‘Big COVID peak in county’, long queues seen at test sites


CHESTER, SC (WBTV) – The only Chester County mass testing site where appointments are not required has been slammed all day as the number of COVIDs has skyrocketed here.

The Department of Health and Environmental Control said Chester County had fewer than 5 cases on November 30, the last day of the month, just after Thanksgiving. On the last day of December, Chester County recorded one of its highest case numbers to date with 49 positive return tests.

The data shows the spread of COVID in Chester County is high and also shows the county had the highest positive percentage rate in the state last week – 14.5%.

That’s why emergency management encourages people to act quickly, especially getting tested at Chester County’s only mass testing site.

The Chester County Department of Health also offers free self-test kits in which the person uses their saliva.

People are taking advantage of the test site at the Back Lot in Chester.

“This is a great opportunity for the community to get tested. Because just trusting CVS, I mean it can take days, ”says Miranda Stevenson.

The site manager said workers at the test site were preparing for it. The queues were long, sometimes 30 to 45 minutes. It might not sound too bad until people consider it just three weeks ago that a person could drive and take a test in less than five minutes. The site manager says people are coming to Rock Hill and Lancaster to get tested here, increasing their count from seven tests a day a few weeks ago to 200 a day.

“I wanted to be tested to be on the safe side,” says a woman waiting in the queue.

The line poured out onto the street as the cars followed one another bumper to bumper. Part of the rush to get tested stems from the holiday celebrations just a week and a half ago.

“I have been separated from my family since COVID started. And so I wanted to see my family and it had been a long time, ”says Stevenson.

Stevenson says she was exposed and felt symptoms. She waited 45 minutes to make sure what she is feeling is not COVID.

“I’m a social worker and I work with people, so I want to protect myself and others,” she explains.

The other reasons given were as numerous as the piles and piles of bags full of tests on the table ready to be shipped to the labs. Tests take 48-72 hours to return from this site.

“Honey is important. This is important because so many people die from this stuff. So I just want to be in a position where I can be on the safe side, ”says one woman.

“I just want to be a responsible citizen and therefore I want to be even safer,” says another woman in line.

The lines were not expected. Just a few weeks ago, people didn’t have to wait to take a test at all, so the same expectation came when they were tested today.

“I said let me stop, there are probably only a few cars. But I didn’t expect so many people, ”Stevenson says.

This test site is open Tuesday and Thursday from 9:30 am to 3:00 am. The workers are encouraging everyone who comes here to pre-register, so that it can help those long lines. No insurance needed and testing is free. To follow this link for pre-registration.

Copyright 2022 WBTV. All rights reserved.

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