NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The Medical University of South Carolina may soon start offering rapid COVID-19 tests at the Charleston International Airport.
The announcement by Airport Executive Director Elliott Summey comes in the same week MUSC launched a mobile COVID-19 testing site at the same location.
“MUSC is working hard to get that done,” Summey said. “They’re waiting on a shipment to come in, and they’re hoping they can get that going next week.”
Summey said these tests will be a “gamechanger” for fliers going to states that have stricter restrictions for travelers from South Carolina.
“In New York, you have to be armed with a negative COVID test within three days of arrival,” Summey said. “The Northeast is about 30-percent of our daily traffic for Charleston International Airport, so we want to do whatever we can to make that life easier for those travelers heading up there.”
In the meantime, MUSC is still offering tests on site with results typically available within 24 to 48 hours. Next week, they’ll be offering tests in the airport’s daily parking garage on Monday, Tuesday and Friday from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
“You don’t even have to get out of your car,” Summey said. “It’s literally drive thru testing. You drive up, get tested, park your car, and come on in.”
Individuals are asked to wear a mask whether or not they’re experiencing symptoms and to bring a valid picture ID and insurance card, if applicable. No appointment or pre-registration is required to get tested.
Tens of thousands of travelers have already made their way through the Charleston International Airport on the Thanksgiving holiday.
That comes as millions across the country have taken to the sky for the Thanksgiving holiday despite warnings from public health officials.
Summey said the airport has seen approximately 8,000 travelers per day for holiday travel. During the same time last year, before the pandemic, the airport saw about 18,000 travelers per day, he said.
“We’re fogging the TSA area with a microbial solution,” Summey said. “We’re working with our airport partners and airline partners. Those folks have been doing a phenomenal job cleaning the planes between flights.”
Those planning to go through the airport will be required to wear a mask at all times. Social distancing signs have also been placed around the airport.