DHEC announces changes to COVID-19 reporting
COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCSC) - State health officials are changing their COVID-19 testing strategy beginning March 1.
Citing the increase in accuracy of at-home COVID-19 testing and a decrease in demand for drive-through PCR testing the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control says they will begin to reduce testing operations.
Officials say the availability, speed and accuracy of rapid antigen testing allow individuals to test anytime and isolate if necessary.
Beginning March 15, daily case counts will no longer be reported due to at-home testing not being reportable. Health officials say they will continue to release hospitalizations and deaths weekly.
DHEC says the changes will continue to ensure information and resources are available for families to make informed decisions, but still stress that vaccinations are the most effective way to prevent COVID-19.
The changes to testing and reporting will occur in stages:
- March 1-14 - DHEC will begin to close DHEC-managed vendor testing sites in counties with five or more non-DHEC PCR test providers
- March 15 - Change the frequency and type of data reporting to once per week.
- March 14 - April 1 - Closure of DHEC-managed vendor testing sites in counties with 2-4 non-DHEC PCR test providers.
- April 1 - Begin closure of DHEC-operated PCR except in counties where DHEC is the only PCR-test provider.
Health officials say they will continue to update guidelines and responses based on conditions. They are expected to update contact tracing and school guidance next week.
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