Lowcountry COVID-19 testing sites packed; at-home tests selling out

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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – The Monday after Christmas brought crowds of people to COVID-19 testing sites around the Lowcountry looking for rapid tests. Drive-thru sites like Seacoast Church in Mt. Pleasant and the North Charleston Coliseum saw long lines from open to close while sites like Doctor’s Care in Mt. Pleasant saw hours-long wait times.

One patient at Doctor’s Care told News 2 he waited over three hours for a test.

This is due in part to floods of South Carolinians returning home from holiday travel, preparing for New Year’s trips, and a lack of at-home testing kits.

“We field probably 100 calls a day from people looking for a rapid at-home COVID test,” said a local pharmacist.

Chad Straughan, a pharmacist at Tidewater Pharmacy in Mt. Pleasant, says at-home kits have been on backorder for months and when shipments do come in, it’s not long before shelves are empty again.

“Rapid tests have been on backorder for several months at this point, intermittent here and there, but we have 25 coming in today or tomorrow and then 1,000 coming in on Friday,” he said.

He believes those 1,000 tests will be gone within one day.

“We’re gonna have to limit them two to a customer type situation given the scarcity of the marketplace,” he said.

Long lines are testing sites are expected to continue as both the Omicron and Delta variants of COVID-19 spread nationwide.

If you are looking for a testing site in your area, visit the Department of Health and Environmental Control’s website and search for your county or city to find a list of sites.

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