National Guard joins Tidelands Health, DHEC for community COVID-19 testing event Friday in Georgetown
South Carolina National Guard personnel joined Tidelands Health and the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control to provide free COVID-19 testing to nearly 900 people at a drive-through testing event Friday in Georgetown.
The Guard personnel, part of the Medical Task Force – COVID-19 Mission, have been traveling the state supporting testing events and other COVID-19 related needs. They participated in Friday’s testing event at Georgetown High School at the request of Tidelands Health, which engaged Guard clinical personnel as part of a multifaceted plan to expand staffing as the health system responds to a rapid and dramatic increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations.
“The National Guard team showed up early this morning eager to jump in and help in any way that was needed,” said Jason Self, director of outpatient services at Tidelands Health. “We quickly put them to work helping administer testing swabs to community members. Having the Guard’s support here today was a tremendous boost to our team, and we are so appreciative for the help.”
The testing clinic was the eighth along the Grand Strand organized by Tidelands Health in partnership with SC DHEC. The region’s leader in COVID-19 testing, Tidelands Health has tested nearly 10,000 community members during the large-scale testing events. Three more events are scheduled this month:
- Friday, July 17, beginning at 10 a.m. and continuing while supplies last, Myrtle Beach Pelicans Stadium, 1251 21st Avenue North, Myrtle Beach
- Friday, July 24, beginning at 10 a.m. and continuing while supplies last, Coastal Carolina University, 100 Chanticleer Drive, Conway
- Saturday, Aug. 1, beginning at 10 a.m. and continuing while supplies last, Myrtle Beach Pelicans Stadium, 1251 21st Avenue North, Myrtle Beach
National Guard personnel will support those events, as well.
“I’m excited to do it, to help the community,” said Sgt. Christian Kamke as he prepared to begin administering swabs at Friday’s testing event. “We are just happy to support it and do the right thing.”
COVID-19 continues to spread rapidly in the region. As of Friday morning, Tidelands Health had 50 COVID-19-positive patients in its hospitals, with another 10 awaiting test results. The system’s emergency departments and critical care units are operating at capacity.
“We are grateful to the National Guard for answering the call to help us serve our community as demand on our resources grows exponentially along with the continued, dramatic rise in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations,” said Gayle Resetar, chief operating officer at Tidelands Health. “One of the goals of these testing events it to identify asymptomatic cases so those people can take precautions to limit the spread of COVID-19 and hopefully reduce the number of COVID-19-positive patients requiring hospitalization.”