HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) - McLeod Health added to the number of people it’s tested for the coronavirus Friday by having a drive-thru testing site at its Carolina Forest location.
Five hundred people came through the McLeod Health Carolina Forest testing site, but for one person, it was on a special day that she won’t be forgetting anytime soon.
“This is the first time I’ve ever been through anything like this,” said Nancy Conklin, who got tested for coronavirus.
Conklin spent part of the day getting tested for the coronavirus. In any other year, she’d be spending the whole day celebrating.
“I’m celebrating my 83rd birthday today (Friday)," said Conklin.
Nancy and her husband Jim were on the way back from picking up her cake when they saw the drive-thru testing at McLeod Health in Carolina Forest. So, they made a quick stop before blowing out the candles.
“I hope I live longer, but I don’t want to see anything like this," said Conklin.
Nancy and Jim were two of 500 people that came through the testing site. The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control is hoping McLeod will continue to see numbers like that.
“We would like individuals to get tested so they will know if they are positive or not, so that they can get treated if they are, and then it will help protect everyone,” said DHEC Pee Dee Region Communications Director Suzette McClellan.
McClellan said the state has seen an uptick in cases recently, but attributes that to the increased testing and mass testing at long-term care facilities.
The Carolina Forest drive-thru testing site was McLeod’s sixth system wide, and they’ve been able to test around 1,700 at the community sites.
“Community tests, because these are all-comer tests, meaning you do not have to be symptomatic to show, we at McLeod are experiencing a 4% positive rate, so it’s a lower number than the patients that present to the hospital that are symptomatic, and it’s what you would expect,” said McLeod Health Care Coordination Vice President Lesli McGee.
Nancy and Jim are hoping this doesn't become a birthday tradition.
“She comes from a line of long-livers, so she’ll be around for a long time," said Jim Conklin.
DHEC’s goal is to reach 110,000 tests a month. They were able to do that in May, and they’re hoping with the help of testing sites to do that again in June.
McLeod Health’s next drive-thru testing will be at the Loris location on Friday, June 12.