Where in SC to get a drive-thru coronavirus test, what to know before you go
Source: The State
Published: March 28, 2020
CIMS Partner Center: Sandhills Medical Foundation
The S.C. Hospital Association has encouraged people to see a doctor virtually, through a telehealth appointment, to determine whether they may need a coronavirus test. If warranted, the person can make an appointment to go to a hospital’s drive-thru testing location.
The state Department of Health and Environmental Control has said people should be tested if they show symptoms such as having a fever, cough or difficulty breathing, or if they know they have had contact with someone who has tested positive for the coronavirus.
Patients going through a drive-thru testing location should bring a health insurance card to make sure the cost is covered. Some hospitals may charge patients later for some of the costs, depending on their insurance coverage.
For example, out-of-pocket costs for patients who are tested at the Medical University of South Carolina’s drive-thru site should be about $25, said MUSC spokesman Tony Ciuffo, adding cost won’t be a barrier to testing.
“Patients with no ability to pay will not be billed,” Ciuffo said.
At Colonial Healthcare in Sumter, which is also offers drive-up testing if patients meet the criteria. The location is bills insurance but those who are self-pay the cost is $51, said Office Manager Ashley Shirley.
In Greenwood, Self Regional Healthcare is operating a drive-thru facility at its hospital, also by appointment only. The hospital is providing the service only for people within its seven county service area.
“Each service area is struggling to keep up with its own population,” said Mark Hyatt, spokesman for the hospital.
WHAT TO EXPECT
When a patient suspected of having the coronavirus goes to a drive-thru testing facility, they’ll be greeted by medical personnel wearing a mask, gown, gloves and eye protection.
A nurse will take the patient’s temperature and use a long swab to probe through the patient’s nose, all while the patient remains in the vehicle. Medical personnel are swabbing the patient’s sinuses.
“That’s where viruses and bacteria like to congregate,” said Chris Dixon, the CEO of Sandhills Medical Foundation, which is running the testing location in Camden. “It will be uncomfortable for a few seconds. (But) what is that compared to saving lives, saving grandma’s life.”
At the Camden location, some people also were tested for the flu and strep throat to rule out those diagnoses as well. Sandhills picked up the costs of those tests, Dixon said.
DRIVE-UP TESTING LOCATIONS
So far, at least nine hospitals have drive-thru testing for the coronavirus, according to the S.C. Hospital Association, which released a list of hospital locations offering the service. The list is being updated as more sites open up. Doctors seeing patients in their offices also have the ability to take samples to send off to labs for testing.
Anderson: AnMed Health Women’s and Children Hospital, 800 N. Fant St.
Beaufort: Beaufort Memorial Medical and Administrative Center at 990 Ribaut Rd.
Charleston: Citadel Mall campus, outside the MUSC Health West Ashley Medical Pavilion
Cheraw: McLeod Health, 711 Chesterfield Highway
Clarendon: McLeod Health, 10 East Hospital St.
Columbia: Prisma Health Richland Hospital, 5 Richland Medical Park Dr.
Dillon: McLeod Health, 301 East Jackson St.
Florence: Doctors Care urgent care at 2200 South Irby St.
Florence: McLeod Regional Medical Center of Pee Dee, 555 East Cheves St.
Greenville: Prisma Health Greenville Memorial Hospital, 701 Grove Rd.
Greenwood: Self Regional Healthcare 1325 Spring St.
Lancaster: MUSC Health Lancaster Medical Center at 1010 Woodland Dr.
Little River: McLeod Health Seacoast, 4000 Highway 9 East
Loris: McLeod Health, 3655 Mitchell St.
North Charleston: Roper St. Francis Transitions Clinic, 5133 Rivers Ave.
Sumter: Prisma Health Tuomey Hospital at 129 N Washington St.
Other locations doing drive-thru testing
Camden: Sandhills Medical Foundation 2611 Liberty Hill Road
Sumter: Colonial Health Care, at 325 Broad St. (No appointment necessary, but need to be showing symptoms, or have had exposure to be tested)