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All S.C. public schools to get coronavirus rapid testing kits

Schools should have the tests after the Thanksgiving holiday, health officials say
Published: Nov. 19, 2020 at 6:16 PM EST
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster said he will soon issue an executive order mandating the distribution of COVID-19 testing kits to every public school in the state.

The kits will include rapid antigen tests -- which take about 15 minutes to diagnose whether someone has COVID-19. The tests are provided by the federal government.

Tests will be available to both students and faculty or staff who have symptoms.

Students must have permission from their parent or guardian to get tested.

The state Department of Health and Environmental Control is working with the state Department of Education to determine how many testing kits should go to each school.

There should be enough tests available at each school so any symptomatic child who has permission can get tested, said Dr. Brannon Traxler, the interim director of DHEC.

Schools should receive the testing kits in the week after Thanksgiving, Traxler said.

Going forward, Traxler said DHEC hopes to keep testing kits supplied to each school.

McMaster made this announcement during a media briefing about COVID-19 in the state concerning what people need to do over the holiday season. He urged everyone to get “tested before turkey.”

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