COLUMBIA, S.C. — The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) announced Tuesday that it will begin scaling back the number of agency-managed vendor COVID-19 testing sites across the state.
The reduction is based on the declining demand for in-person testing and the increasing demand and supply of COVID-19 at-home rapid antigen tests, DHEC reports.
DHEC said this signifies the state and nation’s transition out of a pandemic, and into an endemic, as public health officials provide guidance on how to live normal, safe lives with an ongoing presence of COVID-19.
DHEC’s March schedule includes changes to testing sites and data reporting. Here is the schedule:
- March 1-14: Gradual closure of DHEC-managed vendor testing sites in all counties with five or more non-DHEC PCR test providers such as primary care providers, pharmacies, federally qualified health centers, hospitals, mobile providers, etc.
- March 15: Change the frequency and type of data reporting to once per week rather than every weekday to best track where the virus’ impact is most severe
- March 14-April 1: Gradual closure of DHEC-managed vendor testing sites in all counties with 2-4 non-DHEC PCR test providers.
- April 1: Begin closure of DHEC-operated PCR sites except in counties where DHEC is the only PCR-test provider or only other such provider. In those areas, DHEC also will provide mobile rapid antigen testing services.
WCNC Charlotte is part of seven major media companies and other local institutions reporting on and engaging the community around the problems and solutions as they relate to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is a project of the Charlotte Journalism Collaborative, which is supported by the Local Media Project, an initiative launched by the Solutions Journalism Network with support from the Knight Foundation to strengthen and reinvigorate local media ecosystems. See all of our reporting at charlottejournalism.org.