COLUMBIA, S.C. — State health officials are once again encouraging people to get tested for the coronavirus – even if they're asymptomatic.
In a press conference Thursday, Steven White with the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) said South Carolina has more COVID-19 testing sites than ever before and they want as many people as possible to get tested.
"We have more than 540 permanent and mobile testing locations. And the turn-around time for the results is becoming faster and faster," White said. "We encourage anyone who thinks they should get tested to get tested, and anyone who is regularly out and about in their community and in close proximity to others, to get tested routinely. At least once a month or more," White said.
Fortunately, there are several places where you can get tested for free.
In Richland County, Columbia offers free testing at Benedict College Monday through Saturday.
Many CVS Pharmacies are also offering free drive up testing. Both options require an appointment.
The third option is free drive thru testing by Prisma Health at the City of Columbia’s old Pardon and Parole building.
"We’re out there every Tuesday, Friday and Saturday from 8:00 am to noon," Jennifer Snow with Prisma Health says. She noted that test results from their community site are received in 48 to 72 hours.
"No appointments are required, you don’t have to have a provider and you don’t have to have an order. Our community sites are for anyone that needs it. Anyone that thinks they’ve been exposed to covid or needs a test can come see us," Snow says.
In Lexington County, there are a couple free testing locations. One is at the Lexington County Health Center. It's Tuesday through Thursday from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm. No appointment needed.
Another free testing site is at Lexington Medical Center in West Columbia. An appointment is required.
Lexington County also a CVS with drive up testing available with an appointment.
In Sumter County, Sandhills Medical Foundation is offering free testing on Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Jehovah Missionary Baptist Church, no appointment needed. That’s between 8:30 am and 1:30 pm.
Sumter also has a CVS that offers testing.
And in Orangeburg County, Family Health Centers Inc. offers pop up testing every week. The past two have been on Fridays at the Old Mt. Zion Baptist Church. The center tells us they’re working out details for the next free event.
For more information and locations of COVID-19 testing in South Carolina, click here.