The numbers could be changing in the Lowcountry as more and more people get tested for COVID-19.
More people had that chance to get tested as the first free testing site opened in Beaufort County Thursday.
The Sheldon community only has about 5000 people, but its rural, isolated, and many of the people who live there have little access to hospitals with full COVID-19 testing capabilities.
That’s why The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) teamed with the Beaufort Jasper Hampton Comprehensive Health Services (BJH Health) to bring the testing to the people.
“Part of why we wanted to be here was there are a lot of people who are asymptomatic and don’t know they have it and we wanted to help DHEC and help our public health community quantify that,” said Dr. Faith Polkey, Chief Clinical Officer, BJH Health.
More than 100 people drove in to the testing areas in the first hour it was open Thursday morning.
The crowds were steady all day as more cars, more people wanted to come in for their test and their peace of mind.
Medical officials in full protective gear took down their information. Then gave each person the nasal swab test to determine if they have contracted the virus.
Each nurses or doctor scrubs down in between every car, every patient, for safety.
Two women said they were there because their own husbands died from the virus
Everyone we spoke to said it was worth a few minutes in line to get answers about their health.
“You want to know,” said William Ross. “Some people may not, but I know I want to know.”
“What’s the biggest concern for you?”
“Me catching it and passing it onto others,” said Joretta Simmons. I would like to be here a little bit longer to enjoy my kids and grandkids and hopefully great great grandkids.”
“I don’t want to spread it be part of the problem,” said Janay Morris. I think we all try our best not to, but even going out to get essentials or even coming to get tested today, it is just taking a chance.”
All the tests performed are free and you should get your results back in 24-48 hours.
If you missed Thursday’s event, you can come out Friday from 11am-3pm to the Elijah Washington Medical Center at 211 Paige Point Road in Seabrook.
Everyone is eligible to be tested; you do not need to be symptomatic, nor do you need to have been proximate to someone who has contracted the virus. Also, there is no testing fee.
You can preregister for testing at either site by calling 843-987-7555; Preregistration is strongly encouraged, as the demand for testing is likely to be high.
There will also be a free drive-in testing program in Jasper County next week on Thursday and Friday (June 4 and 5) from 11 am to 3 pm at Ridgeland Medical Center, 1520 Grays Highway in Ridgeland.