COLUMBIA, S.C. (WSAV) – With Thanksgiving just days away, health officials around the country and here at home are urging safety as the COVID-19 crisis continues.
Gov. Henry McMaster, joined by state public health officials Thursday evening, delivered their message about preparing for a safe holiday season in South Carolina.
“We have to be careful, we have to be smart so we can all celebrate together next year,” the governor said.
He relayed practical safety advice, including staying outside as much as possible or dropping off food to a loved one, with a short, socially distanced visit.
“Get tested before turkey,” McMaster urged, adding that free testing is available for all South Carolinians.
The governor also announced an upcoming executive order which will make testing more accessible for schools.
He has directed the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) to work with the South Carolina Department of Education in providing every public school district with COVID-19 testing kits.
“We’ll have plenty of the kits,” McMaster said, adding, “It will be up to the parents to decide if they want their child to be tested.”
DHEC’s Dr. Brannon Traxler said the tests will primarily be directed to symptomatic staff and students. Nurses will be trained in how to conduct the BinaxNOW rapid antigen tests.
“Schools can be operated safely,” McMaster said, adding, “We want all the schools to be open and operate safely.”
The goal is to have the tests in schools for the week after Thanksgiving.