Schools across the state of South Carolina will soon have access to rapid COVID-19 tests.
A recent executive order issued by Governor Henry McMaster is requiring DHEC to provide South Carolina schools with rapid COVID-19 tests. As a part of the executive order, more than 1.5 million tests will be delivered to schools.
The rapid antigen test provides results in as little as 15 minutes. However, the test is only meant for staff members or students who are experiencing symptoms related to the coronavirus.
“Particularly for staff, it will be a very useful tool. If a student goes home, it doesn’t necessarily impact the entire school environment. But if you have a large number of staff members who are out quarantining or out because they are positive, it can shut down a school or drastically change the school’s operations,” said Ryan Brown, South Carolina Department of Education Chief Communications Officer.
While school districts are not required to accept or provide these tests, government officials are encouraging school districts and charter schools to opt into the program.
Many schools who have already opted in are currently in the process of training nurses and athletic trainers to conduct these rapid tests, in hopes that these tests will help mitigate the current rise of coronavirus cases throughout the state.