DHEC to give out COVID-19 test kits to school districts this week; some still working out details

DHEC to give out COVID-19 test kits to school districts this week; some still working out details
(Source: WIS)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WMBF) – The Department of Health and Environmental Control is expected to start giving out rapid COVID-19 test kits to school districts this week.

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster signed an executive order just before Thanksgiving, giving the agency the authority to hand out 220,000 test kits to public schools.

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DHEC leaders said in a news conference that they expected to start giving out the kits the week after Thanksgiving.

WMBF News reached out to several school districts and asked if they received the rapid COVID-19 test kits.

Lisa Bourcier, a spokesperson for Horry County Schools said that the district should be receiving the first round of allocations this week, but wasn’t sure how much the district would receive from the state.

“We are currently reviewing the logistics to implement this new program and developing protocols for administering the tests with guidance from DHEC,” Bourcier added.

Florence School District One said it has not yet received its supply of test kits but is working with the state Department of Education and DHEC to finalize the process.

“We are currently reviewing the training process for our school nurses, as well as the overall protocol for the best utilization of this resource,” added Beth Holzbach, the district’s lead nurse.

Florence School District Two officials told WMBF News that their tentative plan is to pick up the district’s first allocation in Columbia on Thursday.

A spokesperson for Georgetown County Schools said the district is still working on details and have not received the kits.

The rapid test kits will only be administered to students, teachers and staff who are symptomatic. It will take about 15 minutes to receive the results.

The governor stated that it will be up to the parent or guardian to decide if they want their child to be tested and a consent form will be required before a student can be tested.

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