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S.C.’s free COVID testing kit initiative is in full swing

Published: Jan. 26, 2022 at 11:17 PM EST
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AIKEN, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) - After an overload of data preventing public health officials from releasing the most updated information, DHEC has reported a new record of COVID cases over the weekend.

On Sunday, more than 22,000 new cases were reported across the Palmetto State.

“Better safe than sorry” are the words reverberating through the state Department of Health and Environmental Control’s offices lately. That is, better to have an at-home test and not need it than not have one at all.

It’s why people like Dawn Gillas are picking up theirs.

“If I ever do get a sniffle, I want to make sure what’s going on with me, and then I got my 90-year-old mother that lives on the farm with me. I want her to be able to take a test,” she said. “We’re both vaccinated, and this omicron doesn’t seem to care.”

DHEC’s initiative to give out free testing kits is now in full swing.

“There just is not enough capacity to do a PCR on every person every time they need to be tested,” said Dr. Brannon Traxler, DHEC public health director.

It’s why you’ll be able to find one for free at almost every DHEC main office in South Carolina. They’ve ordered 2 million, with plans to send about 25 percent of them to schools.

DHEC tells us they’re giving schools flexibility with whether they’ll be administering them in school, or sending them home with kids.

“But we are working with school districts right now to provide them with rapid tests, which are administered by a health care professional like a nurse,” said Traxler.

Even though our COVID case numbers have skyrocketed, those don’t include the rapid tests people are taking at home.

We’re told more important than counting numbers, is ensuring people know when they’re positive.

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