DHEC expects spike in demand for COVID tests ahead of holidays

Grand Strand

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) – As people look forward to gathering for the holidays, DHEC is expecting to see a jump in demand for COVID-19 testing, meaning it could take longer to get results.

The testing site set up at the Myrtle Beach airport has already been seeing more people line up to get tested ahead of their holiday travels.

“Mostly, it’s for international travel,” Camille McLamb, an employee at the site, said. “But we also get people who are going on cruises… People are wanting to be safe before they have large gatherings.”

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control said anyone whos want to get their test result back before Christmas Eve should get tested before Dec. 19, just in case the results get delayed due to demand.

“Our demand has been fairly stable overall for the last several weeks,” Dr. Paul Richardson, the chief medical officer at Conway Medical Center, said.

So far in December, the hospital has administered 2,064 COVID tests. Richardson said the hospital has seen the biggest spikes in testing demand when inpatient numbers climb with surges, like in August and September. He did give a word of caution, though.

“There’s always the possibility of a false negative or something of that nature,” he said. “Our testing is a lot better, especially from two years ago when we started out. But there’s always that possibility.”

CMC’s free drive-through testing is open from 8 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. Monday-Friday. No doctor’s order is needed, but appointments are required and can be made through the CMC Care app. Click here to make an appointment.

Click here to find additional testing sites.

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