Lowcountry hospitals offering daily free drive-thru COVID-19 tests


HILTON HEAD, S.C. (WSAV) – The virus numbers may be waning in some parts of the Lowcountry, but the need for COVID-19 testing remains.

Now, a pair of local hospitals are working to meet that need.

“We started offering COVID-19 testing to the community at no cost to the patient without a physician’s order,” said Jeremy Clark, CEO, Hilton Head Hospital.

The community showed up to get those tests. Hilton Head Hospital and Coastal Carolina Hospital saw a steady flow of people looking to get a free COVID-19 test and some peace of mind on Tuesday.

“At a minimum, it’s one less step,” said Clark, “or it is easier for someone if they wake up and they don’t feel well or they have concerns of if they’re around out someone they have been in contact with recently tested positive. They can come straight to Hilton Head Hospital or Coastal Carolina Hospital and get tested.”

The medical staff was at the ready, taking basic information, administering the swab tests, and sending those tests to the lab for analysis.

The entire process only took a few minutes — time well worth it, according to folks who want to protect themselves and their families.

“He actually has a very high temp, 103.7 and the pediatrician told me to come,” said Anne Soviero, a mother who came to get herself and her son tested.

“My son has type one diabetes and he’s coming for a visit on Sunday,” said Stephanie Raigi, who came to get tested.

“All my kids are on Medicaid so it is important for anybody, especially with healthcare as expensive as it is, to afford that and not have to worry about copays,” continued Soviero.

Limiting the worry and getting answers is the goal of this drive-thru clinic.

Officials say they are happy to help, but also know testing is not the only answer to stopping the spread of this virus.

“We have to stay vigilant, we have to keep wearing a mask and we have to push these numbers even lower,” said Clark.

The testing sites at both hospitals will be open from 8 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday:

  • Coastal Carolina Hospital (1000 Medical Center Dr. in Hardeeville)
  • Hilton Head Hospital (25 Hospital Center Blvd. on Hilton Head Island)

It will take about 48-72 hours to get results for anyone who doesn’t have a doctor’s order.

Officials say the drive-thru spot will be open as long as there is still a need for testing.

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