COLUMBIA, SC (FOX Carolina) Tuesday, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control says they're going to begin distributing rapid-testing devices and supplies to areas of the state where testing for COVID-19 may be limited.
The U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) sent fifteen Abbott ID NOW COVID-19 rapid-response testing devices to South Carolina. The rapid-test devices can provide coronavirus specimen results in 15-20 minutes.
DHEC says they distributed the devices and a limited amount of supplies to healthcare facilities throughout the state the week of April 20. Additional supplies will be sent in coming days.
“This specialized technology will help us increase testing for those who are most susceptible to this disease and who live in areas of our state where access to COVID-19 testing isn’t easily accessible,” said Dr. Joan Duwve, DHEC’s Director of Public Health. “We wish every health care facility in the state could be provided with these new instruments, but until then, we’ve prioritized their distribution to the places where we hope they can have the biggest and best impact for South Carolinians.”
DHEC says they took careful consideration when determining where to send the devices. Factors that contributed to their decision included looking at regions with high numbers of positive cases, regions with rates above the state average for underlying conditions like diabetes, and a facility's capacity to use the machines to expand testing to rural communities.
The following facilities received the rapid-testing devices and supplies:
- Kershaw Health (Kershaw County)
- Self Regional Healthcare (Greenwood County)
- Piedmont Medical Center (York County)
- Regional Medical Center: Orangeburg Hospital (Orangeburg County)
- Bon Secours Health System (Greenville County)
- AnMed Health (Anderson County)
- Aiken Regional Medical Center (Aiken County)
- McCleod Health Clarendon (Clarendon County)
- Spartanburg Regional Healthcare (Spartanburg County)
- Coastal Carolina Hospital (Jasper County)
- MUSC Health Marion (Marion County)
- Williamsburg Regional Hospital (Williamsburg County)
- Lexington Medical Center (Lexington County)
- Al Cannon Detention Center (Charleston County)
- S.C. Department of Corrections
DHEC says they've requested more of the testing devices and supplies, though they don't have a specific timeline on when to expect the next shipment.
For the latest information on COVID-19 in South Carolina, click here.