COVID-19 Testing Information
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Is it coronavirus, flu or the common cold?
Distinguishing between the cold, flu and coronavirus can be tricky. Take a look at the common symptoms of the illnesses, and how to differentiate them.
At Tidelands Health, we understand the importance of COVID-19 testing to individual and community health. As the region’s leader in COVID-19 testing and response, we have developed several testing options to accommodate our community’s unique needs.
If you are ill with symptoms of COVID-19
If you have COVID-19-like symptoms, including fever, cough or shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat or new loss of taste or smell, you can:
- Utilize the no-cost MUSC Health virtual screening at muschealth.org. The promotional code for free screening is “COVID19.” If the screening indicates you need follow-up care and you live in the Tidelands region, MUSC Health will refer you to Tidelands Health, and we will contact you within one business day to arrange appropriate care. Tidelands Health, as our region’s MUSC Health affiliate, is working closely with MUSC Health on this process.
- Call your family physician and schedule an appointment. If you do not have a physician, call 1-866-TIDELANDS. We will help you schedule an appointment with a physician near you.
You may notice tents in the parking lots of Tidelands Waccamaw Community Hospital and certain physician practices. These tents are not public testing sites for COVID-19. The tents at physician practices support patients with scheduled appointments. The tent at Tidelands Waccamaw Community Hospital has been erected to triage and treat low-acuity patients who visit the emergency department.
Free Testing Events
Recognizing the need for expanded COVID-19 testing along the Grand Strand, Tidelands Health and the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control have partnered to offer a large-scale community testing program in our region. Testing events are scheduled at convenient sites throughout the area. For a list of dates, times and locations, please click here. Testing is free and open to everyone ages 2 and older.
Pre-screening is not required. Individuals under 18 years of age must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian to give consent for testing. Participants simply drive up to be tested and remain in their car throughout the process. At each event, testing will be available while supplies last.
Testing is conducted via nasopharyngeal swab. Specimens are sent to DHEC labs for testing, and results are typically available within five business days. The results are communicated by phone and made available electronically through the Tidelands Health patient portal. If you are not already enrolled in the portal, sign-up instructions will be provided to you at the testing event.
Again, for the date, time and locations of upcoming community testing events, please click here.
Antibody testing is available at Tidelands Health Family Medicine locations at the discretion of the physician. Call 1-866-TIDELANDS to make an appointment. Our partners at the American Red Cross also offer free antibody testing when you donate blood.