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Surge testing sites available this weekend

Last week, White House COVID Task Force Dr. Birx said a "surge testing team" is coming to the Columbia area.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — More testing will be available this weekend, thanks to the University of South Carolina, state and federal partners.

Last week, a key member of the White House COVID Task Force, Dr. Deborah Birx, visited the campus and announced a surge testing team would be coming to the Columbia area.

RELATED: Dr. Deborah Birx likes how USC is handling coronavirus response

The current administration tells News 19 this is a federal team who is partnering with the state, city and university. The plan is to send down 60,000 tests for a soft launch for the new efforts this Saturday, September 19.

It will be for anyone in the community who would like to get tested from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Founders Park, USC's baseball stadium.

The administration adds this will be a nasal swab test, but not as invasive and results can be expected in less than 48 hours. 

RELATED: Coronavirus deaths in kids echoes toll in adults, CDC says

The Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) said testing at the surge locations will be available at no cost to individuals five years and older - including those experiencing symptoms; those who believe they may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19; and anyone who is worried about possibly having the virus.

DHEC defines a "surge testing team" as federal partners who choose locations across the country to dramatically expand COVID testing to up to 5,000 COVID-19 tests per day.

DHEC is currently working with the USDHHS, Governor’s Office, UofSC, National Guard, SCEMD, and others to finalize logistics for the testing events.

News 19 also reached out to USC officials for more information and they said they plan to release more details in the coming days. 

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