If COVID-19 is the health threat that local, state and federal governments make it out to be, why can’t Catawba County Public Health organize an efficient system to test for the virus?
It’s hard to imagine a system that is slower and more wasteful than that the department has in place at its Hickory office. A recent morning found vehicles lined up through all the switchbacks of the serpentine at the back of the building and down the length of the driveway behind and alongside it. I personally saw one car wait more than 20 minutes at the testing tent while public health staffers worked on something else under it. Another staffer, evidently tired of checking vehicles in, took a long, leisurely break under a shade tree. By the time I got to the front of the line to be tested, I had idled away well more than two hours in my vehicle.
If Catawba County is serious about reducing its COVID-19 caseload and the resulting deaths and economic dislocation the pandemic is causing, why are not more staffers working in the testing center to move residents — who are taxpayers — through it more efficiently? Is there a specified time appointment system that would be more efficient? Are residents — again, taxpayers —getting their money’s worth? It’s almost impossible to see that the last is true.