Gov. McMaster approves school COVID-19 testing plan

Coronavirus

COLUMBIA, SC (WBTW) — South Carolina schools can begin implementing the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control’s school testing program next week after Gov. Henry McMaster signed an executive order this afternoon. 

“Right now, too many South Carolina parents are having to choose between their jobs and their children because they aren’t being given an option to send their children to school for in-person instruction,” McMaster said in a press release. “School districts throughout our state have shown that we can safely educate our children in the classroom, and these tests will give students, teachers and faculty members another layer of defense against the COVID-19 virus.”

Districts will begin getting tests next week, which will then need to be distributed to individual schools. Districts must also train staff on how to administer them. 

About 220,000 Abbott BinaxNOW tests have been allocated for the program. Each district will initially receive enough tests for 10% of the staff and student population. 

The tests will be available for students and employees who show COVID-19 symptoms. Results are available within 15 minutes of the tests being administered.

Participation is voluntary and requires a completed consent form for students.

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