Source: Associated Press

The coronavirus pandemic has tested supply chains and pushed transporters to deliver critical supplies under tight time constraints. But now North Carolina, first in flight, is taking to the skies once again. This time the state is leading the pack in drone technology, the Associated Press reports.

North Carolina has been a testing ground for drone deliveries in coordination with the Federal Aviation Administration for over a year, according to the Associated Press. Novant Health was the site of one of the first PPE deliveries via drone. The health care system plans to use the drones regularly to deliver different types of PPE between its various facilities.

Though they now serve mostly to deliver medical equipment for health care workers, Novant says the devices could be used in coordination with testing, drug trials and vaccine distribution, according to the AP.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has tasked us with being even more nimble and innovative in how we solve complex challenges,” said Angela Yochem, Novant’s chief digital and technology officer. 

The drones used most recently launched in Kannapolis, North Carolina, each carrying up to 4 pounds of equipment and with a round-trip range of 100 miles, according to the AP.

Read the full story on North Carolina’s medical delivery drones from the Associated Press.