Myrtle Beach area providers work to keep up with increasing demand for COVID-19 testing

Grand Strand

NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — As the Carolinas see a significant spike in COVID-19 cases, local providers are working hard to keep up with a growing demand for tests.

Whether for travel, school, or exposure, the number of coronavirus tests in South Carolina has risen quickly in recent weeks. DHEC recorded just over 2,400 on July 4. On Tuesday, the state health department recorded over 19,000.

Some of those tests were done by North Myrtle Beach Mobile Urgent Care.

“Our demand has been going through the roof,” Michael Petrillo, DMS, PAC said. “We have people that have driven all the way to Mullins to be able to get a rapid COVID test. We’re trying very hard to fit as many patients as we possibly can.”

Petrillo said he ordered more test kits ahead of this current wave or else he believes he would have run out. Mobile Urgent Care delivers services on the go and at patients’ homes, including COVID-19 tests.

“It has been difficult finding a supply of accurate COVID tests,” he said.

Many hospitals in the area said they have a good supply.

CVS told News13 in a statement it’s keeping up with the increasing demand too, and its top item in stores is at-home COVID-19 test kits.

“We are seeing a huge increase in demand,” Vice President, Interim Chief Operating Officer at UNC Health Southeastern Lori Dove, MHA said. “This month we’re on track to beat both December and January of last year for just testing.”

UNC Health Southeastern in Lumberton is in a community with a low vaccination rate. Dove said some people are presenting with symptoms that could be coronavirus or flu.

“I have a full materials management department that is on top of this everyday,” Dove said. “Trying to ensure that we have all of the testing kits we need and they’re in the right place at the right time.”

DHEC said it’s not seeing a shortage of tests in South Carolina. The state health department sponsors between 55 and 60 free testing events across the state on an average day.

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