Prisma Health, DHEC to launch community testing for COVID-19 at statewide screenings

South Carolina News

Taiwan McCall, left, useless a nasal swab to test James Reese for COVID-19 in the Harlem section of New York, Monday, April 20, 2020. Hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers would need to be tested for the coronavirus daily before city officials could start to loosen restrictions that have shuttered most workplaces and forced residents to cover their faces in public, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Monday. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – Prisma Health and DHEC will launch community screening for COVID-19 at seven locations across South Carolina beginning Saturday, with more sites expected to be announced in the coming weeks.

The community testing will reach populations who may not otherwise have access to traditional testing or online virtual visits, Prisma Health officials say.

The initial screenings will be located in neighborhoods in Greenville, Richland and Sumter counties. Additional communities will be identified in Prisma Health’s other service counties over the next few weeks.

“For those individuals who cannot come to us, we are taking the test sites to them,” said Dr. Scott Sasser, incident commander over Prisma Health’s COVID-19 response and a national leader in emergency medicine and community response. “We know that virtual visits and the drive-through testing sites aren’t the right access for everyone.”

Prisma Health providers, nurses, community paramedics and staff will provide this screening, testing, and education outreach as part of Prisma Health’s Accountable Communities initiative.

At the testing sites:

·        Individuals at these locations will be screened and those with COVID-19 symptoms will be tested without having a doctor’s order.

·        Testing will be provided regardless of an individual’s ability to pay.

·        No appointment is needed. Community members taking part will be given masks upon arrival and will be asked to maintain social distancing.

·        Test results are expected within four days.

·        Individuals will receive follow-up communication about the test results – whether positive or negative – from providers with Prisma Health.

·        Those attending the testing events also will receive information about isolating at home if sick, tips on caring for themselves and when to seek additional care should their symptoms worsen.

·        All events will run from 10 a.m.–3 p.m. regardless of locations or dates.

Upstate sites include the following:

·        Saturday, May 2 – Augusta Heights Baptist (3018 Augusta St., Greenville, SC 29605)

·        Wednesday, May 6 – Augusta Heights Baptist (3018 Augusta St., Greenville, SC 29605)

·        Saturday, May 9 – La Unica SuperCenter (6119 White Horse Rd #3, Greenville, SC 29611)

Midlands sites include the following:

·        Saturday, May 2 – Union Baptist Church of Rembert (5840 Spring Hill Rd, Rembert, SC 29128)

·        Wednesday, May 6 – Hopkins Park Adult Activity Center (144 Hopkins Park Road, Hopkins, SC 29061)

·        Friday, May 8 – Richland County Rec Community Center (2750 McCords Ferry Rd, Eastover, SC 29044)

·        Saturday, May 9 – Garners Ferry Adult Activity Center (8620 Garners Ferry Road, Hopkins, SC 29061)

The initial test kits were provided to Prisma Health by DHEC at no charge.

Prisma Health has already opened five drive-through testing facilities across the state and testing sites for first responders, as well as launched a free Virtual Visit option for patients with suspected COVID-19, opened a community COVID-19 hotline and this week debuted the state’s first free interactive symptom tracker for the virus.

Details of Prisma Health’s COVID-19 community outreach is available at  https://www.prismahealth.org/coronavirus/ The hotline number is 1-833-2PRISMA.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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