county taking photos for various Chatham-centric assignments. I wear a mask when in public places, especially indoors. Still, self-doubt began to creep in. 

Shortly after, I called a friend and told her I was going to get a COVID-19 test and that I couldn’t see her until I knew my health status for sure. Then, I canceled another engagement. I realized I would never forgive myself if I unknowingly infected my friends or family with COVID-19. I self-quarantined. I learned quickly isolation is not much fun.

I needed to get tested.

My first approach was to go to the Walgreens COVID-19 website and sign up at one of their locations for a COVID shot. They give an option of three different choices: a Rapid Diagnostic Test (results in 20-30 mins), a Diagnostic Lab Test (result time varies) and a Rapid Antigen test (results in as little as an hour). I searched Walgreens from Siler City to Pittsboro, to Chapel Hill, Carrboro, Durham, Cary, Raleigh and beyond.

I finally got an appointment in Durham for service two days from then for the Diagnostic Lab Test. In general, the only open options were a Diagnostic Test, “result times vary.” This reminded me of last January, when pre-vaccination, I’d been looking day after day for an opening for a COVID-19 shot. Bottom line, there are a still a lot of people getting tests to see if they have been infected.

A friend suggested I try Urgent Care in Pittsboro (628 East Street; 919-542-4450) for a speedier result. They took my name, insurance info and told me they had an opening the same day — all I needed to do was name my time. I was there in an hour.

They greeted me at my car and did the good ole’ “Covid-Swab.” Good news: they no longer need to jab the Q-tip up your nose to your brain. It is much gentler!

Just 20 minutes later, they came back outside to tell me the best news: I was negative for COVID-19. WHEW! Huge sigh of relief.

You might want to file this info in your COVID file or whatever time sensitive phone lists you have. (The Urgent Care was not busy — there was one customer there when I arrived and no one came while I was there.)

While health experts say breakthrough COVID-19 cases are rare, they also recommend getting tested if you start feeling COVID-like symptoms. Plus, if you’re anything like me, a negative test will give you a whole lot of peace of mind.


2 comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here

  • don

    I did this same exercise on Thursday. Also with a negative result. But these breakthrough cases seem to be getting more prevalent.

    Saturday, August 7, 2021 Report this

  • colfenbu

    Thanks for this article. I haven't had to get a Covid test, but good to know that the Urgent Care in Pittsboro is a local resource to get this done.

    Monday, August 9, 2021 Report this