Tidelands Health consolidating free COVID-19 testing events planned for this week

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The Tidelands Health Newsroom

Published on June 22, 2020

Tidelands Health consolidating free COVID-19 testing events planned for this week

In response to tremendous community demand for COVID-19 testing, Tidelands Health is consolidating two free testing events planned for this week to a single event that will better accommodate a large number of attendees.

A medical professional administers the COVID-19 test during a drive-through clinic.A free clinic set for Friday, June 26, on the campus of Coastal Carolina University is being expanded to test 2,500 individuals – the largest testing event in the region to date. The clinic will begin at 10 a.m. and continue while supplies last.

The free clinic that had been planned for Wednesday, June 24, on the Little River campus of Tidelands Health Rehabilitation Hospital, an affiliate of Encompass Health, is canceled.

“With cases of COVID-19 spiking in our region, we are seeing unprecedented demand for testing,” said Gayle Resetar, Tidelands Health chief operating officer. “In consultation with representatives from the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control and local law enforcement, we have made the decision to consolidate this week’s testing clinics to a single event on the CCU campus, which can more safely accommodate thousands of individuals arriving in hundreds of vehicles.”

Increasing numbers of COVID-19 cases statewide and locally, combined with Horry County’s designation as a COVID-19 hot spot, have created enormous demand for testing in the area. On Friday, Tidelands Health tested approximately 1,500 people in the parking lot of Inlet Square Mall. The event, originally scheduled for eight hours, ended by midday as testing supplies were quickly exhausted.

Since late May, Tidelands Health – in partnership with DHEC -- has conducted approximately 6,500 free COVID-19 tests across the region during six free community testing events. Pre-screening is not required. Participants simply drive up to be tested and remain in their vehicles throughout the process. At each clinic, testing is available while supplies last.

Community testing helps health leaders better understand the impact COVID-19 is having on the community 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.

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Tidelands Health is the region’s largest health care provider and MUSC Health affiliate, serving the Carolinas at four hospitals and more than 60 outpatient locations. More than 2,500 employee, physician and volunteer partners work side by side with our communities to transform the health of our region – promoting wellness, preventing illness, encouraging recovery and restoring health.