AT-HOME TESTS: DHEC giving out antigen tests with instant results to help with shortage

COLUMBIA, SC (WOLO) — COVID-19 cases have been on the rise in South Carolina all year.

It has also caused testing lines to become longer and waiting times for those tests to be longer as well.

In order to speed up the process, DHEC ordered 2 million at-home COVID 19 antigen tests and around 140,000 of them have arrived. Half of these tests will be distributed to the community.

“It’s been hundreds. I can say that. We’ve had a pretty good turnout today,” said contract nurse SharnJee Primus, who works at the Richland County Health Center.

Results from the tests are available in minutes and many Columbia residents are picking up tests as a precaution.

“I’m not really worried. Personally, I”m not. I try to keep my distance from folks, wear my mask when I’m around people and stay in as much as possible also,” said Columbia resident William Woodard.

People at the Richland County Health Center told us they have had trouble finding COVID tests at other locations. The 140,000 distributed across the state by DHEC is helping with the shortage. 

“Wear your mask, sanitize and keep your six feet distance away,” advises Primus.

Some are wearing two masks.

“I”m better protected by wearing two versus one or wearing none. I’m constantly wearing a mask no matter what it is that I’m doing or where I’m going,” said Ray Borders Gray, Columbia resident.

She says she even wears a mask while exercising and believes others should be doing more to protect themselves and others.

“People are getting tired. Some people are antivaxxers,” Gray said. “I just think that unfortunately this is something we will all have to live with for a very long time. We may as well get used to it.”

“Everybody be safe. I wish everybody would get vaccinated of course,” Woodard said. “That’s a personal thing but I would say that if you got vaccinated for smallpox and other things, why not get vaccinated for COVID?”

You should check DHEC’s online testing locator to see if your public health department has at home tests to give out. They are in limited supply and being given out one per individual. Each box contains two tests.

If you have symptoms, do not enter the public health department. Simply notify staff at the door and a test will be brought to you.

Categories: Local News, Richland