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Barnwell, Bamberg counties lose COVID test sites as strategy shifts

Published: Mar. 11, 2022 at 2:50 PM EST
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) - Starting next week, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control will start closing more of its COVID testing sites and shift resources to providing free at-home tests.

Bamberg and Barnwell counties are among the places where sites will close.

The agency says it’s gradually closing in-person testing sites due to a drop in demand as rapid at-home testing becomes more available and as the latest surge of coronavirus cases fades into memory.

Beginning Tuesday, the agency will transition to reporting COVID-19 data once a week on Tuesdays. Data will include COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, deaths and vaccinations, among other data.

“Tracking daily case numbers is less useful, especially with the rise of non-reportable at-home tests,” said Dr. Brannon Traxler, DHEC’s public health director. “It’s much more useful to track severe cases, meaning those that unfortunately result in hospitalizations and deaths. That gives us a clearer picture of how the virus is impacting local communities.”

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