Hundreds come out for first free COVID-19 testing site on Hilton Head

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In South Carolina today there were more than 1200 new positive COVID-19 tests.

There have been almost 500 new cases in Beaufort County in the past two weeks

The first free testing site on Hilton Head Island proved people are ready to get more information about their health.

Cars started lining up long before the scheduled start time of 10 am. The line started at HIghway 278, wrapped around the parking lot of the high school, then around the building itself.

“This just shows that people are aware, they are mindful, people are understanding the importance of testing,” said State Senator Tom Davis.

Testing took just a few minutes once you got to the DHEC experts administering the tests. But patience was the key to many.

While others took a different approach.

“i was up sunrise this morning. i didn’t take no chances,” said Anthony Frazier.

Anthony Frazier didn’t want to wait to get his test so he got up bright an early and walked to the testing site instead.

“I walked up there,” said Frazier. “That’s how bad I wanted to get tested and how afraid I was of it.”

DHEC started with 600 test kits for the site, but after 300 cars came through in the first hour, they called for more.

“They are desperate for information,” said Senator Davis. “They want to know what their status is. They want to take responsible actions. I just spoke to DHEC in Columbia and told them we need to bring more tests down here.”

In less than 5 hours, 900 tests were administered to people from around the area.

Even though it meant spending a lot of time in a car on a hot summer’s day, everyone says it was worth it.

“The more you know about the virus the more you can do to protect yourself and your loved ones,” said Davis. “Second of all the more information, we have about the prevalence of the virus where it is breaking out helps us allocate resources more efficiently.”

“This is encouraging. The more we test the more information we have. The more people know what we can or can’t do.”

There is another testing site set for Monday at the Hilton Head Fire headquarters on Dillon road from 7 am to 1 pm. Senator Davis says this is the beginning of more testing and better services for the Lowcountry.

“Just yesterday in Columbia we passed a COVID-19 budget that among other things allocates $40 million for more testing,” says Davis. “That’s on top of the $45 million we allocated a few months ago. So we are getting the tests, we are allocating the supplies, we are working up logistics we can get tested. This is what we are going to be up again in July and August through the summer.”

“If we can have it done on a recurring basis then people can then take responsible actions to keep the economy open but at the same time be safe.”

Here are some of the things you need to know about the testing.

*No documentation/ ID is required. You only have to give some contact info so they can give you your results.
*No doctors referral is needed
*Wear masks to testing
*This is a test for active virus not antibodies
*If you test positive there are many government and community options to assist you medically and financially so that you can isolate.

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