CONWAY, S.C. (WBTW) – As people prepare for Christmas celebrations, some are adding a Coronavirus test to their to-do list.

The surge of people looking to get a test before holiday gatherings prompted CVS and Walgreens to limit the number of at-home tests people can buy. Customers can now buy six per purchase.

While health systems on the Grand Strand are not reporting a spike in testing demand like other cities across the country, Chief Medical Officer for Conway Medical Center, Doctor Paul Richardson says they are seeing more people come by for tests and more people testing positive.

“We had diminished down to fairly small numbers, but this week we’ve seen demand go back up,” Richardson said. “We’ve also seen a slight uptick in our percent positivity as well.”

According to numbers provided to WBTW News from Conway Medical Center 4,192 people were tested for Coronavirus at their facility in November. As of December 22nd at 11 A.M. 3,146 people had been tested so far this month. As for the percent positive, it is up 1.2% from November.

“Every major holiday has basically been followed with a spike of varying proportions,” Richardson said.

Richardson stressed the importance of getting vaccinated against the virus but said it’s too late now to get the shot in time for immunity before the holidays.

“Getting that shot even today is not going to fully protect you or even partially protect you before Christmas.”

To promote testing, President Biden announced Tuesday the federal government is working on a plan to send free, at-home tests to Americans who need them in the New Year.

Governor McMaster acknowledged the spread of the Omicron variant this week and said the State is prepared. He encouraged South Carolinians to move forward with Christmas plans, but do so ‘carefully.’