SC health department to begin closures of COVID-19 testing sites
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control will begin scaling back the number of agency-managed COVID-19 testing sites statewide beginning Tuesday.
The move signifies the state and nation’s transition out of a pandemic into an endemic, as public health officials provide guidance on how to live safely with the ongoing presence of COVID-19.
Through March 14, DHEC-managed vendor testing sites in all counties with five or more non-DHEC PCR test providers will be closed. A release from the agency states non-DHEC PCR test providers include primary care providers, pharmacies, federally qualified health centers, hospitals and mobile providers.
In the Lowcountry, that includes four testing sites in Beaufort County, four in Berkeley County, nine in Charleston County, one in Colleton County, one in Dorchester County and three in Georgetown County.
On March 15, the agency will begin reporting new COVID-19 case counts and COVID-19-related deaths on a weekly basis rather than a daily basis.
DHEC currently releases data Monday through Friday, and Monday’s releases include Saturday, Sunday and Monday reports. Because DHEC issues data on a 48-hour delay, those three day totals reflect test results from the previous Thursday through Saturday.
March 14-April 1
From March 14 through April 1, DHEC will further scale back its testing locations, closing test sites in counties with at least two non-DHEC PCR test providers.
Then on April 1, DHEC will begin closing remaining testing sites except in counties where DHEC is the only PCR-test provider or only other such provider. In those areas, DHEC will also provide mobile rapid antigen testing services.
In the Lowcountry, that includes two sites in Williamsburg County.
DHEC’s testing locator will be updated in real-time to reflect when a specific site is no longer open.
The testing locator also reflects which health departments have these tests in stock.
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