More than 2,000 people tested for COVID-19 at Tidelands Health community clinic Saturday in Myrtle Beach
More than 2,000 individuals were tested for COVID-19 Saturday in Myrtle Beach at the largest free community testing clinic hosted by Tidelands Health and the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control to date.
With Horry County named a statewide COVID-19 hot spot earlier this week, Tidelands Health worked with DHEC to secure 1,000 additional tests for the drive-through testing clinic Saturday at Myrtle Beach Pelicans Stadium. Even with twice the number of available tests than initially planned, all had been used in seven hours.
“There’s tremendous demand for COVID-19 testing in our community, as you can tell from the lines of vehicles that moved through our clinic today,” said Gayle Resetar, chief operating officer at Tidelands Health. “We are pleased to see so many of our community members taking advantage of the opportunity to get a free test, and our team has – and will continue – to help meet this demand for testing in our community.”
This was the second community testing clinic at Pelicans ballpark organized by Tidelands Health and DHEC. On May 30, 1,000 individuals were tested during the health system’s first community clinic in the stadium’s parking lot. Tidelands Health has partnered with DHEC to provide large community testing clinics in the region, with three more coming up this month.
Community testing helps health leaders better understand the impact COVID-19 is having on an area and provides a convenient way for individuals to know whether they have the virus. Individuals may have COVID-19 but not show any symptoms, which makes testing even more important to help limit the spread of the virus to others.
Earlier this week, DHEC named Horry County a COVID-19 hot spot because of a spike in cases. While the number of tests performed locally has increased, so, too, has the percentage of positive cases among those tested, indicating community spread of the virus. Tidelands Health strongly encourages community members to continue practicing social distancing, washing their hands frequently and wearing a face mask in public.
“Now is not the time to let our guard down,” said Dr. Gerald Harmon, who was among the Tidelands Health medical professionals administering COVID-19 tests at the clinic Saturday. “COVID-19 is circulating in our community, and all of us must take the necessary precautions to limit the spread of this highly contagious virus. We must continue to take this seriously.”
The Tidelands Health testing clinics are free and open to all individuals with no pre-screening. Individuals under 18 years of age must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian to give consent for testing. Individuals simply drive up to be tested and remain in their vehicles throughout the process.
Individuals still have more chances to get tested this month at upcoming drive-through clinics that will operate while supplies last:
- Friday, June 19, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Inlet Square Mall, 10125 Highway 17 Bypass, Murrells Inlet
- Wednesday, June 24, noon-6 p.m., Tidelands Health Rehabilitation Hospital, an affiliate of Encompass Health, 100 Water Grande Blvd., Little River
- Friday, June 26, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Coastal Carolina University, 100 Chanticleer Drive, Conway
Anyone with questions about the testing program can call the Tidelands Health COVID-19 nurse line at 843-652-8800 Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. or 1-866-TIDELANDS, which operates 24 hours a day.